The turn of the calendar is a great time for a fresh start. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to get fitter, be happier, or just organize your life, here are some cool free apps that will do the heavy lifting …
1. Diaro (diaroapp.com)
In a 2005 study, published in the science journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, psychologists noted that writing your thoughts in a diary and revisiting them can help deal with stressful events.
Other studies have shown it can encourage you to stick to new habits, and even raise your happiness levels.
Diaro is a free app that works like a personal journal. Its cross-platform nature ensures you can update your posts from any device. Entries can be categorized in folders (business, friends, love, vacation) or by tags (dreams, ideas, movies) and location. You can also add photos to your jottings especially useful if you’re using your phone to click those pictures too.
If you are an Android user, you might also want to take a look at Journey (2appstudio.comjourney), another free app that works with Google Chrome on desktops. For Apple users, no journaling app comes close to Day One (dayoneapp.com), but it costs Rs 300 on iOS and Rs 500 on Mac.
2. Sunrise Calender (sunrise.am)
Google Calendar is a fantastic tool, but it locks you into the Google ecosystem. This means you aren’t going to get Facebook notifications, or your TripIt travel itinerary at a glance. Well, try Sunrise Calendar.
This serviceapp, essentially, is a more beautiful and open version of Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google account and it will import all the data. Then, you can connect other accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, TripIt, Todoist, Trello, iCloud, Foursquare and more.
Sunrise will import the relevant data from everywhere.When you wake up in the morning, an e-mail will tell you whose birthday it is on Facebook or what deadline you have planned on Trello.
Before your scheduled meeting, Sunrise will show you the latest tweet or the LinkedIn profile of the person and it does all this in a clean, gorgeous interface, on both mobile and web.
3. HabitRPG (habitrpg.com)
Habits are hard to form, whether you want to quit smoking or finally get serious about saving money. So why not turn these New Year resolutions into a game, complete with level-ups and quirky characters? Meet HabitRPG, a role-playing game that you play in real life.
Under the surface, HabitRPG is all about tracking what you do. But “gamifying” these mundane tasks is what makes it cool.
So whenever you complete a task or reinforce a good habit, you get rewarded with XP and gold, which you can use to unlock features, new characters or virtual pets. You can also set real-world rewards, like allowing yourself a dessert if you have stuck to your diet for three days.
On the other hand, if you have missed a task or failed in keeping up your habit, then you’ll lose health and eventually die in-game, costing you the progress you have made.
So, for example, if you have been maintaining your routine, you could use your XP or gold to upgrade your armour, so that when you fail in your routine, you lose fewer health points. HabitRPG has all the elements to make your New Year Resolutions more fun, and since it’s cross-platform, it’s also easy to update.
4. Wunderlist (wunderlist.com)
While your calendar takes care of your schedule, you will still need to create a set plan of the things you need to accomplish each day. Wunderlist is one of the oldest and most popular to-do list apps, and with good reason.
With Wunderlist, you can browse your tasks, add due dates and reminders, write detailed notes, add hashtags to sort them, get notifications on different devices, share a list with your team mates or family, and even comment for collaboration. It works on every platform and it’s completely free.
There are two great alternatives to Wunderlist that are also worth checking out, and are similarly free and crossplatform. Todoist has most of the same features, but throws in colour coded prioritization for tasks; however, reminders are a premium service here.
The other good to-do service is Any.do, which again has all these features and adds a daily “Any.do moment” to review your tasks and plan your day.
5. Fitocracy (fitocracy.com)
If your big goal for 2015 is to get in shape, then Fitocracy is made for you. This workout companion app is great for both beginners as well as fitness buffs. It’s all about choosing your current level and then starting a workout accordingly.
Fitocracy will recommend several different workouts based on your fitness goal. Choose a regimen that works for you and hit the gym. Each exercise comes with a YouTube video and instructions so you can learn the right form to do it.
You can track your progress every day, and there’s nothing like looking at that calendar of successful workout days to keep you motivated.
The app also serves as a mini social network. Add your friends or make new ones, based on those doing similar workouts. A little encouragement can go a long way.
6. Elevate (elevateapp.com)
Just like your body, your mind needs its own exercise. Brain-training apps have been growing in popularity, and the new king is Elevate, ranked by Apple as its App of the year and by Google as one of its best apps in 2014. Elevate is a series of brain games, designed in consultation with neuroscientists and cognitive learning specialists.
Every day, you will receive a set of games based on the mental facilities you want to improve: focus, memory, eloquence, math, clarity, and more. The games are well-designed and fun, and while it feels like you are “playing”, you are actually learning.
As you get better at any one skill, Elevate will up the difficulty level. You can track your progress at any time through charts and data. The app makers recommend training at least four times a week for best results.
Source: Times of India