There’s an app for that

So, I’ve started a minimalist habit kick-off and acknowledged that it was going to take more than just a whim and a prayer, and this week — the tools that are helping me get the job done. Everyone has friends they can count on, right? Mine just come in the form of cute emojis and “you go, girl!” notifications.

HabitBull

There are likely hundreds of habit tracking apps on the web, but this is the one that I finally settled on after trying a few others. It’s easy and has a number of different ways to track — it can be a yes/no-either-I-did-it-or-didn’t habit, it can be attaining a certain number of something (i.e. writing 200 words per day) or many other variations of ways to track habits. HabitBull also has a list of some of the most common habits to help you set them up correctly. In the free version, you can track 5 different habits at one time.

Walk Me Up

So, how many of you are just like me and can hit the snooze button a few thousand times before actually crawling out of bed in the morning? What I realized was that this was true wasted time; I was already up but not doing anything remotely productive. And enter Walk Me Up — the app the forces you out of bed — to stop the highly annoying alarm, you need to get up and walk with the phone. And just waving it around doesn’t work (I tried). I found that it was just enough to get me up and going… and instead of not really sleeping for 25 more minutes, I stumble down to the basement and get on the treadmill for that amount of time. Sure, I’m not marathon training or conquering the world, but I am walking  1-2 miles more than I normally would on a work day.

Tinydocs

A website rather than an app, this is where I do all my writing. Its minimal interface gives the writing precedence, the text copies into WordPress and other programs seamlessly, all my stuff is available from any device and it even gives me basic word count stats. In a lot of ways it’s nothing special, but inexplicably, that’s what makes it so special. It’s the editor that just works and gives me everything I need.

Headspace

This meditation app calms my mind and centers my focus and while I can’t cite a causal link between using it and keeping my habits, I can say that in my n=1 experiment, when I use this app I seem to do better at sticking to the changes I’ve committed myself to.

Runkeeper

Great app for keeping track of my runs (and walks, bike rides, etc). Tells me how far I’ve gone, in how much time and other fun stats that make a numbers geek like me get all excited. Since my phone is with me to provide entertainment anyway, Runkeeper makes it easy to keep track of everything else.

Podcast Republic

Sure, I like listening to music when I’m out and about, but lately it’s all about the podcast. I absolutely love feeling like I’m learning something new or at least stuffing my head with facts with which to amaze and entertain the lunch table. PR functions like most podcast apps — you subscribe to podcasts (or download one-off shows), you can sort and organize, choose how they’re downloaded and how long the episodes are kept. One really great feature is the ability to sync your subscription list to the cloud which then allows you to download it down to a different device. How awesome is that?! But wait – you say that you don’t know what podcasts to listen to? Take a gander at my What I’m Listening To post and look for another one to come up soon.

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Could you say no to this face?

Belle

Not a website. Not an app. Just a big, cuddly, 75-pound lap dog. If you’re trying to curb your eating, this is the best investment you’ll make — not only do you get exercise by walking the dog, but what owner wants to rouse the dog napping in your lap, even if your legs have painfully fallen asleep and you’re hungry enough to gnaw your own arm off, am I right? Dogs rule. Go rescue one right now, okay?

So, what apps do you count on to get the job done? What apps do you wish someone would develop to make life easier?

 

3 comments

  1. What an interesting post! Though I have embraced technology to a certain extent, it is not the first solution or tool I think of when puzzling things out. I do of course google everything,as everyone does nowadays, but looking for an appropriate app never really crosses my mind. What brilliant app tools you have found to help you x

  2. Thanks for the good read and the app tips – I haven’t tried any of them, actually. Well, except for the big lap dog one, I’ve got that one and it works a treat! 😉

  3. Laura! I am NOT an app person, but you’ve got me leaning in. I love the ideas presented here and feel as if I might try HabitBull. I am sort of humbled by the number of apps you use (I’d need an app just to keep track of my apps!) but I can tell they help you stay sorted out and calm.

    I am not a big technology person, but I have a dog, so I can truly relate to Belle! Best way to live comfortable is a dog.

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