A new year brings a new chance to improve your life. Here’s how to upgrade with tech.
1. Write a journal
Research has shown that keeping a journal can reduce stress and increase productivity. Writing about your troubles can help you sort out your feelings, while writing about your goals can help you focus on a positive future. A digital journal lives on your smartphone and lets you write anywhere you go, plus it can be secured with a password.
• Day One (macOS and iOS)
• Journey (Android)
2. Use a password manager
Cybercrime is on the rise, and if you reuse your password, all you need is one account to be hacked and the attacker can use it to get into your other accounts. Use a password manager, it’ll help you to generate random passwords for each account and save them for you. All you need to remember is a single master password to unlock them.
• 1Password (macOS, Windows, iOS and Android)
• LastPass (macOS, Windows, iOS and Android)
3. Use a to-do app
Productivity guru David Allen, creator of the Getting Things Done (GTD) system, is a big advocate of writing all your tasks down in a ‘trusted system.’ Not only can a todo app make you more productive, it can also help you relax when you know for sure that you’ve missed nothing urgent.
• Google Keep (iOS and Android)
• Wunderlist (macOS, Windows, iOS and Android)
• Todoist (macOS, Windows, iOS and Android)
4. Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to learn, and some of them can even be as entertaining as they are educational. You can use the Podcasts app which ships with iOS, or try third-party apps like Overcast (iOS) and Pocket Casts (iOS and Android). There’s a universal of free podcasts out there to listen to, some good, some bad.
• Planet Money
• The Tim Ferriss Show
5. Use a smart digital scale
When it comes to keeping control of your weight, nothing makes a difference like a reality check. A smart digital scale can help you measure your weight, and sync a record of it to apps and services. The fancier ones can even measure BMI, heart rate and fat percentage. While accuracy may vary, the important thing is to track trends over time.
• Withings Smart Body Analyzer
6. Back up everything
HWM writers are usually the default IT helpdesk for most of our friends and families, and it still horrifies us how few people back up their work, then lose everything when something goes south. External hard disks are relatively cheap, so get one, plug it in, and use these back up apps today.
• Time Machine (macOS)
• Acronis True Image (Windows)
7. Unplug for a day
Research has shown that our constant need for a quick social media hit decreases our ability to focus, and can make us feel more stress than pleasure. Try unplugging from social media, and even the entire internet, for a day a week, to be completely present in the real world.
• A hike in nature
• Cycling by the beach
• Dinner without smartphones