🧠Work Smarter. Not Harder. 💦

How many times have you caught yourself off-task to the point that you just resort to your old fashion procrastinating ways? It’s so easy for us to distract ourselves with the technology that surrounds us, especially when it comes to having our phones.

It’s hard for some to get away from the distraction of our phone since it is so ingrained in our everyday life.

Thankfully, with the creation of productivity apps, motivation has increased over time.

Here are 5 apps that can help you stay on task:

Duolingo

What is it?

If you want to temporarily put down your phone and focus on what’s more important in real life, you can plant a seed in Forest. As time goes by, this seed will gradually grow into a tree. However, if you cannot resist the temptation of using your phone and leave the app, your tree will wither. The sense of achievement and responsibility will encourage you to stay away from your phone and will help you make better use of your time.

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Review

I love this app when I came across it. I enjoy gamification in mobile apps when they’re done right, and this is one of them. From the same creators that made SleepTown in my last post,  this app once again enforces you to stay focus on a real-life task and keeping you off your phone. This cannot only be a self-motivation tool for staying off your phone but it can also be used for competition against your friends if you want to work together on being more productive.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (8)

What is it?

Habitica is a productivity app that treats your life similar to a game and encourages you to stay motivated and organized in an RPG like style. Rewritten.

Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests! Fight monsters with friends to keep each other accountable, and use your gold on in-game rewards, like equipment, or custom rewards, like watching an episode of your favorite TV show. Flexible, social, and fun, Habitica is the perfect way to motivate yourself to accomplish anything.

Review

Game design majors/gamers are going to have a field day with this one. This habit tracker makes the mundane tasks in your life similar to that of an RPG quest. I find the idea thrilling because not only is it considered a task manager but it’s also a system that rewards you with pets, equipment, and more rewards.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (7)

What is it?

Fabulous is an app takes a holistic approach to motivate you to be more productive and have higher energy. It’s more than just a habit tracker, or a way to create new rituals; it’s your own personal coach and happiness trainer.

  • Smart-targeted health advice for healthy living
  • Scientifically grounded approach to instill healthy habits and mindfulness into your daily rituals
  • Atkins & HCG diet inspired weight loss program where you can stop counting calories
  •  A personal 1:1 coach that will motivate you to be more productive and achieve your goals
  • Integrated fitness programs for a healthier, fitter lifestyle
  • Incremental goals that start with getting you to fall asleep faster. You’ll eventually create an entire morning ritual
  • Beginners guide to exercise and a workout plan, meditation, yoga, stretching, and a lot more

Review

Fabulous is a heartwarming app that’s main focus is to incorporate better habits for yourself. It really tries to look into what habits you mainly want to work on and build a schedule plan around it. I like apps like this because it not only focuses on one habit, it creates ultimately different components for you such as meal plans, morning rituals, and weight loss regime.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (2)

What is it?

OmniFocus manages everything in your busy life. Use projects to organize tasks naturally, and then add tags to organize across projects. Easily enter tasks when you’re on the go, and process them when you have time. Tap the Forecast view — which shows both tasks and calendar events — to get a handle on your day. Use the Review perspective to keep your projects and tasks on track.

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Review

OmniFocus is a pretty big program that’s central interface in Apple products. I’m not a huge Apple user so that is the only downside I can find with this app, but with it comes everything you can think of. Errand records, email management, project enlistments, and even tagging your own tasks to help you stay organized.

Check out the iOS version here!


 

Duolingo (1)

What is it?

Done helps you create healthy routines by helping you set goals, tracking your progress, and then motivating you with streaks/chains. Unlike so many other habit apps, Done lets you set a goal and track it multiple times a day, not just one time per day.

Done can help you both build and quit habits/activities.

After setting tangible daily, weekly or monthly goals, Done will help you track your habits and activities and tell you when you’ve met your goal. Done also keeps track of Streaks or Chains when you’ve met your goals in consecutive periods.

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Review

I love the progress report on this app. It’s has a simple user-interface that keeps you inspired by tracking your motivation streaks and visualizes your motivation trends over time. This app has really helped me stay up to date and organized with getting daily goals done, such as homework,  chores, bills etc. I would recommend this to anybody who is down to kick off the bad habits in your life.

Check out the iOS version here!

