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15 Apps To Train Your Brain

15 Apps To Train Your Brain

As the ever-expanding world of technology mercilessly propels forward, people have begun to urge us to stop and smell the electric current. Every day, we become more dependent on the machines that we created, and it’s easy to condemn the likes of the smart phone for the way in which it transforms so many of us into hunched, shuffling, grunting, zombie-like creatures.

But having your head buried in your phone isn’t always cause for concern, as the brain-training app industry so aptly proves.

The popularity of these applications proves that human beings’ thirst for knowledge and mental well-being is still alive and well, as people seek to give their brain a thorough workout through the medium of smart phone technology.

Only problem is, there’s now a heck of a lot of these apps to choose from, and selecting which one to download can sometimes be the trickiest puzzle of all. Listed below are the main apps that sell themselves on their ability to get the mind sweating, each one reviewed and analysed for your benefit.

1. ReliefLink

ReliefLink doesn’t train your brain in the conventional sense by making you sharper and faster, but rather in a way that soothes the mind, and acts as a conscious, calm digression away from dark thoughts. ReliefLink is focused on improving the mental health of its users who possess troubled minds.

It allows people to log any suicidal thoughts they might have had on any particular day, and hooks them up with a whole host of help numbers and hotlines to prevent tragedy striking.

Offering a variety of soothing exercises that train the brain to steer itself away from the pitfalls of dark ideas, ReliefLink has actually saved lives. If you’re ever in a bad place, it’s an app that really is worth looking up, and you can download it free of charge.

It might just be the best thing you ever do.

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    2. Eidetic

    An incredibly useful app that actively improves users’ memory skills, Eidetic unabashedly throws pieces of information at you at a rapid rate so that you can’t help but remember it.

    Say you need to remember a phone number or date for future reference, all you need to do is enter it into Eidetic, and the app will hit you with constant reminders so that the piece of information remains burned into your memory forever.

    The creators call the technique “spaced repetition” – a startlingly simple and effective way for the user to remember important snippets and facts. You’ll have to fork out $1.99 for the upgraded version, but for the simplistic, limited edition, Eidetic is absolutely free.

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      3. Positive Activity Jackpot

      A simple app with admirable intentions, Positive Activity Jackpot alerts users to all the fun stuff going on in the area around them, and allows them to pull a virtual lever to randomly select an activity to attend or register their interest in.

      Aimed at curing people who are wallowing in depression, Positive Activity Jackpot acts an inspiring app to tentatively push users out of the house and into the world where they can meet other people and partake in activities that’ll boost their serotonin levels.

      Completely free of charge, this app can get you enjoying life again.

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          4. Happify

          Designed specifically to make you feel better about life, Happify does what it says on the tin. The app has become a bit of phenomenon for the way in which it boosts its users’ morale through science-based activities and questionnaires, and claims that the five essential elements of happiness are to Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give and Empathize.

          Available for free on iTunes, Happify is definitely worth a glance at the very least.

          appshappify

            5. CogniFit Brain Fitness

            Another app that prides itself on boosting its users’ cognitive skills, CogniFit Brain Fitness offers a variety of training games, mind-expanding challenges, and the opportunity to communicate with other users through the function of an IM chat system.

            CogniFit Brain Fitness focuses on improving your memory, focus and attention skills through a selection of games made up with vibrant graphics.

            Free from the off, this is definitely another brain-training app worth giving a go.

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              6. Elevate

              Winner of the coveted App of the Year title in 2014, Elevate is certainly one of the snazziest brian-training applications currently out there today. Boasting an intergalactic-like interface, Elevate promises to boost users’ memories, speech skills, number crunching abilities, and general mind speed.

              With more than 25 different games to play on this handsome app, there really is something for all users to enjoy. Available for free in its simplest form, users have the opportunity to upgrade to Elevate PRO for £4.99 a month.

              appelevate-app

                7. Sudoku

                The famous number-grid game in digital form, Sudoku offers users the opportunity to improve their maths skills on the go. Fast, free, and largely absent of bugs and crashes, this a handy little app to keep you occupied on long commutes, although depending on your personality, it can become frustratingly addictive.

                appSudoku-Free-iPad

                  8. Think-O-Meter

                  A little different than ordinary brain-training apps, Think-O-Meter focuses solely on improving the user’s critical thinking skills. Instead of offering a selection of colourful games to play, Think-O-Meter doesn’t fool and around and gets straight to the nitty-gritty of it all – throwing up questions and scenarios for the user to try and solve.

                  After using the app you might find that the skills acquired are able to help you in real life – especially when it comes to the difficult task of decision making.

