Four Apps to Improve Your Quality of Life

Okay, so maybe saying these apps will magically eliminate your FML moments is a bit of a stretch, but they will definitely make your life infinitely easier to manage, and easier to enjoy.


|SwiftKey... One Keyboard For Every Device
SwiftKey… One Keyboard For Every Device
If typing on your smartphone just isn’t working out for you because of tiny keyboards or large hands, try something different with Swiftkey. One of the most popular third-party keyboard apps, Swiftkey lets you “type” by dragging your finger from key to key to spell words. It even links with your Google+, Facebook, and Evernote accounts to personalize their autocorrect and spelling suggestions. Add in cloud capability, and you can save and transfer your typing patterns to any of your Swiftkey-enabled devices that has Swiftkey installed.

The best part? Swiftkey is free, and works on both Android, and more recently, iOS 8. The Android app offers keyboards in 60 languages, and lets you load in three keyboards at any time to use simultaneously. Currently, the iOS 8 is able to host two keyboards, and has limited language support, though with future versions of the app promise updates and improvements.


Evernote Helps You Keep Track Of Your ¨To Do Lists¨
Evernote Helps You Keep Track Of Your ¨To Do Lists¨
Your mileage may vary, but the free app Evernote could potentially be the most beautiful, useful thing to ever appear in your life. It integrates with desktop, web and mobile to become a single inbox, for yes, notes, but also daily journal writings, videos, pictures, and can even help you go paperless. Use it to keep track of your task lists. Use the Google-integrated Web Clipper extension to file your web links and bookmarks right into the notes and lists you need them in. Keep track of all the recipes that Grandmom ever gave you.

With tons of plug-ins and multi-platform integration, Evernote is a great way to organize all the ins and outs of your life.


Create Recipes With IFTTT
Create Recipes With IFTTT
Standing for If This Then That, this is THE app for social media fanatics, and it’s available for free for both Android and iOS. IFTT is a webapp automation service that creates recipes that let you pull material from one app to use on another. Save your snarkiest tweets to your Evernote for great posterity the minute you send them out, or crosspost all your awesome photoshoots to Pinterest and Instagram instantaneously for a serious positive feedback loop.


Do you work from home? Telecommute? Have flex hours? If you have one or all of the above, Asana may just be your new best friend. This web-based service has turned out a free iPhone, iPad and Android compatible app that helps you keep track of all your to-dos, and the also the to-dos of the people you work with. Task items and their accompanying conversations are all self contained, and organize those lists into full projects. Get automatic updates whenever tasks are in progress or completed. Better yet, integrate with file programs like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox. In short: ditch the email chains and fussy, aggressive phone calls, and get with Asana instead.

Bonus: Delectable

Reward Yourself With Delectable
Reward Yourself With Delectable
We can’t be all work and no play. Reward yourself with Delectable, a free wine scanner app that that gives you all the info you ever wanted on your next bottle of vino, as soon as you snap a picture of that label. File your favorites into albums and lists, and share your picks with your friends by hashtagging and messaging at them, and keep up to date with their most recent alcohol adventures.

5 Signs You’re over Training

More isn’t always better. When it comes to working out, overtraining is just about the worst thing that you could do for your long term fitness goals. You might think that you’re doing well, but when you go out on a limb and you end up hurting yourself and setting back your training by weeks or months, at least. Habitually overtraining certain muscles could even lead to doing permanent damage to certain joints and so forth. Of course, the first signs of overtraining are simply pain and fatigue. Read more to find out what you can expect so that you can tell that things are going to be so that you can back off before you actually hurt yourself.

You’re Always Sore

Soreness Is A Clear Sign You Are Overtraining
Soreness Is A Clear Sign You Are Overtraining
One thing that you need to have is an awareness of what normal fatigue feels like. It’s normal for your muscles to be sore after an intense workout. Delayed onset muscle soreness can last several days and should be noticeable, but not anything that’s going to get in the way of your daily life. The time when you need to be worried is when your muscles never seem to get better; if you’re still sore a week after your workout, there’s a good chance that you’re pushing yourself too hard. If the pain is so intense that you find yourself avoiding day to day activities out of fear of the pain, you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. Sometimes it’s easy to try to keep going because you want results fast, but fitness isn’t always a race. You need to take time to let your body adjust slowly.

