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An App-tastic New Year Awaits

Now that your 30-day trial better known as January is over. Let’s kick start your resolutions with some tech help designed to keep you off social media or away from online gaming until after your work is done.

Fabulous App is like having a tech Jiminy Cricket over your shoulder offering tons of encouragement and reasoning for why you can and will accomplish the tasks laid out in front of you. It was as if I had a cheerleading friend to brush away my doubts. Does this friend have a name? Why yes, It’s Amber.

There are in-app purchases that will unlock greater support for bigger endeavors. As for now, I’m still in the early phases. My first new habit is one I’ve already mastered, drinking water first thing in the morning. I'm kind of cheating, but I love going through the process. This app is a solution for getting those positive habits to stick early on in the year.

Focus Keeper app delivers a seemingly counterproductive sound of a ticking timer. I suggest this one if you’re looking to be placed in a comical state. I felt like the main character from the Tell-Tale Heart succumbing to self-inflicted pressures. It actually worked to help me stay immersed with writing this blog post. The sound felt as if I had a proctor standing over my shoulder tapping a foot.

These pressures left me no room for dalliances, and I completed my task. If you, like me, find that you actually thrive under pressure, then this app will be great for you. It kept my mind clear of any chatter, and it also provided a slew of comical cursing that only seemed to fuel my writing. This app also times your breaks in between rounds.

Be Focused app has a silent timer. It allows you to keep charts of your completion records that are easy to access. The swiping features are more fun to use than Focus Keeper, which also has a record keeping component. However, the problem is I forgot where to swipe, so pay attention and practice when you first open the app.

I would use this app if my task required listening like practicing my language apps or even looking at a few social media videos and posts as a break. Yes, you can either time your work or put a timer on your play.

Clear app allows you to create lists on your tech. It uses a coloring system to allow for prioritization. I noticed that without the notifications turned on, this app like the reminder app that came with my iPad will go unnoticed. It’s fun to make your lists of all the different things you need to do and to change the priority of them. Prioritizing is very crucial to time management. If you’re a list maker, this app will fine tune your processes by providing clarity on

what to do first.

Forest app allows you to set a timer for a task by planting a tree. If you deviate from the app, the tree dies and your dreams of creating a forest are once again delayed. This app obviously is derived from the saying “can’t see the forest for the trees” meaning you’re missing the bigger vision by focusing too much on minutiae.

It acts more like a game that will appeal to the person who cares about streaks. If you like online games you will want to create your lovely forest and watch it grow with each task you complete, mission accomplished. Imagine cleaning out a junk drawer or folding a load of clothes as a game. This app will be fun for teaching little ones productive habits.

There’s another app similar to Forest called Focus Now, but mine seemed to be in another language, one I'm not practicing. I paid for one of these, but can’t remember which one it was. I deleted Focus Now and kept Forest.

Tide provides timed background noise while you focus on your task. Rain, Forest, Muse, or Cafe noises will play in the background while you go about your task. This can be distracting or helpful for a writer. However, if you’re filing or cleaning out your refrigerator, it is great for easing isolation.

Of course, you could also just make a great music playlist on any streaming service and only add enough songs to equal the amount of time you want to use for each task, similar to creating a workout playlist. I would only use this app if I needed to concentrate as well as focus. You will not have your favorite jam to sing aloud or dance to, which could distract you from your task.

Use these apps to make your life easier. Remember, technology is there to support you not control you. If you're planning a digital detox, there's an app for that. It may sound counterproductive, but remember you control your tech.

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