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Here’s what I would love to be able to tell you: You guys, I am such a morning person, and I just get so much done at the beginning of my day. That would be a lie, however, and that’s not what you’re here for.
Instead, I’ll tell you the truth. I’m not a morning person, I’ve never been a morning person, and I’ll probably never be one either. I’m in a constant battle with the snooze button, I like sleeping in on the weekends, and let’s just say not drinking coffee for the entirety of Lent was a study in patience. (And yawning. So much yawning.)
I’m not a morning person (did I say that already?), which means I have to make use of every little moment of productivity that I can throughout the day. Luckily for me, I’ve amassed a collection of apps that help me keep track of the things I care about, and I’ve decided to share them with you today.
Keeps Track of: The World Around You
It’s pretty safe to say that, before I found The Skimm, I got my news from Twitter and Saturday Night Live. While I’m still a big proponent of the Weekend Update, I now also rely on The Skimm to aggregate some of the day’s most important news for me. I receive free morning emails every work day, and then you can also download The Skimm app to stay up-to-date throughout the day. (You receive the first month of app coverage for free, but then it’s $2.99 each month after that.)
One thing I really appreciate is that The Skimm gives me a quick synopsis of each news item, but then links to the actual articles, so I can dig deeper if I want to learn more. The Skimm also puts together podcasts and videos about trending topics and issues important to their key demographic. I learned so much about the history of birth control last month. You don’t even know…
Keeps Track of: Your Daily Steps, Exercise, Heart Rate, Etc.
I have a Fitbit Charge 2 HR that I wear every single day, both for counting my daily steps and tracking my yoga and workouts. I’m in love with the Fitbit app’s interface, and it tracks everything I could possibly want and then some. It also pairs with a bunch of different apps to give accurate stats on your daily fitness, diet, weight, etc.
One thing in particular that I love about my Fitbit is that the heart rate monitor also gives you an accurate look at your sleep cycle, including how much you got the night before and how long you were in each of the different sleep stages. This might not be a big thing for others, but I love looking at all the graphs and figuring out what I need to do to get even more sleep. (See the first paragraph.)
Keeps Track of: The State of Your Mind
If you stay up-to-date with my posts on writing, you’ve already heard a bit about this app. I’ve been using it lately to get my brain in the writing zone, though I also use it every morning on my bus ride into work.
Headspace is a free meditation app that starts you off with a 10-day introduction to meditation and then lets you do a free bit of meditation every day. You can also purchase a yearly pass to gain access to all the different meditation packs, from health and happiness to work performance.
Keeps Track of: How You Spend You Time
I don’t even remember where I heard of this app, but I’ve been using it consistently for over a year, and I am obsessed. Basically it uses your GPS location to keep track of where you are and therefore what you’re spending your day doing. For instance, it knows that whenever I’m at the office, I’m working, and it keeps track of that for me. Then if I work at a conference, I can tell it to put any hours spent at the convention center under my “Work” category, and voila! An easy way to see just how much overtime I’m working and not getting paid for.
It also automatically tracks my Mindfulness (by working with Headspace), my Sleep (by working with Fitbit), and the ridiculous amount of time I still spend playing Pokémon Go.
Keeps Track of: What You Actually Wear in Your Closet
I’ve written about Stylebook before (during my first winter in the workplace and the last time I did a big closet clean out) because it’s the most tried and true favorite on this list. I’m a big fan of sales and deals, especially when it comes to clothing, and Stylebook lets me keep track of where I purchase my closet staples, how much I paid for them, and how much I actually wear them.
You can also plan a packing list with it, track which clothes are at the dry cleaners, and sort by color to find the perfect match.
So now you’ve heard my top five apps to track the things that matter in life. Which apps can you not live without?
P.S. I’m also a big fan of tracking what I write. Care to learn more?