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7 Apps To Get You Into The Festive Spirit!

7 Apps To Get You Into The Festive Spirit!

The last trick or treaters had barely gobbled their last sweets before we were dusting off our Christmas jumpers and blasting Mariah Carey. Whilst we’re not hanging our lights just yet (although give it a few days), there’s no denying Christmas is on its way and we are using every resource available to get us feeling festive.

If you’re feeling like this is all a bit early and you’re still dreaming of sipping Pina Colada’s on the beach in July, here’s our favourite apps to get you into the festive spirit.

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ElfYourself

This is the first app we download once it hits November because, let’s face it, it guarantees laughs all round. A great one for families to enjoy. The app allows users to superimpose their photos on Christmas elves. A custom dancing video is then generated which can be uploaded to social media or emailed to other family members. We use it as sort of a ‘pre-Christmas-card Christmas card’, just to remind distant family members that Christmas is approaching and it’s time to start thinking about presents.

Reindeer Cam

A great one for the kids, Reindeer Cam allows users to watch Santa’s official reindeer live feed including feeding time (which is done by Santa himself!). There is nothing better to get you in the Christmas spirit than watching a group of reindeer going about their day, playing in the snow and being fed by the one and only Father Christmas. Users can get on Santa’s ‘nice list’ by writing a letter to Santa which he will respond to!

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Santa Booth

Although now fairly outdated (we predict Snapchat’s filters will soon do something similar!), Santa Booth is a great app for some family-friendly holiday fun. Users can put Santa’s image over theirs using ‘the latest technology from the North Pole’. It can be done with other characters including Mrs. Claus, Elves and reindeer, Although not as high tech or hilarious as Elf yourself, it’s easy to use, great for kids and you can even ‘Santa’ your dog.

PriceSpy

For the savvy Christmas shoppers out there, PriceSpy is one of the best apps for taking the stress out of Christmas shopping, allowing you to sit back with a glass of mulled wine and an entire wheel of Camembert. PriceSpy conducts real-time searches to make sure users get the best price online. Products can be compared side by side and there is even a barcode scanner for when you spot something in-store that you feel you might get for cheaper. Some people may call it stingy to get the cheapest version of family’s Christmas presents, we call it economical.

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Inkly

A little like Moonpig, Inkly allows users to send printed gifted cards to friends and family with their own handwriting inside. Users can create unique designs, upload photos of loved ones (because who doesn’t love a personalised card?), and create collages. The app can use photos from Instagram, Facebook or Dropbox and has a number of pre-made designs for those of us who are short on time or…creative energy. The best part about this app is that the cards can be ordered straight from your smartphone or tablet, so there is no excuse for not making someone’s day this Christmas.

Christmas RADIO

The moment that first Christmas song comes on the radio is a special one but why wait? Christmas RADIO allows users to enjoy a huge variety of Christmas music from over 50 stations including Mistletoe, Christmas Carols Radio and Kristmas Kountry. North Pole Radio broadcasts directly from the North Pole. Christmas RADIO allows users to listen to and enjoy Christmas music whenever they like. It’s an immediate mood booster and bound to get you excited for the festive season.

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Epicurious

Christmas foodies rejoice! The Epicurious app allows users to find the world’s best recipes (including Christmas dinners!), watch food videos and cook amazing meals throughout the holiday season. The app has a whole section on holidays, parties and seasonal cooking and is perfect for those who need a little extra guidance when it comes to cooking the ever-stressful Christmas dinner. The app also allows users to create shopping lists, gives users a timer so they know exactly how long to cook various foods for, and helps users with seasonal ingredients. Perfect for anyone who wants to impress their friends and family this season!

Featured photo credit: Rodion Kutsaev via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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