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Gwen (Chen) Shapira
Gwen (Chen) Shapira

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Apps for Small Things that Matter

Some apps that help me stay sane and healthy on weeks when there is a lot going on and it is easy to get stuck on VSCode, Slack or Twitter for 14h straight:

  • Routinery: Lets you configure a routine with steps, and it has a timer per step, so you don't get stuck on one thing or get distracted. This helps me remember to drink tea, meditate and sort out my schedule for the day before turning to any inbox. Routinery also reminds me to get off work at 6pm, move my body, eat and spend time with humans. I ignore it more often than I want to admit (very tempting to just keep going on an interesting problem or the pile of small tasks), but it feels good when I don't.

  • DayStamp: it is the least judgmental "habits app" that I know. I added about 20 things I'd love to do on a regular basis. Some I do daily, some weekly, some rarely. I use it to check if things got out of balance (didn't work out in a week, didn't code or publish anything in a week, didn't read anything meaningful in a month...)

  • Wakeout: 1-5 min workouts that can be done at the desk or couch. I have no excuse not to do them (1 minute is nothing!), and it helps me move a bit few times a day. It did wonder to my back/shoulder which used to get stiff after long days. Some of the workouts in the app are very silly, but I love the "office yoga" one.

  • Sweepy: Prioritizes cleaning tasks and tracks how bad my home got. I can see when the sink is full, but I don't actually see if the floor or bathroom mirror got dirty (I think this is a common problem). As a result, sometimes my house gets to the point where my friends visit and become seriously concerned ("how can you live like this? it is like a pigsty!"). This app helps me "see" that I didn't clean the floor in a while and it is certainly dirty.

  • Whatsapp, Facetime, SMS, email: My family and close friends are the most important thing in my life, and definitely the most important contributor to my happiness. Grateful for the apps and protocols that help us stay in touch despite time and distance challenges.

Apps that I don't use:

  • Pomodoro apps: I like the 25 minute or 50 minute work spans followed by a quick break. But I didn't find an app that I like, so I just use my alarm clock.

  • Meditation apps: You can't convince me to pay money for an app that tells me to close my eyes and breath. I use a timer for this one too.

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