It is finally 2015 and we’ve all got big dreams and big goals for the New Year. I love setting resolutions, but hate trying to keep to them. My biggest problems are with staying fit and keeping organized. I start off with a bang, but eventually lose momentum after a few months.
Whether you are fighting to shed that “winter coat” you gained during the holidays, or are looking for a better way to get your life organized, we’ve got a list of apps to help you start the New Year off right.
Health & Fitness
When it comes to keeping track of your daily health and fitness habits, nothing compares to MyFitnessPal. You’ll be able to add your calorie intake, keep track of how much you walk everyday and include workout sessions. Add your goal weight and, based on your size and typical activity, you’ll find out how long it will take you to reach that goal. Include a customized ingredient intake goal to keep an eye on your diet. If you are eating too many carbs and too little protein, you’ll know it. This app is available for free.
Right after the New Year begins, I always feel like I’ve overloaded with too much rich food, booze, and sugar. One easy way to feel better after all this is to start running. If you’ve fallen off the exercise wagon and are looking for a way to get motivated to start again, this app will get you moving. The voice coach will keep you motivated while your heart is pumping. Track your route using the in-app GPS and see just how far you’ve gone. Integrate your run sessions with MyFitnessPal. If you are just starting out, you can choose a training plan to get help with daily fitness goals and weight loss plans. This app is available for $4.99.
Exercise is only one part of getting healthy. The food you eat has a major affect on your energy levels and for some people might even affect their health. This app helps you keep track of what you consume every day. The in-app scanner will even automatically add all nutritional information if the item is already stored in the database. If you’ve got a customized meal, you can add the nutritional content to help you get detailed information on your diet. You can also add exercise statistics from a large database, or customize your own information. This app is available for free.
Sleeping is a major part of a healthy lifestyle and tends to be one of those activities that get overlooked, especially for those with a busy schedule. If you find yourself feeling tired and don’t know why, use this app to track your sleep cycle and find out what is going wrong. There are multiple types of alarm clocks to suit different needs, like immediate or slow wake-up modes. The sleep aid helps you fall asleep. The motion detector recognizes when the Sandman has come and will turn off the audio track. Use the sleep notes to see how events like too much coffee or stress affects your sleep cycle. This app is available for $0.99.
Whenever I see celebrities looking fantastic right after having a baby or into their twilight years, I envy their lifestyle. I could probably stay in shape if I had a personal sushi chef and someone kicking me out of bed to go for a jog every morning. Not everyone can afford a personal trainer, but this app makes you feel like you can. It features dozens of specialized workout sessions for all levels of fitness. If you are just getting started with your New Year’s resolution or are looking to drop those last five pounds, you’ll be guided to a workout routine that is just right for you. After your workout is over, you tell the app what was easy and what was hard and the next session will adjust based on your feedback, just like a real personal trainer. This app is available for free.
When it comes to keeping track of your ideas, articles, and project progress, nothing says “productivity” the way Evernote does. You can write original notes, grab copied content from the Internet, and even save entire web pages. You can organize your notes into specific categories and add tags for easy research. Make lists and check off items as you complete them. Prepare agendas for upcoming meetings. Share your notes with others for collaboration. You can save your travel reservation and ticket information so you can easily find it all in one place. The business card scanner will even import new contact information by taking a picture of a card. You can also use Touch ID to secure Evernote, so no one will get in without your knowledge. This app is available for free.
Since my desktop has been giving me trouble, I’ve been spending more and more time on my laptop. However, I really miss the screen space. I’ve tried a few Wi-Fi connected second screens and found them to have too much lag to make it worth my while. This app connects directly to your Mac computer using the USB cable, so information is send directly to your iOS device instead of over the air. On my 2013 MacBook Pro and iPad Air, there is zero latency. I can even watch YouTube videos while typing up app reviews. The app also gives you control over the FPS rate and screen resolution for better performance. This app is available for $14.99.
If you want to get serious about getting things done, this app will take you to the next level. Create project lists with sub lists and deadline schedules, make a to-do list for daily tasks, and have Siri add information to your organizer for you. Under the project creation section, you can prioritize items, track their progress, and set deadlines. Add a location to your errand list and get reminders when you are near somewhere important. Check the overview to see what your week ahead looks like in terms of projects. You can also sync with OmniFocus for iPad and Mac to keep your productivity on track. This app is available for $19.99.
Contrast describes their app as “speed dial for everyday tasks,” and that about sums up this amazingly useful program. Users set up a particular formula, like “call mom” or “find a gas station” and add it to their main page. Then, tap that app to activate the particular action. It will automatically open and load to the parameters you’ve specified. It is compatible with such apps as FaceTime, Safari, Facebook, Google search, and more. You can automatically send photos to group messages, scan items and search for their counterpart on Amazon, and even create a new project list in OmniFocus. Plus, with IFTTT integration, you can also create recipes to perform even more tasks automatically. This app is available for $2.99.
I’ve been using this app to keep track of my daily work assignments for a long time now. It is easy to set up and syncs across all of your iOS devices. You can create lists and add to-do items to each one. Schedule due dates for tasks to see what you must do each day. You can also check the weekly view to see the work you’ve got ahead. Customize to-do items with notification reminders, recurrences, subtasks, and more. Add notes to items to help you stay on track and remember what the task is for. With the Pro features, you can also collaborate with others in Wunderlist by sending your tasks to others that use the list. This app is available for free.