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9 More Apps to Help You Get More Out of Your Android Phone

9 More Apps to Help You Get More Out of Your Android Phone

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    With new android phones just out and even more on the way, I thought it would be a good time to release another list of neat-o Android apps. My last Android post (part 1 and part 2) focused on apps specifically for increasing your productivity; this post includes all manner of apps. Some will help you be more productive, some will just help you have more fun.

    (Note: Some of these are paid applications. As with iPhone apps, an initial rush of free applications in the Android store seems to be giving way to higher-quality, low-priced applications that allow developers to devote more time and effort to upkeep and support.)

    1. AK Notepad

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    AKnotebook

      AK Notepad is a basic memo pad for Android, with a few niceties. The interface color and text size are nicely customizable, and it can be set to automatically convert email addresses and URLs into clickable links (useful for remembering websites you see in ads or magazine articles while you’re out and about). Since Android doesn’t sync to a desktop the way Palm and Apple devices do, there’s no direct way to get notes off your phone, but individual notes can be sent by email (or other programs that allow it) and all your notes can be exported to the SD card and opened from the device when you plug into your PC’s USB. (Text files from your PC can also be placed on your SD card and opened in AK Notepad.)

      2. Dial Zero

      dialzero

        Route your calls around pesky (and slow) voicemail systems with Dial Zero, a database of workarounds for hundreds of companies. Each entry includes the company’s main phone number (which it will pass to the dialer if you press the green “phone dial” button), a description of how to reach an operator or agent, and comments from others who have used the app.

        3. Hi-Hiker

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        hiker2

          Meant for wilderness explorers, Hi-Hiker also functions as a great fitness app. Functions include a GPS tracker, pedometer, stopwatch, weather information, maps, an altimeter, a compass, a flashlight, and a quick-dial button to call for emergency help. Most of the functions use the GPS, so make sure you have a full charge before leaving “home base” for too long!

          4. Greed

          greed

            Greed is a Google Reader application for Android phones, which does a much better job on the small screen than Google’s web interface for Reader. One important feature is the ability to cache your feeds on the SD card for later viewing – great for when you’re about to get on a plane or driving cross country (well, riding cross country – don’t drive and read, kids!) and will be without cell-tower service for a while. Although not a specialized podcast app, you can also subscribe to podcast feeds and download the files so they’ll show up in your media player. Greed is good.

            5. Places Directory

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            places

              Places Directory was designed by a Google employee, so you know it’s good. It offers location-based search to help find nearby restaurants, post offices, comic book stores, or whatever. It can get your location either from the GPS or from the nearest cell tower. Give it a long-press to dial a phone number or open a map, or a short-press for info and user reviews (each press opens a different contextual menu). A compass needle will tell you what direction you’re headed and what direction to go, and you can save a list of your favorite places (to quickly find a Starbucks in a strange town, for instance).

              6. Qik

              qik

                Shoot and stream live video from your phone with Qik. You can have Qik send out a tweet whenever you’re recording, and you can embed your video in other sites using the automatically-generated embed code. The only downside is that you will burn through your battery at a pretty fast rate – but it’s useful for catching quick clips on the go if you don’t have a camcorder handy.

                7. Skype Lite

                Skype all you want on your Android phone using Skype Lite. Works fine over 2G, and imports all your Skype contacts and other account information. If you have SkypeIn, you can even get Skype calls on your Android phone!

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                8. Taskiller

                taskiller

                  Android phones multitask, meaning that there are often several applications still running in the background when you open an ew one – or even when you aren’t doing anything at all. Unfortunately, Android makes it difficult to know what’s running in the background (and using up your battery). Taskiller opens a list of all running apps and allows you to close them individually or all at once. You can also switch between apps easily using a long-press.

                  9. Wertago

                  wertago

                    Wertago offers location-sensitive nightlife search coupled with social networking functions (friends, status updates, profiles, messaging, picture sharing) so you can find out what’s going on right now, where your friends are at, and what the best place to hang out might be. Nightclub listings include ratings from other users, distance from you, mapping, and search by tags (like 18+, dancing, dressy, etc.), and how many of your favorite Wertago users are there at the moment. If you’re a clubber, this is an essential app.

                    Got any other cool apps that Lifehack readers just have to install on their shiny new Android phones? Let us know about them in the comments.

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                    Last Updated on October 30, 2018

                    How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                    How to Motivate Yourself: 13 Simple Ways You Can Try Right Now

                    Who needs Tony Robbins when you can motivate yourself? Overcoming the emotional hurdle to get stuff done when you’d rather sit on the couch isn’t always easy. But unless calling in sick and waking up at noon have no consequences for you, it’s often a must.

                    For those of you who never procrastinate, distract yourself or drag your feet when you should be doing something important, well done so far! But for the rest of you, it’s good to have a library of motivational boosters to move along.