                  Free to download, Think-O-Meter might be worth a punt if you have a little time on your hands and fancy improving your critical thinking abilities.

                  appthinkometercritical-thinking-university-think-o-meter

                    9. Brain Fitness Pro

                    Brain Fitness Pro makes the bold claim that it is capable of not just making you sharper, but actively boosting your IQ too. Tough and uncompromising, it’s an app that appears to do its statements justice.

                    After just a few thirty minute sessions of brain-tingling exercises, you might find that playing strategic games like chess become much, much easier.

                    Available for anywhere up to £5 in original form, but that’s a small price to pay for the effects on your mind power that this app can have.

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                      10. Brain Trainer Special

                      A mind-boggling assortment of math games, word puzzles and provocative memory sequences, Brain Trainer Special offers what you’d usually expect from a brain-training app, coupled with a sleek interface to boot.

                      Available on Google Play as opposed to iTunes, this is an app that non-Apple users can enjoy to expand their minds.

                      Usually listed with an initial price of around £.99, with optional expansions available.

                      appbrainfitnesspro

                        11. Personal Zen

                        Clinically proven to reduce stress levels, Personal Zen offers some relief for those who have the urge to bite off their own tongue after a horrid day in the office. Operating on a simple, albeit strange principle, this app works by showing two blue faces on a lush, green background – one happy, one angry.

                        The two faces then disappear underneath the blades of grass, and the user’s task is to trace their finger along the same path as the happy face. It may well reduce stress, but Personal Zen is incredibly weird and certainly takes some getting used to.

                        Completely free and offering achievements after high scores, the app has several mental benefits…even if it is a little bizarre.

                        apppersonal-zen

                          12. Lumosity

                          A free app that enhances a user’s brain speed by offering a diverse range of cognitive games, Lumosity creates a brain-training schedule separated into the five categories of Problem Solving, Memory, Attention, Speed, and Flexibility.

                          Designed and developed by an amalgamated team of neuroscientists and psychologists, Lumosity certainly has credibility on its side, and is a widely popular app with more than 70 million users.

                          Challenging, stimulating, and boasting a colourful interface, this is a free app that’s worth your time.

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                            13. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

                            A great little app for helping you feel refreshed every single morning, Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock analyzes your REM sleep patterns and prods you awake at just the right time in your snoozing cycle.

                            This is a cracking app for those who have trouble clambering out from under the duvet in the mornings, and allows you to go out into the world and perform at your very best all day long.

                            Available on iTunes. for just £.79.

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                              14. Memory Trainer

                              Available on the Google Play store, Memory Trainer is designed to help you improve your memory skills through a variety of puzzles and mental sweat exercises.

                              Some of the games require you to recall telephone numbers that flash up on screen, whereas others ask the user to find the odd one out.

                              Available for free, Memory Trainer is a great app for those who find themselves stumped when they’re asked to remember specific information.

                              MemoryTrainerbest-apps-for-improving-memory-memory-trainer120508

                                15. 10Plus

                                A brain-training app tailored to the younger generation of smart phone users, 10Plus accentuates and enhances children’s number-crunching skills by way of colourful, engaging cross-puzzles.

                                Made with cartoon graphics to help kids retain interest, 10Plus acts as a race against time against the computer, and ought to act as a fun, stimulating challenge for children who struggle with numbers.

                                Available on iTunes for free.

                                app10plus

                                  Featured photo credit: picjumbo Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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                                  Gareth Lloyd

                                  Freelance Writer

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                                  Last Updated on November 18, 2019

                                  How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                  How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                                  Everyone of my team members has a bucketload of tasks that they need to deal with every working day. On top of that, most of their tasks are either creativity tasks or problem solving tasks.

                                  Despite having loads of tasks to handle, our team is able to stay creative and work towards our goals consistently.

                                  How do we manage that?

                                  I’m going to reveal to you how I helped my team get more things done in less time through the power of correct prioritization. A few minutes spent reading this article could literally save you thousands of hours over the long term. So, let’s get started with my method on how to prioritize:

                                  The Scales Method – a productivity method I created several years ago.

                                  How to Prioritize with the Scales Method

                                    One of our new editors came to me the other day and told me how she was struggling to keep up with the many tasks she needed to handle and the deadlines she constantly needed to stick to.

                                    At the end of each day, she felt like she had done a lot of things but often failed to come up with creative ideas and to get articles successfully published. From what she told me, it was obvious that she felt overwhelmed and was growing increasingly frustrated about failing to achieve her targets despite putting in extra hours most days.

                                    After she listened to my advice – and I introduced her to the Scales Method – she immediately experienced a dramatic rise in productivity, which looked like this:

                                    • She could produce three times more creative ideas for blog articles
                                    • She could publish all her articles on time
                                    • And she could finish all her work on time every day (no more overtime!)

