At the turn of every new year, it becomes customary (nearly religious even), for most of us to produce the famous list of things we’d like to accomplish within the next 12 months. Get fit, travel somewhere exotic, read more books, and etcetera.
But just as customary as the list of resolutions is the propensity for us to never accomplish them (for the most part at least).
Busy schedules and limited energy can only take us so far, and it’s only expected when the drive to stick with the plan eventually fizzles out.
But this year, why not consider doing something different and enlist some help from sources that negate the probability of human error?
We’re talking about apps—the byte-sized programs in our smartphones that function without sentiment and just work right (most of the time).
So we’ve come up with a list of apps to help you actually keep to and maybe fulfil your list of resolutions. If you’re serious about sticking with your plans in 2018, it might be worth giving some of these a try.
1. Fitness & Health
For those looking to shed excess grams and get into shape, these apps will help them stay on course to get fitter and healthier (despite the ever-present temptation of nasi lemak).
Leap Fitness 30 Day Fitness Challenge: This app helps users stick with their workout regimes by taking them through it one day at a time. With workouts categorised into separate target areas, the app makes it easy to focus and plan a fitness schedule. The app also helps users track progress so they can always see how well they’re progressing. Available on iOS and Android.
MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker: Keeping a tab on how many calories one consumes can be an arduous task. Luckily, MyFitnessPal offers access to a database of over 5 million food items and lets users quickly save and keep track of their meals. It also connects to other available fitness apps and devices, and allows them to import other recipes found online. Available on iOS and Android.
Intent on keeping track and reflecting on life in 2018? Use these apps to help take note of daily events and thoughts.
Journey: This app allows users access to their journals across platforms by storing them on Google Drive Sync, and keeps its layout simple. Upload photos and videos, and allow the app to automatically add other details such as location and weather to create a ultra-detailed journal experience. Available on iOS and Android.
Grid Diary: This iPhone exclusive app helps users write more freely and effective by organising their journals into grids. Questions within these grids will help users with the thought process and are customisable. Available on iOS.
3. Personal Finance
It’s a challenge to always take note of where your money goes on a daily basis. These apps aim to help you keep more of your cash in your pocket.
Mint: Bringing together your bank accounts, bills, credit cards, and investments, Mint helps users understand the flow of their finances with more clarity. The app also allows users to stay on top of their credit ratings. Available on iOS and Android.
PocketGuard: Connecting directly to users’ bank accounts, PocketGuard helps users identify recurring payments, and pinpoint areas of their spending that could use cutting back on. Available on iOS with a component for the Apple Watch, as well as Android.
Intending to start giving back this 2018? Mobile users with philanthropic tendencies can engage these apps to help them on their journey to be more altruistic spirits.
Charity Miles: This app helps users kill two birds with one stone by allowing them to earn money for charities as they walk, run, or bike. The amount given to charities is based on the distance covered, giving users more incentive to get moving. So far earning over USD 2.5 million for charities, the app allows users to pick and choose their beneficiaries from more than 40 charities around the world. Available on iOS and Android.
ShareTheMeal: Leveraging on the United Nations’ World Food Programme, this app lets users feed a child in need by simply tapping on their phone. This donates USD 0.50 to child, feeding him or her for the day. This straightforward concept makes it easy for users to give to charity, and allows them the option of choosing which country their donation goes to. Available on iOS and Android.
5. Reading & Education
Feel like learning something new this year? Perhaps the intention is to read more books. These apps will help you develop the habit of learning and uncovering new information.
Udacity: By offering free online courses, Udacity lets users pick from hundreds of different topics. There’s also the option of a paid nanodegree that provides feedback from industry professionals and gives the user a verified certificate. Available on iOS and Android.
Goodreads: By connecting to a database of more than 11 billion books and a community of over 35 million readers, Goodreads will allow users to rate and review already read books, discuss favourite titles with other users, and see what their friends are currently reading. Available on iOS and Android.
Bogged down by clutter at work? Those who feel the need to better arrange their time and workflow should definitely check out these apps.
Trello: By arranging topics into cards, users of Trello will be able to efficiently sort through their to-do items and ideas easily by using tags, interactive checklists and the ability to upload media. Definitely one for neat freaks. Available on iOS and Android.
Slack: A communication platform that offers real-time messaging and file sharing with a powerful search and archiving tool that allows users to track past files and conversations easily. The app integrates with other file sharing services such as Dropbox and Google Drive, and syncs across multiple devices, with some limitations imposed for the free version. Available on iOS and Android.
For those deciding to dive into investments this year, these apps will help you start building your portfolios quick and easy.
Stash: Offering a low-cost method to start building a portfolio, Stash helps users learn about the world of investments by offering advice on making the best investments, and educating users on investment lingo and terminology. A no-brainer for beginner investors. Available on iOS and Android.
Luno: With cryptocurrency now the flavour-of-the month, Malaysians interested in dipping their feet in cryptocurrency waters should check out Luno, an app that allows users to trade in two of the most popular cryptocurrencies currently available—Bitcoin and Ethereum. As always is the case with cryptocurrencies, be careful to only invest money you’re prepared to part with. Available on iOS and Android.
For the ones on the lookout for adventure this year, these apps are ready to accompany you as you satiate your wanderlust.
Guides by Lonely Planet: This app equips travelers with knowledge of a large number of popular destinations, and includes offline maps, audio phrases, and a currency converter to make exploring easier. There’s also advice from travel experts, brief translations for phrases in over 19 different languages. Information for new destinations are constantly being added, making this app a must-have on your next vacation. Available on iOS and Android.
Airbnb: Already world-famous, the Airbnb app allows travelers to connect with accommodation providers around the world to secure a place to stay during their vacation. Users can choose from a range of budgets and locations to suit their needs, and the process is made fairly easy. The app also allows users to find interesting things to do via their new ‘Experiences’ feature, already making this app a mainstay on the phones of many a traveler. Available on iOS and Android.
Seeing how there’s now an app to aid with almost any task, we see that it only makes sense that to use them as tools to help us focus and achieve our goals.
While we can’t speak for everyone, we know that we’ll be using quite a few of these to make 2018 as great a year as we possibly can.