Frequently Asked Questions

Below are Q & amp; A on Critter as a tool, company. Looking for help using Critter? Click here for usage Q & A.

What is Critter?

Q:What is Critter?

A:Critter is a cross-platform game and recording tool for building emotional resilience, to live happier.

Q:Where do I start with Critter?

A:If you’re new - welcome! The best way to start is to jump right in, where you'll get a tutorial from the inside. We've purposely created an easy-to-use, intuitive game, with plenty of instructions and reminders along the way.

Q:When was Critter started?
A:The first version of Critter launched on Valentine's Day 2013.
Q:Is Critter for kids or adults, or both?
A:Critter is designed for adults, though we strive to keep the Critter web and mobile apps appropriate for everyone. Our apps in the Apple App Store, and Google Play, are rated PG.
Q:Is Critter a mobile app or a website, or both?
A:Critter is what we call a cross-platform internet app, that goes wherever you do! This website is the most full version of Critter. We also have mobile apps for iOS/iPhone/iPad in the App Store, and for Android in Google Play.
Q:Where can I learn more about Critter's features?
Q:I'm into data. Will Critter give me data? Is Critter a 'Quantified Self' tool?
A:Yes! Critter tracks, analyzes, and reports the things you do. And, pursuant to the golden rule of Quantified Self, all upgraded accounts get 100% access to all data, so you can analyze your data yourself, too.
Q:Who is Critter for?
A:Critter is for people who are highly motivated to build emotional resilience, are dedicated to working hard to live their best lives over the long term. Critter helps record growth, and it turns the long-term results of emotional growth into a fun, daily game.
Q:Who is Critter NOT for?
A:Critter is not for anyone who is looking for a quick fix, who expects Critter to solve their [weight loss / addiction / procrastination / etc] without serious effort on their part, anyone who does not understand that inner growth takes hard work, time, and dedication, regardless of the external tools you have. Critter is a tool that makes it easier to do the work you've already chosen to do.
Q:Is Critter completely free to use?
A:Critter is free to try. All new accounts get 30 days' free of full Critter access. After 30 days, you may choose to upgrade to keep your access to all tools and analytics. Your financial support covers our operational costs, customer support, and continued development.

Effectiveness

Q:Where can I learn more about the research supporting Critter?
Q:Where can I read what others have said about Critter?
Q:How is using Critter better than my usual way, writing in a journal or recording in a spreadsheet?

A:Oh, journals and spreadsheets are wonderful, we love them tool! There are 3 main benefits to using Critter in addition to these things:

  • Interactivity: The information you log into Critter is kept in a secure, private (for your eyes only!) database, giving you the ability to pull, analyze and quantify your personal growth data at any time. Plus, Critter was built with email and app reminders in-mind. Your notebook may not be able to remind you to think about what you’re grateful for or give you prompts for daily victories, but Critter sure can. :)
  • Leveraging Social Power: Critter is a community. You can sign up with real-world friends, or form relationships through the app. Make teams and challenge one another to reach daily goals, use our forums to discuss issues or ask questions to the community, or simply leave a note for a friend who needs a smile. We believe that the tribe aspect of Critter provides the encouragement many members desire in their growth goals.
  • The FUN aspect: Critter was specifically and carefully designed with game-like features to make the "work" parts of personal growth fun and exciting. We know that learning new habits is hard work, but it’s also possible to laugh and smile and have little moments of daily “feel good” along the way, and Critter was made to help with that.

Critter Version 2

Q:I used Critter V1. What’s different about Critter V2?

A:Great question! And don’t worry - our makeover is much more in function than in spirit. We’re still the fun-loving, emotion-growing, data-developing Critter you’ve always known.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve watched the ways users have interacted with the app, we’ve looked at the features that worked for them and the features that didn’t jive, and we came to one big conclusion - the ideas behind Critter are great, but the function needed to be more cohesive. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in V2. You can still record your mood, your gratitudes, your daily thoughts and habits and victories, but now, all of these features work together with a game element toward a greater goal, both within the game, and outside of it.

