Be More Productive on Your Phone with These 5 Apps

Our phones can be technological gifts, empowering us to become more productive, creative, and healthy.

Instead of the technological gifts they should be, our phones often become our chains. Notifications are the stimuli for our brains drooling for social acceptance and connection. Swiping and scrolling are the new dopamine drug, releasing with every flick of the fingers. Welcome to the dark, time-sucking hole called “Your Phone’s Screen”.

Until now.

Today is the day you will make your phone work for you. Welcome to my not-so-comprehensive guide! The following are my favorite, go-to apps I use on a daily and weekly basis. They help me study my Bible more, write more, exercise more, and…well, do more.

These apps are organized by how often I use them. And NONE of these are affiliate links. Just to clarify. 😀

1. ReadScripture

I discovered this app through The Bible Project on YouTube. The app guides you through the entire Bible in one year along with incredibly animated and information-dense videos. I love how you read through the Psalms 2.5 times by the time you’re done!

My favorite feature is how you can start the reading plan at any time. Don’t wait for January 1st when 99% of resolutions made are never kept anyways. If you don’t have a Bible reading plan, there is no better time to set it up than today.

Note: Most of what I have seen in the videos (so far) is solid. Just be aware a few of the videos have a premillennial slant

 

Get the ReadScripture app

2. Bear

This is my favorite writing app for my phone and desktop. It has a beautiful, minimalist layout making it easier to focus on the writing. If you find yourself with your phone and free time — write!  #noexcuses

The only con is the syncing between devices is a paid upgrade. Evernote is still the best for syncing but does not have the most intuitive organizational system. Bear, on the other hand, uses a simple hashtag system to organize everything.

Tip: Here is a cool trick I learned to get around the missing sync feature. If you have an iPhone and MacBook, turn on Bluetooth for both devices. When you copy something on one device (⌘C), you can go straight to the other device and paste it (⌘V).

For the desktop version, my favorite feature is the intuitive keyboard shortcuts. For those of you not familiar with keyboard shortcuts, no worries. A button on the side has a cheat sheet for all the shortcuts. In a week, you’ll have all of them memorized — promise. And it will make your life so much easier.

 

Get the Bear app 

 

3. Instapaper

Ever see an article online or on social media you wanted to read? But didn’t have time? “Oh, I’ll remember where to find it and read it later.”

I never did.

Because I hated using bookmarks and having a gazillion tabs open, I started using Pocket. After getting frustrated with the app, I discovered Instapaper. And I love it! I can save articles from the web, social media, anywhere and download it to read later (even offline). Plus it syncs between my laptop and phone, allowing me to read on any device I’m on.

For example, if you see an article you want to read on your computer, quickly save it to Instapaper. The next day, say you’re on break at work with nothing to do. Pull out your phone and read the article. THE BEST!

 

Get the Instapaper app

4. VSCO

This has been my go-to photo editing app for a while. Absolutely love how the app has evolved over the years. It keeps getting better and better!

VSCO has incredible photo editing tools, but it’s most famous for the filters. Almost every picture on my Instagram has been edited with VSCO!

Tip: It can be easy to go overboard on filters. When applying a filter, select the filter again to pull up a slider. You can adjust the intensity of the filter from 1 to 12. I usually stay within 4 to 8.

 

Get the VSCO app 

5. Nike+ Training

I have found the best way to overcome writer’s block is to work out. Seriously, the best-kept secret ever.

For people like me who can’t afford the gym fee, this app is the next best bet. It has everything from low to high-intensity workouts you can use at home or in the gym. Since I have access to minimal equipment, I use the “Bodyweight Only Plan”. The built-in plans are flexible and personalized.

 

Get the Nike+ Training app

 

What do you think? Did I miss an amazing app we should all know about? Share your favorite apps below and let’s talk about it!

 


 

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  • Jonathan Henrique

    Thank you for sharing! Instapaper is very interesting. As you said, Evernote is good, but the Bear app… 😀

    • Yeah, definitely give Instapaper a try. I love how it works with Twitter.

      Do you use the Bear app as well? Dude, it is the best!

  • Megan Smith

    Great recommendations! Some I’ve used, others I’ll have to check out! Quick question: what specifically do you like better about Instapaper than Pocket? I’ve been using Pocket for quite a while and have so many articles saved that I want to make sure it’s worth the switch before I go download Instapaper 😉

    • Thank you Megan! To be honest, the main reason I like Instapaper is probably silly – Instapaper is prettier than Pocket. I had always disliked the “look” of the desktop and mobile app. Instapaper is clean and minimal with a much better layout.

      What finally caused me to leave Pocket was the Safari browser extension. It may have been me, but I could not get the Pocket extension to work in Safari and save articles to my list. I gave up and downloaded Instapaper instead.

      Maybe download Instapaper, save a few articles to it, and try the app for a week. If you like it, then you can always export your entire list and archive from Pocket straight into Instapaper. Hope this helps! 🙂

      How to export/import: https://www.howtogeek.com/279144/how-to-import-articles-between-pocket-and-instapaper/

      • Megan Smith

        Alright! Well I’ll give Instapaper a try, then! Super cool that there’s an option to export the things I’ve already saved in Pocket. Thanks for the recommendation!