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):
- 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.
- Duolingo: Another amazing app that teaches me languages in bite-sized lessons every day. I’m now learning Spanish.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?