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Dump Your Calculator and Make The “Currency” App Your Ultimate Travel Buddy

Dump Your Calculator and Make The “Currency” App Your Ultimate Travel Buddy
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Travelling to different countries and experiencing different cultures can be wondrous and exciting. But when it comes to shopping or buying those souvenirs, currency can become confusing. Not just in terms of fumbling for the correct coins and notes but also the exchange rates. How often do you try and figure out an estimate of how much you’re really paying for that T-shirt or meal at the local restaurant?

It becomes even more confusing when shops allow you to pay in different currencies. Which is best? If you don’t know the current exchange rate or you’re using a ballpark guesstimate it can be hard to work out if you’re losing money or getting a good deal.

The Best App To Take Travelling and Find Out Exactly What You’re Paying

There is an easy solution to this problem that doesn’t involve having a rough or out of date exchange rate in your mind and a calculator to hand.

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Currency is an instant exchange app that will easily convert foreign currency to your home currency quickly and easily allowing you to make a more informed decision on your overseas purchases. And with over 160 different currencies to choose from, you’re guaranteed to know exactly how much you’re paying wherever you are in the world.

Using the Currency App is Super Easy

Once you’ve downloaded the app from your app store, it should automatically set your home currency at the top of your screen. You can then use the search bar to add the currency you need to use to your favourites. On the free version you can add up to five different currencies but if you find you travel a lot then the paid version lets you add as many as you like.

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    If you want to change your home currency, simply tap on the country you want and it will easily take it to the top of the screen. Tap on the second currency you want to convert from and it will appear below the home currency.

      Once you’ve set up your currencies, swipe the screen up to reveal the app’s calculator. Here you can add or subtract several purchases or calculations in keeping with the exchange rate which makes it much easier than using a standard calculator.

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      To clear your calculations, simply swipe the currency to the right and it’ll reset it to zero. Alternatively, drag it back to restore your previous calculations.

        Another feature is a handy historical chart to show the rise and fall of the exchange rates over a 6 month period of time. This is helpful if you regularly visit the same countries and purchase large amounts in certain foreign currencies.

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          So next time you travel abroad, don’t look at the exchange rate before you go and use your phone’s calculator to try and work out exactly what you’re paying. This kind of calculation will usually end up being wildly out and could end up losing you money over time. Let Currency do the hard work for you and feel safe in the knowledge that you’re getting the best deals around the world.

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          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Last Updated on July 21, 2021

          The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

          The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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          No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

          Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

          Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

          A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

          Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

          In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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          From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

          A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

          For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

          This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

          The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

          That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

          Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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          The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

          Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

          But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

          The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

          The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

          A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

          For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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          But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

          If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

          For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

          These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

          For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

          How to Make a Reminder Works for You

          Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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          Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

          Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

          My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

          Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

          I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

          More on Building Habits

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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          Reference

          [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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