Life Changing Apps (Or At Least Mind Blowing)

apple-1536709-640x810Before I begin, know that I’m not getting paid for endorsing any of the apps below. I just wanted to share my personal favorites because I think they’re awesome. Except for the first two (which require a monthly service fee), the rest are only a few bucks each. Enjoy!

Apps For Media Junkies:

Apple Music – Believe me, I’m no fanboy (I’ll leave that to my husband). When Apple releases a new product, the most they get from me is a yawn. Why? Because they are the KINGS of hype. And the artificial scarcity model rubs me the wrong way. That’s why I was reluctant to pay a monthly service charge of $15 for Apple Music. It’s not a lot of money, it’s just that if you count up all the ‘little monthly fees’ we pay to various services, they could equal the GDP of a small country. Poverty by the penny. And then I tried it. (a moment of silence) I will probably never buy another album or song again. I also won’t feel guilty for not ripping that Django Reinhardt CD I bought ten years ago. Why? Because the selection is amazing. That Machines of Loving Grace song you liked in 1993? It’s there. The Mariah Carey Christmas album you won’t admit you own? That’s there, too. They have a Bollywood section. They have jazz. They have, well, everything but Nine Inch Nails. Apple has once again revolutionized the industry. I can listen to almost anything I want any time I want on any device I want – commercial free. That’s totally worth $15 a month. The only downside of this technology is that I’m not sure if artists are being fairly compensated. I’d like to know more about this aspect.

Next Issue – My house used to be littered with magazines. The basket near my chair, my nightstand, the kitchen table, the coffee table…all piled high with glossy issues. Some I subscribed to, some I bought outright at the grocery store check out line. Not anymore, folks, not anymore. For $10 a month, my family gets access to just about anything on the newsstand – men’s titles, women’s titles, and a few kid titles (up to 5 devices per plan – so everyone in the house can read). And not just this month’s issue, the last 18 months. So I can sit down and binge read a year and a half’s worth of a magazines I didn’t know I liked (or liked but couldn’t afford) on my iPad. As with Apple Music, I will probably never buy another magazine again (except for a few faves that don’t show up, like The Writer or Health & Spirituality)  And if I want to clip a recipe or article? They have a feature where you can send a page to Evernote or save it to your device. The best part? NO MORE PAPER. If you’re into magazines, this one’s definitely worth a look.

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App For Writers:

Lists for Writers – As you can guess from the title, it’s an app of lists. Lots and lots of them. Character names, historic occupations, personality traits, phobias, unique color words (with a color chart), battle terms, action verbs, and more. There are 60 lists! This is a great app to have if you’re feeling a bit braindead and need a jumpstart.

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Apps for Wasting Time

Monument Valley (and the follow up games, Forgotten Shores, and Ida’s Dream) – Confession: I’m not really into playing games on my phone. I don’t enjoy those bubble popping or candy crushing games. Or the ones where you have to sling a bird or a fish at something to knock stuff down. Meh. They’re not really a challenge. But when my daughter downloaded Monument Valley and told me to download it, too, I was hooked. HOOKED. If you like brainteasers involving 3D structures, then this is the game for you. The graphics are gorgeous, and the music is very zen. This may sound far-fetched, but every time I played it, it calmed me down. Sort of like coloring those mandala books. Anyway, the goal of Monument Valley is to move your character, Ida, through a series of mind-blowing scenes that look as if they’ve been designed by M.C. Escher. Very, very cooi.

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Apps for Health

Yoga Studio – I quit the gym a few years ago to devote more time to writing. The 90 minutes I save by not going to a class really makes a difference in how much I get done. I still exercise, of course, but I really, really miss my yoga class. I could practice on my own, but that tends to get a bit repetitive and stale. Other yoga apps just have pictures of the sequences you’re supposed to do. Er…not helpful during practice. Some have video but are for beginners. This app has it all! And it’s beautifully demonstrated in a clean, spare video format. Beginning, intermediate and advanced classes. Classes of 15 minutes, 30 minutes and an hour. Poses for back pain. Sequences for runners. And even a guided meditation section. I was thinking about joining the gym again and paying the YMCA $75 a month (plus a membership fee). Until I downloaded this simple app. Now, I have my own private yoga studio. Maybe one day I’ll join the gym again. Taking a class with others is energizing. But this more than fills my needs.

TriggerPoints – If it hurts, it might be referred pain from a muscle injury. Really. And this app shows you the muscle group that might be affected.  If you’re having arm pain when you type, it could be a shoulder problem. If you have a headache, it could be a neck problem. Foot pain? Might be your calf muscle. Now, the app doesn’t tell you how to fix your issue. For that, you’ll have to read about Trigger Point Therapy. But it can enlighten you on what might be causing your mysterious pain. It might not be what you think.

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Your turn – have any apps you’d like to share with me? I’d love to hear about them!

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