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17 Apps And Websites That Can Change Your Life

17 Apps And Websites That Can Change Your Life

With over 1.5 million apps available on the app store alone, it can be confusing to determine which ones you should download and which ones you should ignore. There’s just too much noise out there today.

Not only are there more apps than we can fathom, but there’s only so much time and mindspace we have to consume all of them. This is why it’s increasingly important to filter out the apps and websites that will have the biggest impact in our lives, with the least amount of effort.

This post is dedicated to delivering that value. Here are 17 apps and websites that can change your life.

1. Headspace

Need a peace of mind? Facing stress or anxiety? Or maybe there’s just not enough time of the day to smell the roses.

Headspace may be the answer for you busy bees. With only 10 minutes of your time, this app will guide you through a simple, yet powerful, meditation practice that is guaranteed to help you smile more, sleep better, and love better.

Don’t have 10 minutes?

You may need this more than you think. As the popular Zen proverb goes, “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

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    2. Codeacademy

    Coding has become so in demand these days that understanding the basics of coding — such as HTML, CSS, or Javascript — is as standard as knowing how to use Microsoft Powerpoint.

    Lucky for us, there are great websites like Codeacademy that are 100% free and are able to guide you through each step of the way — even if you start from scratch. They include practical projects that you can build to apply what you’ve learned, and give you immediate feedback to correct your mistakes. Talk about immersion!

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      3. Rype

      Have you heard of Netflix? Well, think of this as Netflix for language lessons.

      Rype offers unlimited one-on-one lessons (in Spanish only right now), live online classes, and premium video lessons, for a simple membership fee.

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      Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 12.37.32 PM

        If you’ve ever wanted to learn Spanish (I’m looking at those of you who live in hispanic-dominant cities) to take your career to the next level, build a deeper relationship with friends or family, or for travel purposes, this is your opportunity.

        Booking a lesson takes less than 15 seconds, and lack of time will never be an excuse for you again. Take a look.

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          If you want to dip your feet into the pool, Rype also offers free live Spanish classes that you can attend. Check out the upcoming live classes.

          4. Uber

          This app probably needs no introduction.

          Despite some sketchy and questionable lawsuits that Uber has been through, you can’t question the convenience and value that this app provides. Whether it’s providing a side hustle for struggling artists and entrepreneurs, or saving us all a major hassle of calling a cab, Uber is a game changer.

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            5. F.lux

            If you’re like me, then you probably spend a majority of your day staring at a screen, whether it’s your desktop, tablet, or mobile. Eye strain is one of the most common problems we face, and F.lux has solved this issue.

            This free widget adjusts the lighting of your screen, depending on the time you set in the preferences, so you’re no longer staring at a flashlight pointing towards your face. Say goodbye to tired-looking eyes!

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              6. Spritz

              When Bill Gates and Warren Buffet were asked what superpower would they want to have, in two different interviews, they both said the ability to read faster. While superpowers may not exist, Spritz can be the next best thing.

              This app scans the web page you’re on and displays single words to you in a speed of your choosing. It takes some time to get used to, as our eyes are accustomed to scanning a page from left to right, but with a little bit of patience, you may have just discovered your first superpower! Test it out for yourself!

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                7. TED

                TED, which stands for Technology, Education, and Design, requires no introduction. This global event attracts some of the finest leaders across the world, from Tony Robbins, to Bill Gates, to North Korean refugees. Real people, heartfelt stories, and eye-opening insights are shared on stage.

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                The best part is that you don’t need to pay $5,000 for a ticket to watch these talks — they’re all available for you to see online for free.

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                  8. Scribd

                  Speaking of knowledge, if TED sparked your attention, then Scribd will be another popular choice.

                  Similar to Rype, Scribd is the Netflix for Ebooks. With a simple monthly payment, you can get read as many books as you would like in their library, where they have hundreds of thousands of books available.

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                    9. CreativeLIVE

                    Want to learn from the best for free? CreativeLIVE is your answer.

                    This one-of-a-kind business model provides free live classes online that you can tune into, and if you want the full recording, you can purchase it for a one-time fee.

                    CreativeLIVE has attracted world-class entrepreneurs, Pulitzer Prize winners, and New York Times Bestselling authors to teach topics like photography, business, marketing, and more.

                    Want to attend a class? Check out their upcoming classes here.

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                      10. Two Foods

                      As the saying goes, “we are what we eat.” Every day we make dozens of decisions on what we eat, and therefore what we become. We can decide to save money and eat healthier by waiting an additional 30 minutes to cook at home, or we can pass by the nearest McDonalds.

