Looking for some inspiration to help you self improve daily? For this, technology is my best friend, so for my favourite apps for self improvement, you came to the right place…
As someone who fits in both the millennial generation and Gen-Z generation, I have a love-hate relationship with technology and social media. Although I try to spend as much time as I can away from my phone each day, a lot of the time, I find there’s no escaping its clutches.
Although I hate to admit it, there are a fair few apps that I find help rather than hinder my mentality. Us modern people have a wealth of knowledge and self growth, right at our finger tips. Be it for my mental health, or my brain health, my mobile phone certainly allows me to develop myself in many ways.
For someone who loves to be constantly learning, my phone does provide me with just that; the opportunity to expand my knowledge. So, to discover some of my favourite apps to do this, and to help me to self improve, read on…
Why Do I Love to Self Improve?
The older I get, the firmer I believe that life simply isn’t worth living if you’re not learning new things. This way, not only can you become more knowledgeable about the world around you, but you can limit your ignorance on worldly events and peoples’ experiences. You can never go wrong with trying to expand your mind to understand those around you better.
Being in education, this thirst for knowledge was always quenched. But, now that I’m in the workforce, my focus surrounds SEO, marketing , and copywriting, meaning some of my other interests are not always explored. So, wherever I can, I always aim to keep my brain ticking along; it’s something I find to be fun and fulfilling.
Self improvement, however, isn’t just about learning new things. It’s also about becoming a better person, all round. Naturally this comes with learning, as we’ve mentioned already, but it also comes from developing good habits. Whether it be saving up for the future, exercising, boosting your skills, or improving your mental health, self improving habits are always beneficial.
It’s Easier Said Than Done…
Before I go any further, I really want to stress here that, while I do love to improve myself, and strive to do so daily, sometimes it can be tough. There are days when I simply don’t have the energy to do it, and all I want to do is curl up in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some garlic bread.
I have to emphasise that this is okay, and we don’t always have to be learning and growing. While I love the prospect of self improving, it isn’t always feasible when it comes to your mental health and energy. I’ve had my fair share of down days during this whole Coronavirus business, and I’m sure you have too, so all this is an “in an ideal world” fantasy.
Ultimately, doing your best when you can is what we strive for. So, some of my favourite ways to do just that are right around the corner…
My Top 8 Apps for Self Improvement and Why I Love Them
Considering my love for self-improvement, I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite apps for doing this. Here, I’ve listed the apps I find help me to learn and grow, but also become a better version of me. Check them out:
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to pick up my French again, and try and learn more of the language with the aim of being able to speak fluently, eventually. Having studied French at GCSE level, I haven’t spoken any since, so I thought the best place to start would be an app.
After testing a number of the available apps, Duolingo has proven to be the best of the bunch. I’ve been so impressed with the way they tailor the experience to each person, sussing out how much of the language you already know, and helping you to relearn what you once knew.
I’ve also loved how I seem to be retaining the information. This is achieved through a number of brilliant features, which are all available on the free version, including:
- A number of lives to help you get through your daily exercises;
- A huge number of levels, so you won’t ever be short of exercises, and new words to learn;
- Short stories to read, which help you to practice your French on a more conversational basis;
- Awards, which keep you motivated to keep at it;
- Different leagues which challenge you against other users;
- And a tracking of your daily streak, to keep you motivated to practice your new language every day.
The whole interface is very comprehensive, and really helps you to remember previous words you’ve learnt. I reckon, after completing an exercise a night over the next few years, I should be able to graduate up to practising with French novels in couple of years time!
As you may remember, from my lockdown update blog post, I’ve been loving going for walks recently. That said, some days, especially when the weather isn’t looking great, it can be difficult to keep the motivation up to go often. My solution to this, which has really helped to keep me leaving the house, has been using Strava.
This is a social media app which allows you to track your exercise, and follow your friends’ progress along the way. You’re able to post pictures of your outing, as well as congratulate your friends on their fantastic sporting efforts. It’s just a great little community for people who are looking to get a little bit fitter.
I think my favourite part about this app is that you can join challenges, for example, doing two one-hour long activities a week. Although the challenges are not all extremely difficult, they help you to remain on the bandwagon, and stay motivated to keep going.
These challenges provide prizes at the end, like a £50 off voucher for a sporting company. So far, I haven’t found anything useful about these prizes, but I’ve still found the competitions really motivational nonetheless. It’s less about the prizes, and more about the fact that you’ve challenged yourself, so you have to stick to it.
