The Christmas holidays are drawing to a close and we’ve entered not only a new year, but a new decade. Each year, many of us declare that when a new year comes around, we’re going to work on ourselves, eradicating some of our less than desirable habits and transforming into the ‘best version of ourselves’, whatever that may be.
If you’re feeling the urge to embark on a journey of self-improvement this year, you might want to consider some of our recommendations for apps that you can get on either the App Store or on Google Play which relate to some of the most relevant resolutions this year. Here are our top five apps to help you to achieve your New Year’s resolutions in 2020.
Best App for Productivity: Trello
Many of us wish that we could be more productive and less consumed by life’s many distractions. We all want the power to complete more tasks faster and, in less time, and with less effort. The good news is that there are plenty of apps that will help you to do just that. With the goal of getting organised in mind, we would recommend Trello.
Trello is a visual tool which can help you to organise both your work and home commitments. In this app, you can create customisable boards in which you can make and drag cards for each task/commitment that you need to complete, and you can add checklists, labels and due dates accordingly. If you like to have a visual layout to your to-do lists as well as bullet points, you’re likely to find this app useful.
Best App for Mindfulness: Headspace
This wellness trend has truly taken off in recent years, with an increasing number of us seeking to conquer our anxieties and overthinking to allow ourselves to enter a calmer and more present mental space. Being more mindful is a great New Year’s resolution for all of us to have, as we can all become overwhelmed by feelings of stress or anxiety from time to time. One mindfulness app which can help you to get started with meditation is Headspace.
Headspace is an app which is focused on mindfulness and meditation practices, and it includes guided meditations, animations and videos to help you learn. This app comes with a multitude of different programmes at your fingertips, relating to work, meditation for children, sleep, focus, stress and anxiety. If you want to want to be more mindful in 2020 but don’t know where to start, Headspace might be a good first step for you.
Best App for Reading More Books: Kindle
Many of us want to read more books in 2020 as reading regularly has a plethora of benefits, such as increasing mental stimulation which can slow down the progress of various neurological disorders (i.e. dementia), stress reduction, increased knowledge, better vocabulary, improved memory, better critical thinking, improved concentration, improved writing skills and much more. While e-readers have become hugely popular in recent years, you don’t need to buy one to read more books on the go. Instead, you can read books on your smartphone or tablet that you probably already have close to hand using the Kindle app.
Kindle gives you access to a huge array of books, newspapers and magazines (over a million) including books that you can download for free. It also comes with a dictionary, Google and Wikipedia preinstalled, so that you can search for the meaning of certain words as you’re reading, which is a great feature for expanding your vocabulary.
Best App for Learning a Language: Duolingo
Many of us want to expand our linguistic knowledge beyond our mother tongue, as learning a foreign language can give us a skill which is useful for moving abroad or for interacting with people from another country. More selfishly, but not unimportantly, learning a new language can also help to improve your attention span, the ability to multitask, improve your first language and again, slow down the progress of various neurological disorders.
If you want to get stuck into learning another language in 2020, we recommend Duolingo. This is a popular app which is made to feel like a game, making learning a language fun and much less of a drag. You have a choice of over 30 languages- from the most popular languages (like Spanish) to the most obscure (Klingon is available if you're a Trekkie).
Best App for Quitting Smoking: Smokefree
While smoking can be a very challenging habit to kick, if you want to give up smoking this year, you could find that using an app on your phone which is mostly always in your hand could help. The negative health effects of smoking go without saying, but even if you manage to give up smoking for just two weeks, you should notice that your ability to do physical activities such as walking or running will improve.
Our top pick for an app that can help you to quit smoking is Smokefree, which was created by the NHS specifically to help people who want to go cold turkey. Smokefree is a four-week programme which gives you support, encouragement and advice on your journey to giving up smoking. Some of the useful features of this app include daily motivational messages, badges as rewards, a savings calculator to show you how much money you’re saving by not buying cigarettes and general tips to help you to tackle your cravings.