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Resources That Make My Life Easier… (Part 1)

Hello, everyone

So I thought I’d share some of the things I use/do that make my life easier. This might help you if you’re trying to get a handle on living as a responsible adult (I wish adulthood came with a manual!). First, my top 5 apps (they’re all available on the iTunes and Play Stores):

  1. Any.do: Amazing app that helps me create and track my To-Do List. It prompts me to plan my day, and then rings a little alarm when tasks are due to be started.
  2. Duolingo: Another amazing app that teaches me languages in bite-sized lessons every day. I’m now learning Spanish.
  3. Moneywise: Helps me track my daily expenditure. It requires a bit of work (you have to enter every single expense) but it’s worth it. At the end of the month, I can compare my expenses to my planned budget, identify the areas where I spent the most money, and make corrections to my spending habits as necessary.
  4. Nike Training Club: A free fitness app. Yay! Basically it’s a personal trainer on your phone, complete with work-out programs for specific needs (to get lean, toned or strong).

5. McKinsey Insights: From their website, “McKinsey & Company is the trusted advisor and counselor to many of the world’s most influential businesses and institutions”. And they aren’t lying. One of my short-term goals is to expand my worldview and think outside of the box that being an engineer sometimes puts me in. The posts I access via this app are…insightful. I often feel like a quick burst of intelligence has been injected into my veins. No kidding.

In addition, I load all (I mean all) my reading material on my Kindle. All my magazine subscriptions – Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Word Among Us, Harvard Business Review, The Paris Review, The New Yorker and National Geographic – deliver to my Kindle, saving me shelf-space and increasing ease of reading. If you don’t have a tablet, you should get one. Think of it as a necessity, not a luxury (there are a number of relatively cheap tablets on the market). When you’re stuck in traffic or travelling even for an hour, you can catch up on your reading.

Another advantage of the Kindle is the opportunity to buy books as soon as they’re published instead of waiting for them to hit the bookshelves in Nigeria. If you’re like me, and you want your books RIGHT NOW, this is a godsend. And If I like the book well enough, then I’ll buy the paperback when I see it.

Apart from the apps (and my magazine subscriptions), here are two books on my Kindle that are helping me on my journey towards greater productivity and better time management.

  1. Eat That Frog: “There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.” There’s another saying that if you have to eat a frog, make sure you eat the biggest one you can find. And this summarizes one of the key principles of this book. Identify the important task that you run the risk of procrastinating, and do it first. First. Eat that frog. Even if I don’t finish this book, this principle is one I’ll always apply.
  2. Do The Work: I literally just started reading this book today because it got rave reviews from someone whose opinion I trust. I may do a review later if it’s worth it.

Despite all of this, I still walk around with a pocketbook and a pen. Because nothing beats the visceral satisfaction of scribbling for me. It’s my therapy. 🙂

So what about you? What apps are helping you take on this brave, new world? What books are helping you get mentally fit? What are your strategies, your shortcuts?

22 Comments

  1. For apps:
    1. Pulse: produced by LinkedIn so no need for sign up. It keeps you on track with best blogs/news sites like Fast Company, Mashable etc without having to take you to their page; every article loads in-app. Great for conserving data too. It’s available on every store and for Kindle.

    2. Pocket: This saves webpages as documents, you’ll have to open the app to read them though. So if you’re in a hurry and see a nice article, you can save it here and read later. Only know it’s available on iOS.

    3. Genius: annotates song lyrics with their meanings. It assumes you don’t want to dance to a song until you know the meaning. Lol.

    Books:
    1. The Art of Product Design by Hardi Meybaum: just because I’m interested in the topic.

    2. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay: I liked the cover, and I stole it off a friend’s shelf. Wise decision.

    🙂

  2. chioma says

    Nice share….off to find those apps. Been an adult is could be overwhelming…i can relate with that.

  3. I take french classes so i use duolingo when I want to study in a relaxed manner, I think my best book so far , this year would be Jack Canfield’s Success principles, loving each page of it. A senior friend of mine went through a lot of dhl stress to get it to me and now I see why, great book. Would check out the Any.do app. Thanks for sharing.

  4. uju says

    Thanks so wonderfully well Osemhen for sharing these wonderful tips, i just got a clue on solving a problem that has been giving me sleepless night. Off to the store…!

  5. Muyiwa Saka says

    Cool.

    My list below:
    1) Evernote: For the todo and the random ideas. available on ALL platforms.
    2) Pocket: For the links on social media. Read them later at leisure.
    3)Flipboard: For presenting Facebook and my social feeds in a readable magazine like form.
    4) Duolingo: For french( only for now).
    5) Aldiko( Android ) : For the books especially public domain books.
    No longer use IFTTT but worth a mention: IFttt.com

  6. Pingback: KINDLE BOOKS

  7. Mercy says

    Interesting, thanks for sharing. The only apps I am committed to are my period trackers..lol. Will download a few of the ones you mentioned especially duolingo , wanna learn some spanish too.

  8. I’ve started using Duolingo, and it’s awesome. Brushing up my French very fast.
    For me, two apps I love:.Pocket for saving and reading articles. It makes even the ugliest page layouts lnicenice in the app.
    Then, there’s Trucaller. Helps identify numbers calling you and also blocks spam numbers.

  9. Perhaps I, while so young, live in the stone age. So far, life is good even without these apps. What do you say to such a ‘grandma’ like me?

  10. I first read this on my bb. You can imagine how I felt. Just got an Android phone and looking to fill it with useful apps. Thanks for sharing yours. Got some from the comments too.

    Now I want a Kindle. 🙂

    I’ve been reading mostly novels lately. The Kite Runner is a very good book. For inspiration I go to wwwdotstupendousgracedotcom

  11. Toyole says

    Hi Osemhen! Where do you find the time to read books as well as learn new languages?! And read articles as well as listen to podcasts! Lol I’ve been binge reading posts on your blog. I would love to make all these part of this year’s goals. I’m a student and I can’t even think of where I’ll find time to fit all these in! Any tips would be helpful 😊 Thanks!

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