Thursday, April 17, 2014
We're now officially into the first full week of 2014. If you're anything like me, you're already having trouble sticking to your New Year's resolution. In fact, I think I broke seven years worth of resolutions just last month. Yes, I write them down. Unfortunately. So, it was in this spirit that I took a hard look at many of articles out there listing some of 2014's best apps to help you to stick to your guns.
Following are some of the best I could find. Covering everything from searching for a new job to learning a new language to losing those extra holiday pounds. If you see something here you like, or if you think I've left out a great app, I'd love to get your feedback. You can leave it in the comments section here, or you can find me on Twitter at @bobbbyg.
Happy New Year!
Need a job? Want a new one? Job Search (free for iOS and Android) is the highest rated tool on Apple’s and Google’s app stores, letting you sort by relevance or date, GPS-related location as well as jobs that support applications directly from a mobile device. —TIME.com
Apple just selected Duolingo as its free iPhone "App of the Year," and with good reason. Started by a Carnegie Mellon professor and his student, who believed folks should be able to learn new language skills for free, the app uses games and quizzes to help master new tongues — so far in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German and French. Next year at this time, Duolingo hopes to have 50 languages available. (Apple, Android). —USA TODAY
With Expensify, you can sync your credit cards and bank accounts to track purchases with real-time updates. You’ll be able to track transactions via eReceipts; otherwise you can take photos of paper receipts, and with that information be able to generate a expense report. (Apple, Android)—HONGKIAT.com
Habit Streak Pro
This is a great app for helping you adjust your habits by encouraging you to report on what you’ve achieved each day. It rewards you by counting your so-called streaks, or runs of days where you successfully stuck to your goal. After a little use, keeping the streak going becomes motivational by itself. The app’s interface is clear and good-looking, which helps. You don’t want to interact with a badly designed app every day, do you?
To add a habit you click the large “+” icon, and enter two things: The name of the habit you want to cultivate, like “morning jog” and a positive-sounding question, like “Did you take a nice jog today?” If you need help, the app can even suggest ideas for you. Tapping on the “...” icon brings up an exhaustive list of habits and questions to choose from. Then you set an alarm in the app that will generate a pop-up reminder to enter your progress for the previous day. The app suggests setting the alert to go off in the early morning.
When the notification arrives, you enter the app, click on the check-mark icon and select all the goals you managed to achieve the previous day. The home screen updates show a counter for the streak of successful days and a progress bar that fills up over time. You can share your progress with friends via email or social networks. It’s simple and can help you keep track of several goals at once. But Habit Streak does require you to make an additional habit of checking into the app itself. And it costs $3 for the full version. (Android) The New York Times
This similar habit-tracking app on iOS and Android, has just been given an overhaul that makes it look more modern and appealing. Lift’s premise is that starting a new habit (or quitting an old one) is easier as part of a group. The New York Times
The obligatory weight loss app of the bunch, this one’s available free for iOS and Android (as well as Nook, Kindle or any computer browser). It’s essentially a calorie tracker wrapped inside an elegant interface — its chief selling point, in my view — that includes category-based goal-making, customizable challenges, a food barcode scanner, optional social links for peer support and a mammoth backend database that includes “thousands of restaurant, grocery store, and brand-name foods.” The free version covers fitness essentials, but if you’re looking for more granularity, $40 a year gets you “premium“ extras, including support for additional health metrics and compatible fitness devices. TIME.com
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Rob works as a digital marketing & public relations consultant to agencies, brands, and individuals. He has 20 years of marketing experience. He also currently serves in a volunteer capacity as director of pr/communications for TEDxDirigo. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at The VIA Agency (Portland). Prior to VIA, Rob worked with several PR & advertising agencies in London & Boston. He is a graduate of The University of Vermont (UVM) and a Maine transplant (2002).
Follow Rob on Twitter at @bobbbyg
His real-life interests include art, travel, writing, design, psychology, the beach, & exercise (grudgingly at times).