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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!

                            kiva II large

                              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.

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                                    Last Updated on February 20, 2019

                                    How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                                    How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                                    Possessing effective communication skills is a powerful tool to have. Effective communication skills are essential to success in many aspects and areas of your life. There are a lot of jobs that require you to be a good communicator.

                                    Strong communication skills help you enjoy better relationships with friends and family. Being an effective communicator will give you advantages in more ways than you can imagine.

                                    Conversely, being poor at communicating will negatively impact your life.

                                    Let’s take a look at how to master effective communication skills at work and home.

                                    What is Effective Communication?

                                    Probably a good place to start is to paint a picture of what clear communication is.

                                    Effective communication is defined as verbal speech or other communication methods to get your point across. Sounds pretty simple, right? It does but there’s more to it than that.

                                    It’s really about how all of us interact and communicate in every aspect of our lives. It’s the ability to say something at the right time; to be able to get multiple people on the same page in a group decision. It’s how that one friend of yours who plans most of the activities is able to get everyone to the same place at the same time.

                                    Non-verbal communication is key to being effective as well. It’s the ability to have your body language say the right thing so the person you’re speaking to knows your listening.

                                    Effective communicators don’t react to situations with high emotion. It means not having to say something all the time in every situation. You are even being an effective communicator when you show up to pick your daughter up from the mall when you say you will. You are communicating to her that she can rely on you.

                                    Are You a Poor Communicator?

                                    Before we get too deep into how to be a master communicator, let’s take a look at your communication skills.

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                                    If you find yourself agreeing with a lot of these, you might want to sharpen your communication skills.

                                    • You’re constantly interrupting – Hey, I know, we all want to be listened to. We all want to get our point across. Most importantly, we want to be understood. If you find yourself interrupting all the time you aren’t listening enough.
                                    • Doing too much – Many of us are master multi-taskers. It’s not good if you are communicating with someone. When you try to do too much while speaking with someone, you aren’t paying attention to what they are saying. Lack of focus is bad.
                                    • Rambling – I know of several people I work with who do this constantly. I honestly dread having to speak to them. The worst part is even though a lot of words are coming out of their mouths, they really aren’t saying anything. I’m more confused after they answer my question.
                                    • Not being direct – Nothing wrong with emails or reports. However, if you can convey the same information quickly and directly to someone, it is much more effective. Why write a 2 paragraph email when you can pick up the phone and say the same information in 2 sentences?
                                    • Always talking about yourself – Everybody likes to relate things to their own experiences. It draws us together and helps us create a feeling of sharing and community. If you are always coloring someone else’s conversation with a similar situation in your life, people will think you are making everything about you. Don’t be that person!
                                    • Using a lot of qualifiers – Qualifiers are fine for the most part. When you use them as a crutch most of the time when you speak, it’s not helping your communication. Sometimes, we do this to makes things seem “softer”. Saying things like “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way but…” or “I know what you’re thinking but…” over and over doesn’t help you communicate.
                                    • Your ears don’t work – If you don’t listen well, you can’t answer someone correctly. In order to be an effective communicator, you have to understand what someone else is saying to you. If you don’t listen with purpose you will only have part of the picture.
                                    • Bad body language – The importance of body language is well documented. If you don’t look at someone when they are speaking, it appears that you don’t really care what’s being said. This makes people feel like you don’t care what they are saying and it’s not important to you. Other bad body language examples include always crossing your arms and not looking someone in the eyes.

                                    What Effective Communication Can Do For You

                                    Let’s take a look at how being able to effectively communicate can help you at work and in your personal relationships.

                                    Work

                                    • Better client relationships – You certainly want a great communicator to be handling your client relationships. Strong communicators represent both the client and your company is the best manner.
                                    • Higher employee engagement – Pretty critical if you are a leader or a manager of people. An engaging and interactive communicator in a leadership position is wonderful for employees.
                                    • Getting better buy in from others – This is great whether you are a manager or individual contributor. Strong communicators tend to get people moving and working towards a common goal.
                                    • Helps mitigate conflict – Good communicators are able to help resolve conflicts quicker and easier. This helps smooth things over and keeps projects and initiatives moving forward.
                                    • Builds trust – You want to be able to trust who you work for and with. Effective communicators are good at establishing and building trust between people and groups.
                                    • Solves problems – Problems are solved by people with the ability to communicate clearly between groups and people. Those without good communication skills many times add to the confusion of a problem because they are unable to articulate their thoughts and ideas.

