I spend quite a bit of time on my phone every day, as I’m sure you may as well. Between emails, texts, and social media, there’s always something to be found that calls my attention away from the present moment.
Lately though, I’ve been utilizing my phone more for what it is meant to be: a smart device, rather than a mindless tool. This shift has been increasing my productivity and education using apps to take full advantage of just what my phone has to offer, and I’ve seen a drastic change.
There are so many apps out there it can be hard to decide which is right for you. Today, I’m sharing my current favorites for having a productive and mindful day. All opinions are my own.
Why I love it: TedTalks is a wonderful way to feed your curiosity and expand your world. The app has more than 3,000 talks available for listening in a variety of topics and moods, which you can fully customize. Some of my favorite TedTalks subjects are self-improvement, business, science, health, and humanity. I will typically listen to one talk a day, on my drive to and from the office, and it can be a great way to begin your day.
Why I love it: Aura may be a meditation app, but I use it strictly for their nature sounds and instrumental music, as they are free but the meditations are not. I find the sounds very calming to listen to while at the office, and they help me focus on my work rather than lyrics to a song. My favorite sounds in their library at this time are Calming Sea, Forest, Mountain Lake, Waterfall, and Tropical Beach. As you can see, I’m a lover of the water sounds! They also have Rain + Thunder, Rain Forest, Passion Piano, Dreamy Ocean, and Blissful Sounds, although I find these rather distracting at the office.
3. Simple Habit
Why I love it: Simple Habit is my go-to meditation app, which describes itself as a “daily vacation for your mind.” The app is a goal and situation-based meditation for busy people, and offers meditations as short as three minutes to fit into any schedule. There are individual meditations and series meditations to pick from, and a variety of moods, feelings, and situations. Some of my favorites include Cory Muscara’s Coffee Meditation, which promotes awareness, gratitude, and patience; End Your Day and Let Go by Oren Jay Sofer, which promotes acceptance, calm, and peace; and 7 Days of Joy by Craig Hase, which helps cultivate feelings of joy and gratitude. Some of my most frequently listened to meditations assist with panic attacks or feelings of anxiety, how to heal from trauma, and feeling thankful. Currently, the app is free to use but there is a premium version available for $11.99/month.
4. White Noise
Why I love it: I cannot sleep without this app. I am unable to sleep in silence, and prefer not to use a fan for noise, especially in the cooler months. White Noise is a lifesaver for me. You can set a timer for sound, use it as an alarm clock, or listen to it all night long. My favorite sounds settings are “Dishwasher Rinsing” (its so calming, trust me!), “Camp Fire,” and “Rain Storm.” There is a free and premium version available for this app.
Why I love it: Education is very important to me, and I love to learn. This non-profit app is wonderful because it brings you the best online courses from the world’s top universities and institutions to your mobile device, so you can learn new skills anytime, anywhere. You can learn and master the most in-demand skills to advance your career with online courses in the fastest-growing fields including: computer science, data science, engineering, business management, marketing, finance, accounting, math, design, and more. EdX is also now viewable in Hebrew, French, German, Portuguese, Chinese, and Turkish. Similar apps: Coursera, Udemy.
Why I love it:
Feeling stuck? Need a boost of inspiration? Join hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are using brainsparker’s random creativity prompts to activate their imagination, overcome creative blocks and brainstorm new ideas. It’s like having your own creativity coach on call 24/7! I use this app to disrupt my thinking, imagine new possibilities and spark brilliant ideas. It’s great for writers, entrepreneurs, educators, coaches, artists, designers, photographers, and business people. Brainsparker works just like a pack of cards. If you’re feeling stuck or facing a creative challenge, just call up brainsparker, shuffle the cards and tap on your screen to reveal a random prompt. Then sit back and watch how it sparks new ideas and unblocks your creative mind.
7. Daily Yoga
Why I love it: If you’re a beginner to yoga, the Daily Yoga App provides various guided classes to help you learn the basics before diving into more advanced classes and flows, and if you’re advanced—there are plenty of world class teachers to follow along with. Daily Yoga offers 500+ asanas, 70+ yoga programs, 500+ guided yoga, pilates, meditation sessions plus the largest yoga pose library for man and woman that suit yogis from beginner to advanced. Not only helps you stay with yoga every day but also provides health benefits for both your body and mind, which can benefit your productivity levels. This is also a great alternative to traditional exercise, of which I cannot stand.
One of my favorite features of the app is the Smart Coach: If you have no ideas on how to pick a class, the Smart Coach feature helps you by giving you 6 targets as your one-month goal options, and then Smart Coach will lead you through a session every day for the next 30 days.
Why I love it: As I’ve previously stated, education is something I value greatly. One of the ways I like to challenge myself is by trying to learn a new language. Duolingo is great because its free, easy to use, and structured like a game, keeping you more engaged in your learning. They currently offer more than 30 languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Irish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Norwegian, Polish, Hebrew, Esperanto, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Welsh, Greek, Hungarian, Romanian, and Swahili. Oh, and English too!
Why I love it: I urge you to keep an open-mind with this one. I was honestly hesitant to download Co-Star (as I love astronomy, but not horoscopes) and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised! Co–Star is a hyper-personalized, social experience bringing astrology into the 21st century. Typical horoscopes are written only to a person’s sun sign. But that’s only one part of your astrological chart. It doesn’t take into account the moon, other planets in the solar system, or the 12 houses of the zodiac—each of which represents a different part of your life, like relationships, work, and home. Even if you’re an Aries Sun, a Libra moon or a Virgo rising change everything. Not to mention, it’s almost always spot on for me. I actually look forward to checking the app every day, and love learning more about the science behind it. This app is more for fun, but still interesting and worth looking at! You can also add friends and family members to see who you are a close match with.
Why I love it: It helps me organize! I am a huge fan of the OneNote app on my laptop, and the app was recently introduced for download. The integration between devices is essential for helping me stay on top of appointments, to-do lists, work, and so much more.
11. American Red Cross Blood Donor
Why I love it: Giving back to your community is so important. For those who aren’t afraid of needles, donating blood through a legitimate corporation like the American Red Cross is a great way to give back, and potentially save someone’s life. I have the rarest blood type in the world, so I try to donate every three months. My company often hosts drives as well, and makes it so convenient to give.
Why I love it: Lumosity’s cognitive training program is a fun, interactive way to train your brain and learn about how your mind works. The program consists of science-based games designed to exercise memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem-solving, and begins with a free 10-minute Fit Test to set your baseline scores to see how you compare with others your age. Lumosity was designed by a team of scientists and designers exploring new ways to challenge the brain and push cognitive research forward. They take common cognitive and neuropsychological tasks, or create entirely new, experimental challenges, which they then transform into games and puzzles that challenge core cognitive skills.
13. Daily Random Facts
Why I love it: Knowledge is power! Want everyone to think you’re super smart? Amaze others with your unique knowledge of facts and stand out from the crowd. Or just try to learn something new everyday. You will have loads of fun with Daily Random Facts so try it out today for free! It’s like having unlimited Snapple cap fun facts on your phone! You can learn fun facts in all sorts of categories such as the human body, history, facts about animals, riddles, and so much more.
I hope you loved this round-up of my favorite apps to keep me feeling fulfilled. What apps can you not live without? Let me know in the comments!
“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”