 

👆Highs & Lows👇

We’re all familiar with those moments where you feel like you’ve got too much going on in your life. You feel like your on a roller coaster ride with the twists and turns that make your stomach flip. You love the feel of it but at some point, you realize the rollercoaster is still going and you just want to get off.

Some people have to deal with that rollercoaster for the rest of their life.

Life is hard and sometimes we just need something (or someone!) to help us get through it.

Sidenote: None of the apps here should be replacements for professional help.

If you are facing any problems mentioned in this post, you are not alone in your fight. Contact any of the numbers listed HERE provided by the NAMI Helpline.

Here are 5 self-help apps that can you help you through the rough times:

 

Duolingo (5)What is it?

Youper is an app that uses artificial intelligence to respond to emotional health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression. The app’s goal is to deliver effective psychological approaches that are personalized around the user’s needs.

Youper uses research to formulate the emotional health assistant to develop more personalized treatment conditions for any issues you are facing. The app does an emotional checkup at the beginning and the end of your day to record your emotions and dissect why you feel the way you do.

 

Review

When I found Youper, I was curious about how an AI could help me with my emotions. After testing it out, I found the methods that they used to be resourceful. The assistant rings you at the beginning and end of the day by asking how you feel and why do you feel the way you do. It gets down to the nitty-gritty with your emotions and will stop asking questions at any moment you feel uncomfortable. I enjoyed the experience that I had while trying it out.

The only thing about the app that I ran into was that I sometimes lost the motivation to check in with the app and it sort of badgers you to keep checking in every day. It can get a bit tiring on a daily basis.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (1)What is it?

TalkLife is a free online peer to peer support network app that aims to provide an anonymous support forum for anyone who is struggling with anything in their life. You can be both a supporter or someone who needs support while on the app. It’s an app that is utilized for both journaling and venting purposes.

The app not only lets you voice your struggles, but it also categorizes it based on what you are talking about. It’s considered a safe place where you can talk about anything: mental health, depression, eating disorders, a bad breakup or a relationship, school or work.

 

 

Review

TalkLife is an interesting discovery. I used it for a week just to try out some of the mechanics that it had and I love the idea of a support network where you go vent about anything you want. I signed myself up as both a support and someone who needs support and my TalkLife feed was filled with people’s written thoughts. I wrote out a post just to try it out and the kudos, hugs, and support feature were a pretty interesting catch.

I do think that the social networking aspect can be a bit too much. With open forums comes the infamous ‘internet’ trolls and the report button can only catch so many of them in time. I do think talking about your problems to peers is important but it’s also complicated when your discussing your personal problems with a total stranger.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (2).pngWhat is it?

Woebot is a supportive AI app that is built around the user’s tracked mood and relies on step-by-step guidance using methods from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBI). The app helps you with tracking down your specific mood and builds 100+ evidence-based lessons, exercises, and stories from their own clinical team.

This friendly little AI not only talks to you one on one through your problems, but it also can:

  • Track your emotions through friendly conversation
  • Guide you through science-based techniques for a range of problems
  • Help with mood management; relationship problems; grief; habits and addictions
  • Personalize your conversations the more you chat
  • Teach mindfulness

 

 

 

Review

I’ll happily admit that Woebot is one the cutest self-care AI that I have ever seen. They are quirky. They are always there for you. The bot even tells ridiculous dad jokes if you want it to. It’s weird because we fear for technology advancement in these kinds of fields, but I honestly find an app like this to be a step in the right direction.

The only downside I find with this sort of ties back to the Youper app. The app pushes you to engage with it every single day and it can be a bit exhausting (and even slightly annoying) for someone who doesn’t have the time for it.

  • Fun Find: Don’t have enough space on your phone for this little buddy? Woebot is also on Facebook messenger!

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Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (3)What is it?

SuperBetter is a health & fitness that changes the way you look at battling your life challenges. It encourages you to change your problems into quests that you can overcome with one step at a time.

