Advertising
Advertising

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

1

    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

    Advertising

    2

      “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

      3

        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

        4

          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.

          Advertising

          Health

          5. Insight Timer

          5

            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

            6

              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

              Advertising

              7

                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

                8

                  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

                  9

                    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.

                    Advertising

                    10. Google Keep

                    10

                      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

                      11

                        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

                        12

                          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

                          More by this author

                          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

                          Trending in Family

                          1 What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back 2 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely 3 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 4 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 5 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

                          Read Next

                          Advertising
                          Advertising
                          Advertising

                          Last Updated on November 19, 2019

                          20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                          20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

                          Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

                          If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

                          1. Create a Daily Plan

                          Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

                          2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

                          Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

                          3. Use a Calendar

                          Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

                          I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

                          Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

                          4. Use an Organizer

                          An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

                          These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

                          Advertising

                          5. Know Your Deadlines

                          When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

                          But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

                          6. Learn to Say “No”

                          Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

                          Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

                          7. Target to Be Early

                          When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

                          For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

                          Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

                          8. Time Box Your Activities

                          This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

                          You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

                          Advertising

                          9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

                          Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

                          10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

                          Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

                          You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

                          11. Focus

                          Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

                          Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

                          Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

                          12. Block out Distractions

                          What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

                          I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

                          When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

                          Advertising

                          Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

                          13. Track Your Time Spent

                          When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

                          You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

                          14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

                          You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

                          Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

                          15. Prioritize

                          Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

                          Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                          16. Delegate

                          If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

                          When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                          Advertising

                          17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

                          For related work, batch them together.

                          For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

                          1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
                          2. coaching
                          3. workshop development
                          4. business development
                          5. administrative

                          I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

                          18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

                          What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

                          One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

                          While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

                          19. Cut off When You Need To

                          The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

                          Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

                          20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

                          Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

                          More Time Management Techniques

                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                          Read Next