It’s the 3rd of January so the blues have probably already set in and if you’re anything like us you’ve eaten nine chocolate muffins for breakfast and had a little cry while packing a gym bag full of over-priced workout gear. This being an awesome person and sticking to resolutions stuff is really bloody tough, so we’re here to help you with our pick of apps to make you more productive, achieve your goals, get running and watch what you eat.
Our only advice is to be realistic, download a few, set a goal or two then just get on with it. Don’t try losing weight, getting a new job and volunteering all in the same week, you’ll drive yourself crazy and end up messing everything up in the process.
Let us know in the comments below what your favourite apps for getting your life back on track are.
For exercising and tracking your workouts
Over the past year so many fitness tracking apps, gadgets and stupid little wristbands have been launched onto the market, with some proving super successful and turning us into fitness freaks and others just failing miserably.
Our personal favourite fitness trackers include the Nike+ FuelBand and for a simpler option, Fitbit’s Zip. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune and have something strapped to your body at all times to get moving, as there are plenty of apps that’ll do the job on the cheap.
For those who just want to get out and get moving then Nike+ Running is one of our favourite apps, which tracks your workouts and allows you to set goals from a super intuitive (and colourful) interface. Nike’s online dashboards and dedicated community also mean once you start clocking up impressive runs you can share them with others and compete. RunKeeper is also a great option when it comes to tracking, sharing and monitoring your runs and has great integration with a number of wearable devices.
MapMyFitness is a better option for those who don’t just want to run but fancy tracking their cycling and hiking activity too, all from a very similar interface.
If you just can’t muster up the motivation or energy to run then try Zombies, Run!, which is essentially a running app with a pretty damn scary built-in zombie game. You’ll probably find you’re much more willing to run a bit faster if ten monsters who want to eat your insides are a few metres behind you.
For helping you to achieve your goals
It’s easy to download 500+ apps to track your runs and count your calories, but you’re not going to achieve anything other than a hefty iTunes bill and sense of failure if you never put them to good use.
Luckily a number of apps have been launched recently that are specially created to help you set goals and – with a bit of willpower – stick to them. Our favourite at the moment – and an app that’s had a lot of attention and investment recently – has to be Lift, a great-looking option designed to help you track, create and share your goals.
If you don’t like the look of Lift, then Beeminder is very similar, allowing you to set goals and even hook the app up to fitness tracking devices. Everest is a new, interesting offering, which can do the same thing as Beeminder and Lift, but has more of a focus on dreaming big, so think less “I want to do more sit-ups” and more “I want to travel the world”, which is probably evident from its name.
For making – and sticking to – your to-do lists
To-do lists admittedly aren’t for everyone, visualising all of the crap you need to do on a daily basis may send you into an anxiety attack before you even get to work. However, if you’re the type of person who likes having all of their tasks to hand then we’ve got two of our favourite apps to recommend. First up there’s Clear, both an iPhone and Mac application – you can store everything in the cloud and use it seamlessly across both – that strips down big, detailed and confusing task lists into something much more simple. You can create lists and add tasks, then control everything with a quick swipe or pinch.
If you’re looking for something a bit more comprehensive, then give Wunderlist a try. Admittedly it’s still meant to be as simple to use and implement into your daily life as possible, but allows you to assign tasks to specific lists and days and even share them with other members of your team.
For organising your working life and note taking
If we asked most of you what pushed you to the very edge of your sanity last year we’d bet our grandmas that a lot of you would say your job. Now there’s nothing we can do about that bitch that works in sales or the fact your commute makes you want to stab people, but there are a few great apps to take the pressure off your working day just a little bit.
We read a lot of “how to be a better human being” and “tips from productive people” lists from all over the web to help get a better idea of the categories to add to this feature and one thing we came across again and again and AGAIN was just how great Dropbox is. The cloud service makes it easy peasy to save pretty much any kind of documents, files and content and access them wherever you are. Most of us probably have it installed somewhere but don’t put it to good use, so start today.
Many of us make mistakes or get caught out because we have too much on, so have a note taking app to hand all the time, which you find is easy to use and allows you to save and share notes, we particularly like Evernote for added features and Squarespace Note for a simpler option.
For monitoring your food intake and counting calories
We don’t advocate obsessive calorie counting, but if you’re finding it hard to lose weight then tracking what you’re eating on a daily basis may be a good place to start. MyFitnessPal is a popular and comprehensive application that can be anything you like, from a basic calorie counting tool to a bank of workouts and recipe ideas. Lose It! is similar, but a little simpler to use with a pretty intuitive interface and a full bank of foods to choose from.
Many people still find Weight Watchers a bit gimmicky, but it’s actually proven to be one of the most successful dieting plans and its apps make sticking to your goals and tracking your food intake easy.