                                    Curious to find out how she did it? Read on for the step-by-step guide:

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                                    1. Set Aside 10 Minutes for Planning

                                    When it comes to tackling productivity issues, it makes sense to plan before taking action. However, don’t become so involved in planning that you become trapped in it and never move beyond first base.

                                    My recommendation is to give yourself a specific time period for planning – but keep it short. Ideally, 10 or 15 minutes. This should be adequate to think about your plan.

                                    Use this time to:

                                    • Look at the big picture.
                                    • Think about the current goal and target that you need/want to achieve.
                                    • Lay out all the tasks you need to do.

                                    2. Align Your Tasks with Your Goal

                                    This is the core component that makes the Scales Method effective.

                                    It works like this:

                                    Take a look at all the tasks you’re doing, and review the importance of each of them. Specifically, measure a task’s importance by its cost and benefit.

                                    By cost, I am referring to the effort needed per task (including time, money and other resources). The benefit is how closely the task can contribute to your goal.

                                      To make this easier for you, I’ve listed below four combinations that will enable you to quickly and easily determine the priority of each of your tasks:

                                      Low Cost + High Benefit

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                                      Do these tasks first because they’re the simple ones to complete, yet help you get closer to your goal.

                                      Approving artwork created for a sales brochure would likely fit this category. You could easily decide on whether you liked the artwork/layout, but your decision to approve would trigger the production of the leaflet and the subsequent sales benefits of sending it out to potential customers.

                                      High Cost + High Benefit

                                      Break the high cost task down into smaller ones. In other words, break the big task into mini ones that take less than an hour to complete. And then re-evaluate these small tasks and set their correct priority level.

                                      Imagine if you were asked to write a product launch plan for a new diary-free protein powder supplement. Instead of trying to write the plan in one sitting – aim to write the different sections at different times (e.g., spend 30 minutes writing the introduction, one hour writing the body text, and 30 minutes writing the conclusion).

                                      Low Cost + Low Benefit

                                      This combination should be your lowest priority. Either give yourself 10-15 minutes to handle this task, or put these kind of tasks in between valuable tasks as a useful break.

                                      These are probably necessary tasks (e.g., routine tasks like checking emails) but they don’t contribute much towards reaching your desired goal. Keep them way down your priority list.

                                      High Cost + Low Benefit

                                      Review if these tasks are really necessary. Think of ways to reduce the cost if you decide that the completion of the task is required.

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                                      For instance, can any tools or systems help to speed up doing the task? In this category, you’re likely to find things like checking and updating sales contacts spreadsheets. This can be a fiddly and time-consuming thing to do without making mistakes. However, there are plenty of apps out there they can make this process instant and seamless.

                                      Now, coming back to the editor who I referred to earlier, let’s take a look at her typical daily task list:

                                        After listening to my advice, she broke down the High cost+ High benefit task into smaller ones. Her tasks then looked like this (in order of priority):

                                          And for the task about promoting articles to different platforms, after reviewing its benefits, we decided to focus on the most effective platform only – thereby significantly lowering the associated time cost.

                                          Bonus Tip: Tackling Tasks with Deadlines

                                          Once you’ve evaluated your tasks, you’ll know the importance of each of them. This will immediately give you a crystal-clear picture on which tasks would help you to achieve more (in terms of achieving your goals). Sometimes, however, you won’t be able to decide every task’s priority because there’ll be deadlines set by external parties such as managers and agencies.

                                          What to do in these cases?

                                          Well, I suggest that after considering the importance and values of your current tasks, align the list with the deadlines and adjust the priorities accordingly.

                                          For example, let’s dip into the editor’s world again.

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                                          Some of the articles she edited needed to be published by specific dates. The Scales Method allows for this, and in this case, her amended task list would look something like this:

                                            Hopefully, you can now see how easy it is to evaluate the importance of tasks and how to order them in lists of priority.

                                            The Scales Method Is Different from Anything Else You’ve Tried

                                            By adopting the Scales Method, you’ll begin to correctly prioritize your work, and most importantly – boost your productivity by up to 10 times!

                                            And unlike other methods that don’t really explain how to decide the importance of a task, my method will help you break down each of your tasks into two parts: cost and benefits. My method will also help you to take follow-up action based on different cost and benefits combinations.

                                            Start right now by spending 10 minutes to evaluate your common daily tasks and how they align with your goal(s). Once you have this information, it’ll be super-easy to put your tasks into a priority list. All that remains, is that you kick off your next working day by following your new list.

                                            Trust me, once you begin using the Scales Method – you’ll never want to go back to your old ways of working.

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                                            Featured photo credit: Vector Stock via vectorstock.com

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