5 digital tools for personal development

Regardless of how 2021 went for you, 2022 offers us all another chance to make the next year better than the previous ones. We make New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions, but it’s no surprise that so many people break them after only a few weeks because old habits die hard.

It’s just as vital to have a supportive network of people rooting for you on those particularly difficult days as it is to have tools that make achieving your objectives simpler. Here are digital tools that can make your path a little simpler, whether you’re aiming to get healthy, be more organized, or read more (and maybe even more enjoyable).

1.Fitness tracker

A fitness tracker can help you get started with exercise by tracking your progress and providing daily data on your steps, sleep patterns, and other factors. Fitbit’s Inspire 2 is a terrific all-around choice, not only because it’s reasonably priced at $100, but also because it performs pretty much everything a beginner needs from a fitness tracker. It keeps your daily track of calories, steps, sleep, heart rate and more. It also includes 20 goal based activities that you can manually track or instead have the device’s SmartTrack feature monitor for you. It also has a 10-day battery life, so you won’t have to charge it very often. You’ll also be able to find the device more readily if you misplace it thanks to the built-in Tile capability.

2.Habit tracker

Keeping note of new habits you’re trying to form can help you stick to them, at least at first. While you can delve more into this topic by using a bullet journal, a habit-tracking app is a more convenient alternative. Done and Strides are two iOS apps that allow you to track when you’ve completed a new habit or avoided a bad behavior you’re attempting to quit. You may customize how often you want to execute a task, set log reminders, and examine analytics, among other things. Both applications, though, have premium levels to which you’ll be prompted to join once you’ve established a few trackable behaviors.

If you do hot want to pay for another subscription, go for an app like Streaks, which is available for a one time payment of $5. Grow is a free app for Android that uses a similar approach to habit tracking as Forest does to time management. Plant a virtual tree for each new habit you keep track of and see it grow with each completion. Habitica, for example, turns habit monitoring into an 8-bit RPG game in which your personalized avatar levels up as you complete tasks.

 

3.To-do and note-taking apps

The start of a new year is an opportunity to get back on track, and one way to do so is to find organizational tools that work for you — and make sure they’re as simple as possible. The worst-case scenario is that your to-do list or note-taking system becomes so inconvenient that you avoid using it. When you have a million things to handle in both your personal and professional life, keeping all of your important duties in your head may work on simple days, but it may rapidly become burdensome.

Things for iOS and macOS is one of my favorite apps because it’s thorough enough for major projects yet simple enough for everyday tasks.

Things for iOS, iPad, and macOS, on the other hand, costs $80 and are only available for Apple devices. Microsoft’s To-Do is a free alternative to Things 3 that works on practically every platform, including iOS, Android, and Windows. You can keep it basic by keeping a task list and a grocery list, or you can get more detailed by including due dates, sub-tasks, and even share lists with family members. You may also use the reminders app that (most likely) came preinstalled on your phone if you don’t want to deal with an unnecessary app. For iOS users, it’s Reminders, and for Android users, it’s Google Keep.

4.Reading app

Don’t carry your daily habit of doom-scrolling on Twitter into the new year. You may instead look for other things to read on the internet, and the free Libby app is a fantastic place to start. It connects you to your local library’s digital collection, allowing you to borrow and download e-books, audiobooks, magazines, graphic novels, and more. It’s powered by Overdrive. You may also utilize Libby’s tag system to “store” titles for later without actually placing a hold on them (although you can do that in the app, too).

If you come into a collection of audiobooks that you wish to read at some point, label them all “TBR” so you can simply locate them and borrow one when you need new reading/listening material.

I enjoy how easy it is to borrow from my local library without having to leave my house, as someone who uses Libby regularly. However, there have been several occasions when my library lacks a book that I’m seeking. If this happens frequently, you might want to join a membership service like Kindle Unrestricted or Scribd, which both charge $10 per month for unlimited access to a large library of e-books. For audiobook fans, there are two options: Amazon’s Audible or Libro.fm.

5.E-reader

Many people know how much better it is to read e-books on a dedicated device — especially one with an e-paper display — and therefore e-readers are still present. You could read on your smartphone or tablet, but gazing at those screens all day can be taxing on the eyes. Not only does an e-reader like Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite or Kobo’s Clara HD have a more pleasant display, but it also concentrates your attention on reading. (You know how important this is if you’ve ever taken up your phone to finish a chapter only to get sidetracked by email or Twitter.)

The new Kindle Paperwhite boasts a 6.8-inch display with customizable warm lighting, 20% faster page flips, and a battery life of weeks. The Clara HD has a 6-inch E-Ink display, adjustable brightness and color temperature, and a battery life of weeks. The Paperwhite is the ideal option if you currently acquire most of your e-books from Amazon. If you connect a pair of wireless headphones to the e-reader, you can also listen to Audible audiobooks. The Kobo device primarily receives books through the Kobo Store, but it also accepts EPUB, PDF, and MOBI files. It also supports Overdrive on-device connectivity, allowing you to borrow library books directly from your e-reader.

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