My 5 favourite apps to use.
I am always on my phone; Waiting for the bus, on the bus, at work, or in the bathroom - I use my phone to kill time or take a little break. Recently, I tried to be more mindful about my interactions with technology and how I adopt digital tools. I realised, that these little breaks add up to a few hours every week in which I never do anything that has a lasting positive impact.
During the last month, I tried to fill these moments with meaningful things and was very happy with the results. Like James Clear described it, this approach allows me to make small but continuous improvements every day that will compound over time.
Here are the 5 apps that I found to be the most helpful:
I want to write, edit, and publish my thoughts but I feel like there is never enough time to work on my drafts. Ulysses gives me the opportunity to get things done wherever I am.
While sitting on the bus on my way to work, I normally just scroll through social media or play games but during the last month, I opened Ulysses instead. I don’t have time to write a full article, but I definitely have the opportunity to add a few sentences and improve some of my previous writing.
Another one of my new favourites is Anki, a flashcard app that I can use to learn a few things instead of checking social media. The great thing is that there are a lot of pre-built decks you can download. Currently I am going through this deck to learn about all the countries in the world. Great Works of Art is another deck I can recommend.
Aside from some general knowledge, I also like to improve my language skills. I try to spend at least 10 minutes every day (2 small breaks) learning a few phrases and words in Spanish. It is a very small effort, yet, after just a month I can already see huge improvements.
When I don’t feel like being productive or learning something I like to read and the Kindle app is amazing for this. I started reading Marcus Aurelius Mediations, a perfect book for a small break. The “chapters” are very short and give me some high quality content. I love being able to consume this instead of anything I find on social media.
Pro tip: I also got an actual Kindle and I am getting into the habit of taking it out of my pocket instead of my phone.
By filling every free second with my phone I stopped experiencing the moment and don’t see the things around me. That is why I started using Inside Timer. Instead of staring on my screen, I set a timer for just 2 minutes and try to be mindful about my surroundings, the people, how I feel, and everything that is going on. Doing these “mini meditations” at least once a day has had a surprisingly positive effect on the way I connect with the world.
It feels good to know that I am using my time to create things and not to consume other peoples thoughts. On days when I normally wouldn’t have done anything I still manage to put down some words, learn a few things, or read some high quality content.
It is truly suprising to see how these little effords add up over time and can get you closer to your goals.
I suggest you try some of these apps out as well and become a bit more mindful about the little moments of time you spend (or waste?) on your phone. If you are interested about more ways of mindful digital adoption, you can check out the Digital Oase Newsletter.