JP Holecka discusses the latest apps each week in his regular segment on Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM. To hear his thoughts on the best apps to help with your New Year’s resolutions, (7 minute listen).
January is the month of self-improvement. Every New Year, people resolve to replace their bad old habits with good new ones. But most of those resolutions are forgotten by February, and only around eight percent of people stick to them until the end of the year. Luckily, there’s an app for that. Self-tracking is already big business in the fitness industry, but quantifying your life isn’t just for people trying to get in shape. This week, let’s take a look at some of the apps designed to make us into healthier, more productive people.
Stick to your reading goals
Read one book every week. It’s a common resolution, but actually making the time to read isn’t always easy. Bookout tracks your reading progress by hours spent or pages completed, and allows you to set monthly or yearly goals for the number of books you go through. It tracks metrics like reading speed using generated infographics, and includes unlockable achievements to motivate your progress. The app also allows you to enter notes on the books you are reading for easy referral later.
If you are already a regular reader and your shelves are spilling over with books, Bookout’s library features make it easy to keep track of them. It can gather book details by scanning ISBNs or searching online, and it also allows you to mark lent books with the name of the person you lent them to.
Keep a daily journal
Getting your thoughts down onto paper is a powerful form of cognitive therapy, which is why more and more people are journaling their daily experiences, myself included. Even if you never look at them again, it can give you the distance and perspective that you need in the moment. It is a great way to work out frustrations, or to keep track of the positive things in your life to look back on later.
The award-winning Day One app stores location and weather data and can store pictures and audio as well as text, giving you a richer experience when you look back. Powerful tagging features make it easy to save important entries or refer back to your previous thoughts. It is available for the iPhone and iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, and syncs across your iOS devices so that your journal is always within reach.
Bliss is a more focused journaling platform, intended to turn you into a more positive person through psychological exercises. If you resolved to be more optimistic in 2017, this is your app. It guides you to catalog the things in your life that you are grateful for. By writing down the positive experiences of each day, it claims to rewire your brain over time for a more optimistic outlook.
Be more productive
The name isn’t catchy, but it is descriptive. This plugin for Google Chrome doesn’t prevent you from going on Facebook, it just encourages you to reflect on why you log in. Do you need to see something, or are you just checking it out of habit? That moment of questioning alone helps you to use your time more productively. Maybe you could use the time you save on your other resolutions?