16 Apps I Use Everyday To Help Make Me Grow My Character
I love this verse from Scripture. ‘Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.’ Or put another way: ‘No Pain, No Gain.’ I have to be honest. I have a love/hate relationship with pain. Sometimes I love to push through the pain, but at other times I get started but don’t stick with the programme for change. It seems that the heart is willing, but the body is weak.
As a coach, I work to help people identify what their key area of pain is. Push through the pain, grow through the experience, and develop the character to come out the other side. But it’s not wishful thinking, motivation or enthusiasm alone that gets you there. Without develop good habits, it’s hard to change character. And I’ve found technology incredibly helpful for developing those habits.
You could say, there’s an app for character. In fact there’s quite a few.
All of these help me develop good disciplines of health, spirituality, gratitude, learning, productivity and empathy.
Please let me know what you use or what you would recommend?
As someone who naturally is always pushing on to what’s next, what could be better and how do we improve things, I need to learn to stop and take delight. Logging on to this for a couple of minutes each day and stopping to ask; ‘What is wonderful about life’ is a great discipline. Helps kicks things in perspective.
I track my food, my drink and my exercise. When I mentally take the time to think and approach how I’m loving my body, I become a lot more aware of my eating, drinking and exercise habits. It inspires me to walk when I could drive, to drink water when I could drink coffee, and to be accountable to online friends.
I love this app, because it has enriched my reading of the Bible lots. Whatever your beliefs, you’d be hard pressed to find a book that doesn’t carry the wisdom that can be found in this app. It has a number of reading plans, which are helpful when thinking through an issue. And if you fall behind on the reading plan, there’s a lovely ‘Catch Me Up’ button which means it picks up from where you left off on the current day. Makes one less likely to stop reading if a few days have been missed. It’s also easy to copy and paste into other applications. It has lots of different translations and 60 million people using it.
As with the Bible app, I’ve found this a revolutionary prayer app. I use it to jot down who I’m praying for, and often write out the prayer into the text. What I love about this, is that it helps me to ‘Get the Juices Flowing’ when I’m feeling a little uninspired, or distracted with other activity to get into the zone of reflection and prayer. By reading the prayers initially, I’m then able to let my heart and emotions catch up. Also you can schedule specific days for specific prayers. During the day, it pops up what you want to pray about, and it focuses your thinking and I feel as though I’ve really spiritually connected with all the things that are important for me each day.
I’ve tried lots of different To Do apps and software before. This is great as I tend to look over my goals that I’d set the day before at the beginning of each day. Some will be location based, others will not be remote based. I’m always one to get excited by what the day brings, and so instead of allowing my mind to wander too much into creative opportunities and possibilities, this keeps me focused on the grind and grunt of what needs to be done. Tick. Tick. Tick. Ba Boom!
6-10. Podcast/ iTunesU/ Audible/ YouTube
I subscribed to lots of podcasts, have bought lots of audio books, set up hundreds of YouTube playlists for future watching and I’m always keen to have learning at my finger tips. They vary from content a few minutes long, to others that are conversations lasting for 30 minutes. I rarely end up wasting time lacking stimulating content and reaching for yet more news. I’ll listen to them when I’m walking, running, commuting, at the gym, washing up and pretty much anywhere where I’m doing something else which gives me good thinking time and where I don’t need reflection space. I’ll also pull together content that I think will be helpful to others and forward this on to them. I absorb and hunger for thought provoking content, and these apps are my daily companion.
11-12 Evernote / Everclip
The statistical quote that I make up all the time goes something like this. According to American Psychologists, William Glasser “We Learn . . .10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss, 80% of what we experience and 95% of what we teach others.” All my life, I’ve tried to maintain the approach of learning for the purpose of sharing and teaching others. Evernote is my incredibly effective personal filing cabinet of people’s videos, quotes, lectures and articles. I use Everclip to clip quotes or articles that I want. The great notebook and tagging feature, helps me find these stories in seconds.
If music be the food of love, play on. If I don’t have music in my life, I get impatient and self critical. Without music I am generally a worse version of myself. Music allows me to connect with my emotions, my humanity, my frailty, my power and those around me. I like myself more when I’m emotionally connected and I love the ideas that come out of this place. I’m a thinker, but I’m deeply emotional. Without tapping into those emotions; that passion, energy and love, I’m too unhealthily driven and forget why I’m doing what I’m doing. My musical friend is Spotify.
14. Day One
Journalling is another helpful process for me to catch up with my emotions, and reflect on yesterday and the day ahead. When I journal I often allow my subconscious thoughts to catch up with me. I spend time listening, being still and just be. I listen to my maker and wait to get past the ego and busy activity. This is my heartbeat, my cry and my compass point. Am I being consistent with what I believe? Do I like how I’ve handled myself today? What am I feeling stressed about? What is going on in my heart? This is where I do a lot of the best work on myself and quite often thoughts or principles come out from this time too. I also assess what’s going on with those I’ve met today? I keep this away from being a todo list. That’s what Nozbe is for. I love Day One, as it gets out of the way and allows me to simply write. It feels cosy to write. Password protected as well so you’re thoughts can be yours, when I allow others to borrow my phone. Alternatively, if you’re an Evernote user, I’ve found myself setting up a journal template, and journalling there to keep everything in one place.
Leaders Read and Readers Lead. I love the way Kindle syncs wherever I am. When I’m reading on my phone, computer or iPad it picks up from where I left off. I also love the speaking functionality where the book reads to you (albeit in a computerised voice!). I may be reading as part of my morning ritual and want to keep listening to it whilst I shower or get dressed and ready. I also love the highlights and being able to scan to see what other people have highlighted. I do love scribbling in a book and I do love paper, but the privilege of being able to take my book collection everywhere, and being able to easily highlight quotes and the time that saves is worth losing touch with paper. I love the experience of Vinyl records- but I can’t remember the last time I listened to music using it.
I read over 60 blogs a day and I do this with Flipboard. It pulls all my content into one place in a magazine style format. I see the headlines of an article and the first few sentences and I can decide if I want to dig deeper. I grab a lovely cup of coffee, read the articles, email the best to my Evernote account or clip the sentences. It takes less than 20 minutes to set up, but then becomes your companion each day. You’re never short of entertaining, inspiring and educational content. I couldn’t consume the amount of learning I do, if it wasn’t for Flipboard. It would take too long and I’d get stuck with some articles or posts that I didn’t find inspiring. I can’t remember the last time I was ever close to being bored or un-inspired.
What apps can you recommend that enable you to be more of the person you want to be? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.