Productive, and Helpful Apps I Admire: Part 2

Touchscreen smartphone with cloud of colorful application icons isolated on white background

Hello! How are you? I am back again with my list of some helpful, and productive apps! Hope, you have tried some of the apps that I have mentioned in my previous article, and found them useful as well. Let’s see what other apps I can suggest you today:
1. Do Now – Focused Timeboxing: Before giving a full account on this app, need to share my history of discovering it. The history will be little longer, but be patient, please, read it, and I am sure you will not regret. I intended to use a Pomodoro app. A Pomodoro app is a timer app that follows the Pomodoro technique. Now what is a Pomodoro technique? It is a time management technique that suggests and helps you to accomplish a task within a time frame without getting interrupted by other things. It basically tells you to do a work within 25 minutes followed by a 5 minutes break. After four 25 minutes sessions you will be getting a 15 minutes break, if I am not so wrong. The Pomodoro technique assumes that the brain acts happy, and fresh, and super active if it is given the time-frame of 25 minutes for any work. The 5 minutes break rejuvenates the brain for another task. And, if you go on working following the Pomodoro schedule, you will able to accomplish your targets very accurately, and successfully. The technique helps people to improve the concentration while working, and to grow the habit of managing time in most useful way. Few unofficial surveys report that the Pomodoro technique is basically popular with the people who are doing thesis, or something equivalent to that. If you want to know exactly about the Pomodoro technique, you can go to this link: http://pomodorotechnique.com/. My experience says that the Pomodoro technique is the best ever technique if one wants to keep himself in track with time. Obviously, I needed a Pomodoro timer app, and I found so many! Alas, all of them came up with peculiar problems, and terms, and conditions. Most of them offer the pro version, making the free version almost a limp, and useless one. And, you know, pro versions are not always easy to afford! So, after enough digging, I got an app with a very smart out look, and simple command, and that is Simple Pomodoro app. The nicest part of the app is that it allows you to chose the setting of the auto start, and auto stop of your internet connection respectively with the timer’s getting off, and on. That means no notification disturbance during working hours! Superb! But unfortunately, I could not use it for long as it was freezing my mobile every now, and then. Losing an app that is near to a perfect one I got desperate for another good Pomodoro app, and I ended up finding this app- Do Now – Focused Timeboxing. It is not exactly a Pomodoro app, but it follows Pomodoro technique to some extent. In Pomodoro technique it is always 25 minutes, but this app allows you to set your time as per your wish. I tried extending my time to 45 minutes, but it seems 25 minutes work better. You can load routines if you want. It does not have the setting of stopping your internet connection. I am not sure whether the pro version has this facility. But, to the top everything off, it does not freeze your mobile every now, and then, or it does not forget to put its alarm on, and so on. Therefore, it is one of the best substitute apps for any Pomodoro apps. I took the liberty of describing the history so that you can understand the basic theme of this app. But, one thing I cannot help saying that it must be YOU always who have to be motivated, and inclined to utilize your time, and thus growing some good working habits. No Pomodoro app can help you if you are not willing to help yourself. So, know thyself, and proceed. Apps are there to help you!
          do-now-focused-timeboxing-2 do-now-focused-timeboxing-1 do-now-focused-timeboxing
2. Word of the Day!: You will get many vocabulary apps on App stores to improve your English word stock. I prefer Bryce Canyon Productions’ ‘Word of the Day!’ It offers almost eight dictionaries, and vocabulary sites like Merriam-Webster, Dictionary.com, WordSpy, Latin Word of the Day, MedTerms etc. You will be getting one word everyday from almost all of them. The good side is that you will be getting introduced with the most recent, and newest words along with other words, and also their etymologies. Like WordSpy comes up with most updated, and smart expressions of English language with wonderful examples. So does the Merriam-Webster. It also offers you the audio which will help you to get the correct pronunciation of the word. The Learning Network will let you know from when and how a word has come into usage … it is really informative, and interesting. MedTerms not only teaches you a new clinical terms everyday, but also gives you a details that will enhance your knowledge regarding health, disease, hygiene, or other medical terms. For increasing vocabulary this app is really splendid.
    word of the day           wpid-screenshot_2015-07-31-15-12-11.png
3. SketchBook Express: Ah! How I love this app! I am not an artist. But, somewhere inside I am an unborn artist probably! I love drawing things. I have downloaded the SketchBook Express only to pacify my latent talent! But this app is not only for ordinary people like me. It is really a very useful app for those who love to draw. From new artists to established artists, I bet, everyone will be appreciate using it. I know little ABC about art, yet, you can count on me that this app is simply a general user, and an artist friendly app. If you are not a snooty regarding drawing on mobile, or tabs, and if you feel like drawing things whenever you want, and above all, if you love drawing things you can try this app at least for once. You will feel truly better drawing on this app.