In more concrete terms, for Version 2, we made Critter into an emotional gym, where the app’s activities are represented as daily exercises for the mind. The more exercises you do, the more your garden grows. The more your garden grows, the more parts you collect for your own, unique e-machine.

Q:What’s the e-machine?

A:Another great question! Wow, you’re on a roll! The e-machine is short for “equanimity machine.” It has a great backstory in the Critter-verse that you’ll learn about, but it has real-world applications as well

As you continue to use and grow through personal perseverance and Critter interactions, it’s our hope that you’ll be on your way to a more emotionally fulfilled you. And while there’s no “end-goal” with Critter, per se (the tool works for anyone at any stage of personal growth), we do believe that people who embrace self-love, gratitude and personal introspection are on the road to a more equanimous, or calm and even-keeled, emotional state.

Q:What do I do with the garden?

A:The garden is in-Critter output of all your hard work. In the real world, you’ll see real-world results. Your emotional garden will grow. In the Critter world (Planet 7!), your Critter garden grows.

Q:Do I have to use all of the activities, or can I pick & choose?

A:Hey, this is your journey. We’re just the app designers. We do encourage you to spend a few weeks testing out the different features of your Critter gym. Often, an area of growth that we’re initially resistant to may be one we need to work on the most! Once you’ve learned the ins and outs of the app, we fully encourage you to adapt the experience to your personal growth journey.

Some people, we find, spend much of their time on the social areas of the site, building community. Others heavily use the Victory Laps and Daily Routines and use Critter as a way to develop healthy habits. Some see it as an online journal, with tons of bonus features! There is no one “right” way to use Critter - as long as you’re growing, we’re happy.

Data Security

Q:Can I trust sharing my personal information with Critter? What happens to my data?
A:We are committed to keeping your data completely confidential. We use SSL to ensure that sending your data is secure. Once it reaches our server, it is stored securely and will never be shared with any third parties. It is then backed up both offsite and onsite to ensure it is always available, should anything happen to one of our server locations. If you are using text messaging to interact with Critter: En route to our server, we do use one trusted third-party app, Twilio, that enables us to receive text messages properly. Read about Twilio's commitment to security - including encrypted backups, SSL, and signature validation - here.
Q:What recommendations do you have for staying completely anonymous on Critter?
A:We recommend the following:
  • Pick a username that you don't use for anything else and does not contain identifying information (don't include your name, birthdate, etc)
  • Don't offer any identifying information in the forum.
  • Only friend people you know in person. Friends can see your profile. This includes what you and others write on your wall, what you specify in your 'About Me' section, what your Critter looks like, your login streak, your activities in the game, and the recording activities you choose to share.
Q:Will the site tweet for me, post on my Facebook page or otherwise share anything about me on my social networks? I've seen apps do this and I want to know that signing up and using the site will be anonymous.
A:We will absolutely not, under any circumstances, post anything automatically for you in Facebook, Twitter or Google. We use your connection data only to log you in to Critter, and to correspond with you directly. If something is going to post to your profile somewhere else, you will know it and be completely in control of whether you take that action, either through opt-in settings or buttons.

The Critter Company

Q:Who runs Critter?
A:This app was built by Katie Benedetto Jones, through Yellow Rubber Ball, LLC. She would love to hear from you! Email her at katie@critter.co. You can also read her bio here.
Q:Where is Critter headquartered?
A:Critter is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Q:What is your mission statement, your goal as a company?
A:Our goal is to make personal reflection and growth fun and accessible to all, and to be an advocate for emotional growth for everyone, not just kids or those struggling with a particular concern. We think introspection is as important of a daily habit as brushing your teeth.

For the Press

Q:Where can I get more information to write an article about Critter?
A:Definitely! We have a Press Kit available here with lots of handy graphics and text to write about Critter! If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask via the contact form below, or email me personally at katie@critter.co.
Q:Do you offer an affiliate program?
A:We are in the process of developing an affiliate program. Please contact us below if you would like to be on the notification list.

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