With each new year comes new resolutions, some more difficult to adhere to than others. But staying on track with one’s goals as the winter months turn to spring has become a bit easier thanks to the immediate accessibility of mobile applications. Usually a tablet or a smartphone is all that an app requires, along with a payment that often costs little to nothing. Most typical new year’s resolutions center on improving personal finances, developing organizational skills, preserving close relationships, enhancing fitness and learning something new. While not impossible, these goals can fall by the wayside when other tasks and responsibilities enter the picture.
Instead of lamenting about money wasted on a gym membership or Rosetta Stone, try out these five free, highly convenient apps.
Resolution: Staying in touch with my family and close friends.
We may have hundreds (in some cases thousands) of “friends” and “followers” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but the vast size of these social networks can sometimes distract us from truly staying in touch with our close friends and families. Path allows users to create a more intimate social network experience, restricting the user’s amount of followers to 50. A user-friendly interface makes building your close-knit circle a snap, and the various features keep your followers up to date on your daily interests and schedule. Use Path to share important moments with your loved ones no matter how far the distance.
Resolution: I want to learn something new/try new things.
For those eager to incorporate new skills into the new year, Snapguide provides users with simple step-by-step how-to-guides for everything from cooking to playing to building. The Snapguide community is full of members sharing their own “how to” knowledge with others through demonstrative videos, photos and text. This app is ideal for anybody who’s not only interested in learning something new everyday, but also guiding fellow users in specialties of their own.
3. Lose It!
Resolution: I want to lose weight and maintain a healthy living.
Comprehensive. Supportive. Effective. Those are the three words that millions of consumers have used to describe Lose It! Many people face the daunting challenge of losing weight and keeping it off, but this app has a streamlined interface, comprehensive databases for foods and activities, and a bar code scanner; and it works with or without a network connection. Setting up a LoseIt.com account also provides users with peer-to-peer support and a more detailed analysis of their weight loss progress.
Resolution: I want to have a better understanding and control of my finances!
Kick off your year with a clean slate and a full wallet with the help of Mint’s mobile and tablet applications. Similar to Mint.com, this app offers clear solutions to those just beginning to understand their finances, as well as the more money-savvy individuals hoping to hone their know-how. Users can learn how to budget their finances and integrate several accounts into one place. Tracking spending has never been easier, with straightforward graphics that show exactly where your money has gone. Sign into Mint.com to map out a budget and the app will calculate the information accordingly.
Resolution: I want to be more organized.
Between juggling one’s personal and professional lives, things have a tendency of getting a bit messy from time to time. Evernote takes the struggle out of organizing daily, weekly and monthly tasks with its award-winning interface and multi-device synching capabilities. To-do lists, note taking and voice recording are all made easy with this app, which has received rave reviews from The New York Times, TechCrunch and Mashable. A great way to keep track of all your resolutions, Evernote has been designed to boost your organizational skills and productivity.
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Patrice Peck is a writer and journalist whose work explores the intersection of race, culture, and identity. Her work lives at www.patricepeck.com.