There’s one thing I hate drinking, and it happens to be the same stuff that makes up 70% of my body.
I am terrible at drinking water.
As you can imagine, this presents many problems. I am usually dehydrated. I always have to carry Excedrin around because I get terrible migraines when I’m dehydrated.
In my mind, it’s much easier to grab a Diet Coke or an iced coffee when I’m thirsty because it kills two birds with one stone: I drink something, and I get a caffeine boost. (Of course, neither of these things is better for you than water.)
For New Year’s, I resolved to drink more water. A friend recommended an app called Plant Nanny. I was wary, but I downloaded it anyway because I was curious. If it ended up being useless, I could just delete it. Also, it was free. (I am very clearly a Millennial.)
Plant Nanny turns virtual-you into a plant and sends occasional push notifications to encourage you to drink water. When you download the app, you input some personal information (height, weight, physical activity level) and then pick out a plant. Plant Nanny tells you how many cups of water you have to drink per day. You can also change the settings to be different sizes of cups, depending on how you drink your water. I use an eight-ounce measurement.
For every cup of water you drink, you tap the little circle in the bottom right hand corner. The goal is to drink all the cups of water you’re supposed to every day. It keeps your plant happy, and presumably it keeps you hydrated. If you forget to water your plant, it will look sad. If you completely neglect it, it will die and you’ll have to start over. The plants are really cute, so you’ll want to keep them (and yourself) hydrated.
The more you water your plant, the bigger it gets. When it gets big enough, you can plant it in a virtual garden and start growing more plants. The only benefit of putting your plants in the garden is that it can grow seeds that you can use to buy more plants and custom backgrounds for the app, and they can revive dead plants too.
The only annoying thing about the app is that there are banner ads. But they’re not that big, and I’m usually only interacting with the app for 30-second intervals, anyway, so I don’t see much of them.
The best part of Plant Nanny is its simplicity. You open the app and tap literally one button to track your water intake. It’s not cumbersome — it just sits in the background and doesn’t really do anything. You can disable push notifications if you find them annoying, but for me, they’re helpful reminders.
I hadn’t seen anything written about Plant Nanny, which has both iOS and Android versions and was launched in 2013 by app developer Fourdesire. But plenty of people on Twitter seem to be using it.
My Plant Nanny cactus just leveled up and got flowers! I have a strange love for this app.
— Jake Ingram (@JakeBotV2) March 13, 2015
Most importantly, Plant Nanny has actually helped me drink more water. I went from drinking a pathetic 2 or 3 cups a day (I know) to drinking 8 to 12 cups. Could I have done something so menial-seeming as drink water on my own? Sure, but why not enlist the help of a cute virtual plant?