Unlabeled pill bottles

A good, general rule of thumb is, “Don’t give someone an unlabeled bottle of pills.”

I think that’s pretty good advice.

Or if you do, at least tell them what’s in it and how to use them.

The pills on their own might be really helpful, but without any instructions, they’re really not! In fact, they could be extremely extremely dangerous!

And of course, with lots of social good and wellness apps, we essentially give people unlabeled pill bottles.

“Here!” we say. “Have some content! Have some techniques! Have some practices! It’s super super good for you! Just umm… figure it out! You’ll be fine.”


Labels are helpful. You gotta show & tell folks how your thing works.

Tutorials are helpful. Guides are helpful. Hints are helpful. Tracks and paths and courses are helpful.

Little structural notes that tell us, “do this first! Then do this twice! Then do this every morning for two weeks and this every evening right before bed.”

Yes, the content is crucial. The actual practice that makes up the habits needs to be helpful. You need to hand out real magic rather than sugar pills.

But if you’re trying to help people build habits, it’s more than just what’s inside the bottle that counts. You need to tell people how to use the magic.

In short: Put. A. Label. On. It.

To your health,