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12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

There’s an app for everything nowadays, from tracking steps to tracking Pokemon. A good app offers some level of added utility to your day-to-day life without intruding in on your real-world responsibilities. When looking to get the most use out of your smartphone, look for apps that can enhance your work, hobbies, and relaxation.

Apps can help you to take charge of three of the most important aspects of your day-to-day life: your family, your health, and your time.

Family

1. Tinder

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    Your relationships start and end with your romantic endeavors, and a host of online dating sites have led to Tinder — the most efficient romance app available. While it may not be as romantic as meeting the love of your life in a chance encounter, it’s fast and fun to meet and chat with potential love interests through Tinder’s intuitive design. Consider similar apps like Hinge or Bumble if you’re looking for a more specific experience.

    2. Family Locator by Life360

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      “It’s nine o’clock in the evening. Do you know where your children are?” A parent’s worst fears can be easily assuaged with Family Locator by Life360, an app that uses GPS tracking to map the locations of registered family members. It’s a simple solution that brings major stress relief. The app’s group chat feature allows family members to communicate quickly and easily.

      3. inBudget

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        inBudget is the only personal finance app on the market that allows users to make public budgets. If your friends went on a great family vacation to San Francisco, they can share their budget to help you recreate the experience. Users can also sync group budgets between family members, simplifying things like bill paying and bookkeeping. Of course, individual users regularly make use of private budgets for everything from household finances to long-term savings.

        4. Khan academy

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          If you’re raising kids, you’re probably concerned about giving them the best possible education and upbringing. Khan Academy offers valuable free lessons to users in important subjects like math and science. Turn idle time into a learning experience by setting Khan Academy up on your family’s iPad or smartphone.

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          Health

          5. Insight Timer

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            Mental health is every bit as important as physical health, and Insight Timer helps to improve your mental health through mindfulness and meditation. Give your mind a chance to relax from the stresses of a busy day at work.

            6. Lifesum

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              While there are dozens of calorie- and fitness-tracking apps on the market, Lifesum stands out by offering feedback and inspirational advice to its users. The biggest challenge for users of fitness apps is to stay on board and consistently enter data; by providing encouragement, Lifesum gives the user a reason to stay on top of their fitness goals.

              7. Strava

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                If you’re the type of person who can’t go to the gym without a buddy, Strava is the app for you. Billing itself as the “social network for athletes,” Strava helps you connect with other fitness enthusiasts to engage in group fitness activities or even do simple exercises together. Strava also offers great utility with its fitness tracking, using GPS technology to follow and catalog your activities.

                8. Sleep Cycle

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                  Sleep is one of the most often-overlooked aspects of a person’s health. The Sleep Cycle app helps users achieve optimal sleeping habits by waking them up at the best possible time each morning. Intelligent graphs and insights help the user to understand their sleeping habits and how to achieve a more restful sleep cycle.

                  Time

                  9. Asana

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                    Most employees dread the prospect of team assignments, recognizing it as the place where efficient work goes to die. Asana helps to combat this problem with useful tools for project tracking and time management. By clearly delineating responsibilities and keeping up with expectations, Asana keeps every on target and eliminates wasted time.

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                    10. Google Keep

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                      If we had the ability to act on our thoughts from the moment they first occurred, the world would be a more efficient place. Google Keep is a simple app for achieving this goal, allowing users to upload notes from any device into a central location. Don’t forget about your most important ideas and responsibilities — let Google keep track of them for you!

                      11. Wattpad

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                        Make the most out of your free time. Wattpad is a popular app for reading enthusiasts as it provides a diverse library of materials that don’t require downloading huge PDFs or connecting to the internet. Liven up your commute or make better use of your downtime with a book, article, or short story.

                        12. IFTTT

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                          Every technological advance offers an opportunity for users to save time and effort. IFTTT is a free app for automating processes from printing and setting alarms to making coffee. Explore the different ways that IFTTT can automate your life and have more time to do the things that you love.

                          Featured photo credit: Mockuuups via mockuuups.com

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                          Alex Bickov

                          Product designer

                          12 Free Apps to Improve The Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life 12 Free Apps to Improve the Three Most Important Aspects of Your Life

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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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