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10 Awesome Apps That Will Wake Up And Kick-Start Your Morning

10 Awesome Apps That Will Wake Up And Kick-Start Your Morning

Getting a jump start to your morning can be difficult for many individuals. Coupling the fact that individuals may find themselves with an improper sleep schedule, the next problem that afflicts individuals waking in the morning is not being productive. The morning is an opportune time to get things done and have your morning started on a good foot. Today, we will take a look at ten awesome applications that will get you out of bed restfully, started on a productive day, and able to get adequate sleep so your next morning is as successful as your first.

Sunrise (Free)

Sunrise Calendar

    With Sunrise, you are able to connect various services, like iCloud and Google Calendar, to have all of your calendar and social media organized and there for you to read comprehensively. Facebook connectivity allows you to keep up with events and birthdays, LinkedIn spices up meeting notifications by giving you a detailed profile of the participants. This is topped off with weather info and Google Maps support for directions.

    Google Now (Free)

    google now

      Google Now is a service that allows you to be notified of the information you need to know in the time in you need it. From directions to the meeting to weather reports for the day, Google Now gets your morning on a good footing while also supporting you throughout the day. If you have a calendar report that you have a flight in a few hours, a “card” appears showing flight info and directions to the airport. Google Now is a part of the Google Search app.

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      Morning ($2.99)

      morning

        What sets this application apart is the UI that makes it approachable and easy to use. Unlike the other applications mentioned, which either sacrifices being feature packed for a simple design vice versa, Morning gives you all the features you come to expect from an application like this, without the clutter. Morning offers you weather reports, to-do reminders, traffic information, stock and news, as well as event countdowns.

        Alarm Clock 4 Free (Free)

        clock

          Alarm Clock 4 Free is everything you need in terms of sleep, middle of the night occurrences, and your morning start. The Sleep timer allows you to listen to your iTunes music, gradually decreasing the volume until you fall sleep. Once you are sleep, the handy flashlight allows you to get some light in the dark during your mid-night bathroom trip. The UI offers the current time whenever the application is open, along with the current temperature, the date, and battery status.

          Top of the Morning ($0.99)

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          top of the morning

            For a less expensive option to Morning for iOS, you can check out the Top of the Morning: Morning Assistant application. This application offers a full weather report, a list of to-do task reminders, calendar events, as well as top news and stock market stories. While I’m not personally a fan of the font, I find that the UX of the application, with its gestures, makes it a very affordable application to keep you well informed at the top of your morning.

            Elevate (Free)

            Elevate

              The start of the morning is an opportune time to gather information. Your brain is fresh from six to eight hours of rest and it has a fresh slate to take in what the day has to give them. In addition, it offers a great way to bring in a routine, unlike the middle of the day which can be so unpredictable. This is why I recommend Elevate – Brain Training for giving your morning a kick-start. Through three quick and brain boosting activities, offered daily, you are able to keep your mind sharp to possibly combat memory issues later in life. Plus, it’s free!

              Sleep Cycle ($0.99)

              Sleep Cycle

                You can’t have an amazing morning if you aren’t having a good night. Many times, the root of inadequate sleep, if you do find yourself getting into bed at a reasonable hour, is movements and waking in the middle of the night. Not fully getting into a deep REM cycle means you aren’t truly getting a full night’s sleep.

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                Sleep Cycle keeps you informed on the times you were in deep sleep and when you were awake at night. By placing your phone under your bed sheet, you get a full report on the quality of your sleep and the time you were truly sleep. Plus, Sleep Cycle offers music for you to get into a relaxing rest, and iTunes compatibility to wake up to familiar tunes.

                Any.do (Free)

                any.do

                  You’re up and taking a look at what is ahead of you today. The various other applications we recommended have to-do features, but they aren’t full-fledged to-do applications. Any.do is an awesome and minimalist to-do manager. Cloud support allows you to have full access to your tasks on various formats. Predictive text, location notifications, and voice-to-text features allows you to spend less time planning and more time doing.

                  Wunderlist (Free)

                  Wunderlist

                    Wunderlist is a wonderful program that I make use of everyday for keeping my life in order. You can organize tasks by category, star important tasks, set alarms, and digest them in various views. This can be from daily view or by the week. Each task can have its own checklists, notes, and you can even share tasks. Wunderlist is a great, free option for ensuring your life is in order.

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                    Acorns ($1.00/Month)

                    kickstart_10

                      Starting your day with smart decisions is the key to a great rest of your day. Acorns is certainly the latest app on the scene for smart decision making. With Acorns, you can take the spare change of purchases made and invest it into a diversified investment portfolio.

                      Acorns can be a great integral part of your day by checking the app each morning to see how your investments are doing, and simply clicking the acorn icon to send off the spare change for the day before to invest. Making this a daily task makes investing easy and builds your overall net worth. Acorns is set to be available in the latter part of this summer.

                      Which application do you feel gets your morning to a great start? Let us know in the comments below.

                      Featured photo credit: http://myurifemme.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/sleep-too-much-urifemme-FUD.jpg via Myurifemme

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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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