                    Whether you’re starting a buisiness, trying to los weight or breaking a bad habit, you’ll learn how to motivate yourself with different techniques in this article.

                    13 Simple Ways to Motivate Yourself Right Now

                    Despite your best efforts, passion, habits and a flow-producing environment can fail. In that case, it’s time to find whatever emotional pump-up you can use to get started:

                    1. Go back to “why”

                    Focusing on a dull task doesn’t make it any more attractive. Zooming out and asking yourself why you are bothering in the first place will make it more appealing.

                    If you can’t figure out why, then there’s a good chance you shouldn’t bother with it in the first place.

                    2. Go for five

                    Start working for five minutes. Often that little push will be enough to get you going.

                    3. Move around

                    Get your body moving as you would if you were extremely motivated to do something. This ‘faking it’ approach to motivation may seem silly or crude but it works.

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                    4. Find the next step

                    If it seems impossible to work on a project for you, you can try to focus on the next immediate step.

                    Fighting an amorphous blob of work will only cause procrastination. Chunk it up so that it becomes manageable. Learn how to stop procrastinating in this guide.

                    5. Find your itch

                    What is keeping you from working? Don’t let the itch continue without isolating it and removing the problem.

                    Are you unmotivated because you feel overwhelmed, tired, afraid, bored, restless or angry? Maybe it is because you aren’t sure you have time or delegated tasks haven’t been finished yet?

                    6. Deconstruct your fears

                    I’m sure you don’t have a phobia about getting stuff done. But at the same time, hidden fears or anxieties can keep you from getting real work completed.

                    Isolate the unknowns and make yourself confident, you can handle the worst case scenario.

                    7. Get a partner

                    Find someone who will motivate you when you’re feeling lazy. I have a friend I go to the gym with. Besides spotting weight, having a friend can help motivate you to work hard when you’d normally quit.

                    8. Kickstart your day

                    Plan out tomorrow. Get up early and place all the important things early in the morning. Building momentum early in the day can usually carry you forward far later.

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                    Having a morning routine is a good idea for you to stay motivated!

                    9. Read books

                    Read not just self-help or motivational books but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Here’re more reasons to read every day.

                    Learning new ideas puts your brain in motion so it requires less time to speed up to your tasks.

                    10. Get the right tools

                    Your environment can have a profound effect on your enthusiasm. Computers that are too slow, inefficient applications or a vehicle that breaks down constantly can kill your motivation.

                    Building motivation is almost as important as avoiding the traps that can stop it.

                    11. Be careful with the small problems

                    The worst killer of motivation is facing a seemingly small problem that creates endless frustration.

                    Reframe little problems that must be fixed as bigger ones or they will kill any drive you have.

                    12. Develop a mantra

                    Find a few statements that focus your mind and motivate you. It doesn’t matter whether they are pulled from a tacky motivational poster or just a few words to tell you what to do.

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                    If you aren’t sure where to start, a good personal mantra is “Do it now!” You can find more here too: 7 Empowering Affirmations That Will Help You Be Mentally Strong

                    13. Build on success

                    Success creates success. When you’ve just won, it is easy to feel motivated about almost anything. Emotions tend not to be situation specific, so a small win, whether it is a compliment from a colleague or finishing two thirds of your tasks before noon can turn you into a juggernaut.

                    There are many ways you can place small successes earlier on to spur motivation later. Structuring your to-do lists, placing straightforward tasks such as exercising early in the day or giving yourself an affirmation can do the trick.

                    How to Stay Motivated Forever (Without Motivation Tricks)

                    The best way to motivate yourself is to organize your life so you don’t have to. If work is a constant battle for you, perhaps it is time to start thinking about a new job. The idea is that explicit motivational techniques should be a backup, not your regular routine.

                    Here are some other things to consider making work flow more naturally:

                    Passion

                    Do things you have a passion for. We all have to do things we don’t want to. But if life has become a chronic source of dull chores, you’ve got a big problem that needs fixing.

                    Not sure what your passion is to get you motivated? This will help you:

                    How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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                    Habits

                    You can’t put everything on autopilot. I’ve found putting a few core habits in place creates a structure for the day.

                    Waking up at the same time, working at the same times and having a similar productive routine makes it easier to do the next day.

                    This guide will be useful for you if you’re looking to build good habits:

                    Understand Your Habits to Control Them 100%

                    Flow

                    Flow is the state where your mind is completely focused on the task at hand. While there are many factors that go into producing this state, having the right challenge level is a big part.

                    Find ways to tweak your tasks so they hover in that sweet spot between boredom and maddening frustration.

                    Easily distracted and hard to focus? Here’s your solution.

                    Final Thoughts

                    With all these tips I’ve shared with you, now you know what to do when you’re feeling unmotivated.

                    Find your passion and develop a positive mantra so when the next time negativity hits you again, you know how to stay positive and motivated!

                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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