Helpful Apps for the New Year

Resolutions, life changes, or any other goal is much easier when you make it a priority. Personally, I think organization helps anyone keep his or her life prioritized. We may live in a digital age full of distraction, but for every game and Facebook page, there is also an app or Website that can actually work toward helping you diminish distraction.

A few months ago I deleted all the game apps off my phone (except for a few toddler games to keep my son occupied in stores and restaurants). Then, I downloaded some free apps that help me budget money, track my fitness, etc. I have included those apps as well as others for common areas in which organization is vital to help you use electronics as an advantage rather than a distraction.

  • Budgeting and Tracking Money: I have always kept track of my money, but mainly by just balancing my checkbook to the penny and writing down every bill, donation and business expense inside of a file folder. I was proud of myself for using a label maker and binder to organize all of this, but at the end of every year I hated having to calculate up all my handwritten notes. Plus, I never knew how much money we actually spent on groceries, Netflix, and other expenses that didn’t get paid in cash. (Twice a month we go to the ATM and get out a certain amount of cash for my husband and I to split up and use for eating out, clothes, and other such “extras.”)

    So this year I downloaded a free app that allows me to put in our income and track any money we spend, from cash out of the ATM to anything from our checking account. It has been helpful and eyeopening for some categories. But best of all, I can access it online as well and generate reports at will. I chose to use Goodbudget Budget Planner, but more free budgeting apps with high user ratings include: Mint Personal Finance, Spending Tracker, and Money Monitor.

  • Fitness and Eating: I currently am at a place where I don’t track number of calories or weight loss, as I am focusing on what I eat and gaining lean muscle. However, it does help to check food facts when eating out for any health reason and also to track habits in eating and exercise when trying to get healthy, lose weight, or just maintain.

    I have MyFitnessPal and know a lot of other people who use it as well. This app already has a huge database of common foods and meals from restaurants and homemade items that make it easy to track eating. I recommend it especially for those wanting to lose weight but who don’t know where to start. It also tracks exercise and lets you set a weight loss goal. I still use it to check food content, but am currently looking for an app that is more focused on helping me gain muscle instead of lose weight. However, MyFitnessPal does allow you to set your own custom eating goals, even though it is mainly aimed at weight loss.

    Just like I am currently “shopping” for the next app to help me reach my new fitness goals, it helps to look for apps through other key words like “workout,” “nutrition,” or “personal trainer,” to find one that meets your specific needs. Other free fitness-related apps that have high user ratings include: Fitness Buddy, Workout Trainer, My Plate Calorie Tracker, FitStar Personal Trainer, and 5K Runner.

  • Bible Study: As for Bible study, I plan on doing an in-depth study of Proverbs this year for my personal devotions. I do best with topical studies, while some people like to read the Bible straight through (and many make resolutions to read the entire Bible through in a year). Others like historical studies of certain texts. As for my Proverbs study, I am reading a book a day each month. I plan to use a different Bible translation each month to get a broader view and glean all the nuggets of wisdom I can.

    It can be hard to know where to start, especially if you plan on going through the entire Bible in a year! Luckily, there are Bible apps to help by offering reading plans, quizzes, commentaries, and more. I use Bible Gateway, but more apps with high user ratings include: Faithlife Bible Study, Bible Trivia, Inspirational Bible Verses, and optional Bible translations for download from Just1Word, Inc.

  • Learning a New Language: I have always wanted to learn Spanish (except for the two years I was required to take it in high school, ironically). There are actually apps to translate words or help you learn new languages, and I hope to one day actually commit to using one myself. Some of the top-rated free apps for learning a new language include: Duolingo, Learn Languages: Rosetta Stone, and iHandy Translator.
  • Now if there was only an app that would shock my lips every time I drank a Diet Mountain Dew . . .

    About Kaci Lane Hindman

    2 thoughts on “Helpful Apps for the New Year

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