It’s the second week of the new year, and by now, most of us have made some resolutions, ones that we mean to keep this time around! We all can’t help ourselves—the beginning of the year is a natural time to re-assess life, make changes and set some goals.
In a world of ever-changing technology, there are a plethora of apps out there that boast of efficiency and effectivity, while promising to make your life way easier. But which apps do we really need? Make the mistake of downloading too many and things get messy and overwhelming.
We’ve put together a list of six types of apps offering much-needed services that that will certainly improve your life this 2020.
Let’s get serious. How many of us actually back-up our devices’ contents regularly? While it seems like a chore, it’s really a necessity (and will save you from a large amount of pain if and when something happens and you lose all your photos and files).
We’re familiar with Google’s suite of apps, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive and the like, but it might be time to venture into more comprehensive cloud-based backup services. Besides allowing you to download and restore older versions of your files from the cloud, some services will even send you a physical copy of your entire backup on a hard drive in the event of loss, disaster or device failure.
This year, we all have habits we want to adopt and habits we want gone from our lives. All this habit-building and habit-breaking requires a lot of discipline and can be quite hard to keep track of.
If you’re keen on it, you can give yourself a boost with habit-tracking apps, whether you need help with hitting the gym or cutting out processed foods. Check out the likes of Momentum and Streaks, which feature cool, unique interfaces. You can track good habits and even the habits you want to to get rid of. Apps like Habitica and StickK let you track your habits in the form of a game, so that life becomes even more fun.
Almost every single app or programme we download requires some sort of username and password. The thing is—how in the world are we supposed to keep track of them all and make sure our security and privacy isn’t compromised? Writing them down and stashing them in your bedside drawer just doesn’t cut it anymore.
If you haven’t gotten a password manager, it’s high time you get downloading. Using a password manager keeps you organised, forces you to use stronger passwords (it’s no good using your favourite pet’s name over and over again), and it helps keep your most important information safe.
Comprehensive password managers like Dashlane, 1Password, and Lastpass don’t just store your usernames and passwords; they can file away and keep personal documents, bank information, and anything else you’d like to keep private and safe.
Calming and meditation apps
In this fast-paced, high-stress world, keeping calm is essential to carrying on. Most adults experience a form of anxiety and stress on a regular basis, whether it be about financial worries, relationship concerns or family matters.
Spending some time in nature has always been my go-to for when I need some calm in my life. Thanks to advances in technology and people’s genius, there’s an app for practically everything you need.
Meditation apps like Calm or Headspace are making waves with how effective they are in helping people relax. They offer guided meditation sessions to address different problems—insomnia, stress or lack of focus.
I would be lying if I said that I don’t have to watch my budget this year. While we all have different financial situations, we undoubtedly all need to keep a closer eye on our finances. Gone are the days of complicated Excel spreadsheets and confusing accounts—manage your personal finances with finance tracking apps.
There are apps that cater to different aspects of finance. Check out Robinhood, which offers a non-complicated way to purchase and manage a personal stock portfolio. Qapital is a banking app that’s extremely useful, offering automatic savings options and even a physical debit card.
There’s always Mint, which is one of the most seasoned finance trackers out there, helping users keep track of budgeting, expenses, credit monitoring, and bills. Millennials will enjoy using Wally, a finance tracker with a cool interface and a more social feature.
Two-factor authentication apps
Now that you’ve got a password manager, you need to go further to protect yourself—two-factor authentication apps are the answer. They provide another layer of security, on top of your username and password, keeping you safe and secure in the event that someone gets a hold of your details.
Two-factor authentication employs another method to verify your identity—through your smartphone, a specially-designed app, or in some cases, a physical authentication key. Most of us are familiar with verification via text messages, which is good but less secure should someone steal your phone.
Check out authentication apps from Google and Microsoft. Two-factor authentication app Authy allows users to manage multiple accounts. Yubico is a company that makes USB drives small enough to carry around, ready to insert them into your device when a site or app asks you for further authentication.
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