                      While some choices are easy when it comes to determining what’s healthier, some are hard. This is where Two Foods comes in.

                      This simple website allows you to type in the two different food you are debating, and they provide you with the nutritional information for each dish.

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                        11. Wunderlist

                        It seems that as the day goes by, the bigger our to-do list seems to get. Sometimes we don’t have the time to write it down or organize it into different categories.

                        Wunderlist solves this problem. This free app allows you to create multiple to-do lists and categorize your different to-do’s. For example, I have one for my business, my personal, my upcoming book, my goals, and more.

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                          12. Memrise

                          Memorizing things can be hard. Memrise provides an easy solution to make memorizing things fun through gamification.

                          For example, if you’re learning a new language, learning the most common words is key to picking up the language fast. You can use Memrise to quickly run through the words you want to learn and retain them through memorization techniques.

                          This can also apply to anything you want to remember, whether it’s the periodic table, parts of the human body, or countries.

                          13. Mint.com

                          One of the biggest tasks we tend to procrastinate on is our personal finances. Who’s with me?

                          Mint aims to solve this procrastination. By integrating our bank accounts into this website, it analyzes our spending, income, and budget in one place for us to see.

                          You can also set personal budgets for different categories — rent, travel, food, entertainment — and make sure you don’t go over it by tracking it all on Mint. My personal favorite is to be able to see all my spending for the month in a visual pie chart.

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                            14. Kiva

                            So often, we think that we need to be amass large quantities of wealth before we give back. This couldn’t be further than the truth.

                            Most of us can spare a $25 loan to an entrepreneur who is making a difference across the world. And here’s the thing, it’s not a donation that you don’t get back, it’s a loan!

                            As described on Kiva’s website, here’s how it works:

                            1. Choose a borrower
                            2. Make a loan
                            3. Get repaid
                            4. Repeat!

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                              15. Quora

                              Ever had a crazy question that you were curious to know the answer to?

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                              Chances are, you can find the question and answer on Quora. Unlike most Q & A forums, Quora has managed to attract the best of the best, giving you real answers from real people.

                              For example, if you want to know what it’s like to work at Facebook, someone from Facebook can give you a direct answer. No BS, no fluff.

                              Quora has additional uses that go beyond than beating your curiousity. Entrepreneurs can use it to acquire potential customers, and anyone can use it to build an audience. What you do with the website is up to you!

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                                16. Investopedia

                                Ask an average person on the street and they can tell you more about what’s happening with the Kardashians than they can tell you about their personal finances or what’s happening in the global markets.

                                Investopedia is the “Webster Dictionary for Investors.” Now you don’t need to be a stock investor to gain benefit from Investopedia. It can useful for general learning about finance, understanding how the markets work, and discovering how you can make or save more money at the end of the day.

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                                  17. Epicurious

                                  This is the last app on our list, and perhaps the “sexiest” one. Ask someone in the streets on the top 10 skills they look for in a partner, and most will answer “the ability to cook.”

                                  Epicurious helps you become sexier with simple yet diverse recipe ideas on healthy dishes and meals you can cook from your own kitchen. Give it a go!

                                  epicurious

                                    Hopefully you’ve discovered something new on this list that you didn’t know before.

                                    If you’ve gotten some value from this, please share this with your friends or family! It could change their lives.

                                    More by this author

                                    Sean Kim

                                    Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                    Published on September 23, 2020

                                    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                                    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                                    I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

                                    If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                                    What is Negotiation?

                                    First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

                                    Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

                                    In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

                                    Places We Negotiate

                                    I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

                                    1. Work/Business

                                    This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

                                    When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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                                    In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

                                    Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

                                    2. Personal

                                    I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

                                    I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

                                    Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

                                    3. Ourselves

                                    You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

                                    I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

                                    Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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                                    Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

                                    Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

                                    We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

                                    My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

                                    If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

                                    As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

                                    6 Negotiation Skills to Master

                                    Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

                                    Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                                    1. Preparation

                                    Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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                                    It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

                                    For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

                                    After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

                                    2. Clear Communication

                                    The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

                                    If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

                                    3. Active Listening

                                    Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

                                    If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

                                    4. Teamwork and Collaboration

                                    To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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                                    If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

                                    When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

                                    5. Problem Solving

                                    Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

                                    Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

                                    From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

                                    There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

                                    6. Decision-Making Ability

                                    Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

                                    Conclusion

                                    There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

                                    Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

                                    More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

                                    Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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