SuperBetter has been stated to:

  • Adopt a new habit, develop a talent, learn or improve a skill, strengthen a relationship, make a physical or athletic breakthrough, complete a meaningful project, or pursue a lifelong dream.
  •  Beat depression, overcome anxiety, cope with chronic illness or chronic pain, heal from physical injury, or recover from post-traumatic stress.
  • Overcome a life challenge like finding a new job, surviving divorce, dealing with a career or school setback, or grieving the loss of a loved one.
  •  Help others: therapists recommend SuperBetter to their patients; university professors incorporate SuperBetter into their student’s coursework; life coaches refer their clients, and HR professionals design SuperBetter into their employee wellness incentive programs.

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Review

Wow, the fact that there is an app that changes your struggles into quests is very interesting to me! This app utilizes gamification in a way that supports its users through different features such as rewarding achievements for working towards your goal and even pointing out the allies and bad guys in your challenges.

Some problems that I’ve identified were that the app is not as flexible as you want it to be. Some activities that you input the app can only contribute to one type of resilence. The filtering system is also a bit janky at the time and can be difficult to navigate the app’s quest categories.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (4)

What is it?

Moodpath is an interactive depression and anxiety screening program. It tracks your psychological, emotional and physical wellbeing and generates a personalized mental health assessment that you can discuss with therapists.

Some features that the app has:

– 14-day depression screening with 3 question blocks per day
– Interactive modules to understand the psychology behind your mood
– After 14 days: Professional assessment that you can share with your GP or therapist
– Statistics allow you to keep track of your mental well-being

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Some benefits that come from it:
– Reduce uncertainty whether or not you suffer from a depressive episode
– Monitor your mental well-being
– Understand the psychology behind your mood
– Use Moodpath as mood journal during psychotherapy

Review

I have not used this app personally but I have talked to several other users who’ve used it and have recommended it as a great monitor. It’s an app that provides a variety of resources catered to specific issues such as anxiety and depression.

 

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!

👍New Skill, New You

As a college student with little times on their hand, how do you find the time to try anything new nowadays? We have enough time to work on 5 projects, 3 essays, 2 presentations, and only enough to grab that cup of joe before your back on the run again to work or class. How can we possibly make time for that karate class that meets during your work hours or take up coding as a new skill when you don’t have enough free time in your schedule?

Thank heavens we have our phones to help with that problem.

The app store has never disappointed me in finding something new to learn or expand on with a newly obtained skill.

Learn a new language? Maybe pick up JavaScript coding as a new useful tool to put under your belt? Or maybe you want to spice up your cooking in some way?

Here are 5 mobile apps that can help you gain some skills while you’re on the go:

DuolingoWhat is it?

Duolingo is a multiplatform language learning app that teaches up to 37 languages with a range of 81 different language courses.  The app lets you decide you’re skill level for your chosen language and formulates a learning tree that you’re working to conquer over time.

While going through the learning nodes, you will acquire several lessons over time that include bite-sized translation practices, speech exercises, word matching, and several other activities to make the language stick.

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Duolingo also utilizes its reward system in its app the requires you to gain rewards after passing levels with its in-game currency—”lingots”— to purchase bonuses like outfits (for your little owl friend) and extra lessons. The app also had a leaderboard feature to it that you can use to face off against your friends OR if you’re more of the solo learner type, you can use the practice function against bots or by yourself.

  • Fun Find: I discovered while scavenging through the different languages that they also have Klingon and High Valyrian for those Trekkies or GOT thronees who want to learn how to spit some mad Klingon or High Valyrian game.

 

 

Review

The app is overall beneficial in walking you through the basics of wording and exact translations. The lessons pass you at a certain point, and that really motivated the completionist inside of me to finish them all with a 100% rating. It doesn’t overwhelm you with too much information and it follows you at your own learning pace. I do enjoy the gamification set up in the system that it’s in. It’s doesn’t get old quick and it keeps you consistent with your lessons.

However, it does have a few tweaks that you, the user, have to work out more on your end. The speech recognition feature still has a ways to go and doesn’t really give you that tool to teach you pronunciation fully. I would also like to mention that you should not rely on Duolingo wholeheartedly as your only resource for learning a new language. Although the mechanics are great, it doesn’t get into the concept of grammar and give you that face-to-face encounter that you would experience in real life.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


Duolingo (1)

What is it?

Grasshopper is a freemium coding app that teaches you the beginner essentials to Javascript coding. It was created by Google’s Area 120 group that aimed to make coding more fun than we imagine it to be.