                                    Personal relationships

                                    • Creates closeness – A good communicator is able to help foster a feeling of closeness with his or her partner.
                                    • Makes conflict okay – It’s actually better to fight with your partner from time to time instead of never fighting. We all have differences of opinion and points of view. When we don’t express these and bury it inside by not communicating, it just comes out later in a more negative form.
                                    • Provides support – It’s nice to know that someone cares about you and supports you. A strong communicator will ask how you’re doing and be a good sounding board for what you’re going through.
                                    • Expressing feelings – People who are not effective communicators tend to be not very good at expressing how they feel. This makes it tough to share your feelings with you partner.
                                    • Get the loving you want – In order to get the physical, mental, and emotional love you want and need, you have to be able to communicate clearly and appropriately with your spouse or partner. This is done through effective communication.
                                    • Eliminate mistrust, doubt, faithlessness, and insecurities – Many times these seeds are sown due to a lack of communication. If your partner rarely tells you where he or she is going, you will tend to start coming up with your own ideas. Often these aren’t true but how would you know if you aren’t told?

                                    Can You Improve Your Communication Skills?

                                    The short answer is yes, of course you can improve your communication skills.

                                    Improving or changing anything in your life takes some work and effort but it can be done. You have to keep in mind your starting point and your goal.

                                    If you are not a very good communicator now and you want to be able to give a motivating speech to a large graduating class, you’d better get working.

                                    On the other hand, if you get along fairly well in general but want to be able to improve your relationship with your boss or spouse by being able to master effective communication, you may just need some guidance and practice.

                                    Either way, if you want to master effective communication skills at both work and home, it will take a little work and effort. Doing so will benefit you in many ways.

                                    How to Master Effective Communication Skills

                                    In general mastering effective communication skills will help you at both work and home. Let’s look at how to improve verbal, written, and body language communication skills. These will help you create better relationships everywhere you go!

                                    1. Learn how to listen

                                    Speaking is only half of the communication equation. Sharpen your listening skills so you are able to process what the other person is saying. You can then respond it a well-informed manner.

                                    Check out these active listening guidelines to be a better listener.

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                                    2. Make eye contact

                                    Having regular eye contact with someone while you are having a conversation shows you care what they are saying. When you are looking at the floor or out the window it gives the impression that you aren’t paying attention.

                                    Take a look at this advice on how to make engaging eye contact.

                                    3. Ask questions

                                    When you ask someone questions, you are able to clarify what they are saying to ensure you get the whole picture. If you don’t understand it fully, ask questions.

                                    Do you know that it takes some skills to ask questions too? Here’s how to be good at asking questions.

                                    4. Watch body language

                                    Watch both yours and the other persons.

                                    We all know if you have a conversation with your arms crossed the entire time, it gives off a bad vibe. Have open, engaging body language when speaking with someone.

                                    On the flip side, if you see someone’s eyes glazing over while speaking to you, it’s probably a good idea to wrap it up.

                                    Take a look at these top 20 body language indicators to learn more.

                                    5. Speak confidently

                                    Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you communicate in an open, direct, and clear manner, it subtly shows people that you are confident in what you are saying.

                                    It doesn’t mean you always have to be right but delivering your thoughts with confidence helps your case.

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                                    These tips will help you speak more confidently.

                                    6. Keep it simple

                                    You don’t always have to be succinct in your communication. There is a lot of value in being able to tell a great story.

                                    That being said, there are many instances where keeping it simple is very helpful. This is especially true at work in both verbal conversations as well as written like emails.

                                    7. Know your audience

                                    You should have a certain style when communicating with your boss. Another style of communication is better with your spouse and probably others with your kids or friends.

                                    Know your audience to help you communicate the most effectively.

                                    8. Be empathetic and understanding

                                    There is a massive amount of power in being empathetic. And I mean that in a very positive way.

                                    Showing that you are empathetic and understanding to another person goes a long way to creating a great bond with that person. We all want to be understood. It’s that simple.

                                    Think it’s a challenge for you? These 5 tips for empathetic listening will help you.

                                    9. Pause before reacting

                                    There have been a number of times when I’ve read an email that just came in and had an instant reaction to reading it. And I don’t mean a positive reaction. My less effective ways of dealing and communicating has been to send a scathing email back.

                                    When I’ve communicated more appropriately, I’ve waited a while before I responded. This is true in verbal situations as well.

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                                    10. Over communicate

                                    You’d think if you tell someone something that should be the end of it, right? Done deal. Not so fast.

                                    I’m not recommending you tell someone the same thing 10 times in a row. With as many distractions as we all have these days, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on something you’ve communicated a few times if it’s important.

                                    Conclusion

                                    Having effective communication skills at both work and home will help you immensely.

                                    At work, it helps you in your career in many ways.

                                    Communicating well with your boss leads to a solid, symbiotic working relationship. You’re able to clearly articulate what you need to do your job well. You can share your vision and strategy with your boss and others. Good communicators are needed in management roles and leading others. Fostering an environment of effective communication leads to a great work environment.

                                    At home, having effective communication skills will help you achieve the type of relationship you want with your spouse.

                                    You are able to speak freely and openly about your feelings. You can share your wants and needs in a manner that your spouse understands. Your spouse will feel understood and supported by you which is a wonderful feeling to have. And being able to have a disagreement and work through it due to strong communication skills is amazing.

                                    Look at how you can master effective communication skills at work and home to help create more satisfying relationships in all phases of your life.

                                    More Resources About Work Communication

                                    Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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