7 Apps You’ll Love

You can do it! Why? Because you are a Wonderful Mom.

In addition to the WordPress plug-ins I have talked about in the blog (see Plug-ins: The WordPress Box of Chocolates), I have a few apps for daily life I’d like to share with you. My phone is my personal assistant. Here are seven phone apps that reduce stress and help make time for what’s important: blogging like a pro.

Calm:  Calm is an amazing app for meditation and mindfulness, although for me Calm is about falling asleep. I use it by listening to nature sounds as I drift off. There are an incredible number of choices of sounds and approaches to pick from. Enjoy 100+ guided meditations to help you manage anxiety, lower stress and sleep better. Calm is the perfect mindfulness app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for more advanced users. It’s easy to find the meditation that really speaks to you personally. Following is a favorite video of rainstorm sounds that I fall asleep to all the time. It also helps to soothe my mind if I wake up thinking of the 500 things I forgot to do the day before. Note: this is EIGHT HOURS long so you obviously don’t need to follow through from beginning to end. But even just a few minutes of this sample can show you the change it can make in your perspective.

HeadSpace: Is about mindfulness. HeadSpace provides you with bite-sized pieces of meditation to practice at any time.  This works so well with my Wonderful Mom schedule because I can even take advantage of quiet time in my parked car while waiting for the carpool line to begin. I love using that time to get centered and refreshed rather than anxious or impatient. There are also great HeadSpace meditations for kids. I use one to help my youngest son wake up with a positive attitude in the morning before school, not the easiest task to accomplish. No, I don’t even try it with my teenager.

Fabulous: Fabulous is a “Happiness Trainer” to help reset your habits. It’s a science-based app, developed in Duke University Behavioral Economics Lab, that will help you build healthy rituals into your life, just like an elite athlete. You can start by picking one of four Journeys: Feel more energized, lose weight, sleep better, or focus and concentrate better. Fabulous, however, is very intentional about creating new life changes by adjusting one habit at a time. With your goal defined, Fabulous will break down your approach into simple daily steps.  It has a very welcoming interface so you won’t feel overwhelmed. The app is free, but there is also a premium version to unlock and download all features. I’m still in the beginning stages of this one, but I love it so look for more information to come on my progress.

Medisafe: This is the most important app in my life and I give it my highest recommendation. I take several medications every day. With Medisafe, you get personalized reminders for each of your medications and drug interaction warnings. If I accidentally take my medication twice or miss more than one dose, I can get very, very sick. Now I take it, check that off in the app’s log and no more second guessing. I can also keep track of how many pills I have left so I can be sure to get refills before the weekend or holidays when the pharmacy is not open. There is an amusing selection of medication reminders to choose from. Mine sounds like Morgan Freeman and says “This is the universe speaking. You know what time it is.” I believe having a sense of humor about situations that are less than fun is important. You have to deal with it anyway, right?

Sephora: Sephora is a Paris-based chain of personal care and beauty stores (ie. make-up) and I order all of my cosmetics from themI LOVE THEM. It’s like Christmas whenever I get a Sephora delivery. Featuring nearly 300 brands, along with its own private label, Sephora offers beauty products including cosmetics, skin care, body, fragrance, nail color and hair care. Some of my favorite brands are NARS Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Urban Decay, Benefit Cosmetics, Kat Von D, and Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Yes, I love make-up almost as much as my BFF Sharon who introduced me to Sephora. I’m a jeans, hiking boot, pony-tail wearing girl who’s inner fashionista likes to get glammed up every once in a while. Speaking of fashionistas…

StitchFix: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Stitch Fix is a personal styling service that sends individually picked clothing and accessories items to your home. No need to step into a crowded mall just to be underwhelmed by their lack of interesting choices. Fill out a survey online about your style preferences. A stylist at the company picks five items and sends them to you. Stylists pick items based on a survey you answer and any access you give them to their social media outlets such as Pinterest. I have a Pinterest board just for this. To summarize my style goals I said “I want to be the coolest, best dressed Mom at the PTO meeting.” Most boxes have 2 pants or skirts, 2 shirts and an accessory like jewelry, a purse or awesome shoes. Everything coordinates! You schedule a date to receive the items, which is referred to as a “Fix”. Customers choose the shipping frequency, such as two weeks, once a month, or every two months. Once the shipment is received, you have 3 days to either keep the items or return them. Return shipping is free. They offer Fixes for women, men and kids. My husband is going to try the mens service because we shop for everything online and I’ve been so happy with StitchFix. Worried about the fit of the clothes? I fit into standard sizes (no, I don’t care to talk about which one right now) and almost never have a problem. I look good, therefore I feel good!

ProtonMail: I am a tremendous proponent of internet privacy. There are things like my health information, my children’s school transcripts or work documents that I do not want Gmail or anyone else to read. ProtonMail uses client-side encryption to protect email contents and user data before they are sent to ProtonMail servers, unlike other common email providers such as Gmail (in my opinion, related to the devil as far as privacy is concerned) and Outlook.com. As of 2017, they had over 2 million users. Since the data centers are located in Switzerland, they are legally outside of US and EU jurisdiction. Under Swiss law, all surveillance requests from foreign countries must go through a Swiss court and are subject to international treaties. There are many, many technical details I could go into to explain how they do everything they do. Just trust me that you want this to enhance your privacy and that I have a ProtonMail email address, too. See the blog articles Be An Internet Superhero by my friend Jason and Secret Agents for content related to these subjects.

Coming soon:

  • Duck Duck Go and Firefox
  • Toggl
  • Dashlane
  • FlyLady
  • Todoist