It’s a new year, the beginning of a new decade, and many of us are resolving to make 2020 the year we lose that extra weight, finish that project, get that promotion, improve our spiritual lives, and focus on our relationships. I don’t like to call them resolutions, but rather goals. I always take the week between Christmas and the New Year to examine what happened the past year, what I want to change for the next year, what I want to do more of, and how I want it to be different. While our devices can be a hindrance to our goals (time wasters), they can also be a way to stay on track. I’ve always valued the maxim, “what gets measured, gets managed”, and our Apple devices can assist with measuring. Here are some apps for a new you in 2020.
I signed up for Goodreads around this time last year when I decided that I wanted to make reading part of my normal day to day routine. I set a goal of thirty books and ended up reading over double that amount. It’s an easy way to mark books as read, leave reviews, find new books, see what your friends are reading, and more. If you want to be a more systematic reader in 2020, Goodreads is a great app to start with on your home screen.
Goodreads is free on the App Store.
On that same reading idea, another app you should consider is Blinkist. Blinkist allows you to read the highlights of over 3000 non-fiction books in fifteen minutes. Each book includes audio and text that you can easily swap back and forth. If you live a busy schedule with a long commute, Blinkist might be a way to get the high-level points of the latest non-fiction book without having to read every page.
Blinkist is a free download on the App Store with a premium subscription after the free trial.
Tracking food intake is a time-consuming process. If you eat a lot of processed food (which isn’t good), you can usually scan the barcodes of the items. Otherwise, it’s a tedious process. Calory makes it easy to track calories, easily add food, monitor progress, and more.
If losing that extra weight is on your goal list for 2020, Calory will be a great app to monitor daily food intake. It just was updated with some great new features as well.
Calory is a free download on the App Store with a premium subscription upgrade for additional features.
If one of your goals in 2020 is to write more things down, take time to document something great that happened that day, or to travel more, I would like to point your attention to Day One. Day One is the best journaling app I’ve used on iOS or macOS. Day One makes it easy to add photos, text, and audio to a new journal entry. One of my favorite features is how it will backdate entries based on the EXIF data of the photo.
If you don’t use an Apple Watch (and the built-in workout app), I will recommend Strava as a fantastic running and bike tracking application. It’s easy to use and includes great social features. I ran my first marathon with it in 2019. Their customer support is also fantastic. I accidentally deleted my marathon after the race, and they were able to recover it on their end. If getting more fit in 2020 is on your goal list, and you don’t have an Apple Watch (or even if you do), check out Strava.
Strava is a free download on the App Store with a premium subscription upgrade option.
If you use an Apple Watch for tracking runs, You will want to check out Tempo as a nice add on for your Apple Watch. Tempo adds beautiful visualizations to workouts tracked with the built-in Workout app. Recent updates have included better support to multi-workout training days, dark mode, etc. If you are training for a race in 2020, Tempo might be the app to help you get to your goals.
Tempo is a free download on the App Store is a premium subscription upgrade.
If going paperless is on your goal list for 2020, you will want to checkout Scanbot. It’s my favorite scanner for the iPhone. I love it when traveling for work as I can quickly scan receipts and auto-upload them to iCloud Drive so I can process them later. While the iPhone Notes app offers a free scanning solution, Scanbot is worth the upgrade if you have lots of documents to digitize.
Scanbot is a free download on the App Store with in-app upgrades for premium features.
If getting better sleep is on your 2020 goal list (it is for me), you might want to check out Dark Noise. I especially love this app while traveling to play white noise to drown out other cars, the air conditioner turning on, etc. It includes thirty sound options and is heavily integrated with iOS. You can start noise with a Siri Shortcut (which extends to HomePod). Unlike a lot of apps in this category, there are no ads, and it’s beautifully designed.
Dark Noise is $3.99 on the App Store.
Continuing on with improving your sleep, the Apple Watch can also help you understand how you are sleeping. Sleep++ can automatically track your sleep every night to understand how restful (or restless) it was. There is also a manual mode if you want to fine-tune more features, like when the app thinks you are sleeping. After you wake up, you can view your data and even save it back to the Health app.
Sleep++ is a free download on the App Store with a small in-app purchase to remove ads.
Wrap-up on apps for a new you in 2020
What are your goals for 2020? My goals are to lose a little weight, get more sleep, and be more intentional with my kids. Are you using any apps to help you accomplish your goals? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
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