    sketchbook express 2   sketchbook express 3
4. Forest: No, it is not an app about your gardening, or how much Green you go! It is all about stopping your phone addiction. Those who cannot stop themselves from checking notifications, Facebook, or from playing games, or chatting even in working hours, and those who cannot sleep on time, or do any work on time because they constantly feel that their phones are always on the verge of notifying them something urgent, and thus they get glued to phone almost 24 hours, or, those who simply think that their finger tips get irritation if they cannot slide the touch screen of their phones without any reason, Forest is for them only. Download it, set your time for how long you do not want to touch your phone, and start working. The strategy of the app is nice. Starting the app means you are planting a tree. If you use your phone before the restricted time, the tree will die. If the trees are alive, your forest is expanding, and that means you are getting successful in avoiding the unnecessary use of phone. If your forest is barren, and dry, and if it continues for week after week, you will know you need a real treatment to come out from your phone addiction! But, do not go that far. Probably they are not the real trees, but if you love yourself, and if you do not want to see yourself spoiled by your phone you must be loving those trees! Try it! Help yourself!
forest 1       Forest
5. Elevate – Brain Training: I love this app. It takes care of your reading, writing, listening, and math, and mental ability skills. You will just let the app know which skills you want to improve, and it will be testing, suggesting, and teaching you the stuffs you are weak at. The app is real smart. Trust me, you will never get bored with this app. The study materials are really good, and well organized. It,is all fun improving your skills. I should write more about this app. But, I want you to use it to know it. You will be ending up with satisfaction, I am sure!
Elevate - brain training
6. Muslim Pro: It is the app for the Muslims who are trying to be regular in offering prayers. You will find so many Adhan apps, or Salat apps, or Islamic prayer apps, but I am sure, this app is the exactly one you are looking for. It will be giving you Adhan alert timely, and daily. No tension, and fear that the alert will go off all on a sudden without any reason! You can chose your Adhan tone, you can get the Islamic Calendar with important dates, and occasions, you will get the compass to know your quiblah etc. And everyday at your preferred time you will be getting verse from the Holy Quran. Also, you can recite Holy Quran, and Holy Hadith from this app. It provides a map for you where you can see mosque locations, halal shops. If you are sincerely thinking of getting regular in offering prayers, I think, this app can help you.
Muslim Pro
7. Lucidity – Lucid Dream Journal: Yes! You are reading it right! It is a dream journal! It is a journal for those who are half-mad like me (call me a complete mad, I will not mind! Puh!)! Time to be serious now. I cannot call it a full fledged productivity app. It is sort of a creativity app, and I love it. I am someone who dreams a lot, and also can remember them a lot, and analyze, and think on them a lot. I can even remember the dreams from my childhood! I like to keep records of my dreams. If you are someone like me, download it now. The app can be helpful sometimes to trace out your mental health, as they say, dreams reflect your un/subconscious mind. You can label, and categorize your dream. You can get data about what sort of dream you dream most. It is also thought provoking, and sometimes fun reading your dreams. Though the app says that it helps you somehow in dreaming consciously while sleeping, and thus you can reconstruct your dreams, I do not pay much heed on this particular feature. I think we all can control our dreams in this way, or that way … it cannot be a big deal. The app attracts me on a different level. The app always reminds me of the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ by Coleridge, where he said that he got the poem in vision … how mesmerizing! It reminds me of the French philosopher Descartes who also claimed that he had got some philosophical ideas while dreaming! I am no Coleridge, I am no Descartes! I am what I am. But, one thing I am sure, if you are obsessed with something for a whole day, or longer, or if you are trying hard to solve something, but you are not coming to the solution in any way, your brain tries to repeat the things, or to give you hint on your works, or whatever it is as soon as the tired brain gets some rest, and time, and space through your sleep. During sleep, the brain arranges and rearranges the data you have uploaded onto the brain all these time, and in this process it hints you in its own way! Now, brain activity is a complex thing, and I do not dare to discuss on it. I just believe that dreams are helpful, however trifle they seem. So, a little bit of focusing on dream will not be that silly, will it? Also I am no Coleridge, or Descartes does not mean that I can never be another Coleridge, or Descartes! One has to dream high – not the dream in a sleep, the dream of life, to live the life high! Your dreams in sleep can be constructive, and helpful sometimes to achieve your real life dreams. Lucidity app is just that specific means to know your dream, to know your hidden you. WARNING: if you are not a dream catcher, never try this. It may disgust you!
Lucidity
It is enough this time I guess. I should end the list of my apps. Hope, you have already got your app from my lists. Your feedback, and suggestions are always welcomed. See you next week with some other topics! Till then be happy, be fine!
Bye!
