Advertising
Advertising

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.”

hero-get-headspace_1

    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!

    maxresdefault

      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.

      Advertising

      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.

        y73sc(1)

          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.

          uber-app-iphone-100566343-orig

            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!

            Flux-Screenshotnight

              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!

              anigif_enhanced-31071-1394110006-9

                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.

                Advertising

                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.

                bill-gates-ted-talk_41131

                  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.

                  scribd

                    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.

                    scott-robert-on-creative-live-1

                      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.

                      Advertising

                      8b14cd22094f1f4a764981f95bb61b73

                        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.

                        macbook-wunderlist-action

                          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.

                          MintTrends

                            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!

                            kiva II large

                              15. Quora

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

                              Advertising

                              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!

                              quora-home-and-notifications-iphone-screenshots

                                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.

                                investopedia

                                  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.

                                    10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

                                    Trending in Communication

                                    1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

                                    Read Next

                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising

                                    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                    Warming up

                                    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

                                    Advertising

                                    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                    Stay hydrated

                                    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                    Meditate

                                    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                    2. Focus on your goal

                                    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

                                    Advertising

                                    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                    3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                    4. Understand your content

                                    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

                                    Advertising

                                    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                    5. Practice makes perfect

                                    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                    6. Be authentic

                                    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

                                    Advertising

                                    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                    7. Post speech evaluation

                                    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                    Improve your next speech

                                    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

                                    Advertising

                                    • How did I do?
                                    • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                    • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                    • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                    • How was the flow of the speech?

                                    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                    Reference

                                    Read Next