Okay, let’s be real guys. We spent a lot (read: majority) of our time on our phones last year. Don’t worry, this is a no judgment zone. We’re all friends here.
That said, we might as well make our tech addiction work for us in 2020, right? I’ve rounded up 17 of our favorite apps that will make you keep that “new year, new me” mantra going strong. Plus, it’ll make you feel slightly less guilty about being stuck on your phone all day. You’re welcome.
Diet + Exercise
I like to think of Simple Steps as the “friendly nudge” app. It’s designed to ease you into a healthier lifestyle by sending reminders and encouragements throughout the day. Getting a “drink water” notification feels a lot less daunting than “drink eight glasses before the day is over” doesn’t it? Download for free; iOS
PEAR Personal Fitness Coach
Sometimes, all it takes is a friendly nudge to do the right things by our bodies. Other times, (i.e. the times where we need to actually physically exercise), we need a powerful motivator to get the job done. With hundreds of interactive audio workouts, the PEAR Personal Fitness Coach app supplies you with countless personal trainers, at all fitness levels. What more motivation could you need, really? Download for for free, in-app products starting at $3.99 ; iOS + Android.
Watching the numbers drop on the scale? Satisfying. Watching the numbers rise in your checking account? Delightful. Watching this happen in tandem? Um, magical. Enter: the DietBet app. Revolutionary in that it allows users to bet (and win!) money on themselves. All you have to do is select a challenge and a time frame, then lose at least 4 percent of your body weight within that window of time. Boom! The money you bet returns safely into your bank account — and then some. If you ask me, DietBet is the embodiment of a “win-win” situation. Download for free; iOS + Android.
Spend Less + Save More
Finally, a money management app that makes saving and budgeting those hard-earned bucks a total breeze. Get a secure view of your bank accounts, billing statements, credit cards and credit score alike, all with just a swipe of your finger. It’s especially helpful in that it gives users a visual display of their spending, allowing them to form healthier spending habits and make cuts where necessary. (Such as spending $50+ on drive-thru coffee every month—it’s questionable. It’s a highly questionable spending
Less of a money management app, Venmo is more of a secure, non-awkward way for money to exchange hands…via smartphones. The process is relatively simple — start by syncing your account with your phone contacts or Facebook, Simply sync with your contact list or Facebook friends and revolutionizes the way we exchange money with our friends. Download for free; iOS + Android.
Productivity + Organization
With a task manager like 30/30 in your life, you’ll get the job done, every time. It comes packed with unlimited, customizable list options. The kicker, though? Customizable time constraints. Simply list out your tasks and the time you estimate is needed to complete each of them. Once you start the timer, 30/30 is in control. It notifies you when it’s time to move to the next task and even better—when you’ve earned yourself a nice break. Download for free; iOS + Android.
Time is money, right? So, there’s no sense of wasting it by individually posting a photo, multiple times, on each of your social media platforms. Yawn! Cut to the chase with the social media manager app, Buffer. Schedule future posts, post to all your networks and even create additional trendy extras, all from your phone. The real kicker with Buffer is that it frees up your schedule, i.e. it giving you free time to (gasp!) actually work. Plans starting at $10.00; iOS + Android.
Though not a phone app, Zen Writer is a desktop app that deserves some special attention. The beauty of this app stems from its simplicity. Zen Writer temporarily wipes out all of the visual distractions on users’ desktops and replaces the mess with a full screen text processor. This is major because it enables students, editors and bloggers alike to focus on writing. You know, without the inevitable temptation of a “quick” social media peruse looming at the bottom of the screen. Download for $14.99; macOS.
Whether you are in need a serious tech-detox, (Is that a resounding “YUP!” I hear?), or aspire to spend old-fashioned, quality time with friends and family—the Forest is the app for you. When it’s time to get to work, simply launch the app and “plant a tree.” While you’re busy making things happen in your life, your little tree will grow, then multiply and before you know it you’ll have a forest on your hands. Be forewarned—when you leave the app (i.e. fall off the bandwagon and give into the tech-temptation) your tree will die. Ending on a lighter note, though—Forest users are able to earn and save points that are eventually used to pay to plant a real tree somewhere on Earth. That is, if they’re able to keep their hands to themselves for long enough. Download for $1.99; iOS + Android.
LastPass Password Manager
What might you say I told you that you will never lose your password, to anything, ever again? Like, never-ever, ever again. Witchcraft? That was my first reaction, too. But alas, this is the work of the all-mighty and so, so good app—LastPass Password Manager. Immediately upping the quality of users’ day-to-day life upon downloading, LastPass stores the login information to every profile or site imaginable. But wait—there’s more! As if LP wasn’t perfect enough, it goes that extra mile and configures strong passwords to use for future login information. (Then it saves that impermeable password for you, too). Download for free; iOS + Android.
Learn New Things
Pocket takes “bookmarking” to the next level. Users have unlimited storage to save any article, video or link they stumble across and look at it later. It syncs to the myriad of devices we use today, and allows Pocketeers to read through their finds at any time—even when they’re offline. Once you’re started, Pocket will use your saved history to send you personalize recommendations on links you might like. A plethora of fresh information, just a click away. Read, watch and scroll through all of the things, all of the time. Download for free; iOS + Android.
White Marble Tabletop With Book and Glasses
“I love the look of high-end materials like marble and polished brass, but if you can’t afford, say, an all-marble kitchen countertop, why not bring those materials into your space by using them on smaller pieces and home accessories? I have a table lamp with a marble base that adds a very posh touch to my home office.” -Camille Styles, lifestyle blogger & Creative Director at CamilleStyles.com
“I really want to read more books this year,” says you. Let me point you towards a beacon of book-and-reading light—Bookout. This is app that’s going to keep you and your book list on track in 2020. It helps users manage their books and track their reading progress in real time, plus produces stats to help improve reading over time. Meeting a goal of 52 books in 2020? Pshh! That’s child’s play with Bookout. Download for free; iOS.
Parlez-vous francais? Non? Okay, it is time to download Memise, mon amie! With the Memise, users master languages through a secret spy game that’s jam-packed with adventure. Already a Francophone? No problemo, mi amigo! Choose from Spanish, German, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and more. Download for free; iOS + Android.
Relaxation + Meditation
Lower those stress levels with the Calm app. Calm prides itself on being the go-to meditation app for beginners, while also boasting countless intermediate and expert meditation guides as well. Users simply select their session, with time ranging between 3-25 minutes. The results are said to reduce anxiety, destress, increase happiness and even produce a restful sleep. Who couldn’t use that in 2020? Download for free; iOS + Android.
“Sleep?! I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” This is an (almost) understandable mindset for a college student but in the real world? You’re at your best #rested. Ah, but not to fret —I’ve found an app for that. Sleep Cycle doubles as an alarm clock and sleep-tracking app, making it the miracle your tired little soul has been looking for. Its innovation is in its ability to track a user’s REM cycle and body movements throughout the night, then producing night-by-night stats for them to review in the morning. Download for free; iOS + Android.
Looking for a holistic way to manage your mental health this year? The Pacifica app is here to do just that. Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Pacifica gifts users with holistic techniques that work towards a healthier, happier mental state. Equipped with a daily mood and health tracker, relaxation and mindfulness audio features, thought analysis and even daily challenges—Pacifica allows users to regain control and understanding of their feelings in a way that delivers real progress. Free to download, subscriptions starting at $5.99; iOS + Android.