Okay, so I’m new to this iPhone game. I realize that it’s now 2017 and I am way late joining this particular party but, hear me out, I had a BlackBerry for work for the longest time and then, when I finally purchased a phone of my own, I went with a Windows phone (confession: I still ascertain that their OS is the best…!) However, after a while, I became increasingly frustrated that many of the apps I wanted just weren’t available for Windows phones (I mean, better than with a BB but still…) so when the new iPhone came out I decided to bite the bullet… and purchased my iPhone 7 Plus.
I think my husband still feels like I sold a small piece of my soul, and is frankly a little disgusted by the price, but I love it (!!) and these new (to me) apps are just some of the reasons why:
:: 8fit: the personal trainer in my pocket
30 day free trial then $5 per month annual subscription.
I recently started the 30 day free trial but am seriously considering paying for the full year – comprising short workouts, recipe ideas and other articles, 8fit tailors everything to you. As well as the standard height and weight type questions 8fit went more in-depth as to my goals, my timeline and my exercise experience/fitness in order to come up with the most suitable program for me. With the recipes they took into consideration my predilection for a low-carb diet, for simple recipes and a host of other preferences. I’m already seeing so many useful ideas, tips and tricks.
:: Mosaico: helping to perfect my Instagram feed
I’m still working out how best to use this, as one of my newest apps. I’ve not been on Instagram long and had never really put any store in the importance of a cohesive look to my feed, I was still happily (haphazardly) posting whatever I fancied and the images that appealed to me at the time (and still kind of am, if I’m honest). But the more I look into blogging and the more I care about the quality of the images I’m producing, the less I can kid myself that there isn’t a strategy and method to effective use of social media. With Mosaico I can see exactly how an image will look in my feed and, importantly, how my feed will look if I remove certain images. It is a simple way to check how my images will fit together. I can also save my most frequently used hashtags and there are functions for scheduling my posts.
As I discussed here, I need all the help I can get in the mornings and the Sleepytime app is my new secret weapon to a perkier (slightly less homicidal) morning.
We sleep in 90-minute cycles and the idea is that you will wake more refreshed and energized if you get up at the end of a cycle (as opposed to feeling very sluggish when you wake in the middle of a cycle during the deepest stage of sleep). With Sleepytime you can either tell it what time you’re going to bed and it will show you the optimal times to set your alarm for or, if you have a set wake-up time, it will count back and give you the time that you should go to bed. Simple. Clever.
:: StepBet: my motivation to move
Free app – $40 for a 6-week bet.
I’ve spoken a bit here about StepBet’s sister app DietBet. StepBet is a similar concept but links with your Fitbit (or other tracker) and produces goals which you have to meet daily. The goals are calculated on your previous step activity and are designed to be manageable but to push you just out of your comfort zone. You have two goals, an active goal and a stretch goal – you must make your active goal 4 days a week and the stretch goal twice a week, you also have one rest day. The bets last 6 weeks and cost $40. When you complete the bet you win back your $40 plus a share of the funds from those that got knocked out during the course of the game (minus StepBet’s 12.5% share). It’s a bit of fun, there’s a big StepBet community supporting you (most games have several thousand competitors) and is definitely an incentive to get up and walk more.
:: Calm – my meditation guide
Free or $4.99 per month for annual subscription
I’ve recently started meditating and apps like Calm have been instrumental in helping me get comfortable with meditation and develop a style that works for me. (I’ll be doing a more detailed post soon on my thoughts as to meditation and the tools that we can use.)
Calm has both free and paid options, the paid app unlocks a great many more guided meditation sessions but the free app still contains 10 guided meditation options and 3 free sleep stories which is a perfect start on your meditation journey.