We are all well-rehearsed in the benefits of taking a digital detox, and as avid hiders and sleepers, we certainly are the first to recommend taking time away from screens and digital life. However, when it comes to increasing productivity, making your day-to-day life easier and just generally nailing it, there is no denying that help from a handy little app can go a long way.
So, we all got our heads together here at hide & sleep HQ to work out which ones actually do assist with getting the kids off to school and budgeting for the month ahead, and which ones just sit on your home screen waiting to be deleted the minute your storage starts to run out.
For when you need some time to breathe: Calm
Voted as the number 1 app for meditation and mindfulness, Calm is perfect to have on hand for when you need to unwind. Lowering stress levels, managing anxiety and improving sleep are just a few of the things you can achieve when using their programmes that are designed for everyone, from the ultimate beginner to the mindfulness guru. PLUS, there is even a special section with stories designed to help you sleep, one of which is narrated by Matthew McConaughey with his deep Texan drawl… you are welcome!!
For when you need to get sh*t done: Any.do
With increasingly busy lives, it can be hard to keep track of the endless paper to do lists we oh-so-frantically write ourselves each day. Segment everything; from that getaway you’ve been meaning to plan for just the two of you, to writing the weekly grocery list and remembering to put the rubbish out. Each day at roughly 9am, a handy notification pops up to assist with planning out your day – not worried about sorting the gas bill today? Then pop that in the ‘someday’ category! Need to remember to post your child off to school with the P.E. kit tomorrow though? We suggest scheduling an alarm for that.
Ah, sleep. That joyful event that just never ever lasts long enough. We all know how horrid it can feel when you’re lacking in it, but there is actual science behind how to get the right amount each day, and the best time to wake from your slumber to reduce grogginess and fatigue. Sleep cycle uses sound analysis to identify which sleep state you are in and your movements throughout. Monitoring these signals, it will then begin to wake you softly when you are in the lightest stage of sleep, ending at your desired alarm time. The result? Waking up in a calm manner, feeling naturally rested – perfection.
For when you need to feel good inside and out: Cara
As much as you may laugh at those that order a fat-free, semi-skimmed, 1.345 shot, dash of oat milk, dash of almond milk latte, the reality of having a food intolerance is far less glamorous and light-hearted. Instead think, painful stomach cramps, unpleasant bloating and a whole lot of worry. If something has been unsettling you in the digestion area for a while, Cara can help you to work out exactly what foods may be linked to the upset. By tracking your moods, symptoms, stress and medication and then analysing the results, you are then presented with a set of insights that can help you to feel and be the healthiest possible version of yourself.
For when you want to roam *relatively* hands-free: Stocard
Brand loyalty has never been hotter than it is right now, and very rightly so. The bigger picture is choosing one brand over another because you appreciate and resonate with their values – smaller picture it’s £5 off your next shop because you’ve spent X amount with them in the last 5 months. And therein enters the loyalty card. We’re sure we aren’t the only ones whose bags are brimming with them and who has every intention to make the most of their cards but then always forgets at the checkout. Good news is, Stocard acts like an Apple Pay for loyalty cards and collates them all into one neat spot – meaning you can have all the rewards, offers and freebies easy to access for free!
For when it’s time to adult: Monzo
A bank ‘built for the way you live today’ Monzo is an up and coming debit card that allows you to manage your money in a slick, transparent way. Easily set up monthly budgets to restrict spending on things like groceries, eating out and travel, and segment your money by creating additional ‘pots’ that can be added to or withdrawn from at any time. If you want to steadily build up a holiday fund, create a holiday ‘pot’ in the app to add to whenever you have money spare – doing this will resist the temptation to spend the money just because it’s there, but also doesn’t prevent you from accessing the money quickly should you need to book that getaway right this very moment.
The digital answer to a diary, 1 Second Everyday pretty much does what it says on the tin – collates 1-second videos that you film every day into one large video diary for you to look back on. Social media does a wonderful job of giving us a way to look back on highlights, but you’re unlikely to encounter the days when things weren’t so ‘Instagrammable’. Film a second a day for a year, and the result is a roughly six-minute-long video of that year. Keep it up for five years and that’s half an hour. Half an hour of the highs and the lows, everything from the biggest adventures so far, to the days when you may have just chilled on the sofa watching re-runs of Friends – pretty incredible, huh? And pretty achievable too.
We hope that you find this round up of apps useful, and if you happen to try any, we’d love to know how you get on: why not test out Sleepcycle on your peaceful getaway in the Brecon Beacons or keep yourselves (h)appy with 1 Second Everyday on that impulsive short break to Cornwall. Keep us posted on your thoughts!