This app challenges you to write real Javascript through the extension of visual challenges and puzzles. Real-time feedback is given to you while you engage in the challenges and they also give you a load of tips and tricks to utilize while you approach coding.

 

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Review

I am by no means a coder myself so when I learned about this app, I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated by it. However, this app understands that you have never touched a piece of HTML in your life and walks you through the process with step by step instructions. It actually makes coding, dare I say, fun to do. It uses user-friendly language while discussing the lessons and does it’s best to pinpoint any mistakes you have while coding.

I will say that the app is friendly with the user, it also has its limitations. While Javascript is the industry-standard program that companies use, the app doesn’t explore any other elements outside of that of that realm. For users that may want to travel outside that realm and into something different like Python, you won’t find that in this app. As the app states, it is a coding app for beginners so exploration of other programs will be up to the user’s end.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (4)

What is it?

Sidechef is a cooking app that features over 11,000 recipes with filtering mechanics, meal planning, ingredient delivery, step-by-step photos, videos, in-app timers, and more. They call themselves an “end-to-end cooking platform” that essentially means the app can help you through the entire cooking process.

When maneuvering with the app, you can work it alongside with your meal preferences and your diet. You can also create quick, easy shopping lists for your grocery store runs or have the ingredients delivered to your front door.

Review

I really wished I would have discovered this app before I got into college. Boy, would this have bettered my cooking by the long run. Pinterest is a great website to nab all your easy go-to recipes but this app can be the Goliath of cooking. It’s got it all. The recipes, the delivery of ingredients (if you want to pay extra), the visual step-by-step guides, and even tips to better your dish. This app welcomes a range of skillsets, beginners to professionals, to try out their spectrum of recipes.

The only downside I would find with this app is that it doesn’t provide all the nutritional facts that you need. The app has certain recipes that you cannot trade out ingredients unless you know the replacements for it. You’ll have to do your own personal research outside of the app to discover what you will or won’t like.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


Duolingo (2)

What is it?

Bivy is an adventure app that is used to record, track, and share different trails that people have ventured through. You can find new adventures near your location and follow the adventure details of others who have also traveled through those trails

You can keep track of all your locations you visited along the way and rate the travel on the app, notifying other users of your experience. 40,000+ adventures are fully mapped out for users to look at.

The app has over 17 different adventure types, hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, and several more. The app also has a built-in profile feature where you can share your location with friends to make it safe for your travels.

Review

As a person who doesn’t know a lick about adventuring outside, this app made me realize all of the range of options for travel out there. I would call this more of a “summer” app that you can play around with. This app is pretty open to people looking for an adventure but doesn’t know where to start. I haven’t been able to traverse huge mountains or kayak across lakes but the app offers you to explore the location around you. I also really enjoy the tracking feature that marks you speed and distance traveled so far, this motivates me a lot while traveling!

I’ve found that the filter features can be a bit wonky and sometimes can’t filter specific factors that you would want to incorporate into your adventure. It’s sort of frustrating because you can find one type of adventure but not another.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!


 

Duolingo (5)

What is it?

Lumosity is a free brain training app that stimulates your brain activity through fun and interactive puzzles. It offers over 40 games that test your critical thinking, memory, and problem-solving skills. This app also challenges your mental muscles through a range of activities that require your focus.

With 40 brain games to train your cognitive and academic abilities, you can also explore different modes that curate around what you enjoy and what you may need to work on. You can poke around workout mode which picks out games that tune with your habits and preferences.

Lumosity_3

This app relies a lot of its core assets on 100+ leading researchers, clinicians, and teachers from across the world. The app expands it’s training tools based on recent human cognition discoveries.

Review

This app is a blast when you need one of those brain workouts. It sounds weird to say that your brain needs to work out to stay active, but based off of this app it really does test the cognitive abilities that you use in your everyday life. I like how the exercises and puzzles are catered to your preferences, whether it’s memory enhancement or attention span adjustment, this app makes it’s your brain workout enjoyable.

The one issue that this app has is that over time, it grows old fast. Once you’ve mastered the first 10 or so games, you sort of grow bored with it. That’s the challenge with apps nowadays is that they need to keep up with their audience’s learning curve along with their attention.

Check out the iOS version here & the Android version here!