I have had a number of period tracker apps downloaded onto my tablet for about a month now. I started with the idea that I wanted to track not just my period but other things such as vaginal discharge, symptoms like cramps, and life occurrences such as stress.
As such, I decided to download all the period trackers in the Google Play store that were free and had more than 4 stars. That ended up being more trackers than I originally thought – and there also ended up being more crappy trackers than I thought. I then organized them all in order of “is this even worth downloading” to “awesome” and will share mini reviews of my favorites.
Winner and runner up:
This app wins overall, though there are some things that I wish were better. The best part about the app is how easy it is to use. It’s color coded for the things you might want to track, so it’s fairly easy to look at your history at a glance, and tracks almost everything I’m looking for. (For instance, it tracks, period, discharge, and cramps, but I have to track stress in the notes section.) I wish it had more options under some of the tracking sections, and that some of the options were clearer (for instance – what does “PMS” mean as a mood?). But as the app seems to have opted for simplicity and easy-to-use over more categories, I see the limitations as a rational choice. In addition, Clue is a prediction app, so it tries to tell you in advance, based on the information you have previously tracked, when you will get your period. (However, it only uses “light” bleeding and up as being your period, spotting doesn’t count – which doesn’t always worked for me.)
Which is why I’ve been using a second tracking app in tandem with Clue:
Glow has opted for being able to track almost everything you can think of. They also have a community chat section and run daily polls. This is interesting but it means that the app loads a lot slower, which is really annoying. However, I love that I can track everything on a sliding scale. Unlike Clue, I can track how bad my cramps are, and how much discharge I have – this is more realistic and something I do want to know about. (This also means, though, that not every category has consistent tracking. For instance, sometimes I track my moods and sometimes I don’t, so really I’m only tracking unusual moods that I normally wouldn’t notice.) And I also love how I can track my stress levels – and it’s not even listed under moods, it’s completely separate and easy to remember to track. However, I wish that there was a better way to visually see what I’ve tracked. Glow does come with charts, but only for temperature and weight, two things I am not tracking. Customizing the charts would be ideal, but currently the only way to look at information over time is to export a pdf to your email.
The third runner up was:
My Days X
I didn’t like the interface on this one but I did like the calendar view. However, it doesn’t track as many things as Glow, and it’s more complicated to use than Clue, so I eventually stopped using it. However, I really did like the calendar view since it shows symbols on each day of the things you’ve tracked instead of colors. Also, it tracks all of the things I was looking for, which include menstruation, discharge, and stress (although it lumps it in with anxiety, which I didn’t like). However, it also has ads, which can get annoying.
Overall, the three apps I mention above are good and functional. They do everything I want them to do, just in slightly different ways. I have my favorites for different reasons, but I would recommend any of them. In addition, none of them are cutesy pink or purple or any other type of cutesy design. They’re built to be functional and work, and even if they look pretty, they’re not trying. What they’re trying to do is be functional.
The next app on the list tracked everything I wanted to track, but had an annoying interface and a cutesy design. I didn’t even bother using it after playing around to see how it worked:
The interface on this app wasn’t very good, either. The calendar view was pretty good, but not as good as My Days X, and inputting information was annoying and not always self-explanatory. But it did track all the things I wanted to track. It also was more annoying in the “let’s have pink and a cutesy design” arena.
The following apps didn’t even track everything I wanted to track. Namely, they didn’t track discharge, which I think is incredibly stupid, as that’s something that almost every woman has and most of the time it changes based on her menstruation cycle. Tellingly, most of them also had cutesy designs.
This one was slightly better than the others. The design was cutesy, but in a hand-drawn kind of way that I liked, and the interface wasn’t any worse than my top three picks. However, its downfall was a lack of tracking discharge.
The “not even worth it” apps:
The interfaces weren’t great, the calendar views weren’t good, or they had a ton of ads – or all of the above.
Then there were the apps that I don’t know how that got that high of a review because they basically didn’t even exist. One of them kept crashing and another was literally a period tracker and that’s it. You opened it up and it said, “add period.” You put in the first day and last day of your period, had a space to add notes, and that’s it. I do believe it had a prediction algorithm in it, because there are three lines on the main page of the app that say “likely start of next period,” “likely next ovulation,” and “likely dates of highest fertility,” but that’s it. There is no calendar view, no area to track anything else. It’s the most minimal period tracker app ever. (Besides, Clue tracks all of that too, but it has an easier and better-looking interface.)
Only tracked periods, nothing else:
P and O Tracker (this one at least seemed to be predictive)
Now that I’ve finally written this review, I can delete all those unused tracker apps off my tablet. I hope this review has been useful to someone out there, and let me know if you have any further questions about any of the apps I’ve reviewed. (Though if it’s one I’ll be deleting, it might be best just to download it yourself and try it out.)