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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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