Your Sleep Schedule Is Thrown Off

Your workouts shouldn’t leave you so exhausted that you simply can’t stay awake? That might seem like a great thing (early to bed and early to rise), but you shouldn’t be wearing yourself out that much. Any workout that leaves you so drained that you basically just have to sleep all the next day is one that’s pushing you beyond the limits of what you can hold. You should skip it, because that’s definitely not going to be something that’s going to improve the quality of your life. You should be aiming for things that will only make your life better, and if you’re never alert enough to enjoy it you’re going to be trapped forever.

You Can’t Remember the Last Fun Thing You Ate

Training Should Be Fun
Training Should Be Fun
The point of getting fit isn’t to be a miser who only eats carrot sticks and eats a hardboiled egg once a year, as a treat. You want to be fit and you want to be healthy, but you want to also have a good time, within reason. There should never come a time when you don’t remember the last time you treated yourself. This doesn’t have to be a binge; what this really should be is just a treat. Having a slice of cake at someone’s birthday party, for example, is something that you should still allow yourself. Just try not to make it five slices for no reason.

You Aren’t Bulking Symmetrically

Start Bulking Symmetrically
Start Bulking Symmetrically
If you can obviously tell where you’ve been hitting the gym the hardest, it’s time for you to spread things out and work hard to make sure that all your muscles are getting some attention. You don’t want to be that guy with skinny chicken legs on a ripped torso.

You See Your Gym Buddies More than Your Family

Last and least, you shouldn’t be more comfortable hanging out at the gym than hanging out with your family. That’s a surefire sign that something serious is going wrong. Working out is great, but it’s to let you lead your life more fully. Don’t let yourself get so wrapped up with working out that you forget the reason that you’re even trying to do this. This is why you need to keep balance in your life.

Can 30 Minutes 3 Times a Week Really Make a Difference?

You all know about the standard advice for adults. Get out and move a minimum of 30 minutes a day 3 times a week. More is better, but this is often said to be the minimum that a person can exercise and still have it count as exercise. The real question then becomes is it even worth it? At only 90 minutes of exercise per week, many people would feel that doesn’t even come close to making a difference. Here’s the facts when it comes to this basic requirement of exercise.

What’s Your Fitness Level Going In?

At Home Or At The Gym... Exercise Has Its Health Benefits
At Home Or At The Gym… Exercise Has Its Health Benefits
Before you scoff at this idea, you have to consider the fitness level of the person going in. Typically, this advice is aimed at people who don’t work out. They work in offices and drive everywhere they travel. They don’t do anything more strenuous in the course of the day than carrying a laptop down the hall, and they definitely don’t go on 30 minute walks. It doesn’t matter if they’re fat or thin; even thin people can be unfit. If they really don’t exercise at all, then 30 minutes 3 times a week would actually be a step up for them. Any sort of step up is good. If you don’t really work out then this could be a very good beginning goal for you. When you’ve gotten in the habit of going for 30 minute walks every week you can start lengthening the walks and increasing the frequency.

You’re Not Going to Be Running Marathons

Of course, you have to realize that with this light cap you’re not going to be running marathons any time soon. When you walk 90 minutes in a week you’re training your body to be able to handle 90 minutes of exercise per week. You can’t keep things at this level and then be surprised when you can’t go for long jogs or lift a bunch of weights. This is a very minimal cap and it will net you basic benefits.

You’re Not Going to Lose Much Weight

Also, if you’re thinking that this could be the key to weight loss you should think again. Even if you walked briskly, a 90-minute walk will only burn off about 400 calories or fewer. That’s 400 calories per week that you’re shaving off your diet. It might in time be enough to help you lose weight, but it would be so slow and so difficult to judge that you probably would never even notice. It’s definitely not the secret to fitting back into those jeans you wore in high school.

It’s a Good Basic Standard

30 Minutes 3 Times A Week Is All IT Takes
30 Minutes 3 Times A Week Is All IT Takes
This exercise level isn’t meant to help you become a muscle bound god or drop twenty pounds in a month. This weight loss is all about giving your heart and lungs basic exercise. 30 minutes 3 times a week is enough for you to start reaping the benefits of improved cardio vascular health. There’s no big secret to this. If you want to increase your general health while lowering the odds that you’ll develop heart and lung problems then taking this as a very basic exercise goal is pretty much the least you can do. Every little bit helps, so start taking these walks today.