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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21 BuzzFeed Quizzes To Take When You're Trying To Procrastinate

Why study when you could be on BuzzFeed?
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According to my previous article, 12 Things That Are Only Acceptable In College, spending 2.5 hours taking BuzzFeed quizzes is completely acceptable if you're in college. With it being that time of the semester when the list of things to do is never ending, sometimes it's easier to just ignore your problems and spend your studying time procrastinating. If this sounds like something you need to do, here's the ultimate list of quizzes to waste your time on.

1. Reply To Your Crush's Texts And We'll Reveal Your Future

Wondering what you're going to do with your life since you're probably going to fail that exam that you have tomorrow? After all, you are taking BuzzFeed quizzes right now instead of studying. This quiz will answer that question for you.

2. Which "Gossip Girl" Character Are You Based On These Random Questions?

This one's a classic that you just can't possibly skip.

3. Build A School Uniform And We'll Guess Who You Were In High School

If you're like me, you always secretly wished you had a uniform in high school so that you didn't have to pick out an outfit every morning. Now you can live out that dream and find out what it says about you.

4. We Can Guess Your Age After You Build Your Own Dream Home

If I got 70's, does that mean I have timeless taste or terrible taste?

5. Pretend To Go Shopping And We’ll Figure Out If You’re More Ann Taylor Or Ann Taylor: Loft

Ladies, this is an important one.

6. Plan Your Day And Find Out Which "Grey's Anatomy" Girl You Are

Maybe if whatever you're doing right now isn't working out, you could become a doctor...

7. Create A Makeup Look And We'll Tell You Which Hogwarts House You Truly Belong In

Or you could become a wizard.

8. Pick An Outfit And We Will Tell You What You Do For A Living

And if neither of those work out, this quiz will tell you exactly what you should do.

9. Spend All Your Money At This Drug Store And We'll Tell You What You Should Be Doing With Your Life

And in case you didn't like either of the previous suggestions, you can see if this one is any better.

10. Build A Dream Castle And We'll Tell You What Type Of Unicorn You Are

Since unicorn everything seems to be the rage right now, you'd better keep up.

11. This Reverse Word Association Test Will Uncover Your Personality Type

This one's for those of you who don't have the patience to get through the Myers-Briggs test.

12. Design Your Future Backyard And We'll Reveal How Many Kids You'll Have

If you're going to have more than 2 you better get back to work so you can support them.

13. Pick An Outfit From Patagonia And We'll Tell You How Long You'd Survive In The Wild

Find out if running away to the wild is really a better option than struggling through that 10 page paper that's due at 8 am tomorrow.

14. Which Character From "The Office" Are You At YOUR Job?

Let's hope you don't get Kevin.

15. Which Meryl Streep Character Is Actually Most Like You?

Are you as mean as Miranda Priestly?

16. Take This Picture Test And We'll Tell You Your Best And Worst Qualities

No need to prepare for your next interview, just give them these answers.

17. What Kind of Bathroom Guest Are You

Are you actually a terrible guest?

18. What % Gross Are You Actually?

Or maybe you're just gross in general.

19. Your Food Preferences Will Reveal Which TV Character You Are

Are you more Blair Waldorf or Michelle Tanner?

20. What Grade Are You Getting In Life?

Are you literally failing at life right now?

21. What Type Of Emoji Are You?

Instead of a signature scent, you can have a signature emoji!

And if these didn't take you long enough, you can always check out BuzzFeed for more.

P.S. Good luck studying for that exam. Maybe you can find a quiz that tells you how to ace it.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Wasting Time Online Is Pretty Beneficial According To Smart People

It's time to learn something new today about how technology is changing the world of interactions!

theianl
theianl
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I think one of the greatest investments you can make in modern time is anything to do with technology. It feels that every single year we keep getting introduced to newer crazier tech. Tesla is literally out here making cars drive themselves, we just put another rover on Mars, and I can use Alexa to turn on lights in my room, the future is here! These are positive changes in society, I'll tell you why newer technology even more valuable than ever before.

Alright now that I set you up with a great teaser, it's time to give some backstory.

So, researchers have been studying this concept known as Symbolic Interaction Theory (SIT) for many years, but it hasn't been until recently where they discovered how new technologies can help explain/enhance concepts to take them to the next level. SIT, originally created by philosopher George Herbert Mead (he had a great mustache) in the earlier 20th century, looks at how everyday social interactions make up society. In other words, he explained that individuals communicate together using symbols and context that define the overall interaction.

After this revolutionary discovery, researchers had a freakin' field day. A lot of studies about influence, shared meaning, and perception have been done as a result of SIT, but now thanks to that good ol technology, SIT is getting revamped in a pretty awesome way.

Researcher DJ Gunkel took some time away from spinning records and started looking at social interactions through online video games using avatars. To his amazement, he noticed that despite all the interactions taking place online, they mimicked how real-life interaction would take place. Pretty standard stuff, right? Wrong. This is huge for the field of SIT and it impacts each one of us, yes especially you.

My dude Gbola Olasina did a study demonstrating why this information is important.

He realized as technologies become more realistic, virtual worlds can be used to study how interaction happens in the real world. Instead of putting together major research studies that are expensive and time-consuming, researchers can now use simulations to get almost identical results. Results can be applied to an insane amount of possibilities. Teachers in a classroom practicing new methods? Easy. A business implementing new employee protocols? Cake. Why suburban moms feel the need to speak to a manager? You bet!

It's like that time Neo learned how to fight in the Matrix except we're using it for productive reasons.

What kind of technologies help with this you ask? Well, have you heard of HTC's Vive Virtual Reality console? The research possibilities are genuinely limitless.

Let me fill you in with an example. My roommate Austen is currently a research engineer for a company I don't know if I'm allowed to say or "cidkiiats" for short. In one of his recent projects, he created an entire store showing off brand new items his company had to offer, all in Virtual Reality. As people joined in and visited the store using their Vive, "cidkiiats" was able to watch their consumers interact with one another and talk about which products they were most excited for in real time.

They were able to track interaction and gather data about their consumers from remote locations! Georgey Mead would be foaming at the mouth with these types of possibilities ladies and gents.

It's interesting to think about the fact that a theory that was created over a century ago is getting reused thanks to a changing world. The potential is unmatched, we'll understand interactions and how they naturally occur all through some video games or simulations. This is what it's all about ladies and gents, the future is only going to get smarter.

It's ironic that all my "wasted" time on video games could potentially become valuable data for researchers.

Checkmate mom.

theianl
theianl

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