11 Apps To Help You Succeed At Life

11 Apps To Help You Succeed At Life

From productivity to fitness to emotions, here are 11 of my favorite apps to help with all aspects of life.
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I'm a huge fan of productivity apps—anything to give me a list that I can check off when I get things done. Still, most lists of "apps every college student should use" are only geared toward productivity. They're useful, but there's more to life than crossing things off lists. Because of that, this list includes both productivity apps and apps for various other life tasks.

Here are my top 11 apps in no particular order:

1. iStudiez

It's an assignment planner designed with college students in mind. Not only can you see all your assignments and exams at a glance, but it'll also remind you of upcoming due dates, and it gives you a place to enter your scores so you can keep an eye on your grades. It integrates your calendar with your Apple calendar, Gmail, and whatever else you might have. My favorite part, though, is that it syncs across iOS devices and PCs. I can enter something on my iPad and it'll show up on my laptop and my iPod. (iOS, Windows)

2. Forest

Ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? Forest takes this to a new level. You set a time—say, 30 minutes—and the app plants a virtual tree. As you work throughout those 30 minutes, the tree slowly grows. If you use your phone during that time, however, your little tree dies. It's a way of staying focused and getting your hands away from your phone. (iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome, Firefox)

3. Clue

Ladies, you know how much it can ruin your day when your period catches you off guard. This hasn't happened to me since I started using Clue. It's the best menstrual cycle tracker I've used (and I've tried many). It predicts your cycle itself with remarkable accuracy, but my favorite part is that you can track a variety of other related symptoms including mood, skin condition, digestion, and more. (iOS, Android)

4. Pacifica

Clue and Pacifica go hand-in-hand for me. Pacifica allows you to track your mood throughout the day and compares it to your past entries. It combines this information with your entries on various health factors: How much water did you drink today? How long did you sleep? Did you spend any quality time with your friends? It enables you to see patterns and connections—why do I feel so droopy and glum right now? Maybe it has to do with the fact that I didn't get enough water today, or that I haven't worked out yet. (iOS, Android, Web)

5. Runtastic

Speaking of working out...Runtastic is a great all-in-one fitness tracker. I use it mostly to track my runs. It determines my average speed, calories burned, etc., and compares this to my past activities to see if I've improved. It's not just for running, though, and has options for a variety of activities: weightlifting, tennis, elliptical, you name it. If it's been awhile since your last workout, it sends you friendly reminders prompting you to hit the gym. (iOS, Android, Windows Phone)



6. Calm

If you've ever wanted to try mindfulness meditation, Calm is a great way to begin. It starts you off with a week's worth of guided meditations to introduce you to the concept. After that, several different calming and body scan meditations are available with the free version. I use it mainly for the pleasant ambient noise it provides and the unguided meditation timer. It also shows you your "streak" of how many days in a row you've meditated, which I've found to be a great way to encourage me to keep up the habit. (iOS, Android)

7. Sleep Better

Sleep Better functions as a sleep cycle alarm, a sleep quality tracker, and way to see what daily factors affect your sleep. Before you go to bed, you select which, if any, of the six options applies to your day: stressful day, ate late, not my bed, caffeine, alcohol, worked out. Over time, you can see how these factors affect your sleep quality. You can also tell the app a range of time when you want to get up, and it'll sense when you're at an ideal point to wake up feeling as rested as possible. (iOS, Android)



8. Avast Battery Saver

I didn't switch to a smartphone until last June. (I know.) The only thing I miss from my old phone is the fact that I could go two weeks without charging it. Most of us with smartphones, though, have to charge daily, or more often. Avast Battery Saver monitors the apps running in the background. When an app is taking a large percentage of your battery, it'll let you know so you can close it. It also tells you how many hours of battery are remaining, and when your battery gets low, it automatically kicks you into an "emergency power-saving" mode. (Android)



9. Quizlet

Quizlet is a handy way to make virtual flash cards to study for that exam you're currently procrastinating. After you make the flash cards, it generates tests and games so that you can quiz yourself and keep track of your progress. You can sync it to your phone, too, to study on the bus or while in line at the dining hall—the only downside is that it gives you no excuse not to study. (Web, iOS, Android)

10. Microsoft OneNote

Most of us probably already have Microsoft Office installed on our computers, so downloading OneNote onto your phone is just an extension of what you already have. It's convenient, though, for jotting down notes and ideas when you're on-the-go. Once you're back at home, these notes will sync to your laptop and you can deal with them using an actual keyboard. Like Quizlet, it's also great for on-the-go studying. (PC, iOS, Android, Web)

11. Momentum

This final app isn't really an app—it's a browser extension. Still, it's probably my favorite of the list. The idea is simple: Momentum turns your "new tab" page into a productivity and motivation tool. It greets you by name and allows you to write in what you'd like to focus on today, all over a gorgeous high-resolution background. There's also space for a to-do list, and it shows a different inspirational quote each day to ignite your ambition. (Chrome)



Your phone is more than a portable Facebook machine. There are millions of apps available, with more on the market each day. You might as well make the most of what's out there, and in turn make the most of your daily life.

Cover Image Credit: Jan Vašek

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Stop Texting And Start Making Memories With Your Partner

You'll blink and your time together will be over.

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Technology is taking over our lives in this day and age. People use their phones for every aspect of their lives and they rely on them way more than they should. People act as if their phones are their lifelines.

They set reminders, the play games, track their food and exercise. You name it, you can probably use your phone for it. They have absolutely taken over everything so it's no wonder why people can't seem to take time away from them.

I will be the first to admit that I have an addiction to my cell phone. It is the first thing I see when I wake up and the last thing I see before I go to sleep. My boyfriend has an addiction to his as well. It's a problem. In any moment of silence, we check our phones or answer texts.

We get so focused on our phones that we will go hours without speaking to each other or making any noise at all. With the already limited time we have to spend together, we really shouldn't be worried about Facebook videos and Snapchat updates.

I hadn't really noticed it was a problem until my boyfriend pointed out that we go days at a time without having a real conversation. I scrolled through our texts and realized he was right.

We had been missing out on weeks of making memories and planning dates because we were too busy being in a committed relationship with our phones instead of each other.

Relationships are about balance and about making an effort to spend time together and make memories. It is about learning about someone so you can fall for them a million times. You can't make memories like that from behind your phone screen.

What happens when your phone dies and you don't have your phone charger? I'll tell you. You're stuck in awkward silence waiting for your partner to get off of their phone.

Or you sit in silence with your partner not knowing what to say or do because you have been treating your phones like lovers instead of each other. That's just painful.

You can't fall in love with your phone and the way that it has grown and changed over the years. Your phone can't hold you when you are sad. It can't take care of you when you are sick. It can't hold your hand in the car or make you laugh. So why choose it to spend time with over your partner?

Do you really want to look back on your relationship years from now and wonder why you don't have any memories? Or wonder why you can't remember anything you've done together?

No. No one wants that. So turn off your phone, put it on silent, hide it away and spend time making memories with the person you love that will last far beyond your phone battery. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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