Productive, and Helpful Apps I Admire: Part 2

Productive, and Helpful Apps I Admire: Part 1

apps1
I am an app freak, I admit. App stores are my favorite places to wander. Finding out any good app, especially good productivity app, makes me happy a lot. It is like unearthing the long searched treasure from the desert. Ya, long searched indeed. To get a really good app on my phone, I do not know how many apps I have downloaded, and eventually deleted! In this article, I am only talking about the apps I love most. Today, I am sharing a part of my app list, and the app experiences. Next Friday, I am coming up with the rest of the list hopefully. Let’s start:
1. Diaro: I am writing this article on this app right now. Most of the time, I do my drafts for WordPress here. It is basically a diary app. And, it is really perfect for me. I can sync, and back up my diary, so no tension of losing my daily inputs. I have liberty, and options to categorize my write-up. And I can customize my diary pages with nice themes according to the content of my writings! Wow! I love this virtual diary, as it is always with me safe, and password protected, and I can write my diary whenever I want. Also, can save photos, and images, videos, or links. Yes, it has some common features that most of the high rated diary apps have. Yet, it is distinct because it has a nice, and smart get up, it does not get hang now and then, and it gets locked then and there you leave the app. It is auto saving your data, so, no more getting panicked, and upset if you have to leave the app in the middle of the writing without getting the chance to save it.
diaro       diaro1
2. JotterPad: Of course, the name of the app is enough to know what it is about. Yes! It is for jottering down your creative writings, or whatever you want. It is a creativity+productivity app. I have downloaded it just a week back, therefore, I have to discover it more. Initially, I find it difficult using, but not bad! As I got too much used to with Diaro app, I am still writing on that. Hopefully, I will be getting habituated with JotterPad. In fact, I want to use this app full fledged as I do not want to fill up my Diaro with other writings. My creative writing really deserves a new platform to be produced, and saved. And JotterPad is providing me that platform only! Oh! My last entry (Eid Mubarak) on WordPress is primarily written on JotterPad only.
JotterPad1   JotterPad  JotterPad3
3. WordPress: Oh ya! I have to have this app on my phone as I am a regular Friday WordPress blogger and  everyday reader! Laptop is not my favorite. It cannot be as I am a continuous moving creature. I am so restless that I cannot get glued to anywhere at all. Apart from eating, sleeping, and other particular works that need me to sit, and lie for a while, I am always seen walking, walking, and walking all the time. So, surely mobile phone is my favorite gadget on earth, and surely I try to accommodate my world within my mobile phone! WordPress is a little heavenly part of my world. It is always with me whether I feel high, or low, or, I am busy or not. If WordPress would not be coming as an app, I am sure my life would be pretty boring. As I am not into Facebook, Twitter, and other typical social networking sites (if you are eager to know why I am avoiding these sites you can read my ‘Unsocial Moth vs. Social Butterfly’ on WordPress!), I almost spend my time reading blogs, and other stuffs. And, as nowadays I am emerging as a blogger (!!!), I have to write, check my stats, etc. on WordPress. All these I can do walking (not sitting with laptop, remember!) just because the WordPress app is on my mobile. It is great for me! I am loving it!
Wordpress            wpid-screenshot_2015-07-24-16-14-24.png
4. Duolingo: The most excellent language learning app I have ever found in App stores. If you use it once, you will know how fun it is to learn new languages. I love the teaching method of the app, and the way it keeps record of your learning progress, and accordingly tests your memory effectively. I am now learning both German, and Turkish language. The app is just making the learning easier for me. I am also revising the French language on this app that I learnt once from Alliance Francaise de Chittagong few years back, and that I have been forgetting gradually because of no practice. So, Duolingo can be a great help for those who is trying to revise any language lesson too. If I am not wrong, Duolingo is offering seven languages, and you can pick any one you love, and start learning from today. Also, it is offering its home page probably in your first, or second language too. Those who have the emergency, or the knack to learn any new languages, you can try this app. I always keep Duolingo on the first place of my favorite apps list, and I am sure that I will be keeping it there as long as my thirst for learning new languages will be there.
Duolingo
4. Vent: If you have pent up emotions, frustrations, angers that you cannot let it out in no way anywhere, you can vent out on Vent only. And relief is that you can do it anonymously without risking more frustrations, or, unhealthy situations. At times we all confront situations where we cannot speak up, or protest, or where we feel it a complete wastage to express our emotions, or opinions, or, sometimes we feel that if we would not have to bury all our pain inside us, if we got ‘someone’ only to whom we can say things, and who would not be getting judgmental on us, or sometimes we feel like sharing our happy events with the whole world, I feel, Vent is the perfect platform for that. Also, you can be helping other sad, and depressive souls there with your sweet words, or one and two suggestions. You can make a happy soul the happiest too with your lovely wishes. I feel it really nice when I can help others with my words in their bad times, or when I can join with others’ happiness, and celebrations anonymously. Vent is giving me that opportunity to live my life happily, and also to be a part of others happy life too. It is a social networking site, but its motto, and purpose is making it different from other sites. For me, Vent is an app in need, therefore, to me Vent is a friend indeed!
Vent
That is all for today. I am sure you will be waiting for me to come up with my second and last part of this article next Friday. Till then be happy. And, hey! Why do not you share the favorite app list of you with me? Exchanging experience enrich all, is not it? I am too waiting to hear from you.
Good Luck!
Productive, and Helpful Apps I Admire: Part 1