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10 Apps That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

10 Apps That Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

In the fast paced and digitally connected world we live in today, time has fast become the most valued currency. As a result, almost everyone is looking for new ways to maximize productivity, so that they can work (and live) smarter to make the most of their time.

Thanks to digital innovation, there’s now an influx of smartphone apps available on the market designed to simplify our lives, both professionally and personally. If technology is there to make our lives easier, why not utilize it to its max potential?

On top of trusty classics like WhatsApp and Uber, here’s my pick of the top 10 apps you should download today (if you haven’t already).

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1. Wanderlust

Struggling to keep track of all your to-do lists? With miscellaneous tasks scattered on different post-it notes, and varying lists saved on your phone and computer, it’s no wonder why you’re losing track. Wanderlust is the solution to the above chaos. This handy app allows you to organize all your personal and professional to-dos in the one place, making it super easy to get stuff done. You can also set due dates and reminders so you’ll never miss a deadline again. Streamline your life further by syncing your Wunderlist account across all your digital devices, so you can access and keep track of your to-dos on the go.

2. Pocket

Don’t you hate it when you come across an interesting article on your phone but don’t have a chance to read the piece because it’s your stop to get off the bus? No longer a problem if you have Pocket.  Simply save any interesting articles or videos from the web for later enjoyment. Once saved to Pocket, the list of content is visible and accessible on any device, whether it’s your phone, tablet or computer. The best part? You can view the saved content in offline mode – an absolute godsend for those boring plane trips without in flight entertainment or even for your daily commute when you don’t want to max out your data usage.

3. Calm

If you haven’t heard already, meditation is all the craze right now. Boasting benefits like enhancing clarity of thought and peace of mind, it’s no wonder why meditation classes are booking out pronto. Calm is a simple mindfulness meditation app that’s easy to use and great for those who want a little guidance on the meditation game without the full commitment of attending a class. With a variety of background sounds to choose from – think soothing mountain lakes, silent clouds and sunset beaches – instill a little calmness into your everyday life in the comfort of your home.

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4. Airtasker

Let’s face it. No one actually wants to do household chores like cleaning, vacuuming and gardening on a weekend. The good news is, now you don’t have to. Outsourcing is a growing trend and with online marketplaces and apps like Airtasker, you can now outsource with the click of a button. Hungry at night but can’t be bothered to get food? Outsource the job and have someone deliver your favorite meal to you. Similarly, if life admin starts to pile up, instead of exhausting your weekend tackling the menial tasks, you can easily delegate them to a ‘personal assistant’ for the day instead.

5. Google Translate

Avoid those awkward situations when you’re overseas in a restaurant and struggle to order anything because there’s no English menu available. The Google Translate app allows you to use your camera for instant text translation in 26 languages. There’s also two-way automatic speech translation in 40 languages. Want to know what that street sign says? Simple – take a snap and you’ve got your answer. With a personal translator at your fingertips, travelling has never been easier.

6. Camera +

Keen to post the best Instagram snap but just not quite savvy with your photography/lighting/flat lay skills? Camera + can help you fake your way to being a seasoned photographer. Packed with several handy features including image editing and ‘miracle’ filters, magically transform the quality of your photos with a single tap and watch those ‘likes’ and compliments flow in. Rest assured that the interface is super easy to use and navigate – in fact, you may just get addicted to this app and be tempted to filter every snap you take.

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7. RunKeeper

Want to get fit but can’t afford a personal trainer? RunKeeper is the running buddy and coach you’ve always wanted but never knew about. With this clever app, you can reach your fitness goals with running plans that show you exactly what to do. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, challenge yourself, learn to run or practise for a race, there’s something tailored to everyone at all levels. There’s also a social element too – partner up with friends and celebrate your progress together. See how your runs stack up to each other with the workout comparison. A little competition never hurts!

8. Spendbook

Most of us like spending money more than managing it – but the latter is so imperative. Spendbook is designed to make tracking your finances simple and fuss-free. With a sleek and user-friendly interface, you can easily record your daily expenses and customize your spending into different categories. For a deep dive into your finances, access intuitive and interactive charts or have your everyday expenses and income summarized in a calendar.

9. Google Drive

Gone are the days where we need to lug around folders of paperwork to a meeting or overseas for a work trip. Have all your files within easy reach from any digital advice with Google Drive – a free online storage app for all your documents, photos and videos. It’s super easy to use and you can also invite others to view, edit or leave comments on any of your files or folders.

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10. MyFitnessPal

Commonly known as the best calorie counter, MyFitnessPal is your go-to app for monitoring weight loss or fitness goals. After all, who’s got time to manually calorie count? Simply download the app and log your food and exercise from anywhere, at any time. With the largest food database (over 5,000,000 foods) by far, learning more about what you are eating has never been easier. The best part? At the end of each day, the app will inform you of your overall food intake and predict how much you will weigh a few weeks later if you maintain your eating habits. Motivation at its best.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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