As 2016 quickly comes around, so do the New Year’s resolutions and plans for the year ahead. From realistic to outlandishly hopeful and everything in between, these apps should help make things a little easier.
Europe, are you ready?
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If keeping up with work tasks is getting you down, Trello is worth a shot. It’s perfect for solo organization or if you need to collaborate with a team. Each task is sorted into a column and gets its own card, which you can add a progress meter, due date and comments to.
If you’ve been meaning to fix something at home for a while now or kickstart a spring clean a little early, BrightNest will get you in gear. The app is packed full of guides and tips on everything from cleaning and organization to DIY.
If you’re forever searching recipes online, you’ve probably already landed on the Epicurious website. It features more than 30,000 recipes from popular chefs and cookbooks as well as more than 100,000 recipes submitted by users.
It’s easy to search and modify to disregard anything you might be avoiding, like wheat or nuts. Once you’ve found a recipe you like, you can add all of items needed to an in-app shopping list for later.
As well as recipes, Epicurious publishes articles on food, entertaining, wine, health and shopping daily.
This app does exactly as its name implies; you can plan your meals for the week ahead, which is great if you’re trying to kickstart a healthy diet.
You can create your own recipe book and add pieces to from anywhere on the Web or manually. One thing I noticed after using this app for a while was how much it helped me cut back on buying unnecessary items in my weekly shop, which is never a bad thing.
Counting calories is a popular way of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Once you’ve logged your BMI, the app will determine a healthy calorie count, depending on your goals, and then you can log pretty much everything you consume in just a few taps.
The database of food items on the app is seemingly endless but if you do have trouble finding something you’ve ate, you can still log its details manually.
Learn something new
Learning a new language is always a good idea and Duolingo makes the process a lot less daunting by teaching you through a series of games-style lessons. Each lesson is designed around reading, writing, listening or speaking and are all short enough that they don’t take up a big chunk of your time.
Using Duolingo, you could learn French or Italian (or Klingon) on your commute to work in just a few weeks.
Whether your goal for 2016 is to get fit, learn to play the piano or just be more adventurous, Coach.me will help you stay on track with some encouragement. It sets you up with a one-on-one pro for whatever area you’re interested in and they will then help you devise a plan of action and check in with you to see how things are going and motivate you along the way.
Hopper is great if you are planning a holiday in the future. It can tell you when the flights you want will be the cheapest, so if you’re willing to be flexible, you could find yourself a great deal.
If you can’t wait to book, just select the flights you’re interested in and it will notify you every time the price changes, as well as giving you advice on when to book.
Kayak is the best all-round service I have found for booking multi-city flights and hotels. It can also be used to book rental cars, plan your itinerary and track your flight details.
It is by far the easiest and most functional multi-booking platform I’ve used, even just down to the simplicity of the search pages.
This is the perfect app to keep track of memories from a special holiday. It’s a sleek minimalist-style travel journal that lets you write notes and diary entries from your trip and add pictures to illustrate. You can then convert your entries to PDFs or share them via email or on social media.
This app is perfect for meditation skeptics. It offers a free 10-day challenge where Andy Puddicombe, the app’s creator, will guide you through a series of 10-minute meditation sessions. Besides his charming accent, the app’s design and community should definitely keep you interested and coming back for more until you’re hooked.
Moodnotes is an app for iOS that aims to track your moods and feelings through journaling. It works by sending you a daily notification asking you to rate your overall mood using an adjustable smiley face. Depending on your response, you are presented with a couple of relevant questions that aim to dig a little deeper about why you feel the way you do, whether it’s happy, sad or indifferent and provide you with feedback.
It’s not just for when you’re feeling down and is a great way to keep track of your moods and learn about what can make you start to feel sad or agitated and remember what has made you feel excited and happy as well.
Each stage of the app is designed to reflect the methods of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) so don’t let the colorful interface fool you.
This iOS-only app is designed to help you combat stress or anxiety and regain your focus, which is what everyone needs after an indulgent and hectic holiday season.
The process starts by playing ambient sounds and then has you place your fingertip on the screen to create a small shape resembling a colorful screen bleed, which grows and pulsates as you move it continuously across the screen, listening to the evolving soundscape at the same time, preferably with your eyes closed.
If you lose focus while using the app and stop moving your finger, both the sounds and visuals will fade away. The aim is to get you to focus on something other than work or outside factors for just a few minutes by concentrating on moving your finger and taking in the sounds, which refreshes your train of thought and gives your brain a little break.