Turning Productivity into a Game

Part of the allure of applications like Foursquare or Get Glue are the badges that participants can earn.

The premise is simple:  you share information like your location or what movies/books/music you like and, in return, you earn badges like Foursquare’s “Photogenic Badge” (check-in to a place with a photo booth) or GetGlue’s “Murakami” badge (named after one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami).

These badges seem silly but their appeal is undeniable.  Once you join any of these social networks, not only will you want to collect badges, you’ll want more badges than your friends.  Trust me.

What if you turned productivity into a similar type of game – where you are awarded points for productive behavior and you could compete with your friends, connections, colleagues for leaderboard clout?

That’s what 750words and 0Boxer set out to accomplish.

  • 750words is a website for people who write for their job or their hobby.  The object is to write 750 words per day.  Each day you do that, you gain a point.
  • 0Boxer is a plugin for Chrome or Firefox that encourages people to reach the ever-so-zen inbox zero.

By rewarding points and badges, these sites reward their users.

How can more organizations turn productivity into a game?

Extra credit: How can they turn it into a game that can be played on a mobile device?