There are so many apps in the app store, many of which seemingly do the same thing. There are plenty of free apps, but which paid apps are actually worth paying for? Today I want to discuss a few of my favorites that I use on a regular basis.
Calm: I was always very skeptical of meditation. SUPER skeptical. I felt like I wasn’t really super stressed and didn’t really need a mental break. And then I found myself making errors in my work – at my day job, here on the blog, just in every day life. It took me making a lot of mistakes to realize that something had to change, and perhaps I needed a break. I tried the Calm app and was immediately hooked- I am too inexperienced (and likely to fall asleep) if I meditate unguided, so this app is exactly what I need. In addition, the Calm app also has bedtime stories read in a monotone – they put me to sleep instantly. I have no idea how any of these stories end. Some of my favorites include The Orient Express and the Bob Ross painting stories — a few minutes in, and I’m…..zzz…..
Planoly: This may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but my Instagram feed is very rarely updated in real time. I use Planoly to schedule most of my posts and auto publish them. There is a free version, but some of the automated features require a paid subscription – totally worth it. Sometimes I schedule out the bulk of my week in advance, and at other times, I schedule them during my commute to and from work (I take the bus) and let them autopost at optimized times. Now you know my secret.
Lightroom CC: This has been a game changer for my photographs. I work with professional photographers quite frequently, but I take a lot of my product pictures myself. And since I’m not a professional photographer, and I don’t have a great professional camera (mine is a good point and shoot with some customization), my pictures need some help, at least where the light is concerned. This app has been super helpful with that. I recently bought some Lightroom presets (another not-so-secret trick) and am working to learn how to use those too!
Audible: I love books, but the sad truth is that I don’t really have a whole lot of time to read. Between my day job and all my entrepreneurial ventures, I just run out of time. So audible has been a lifesaver in allowing me to catch up on some great books while I’m doing other things like walking the dogs, or driving to yoga class, or commuting to work. I alternate between Audible and the audiobooks via my public library, but the truth is the audible has a more extensive collection of new releases, and there’s the instant gratification of the immediate download. It’s part of the reason I’ve been able to read 17 books already this year (and its only April).
Five Minute Journal App: I was in a funk about work recently, when I read an article that suggested that scientists have proven that gratitude has a positive impact on your brain. The article further suggested that starting the day with gratitude can change your brain waves so that even if you woke up grumpy or tired, you can reset with the simple act of being grateful, and that journaling over a period of time can have sustained positive impacts on your life. The Five Minute Journal App takes this notion and applies technology to it – a little gratitude in the morning, and a little reflecting before bed. They say 5 minutes, but honestly, you can do this exercise in less time each day. This is possibly one of my most favorite apps and 100% worth every penny.
What apps are you using, paid or unpaid, that you love?