Nothing like a bit of technology to hack a day. It can hack one apart too – it’s best to just chop out the unecessary bits. Apps are one of the best excuses to squirrel away time in the pursuit of doing something worthwhile while in fact doing very little.
I’m wary of becoming caught in such time-fritterence(s), aren’t you?
In pursuing a simpler lifestyle, organisational and information apps that really add-value are top of the agenda. Small miracles (like multi-track music recording for Android, its finally here!) come a close second.
I’m aware of the potential conflict between living simply and being forever engaged with technology’s shiny wonder-appeal.
Nevertheless, here’s some apps I’ll be using for the rest of 2016. They make it easier to do what I like to do.
Anki spaced-repetition software. This piece of software has probably helped me in more ways than any other recently. I wrote about it in more detail here.
The free version of Tom’s Planner is great for doing out simple plans, on a non-mobile screen. It’s extremely fast to use. Update the free version each time, take a snip of the screen, then done until next time. Planning stuff on a small phone screen just cuts no mustard.
I don’t use it that often and usually only use it to plan a particularly busy week if needed. I take it by day too, planning down to the hour is doesn’t tend to work well for me.
Expense manager for Android is a great little way of keeping track of spending. I don’t need anything fussy or with lots of additional features. This little app does what it says on the tin. A small catch – it’s only for one user and cannot be used to track multiple users tied into the same budget.
Toshl Finance Budget and Expeneses
Just recently started using Toshl; simple to use and nice UI. The biggest benefit, however, is that it allows multiple devices to sync up to the same account, in the free version too. The web administration portal is attractive and easy to use. I may well upgrade to the pro version once I’ve used it a little more. A top-notch app, very impressive.
Digg Reader is the best RSS reader I’ve used to date. Keeps me up to date on blogs and other sites I want to keep tabs on. By actively going to this as my own ‘curated’ news, it helps keeps the clickbait-demon in check during my spare time.
I like the simple uncluttered interface, and group stuff logically into folders. I like to think I have some control over the news I read. Digg is the entry point to that.
Handy for saving articles for reading later. Can be installed in multiple browsers across all devices. Articles can be read offline too, and marked as read once done with to prevent much of a build-up over time. Unlike browser bookmarks, which become a mess.
Great app for quick-editing photos and making it all seem cooler than it actually is. Or at least as cool.
Android lags well behind Apple in the music apps department. It’s the difference between a pug and a greyhound in a sprint. Which is hard if you like pugs but neither second place nor large losing margins. Latency is the issue, which can become apparent when recording multiple audio tracks. Needless to say, the ever-apparent sound of tracks out of alignment is not pleasing to the ear.
The creators of this application have included a way to tackle this. Android Lollipop 5.0 reduced latency, but likely won’t have resolved this issue for many devices. I have tried recording multiple tracks with my Samsung S5, however, and it seems to work well. Very nice.
It’s been a long few years since I enjoyed multi-track recording on my now stolen iPod 4s. Despite mourning the loss of my little pocket recording studio, I never re-entered the shiny world of Apple.
My patience has been rewarded. I no longer have an excuse not to unleash my masterpiece future creations on the world.
Started using this to brush up on my Spanish. Aim to use it a lot more in 2016. Irish is included too, which is pretty cool for a language with such a small speaking population.