It’s January, the time of the year when many of us get off the proverbial couch and get after that 5K. And if you’re a gadget girl like me, you spend most of the first day of the year scanning apps that will help get after goals and stay on track.
In July 2015 there were 1.6 million apps available on Android and 1.5 on IOS. So if you’re looking for help with something or to just kill a few solitary minutes, there is likely an app for that.
On Jan 1st, I went down the App Store rabbit hole for a few hours until I found five apps that might help keep me on track for my 3 goals:
- Be more productive – now that there are no more Christmas movies on Hallmark Channel, I plan to go from binge watching to binge doing. The game plan? Make lists. That’s how I work best. If I have a To Do list – I am restless until I can cross the tasks off leaving me little choice but to do the tasks. No list, no tasks. My brain is a weird place to live. Before finding the one, I rejected two big apps: Wunderlist and Google Keep. They’re both great but the entry point felt a little overwhelming. I really just want to make a list of tasks and cross them off. I also like the feeling of seeing an underline through the completed task. That’s how I found any.do. It is as simple as it gets. You add a task and cross it off. It does offer features like building categories and adding deadlines, but really, I just type the things I have to do and then when done I cross them off. It also gives me little boosts of notifications like “way to go you’ve completed 6 tasks.”
- Get fit – I’m sure this is everyone’s goal in January. Fun fact, when I lived in London, it seemed like every woman between the ages of 20 and 45 went on a detox/cleanse in January. Including me. Though that’s not what I do anymore. I’ve finally bought into the fundamental belief of eating well and exercising. Do it right 80% of the time and do what you want for 20% of the time and your body will find its natural balance point. But the 80% needs a little help because I live a few doors down from my favorite Chinese and pizza places. In this vein, I tried CARROTfit because it’s supposed to be “yelly-type” coach that slaps you down if you don’t work out. Ultimately, I found it too judge-y. Instead I’m going to rely on two popular, easy to use apps: Fitbit and MyFitness Pal. Fitbit meets my need to hit the 15K in steps daily goal and the tracking of other exercises helps me stay motivated with calories burned. This along with LoseIt will hopefully help me get on track and stay the course.
- Write More – If you think eating healthy is hard, try staring at a blank screen, hoping words will flow. Over the years I’ve tried so many things. The one advice every writer gets is write every day, particularly at the same time each day. Like dieting, I’ve accepted that this is not me. I need writing to fit into my life instead of trying to fit into a prescribed way. For me, it’s writing in bits whenever the ideas flow. Enter Werdsmith. Thanks to this little app, I can write character notes, blog ideas, and occasionally whole scenes. During a walk an idea or a sentence crops up, type it into Werdsmith. And when I do have a chunk of time, I have things at the ready that I can work from.
So Appy New Year and I hope you find help online or offline (a notebook is still the best app) that will help you get after your 2016 goals.
What about you? Got any apps you can’t live without? We’d love to hear about them.
By: Namrata Patel