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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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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Social Media Is A Trivial Part Of Our Lives Because It Makes Us Addicted To Unimportant Matters

As someone who was told to this under an incentive, this experience gave me an understanding about an addiction that I had.

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Recently I took it upon myself to go on a social media cleanse, and from this I learned more about self control and who I am when I left social media. During this time period I began to see how my life would have been if I lived in an earlier time period or if I didn't have my phone. I took it upon myself to leave social media for a period of five days. I knew these five days would be hard as I would be more and more tempted, but I went cold turkey and only kept iMessage as my connection to others. I knew that if I kept anything else, I would continue to be tempted to go ahead and click the re-download button.

My family and I were able to communicate better as I had convinced them to do the challenge with me. The first two days were hard as we all continued to click on the empty location where Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or whatever used to be. However, toward the end of the week, we all began to be happier without these social media in our phones. My family and I were able to talk about issues and current events that were happening in the world without having biased opinions that social media might bring.

This entire experience helped me realize that my opinions can be shaped without those on social media. I read more news about events happening around us. I was especially intrigued about the Superbowl that was coming up and what were the rumors and opinions surrounding the game. This helped me look at news in a new perspective and helped me realize there is more than just the glance at my phone.

In relation to my friends, for the first couple days, I felt extremely out of touch with them. I felt like I was missing out on important information or "tea" as my friend would refer to it as. I was especially worried about my Snapchat streaks and what would happen to them in my absence. However, by the end of the week, my entire mentality had changed for the better. I began to understand how trivial such stuff like Snapchat streaks were. My friendships were not defined by factors such as how long our streak was' it was more about how we felt about each other and how close we were.

Events that were covered on social media also began to have a negative effect for me as I would begin to see the dogmatic view that came with such a personal thing like media. I began to see that I was only seeing what I wanted to see and had to explore my boundaries to learn more about the world around us. As the week ended, I noticed that my screen time on my phone had gone down by 75 percent and that I was sleeping close to an hour earlier than usual.

These statistics shocked me as I realized how bad my addiction had gotten. While I did re-downloaded the apps, I noticed that I am not dependent on them as I was eight days ago.

At the end of this whole experience, I can say that I felt like a person coming out of rehab. I felt a lot better as a I realized that I wasn't constantly checking my phone every five seconds to check for that latest Snapchat or twitter update. This experience helped change me into the better person I am, even though this challenge only lasted for a short period of time.

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