3. Banking Apps
It may sound silly, but some of the apps I pick up most, when I’m not scrolling through social media, are my banking apps. As soon as pay day comes around, these apps get a good old using, as I distribute my money into my accounts:
- All my rent, bills, and grocery money heads over to my joint account with Josh;
- All my savings money heads over to my Help-to-Buy ISA;
- All my spare money remains in my spending account until I next get paid;
- Then, once I get my next monthly pay, all the unspent cash from the previous month heads over to another savings account.
Being able to access my bank accounts swiftly through my phone really helps me to keep on top of my savings like this. It’s quick, easy, and just keeps the savings momentum up high.
What’s more, I find that having a visual representation of your money, which you can see wherever you are, is really motivational to helping me save. Now that I’m in the swing of saving, I find it difficult to stop, and I think part of this is about being able to envisage how much I have saved at the drop of a hat. These days, with Face-ID allowing me to log in even easier, this really helps.
Training my brain is something I find really fun. As a kid, I used to love playing Brain Training on the Nintendo DS, and would always challenge myself to do better and better every time.
The modern version of this is Elevate; a brain training app that measures your abilities in writing, listening, speaking, reading, and maths, through challenging exercises. I only have the free version, and this is completely enough to challenge yourself for a short while every day. This just helps to keep the old brain ticking over, allowing all your mental faculties to stay active all the time.
The free version recommends three activities to do every day, and tracks your progress against yourself, as well as other users. So, you can suss out how well you’re doing compared to your previous attempts, and against the average of other people.
Another of the best brain training apps out there is Peak. I prefer the exercises on this one, as they’re a lot more like games, rather than actual maths and grammar tests. So, if you’re looking for something a little less serious, which uses fun games to challenge your brain speed, this is the one for you.
For me, my blog is one of my greatest methods of self improvement. It helps me to keep my love of writing quenched, and my skills in the field up-to-scratch. It also helps me to put into practice the things I learn in my job to help me get a wider picture of how SEO works and succeeds in practice.
So, being able to see my progress, especially how many organic searches I receive to my blog each day, is really motivational and educational. It truly demonstrates that my efforts aren’t going to waste, and being able to see this wherever I am is a great wake-up call. Yes, the results are minimal, but they’re growing, and that’s what matters.
7. Apple Podcasts
One thing which I’ve been loving at the moment is heading for a walk, and listening to a podcast on the way. My favourite podcasts to listen to are true crime podcasts, as I’m a big horror lover, and these provide me with just the right amount of entertainment and gore. I have to say, trudging through the Bristol wilderness, listening to true stories of murder, is pretty frightening, but I love a good scare!
Self improvement is about embracing your interests, and learning about the world around you, and my favourite podcasts help me to do just that. They also keep me motivated to go on walks too, as I look forward to the next episode, which gets me out of the house and exercising. It kills two birds with one stone, which is fab.
If you’re a true crime lover, like me, then you’ll probably enjoy some of the same podcasts as me. So, for an insight into my favourite podcasts, head over to my podcasts blog, right here.
This addition to my apps for self-improvement may surprise you, and I have surprised myself a little to add this on here, as I often struggle with the mental health side of social media. That being said, scrolling through Twitter gives me the insight into the world that I think we all need sometimes.
As someone who likes to put their mental health before anything else, I have steered clear of reading the news for my whole life. The negativity it brings, and the lack of control I feel through reading it, makes me avoid it at all costs. So, you may be wondering how I keep up-to-date with worldly events?
Well, over the years, Twitter has become a real hub for people expressing their thoughts, feelings, and issues which the media won’t cover. Here is where I’ve seen the most honest content about the BLM movement, as well as animal activism, and the sexism still rife in our society.
I think that keeping up-to-date about current events is important, especially seeing both sides to any story. With the media so one-sided, Twitter has become my outlet to discover the news that matters. This has recently become very important to me, and has helped me to improve my awareness and knowledge on wider events.
Ready to Self Improve with Me?
Do you use any of these apps in your daily routine? Or, maybe you’ve never heard of them, and fancy trying them out to improve your habits? Let me know, in the comments below, what you think, and if you have any recommendations to add to my list.
What’s more, do leave a comment down below with how you’re getting on with improving yourself during this crazy time. Have you found it easier, or harder, or perhaps you have phases, like me? I’d love to know what you’re getting on, so let me know!