DAY 5: Use the Power of Phone Apps
What’s that? You just got a shiny new smart phone? Let me guess, you use these applications on a daily/weekly basis:
- Facebook Mobile (self-incrimination central, but it’s cool since you have so many “friends”)
- Twitter (#1 place where people broadcast, to the WORLD, things they really should keep to themselves)
- Snap Chat (hilarious)
- Instagram (helping amateurs add professional effects to pictures since 2010)
- Some random procrastination game (Angry Birds? Or something of the sort)
- Tinder (online speed dating, basically)
Great! That makes you just like everyone else. From here on, we’re going to need you to step up your game.
There’s thousands of apps out there that can actually help you learn, be more productive, and accentuate your talents. We have our favorites, but invite you to 3 general practices to elevate your Smart Phone experience:
First, Download at Least One News Application
One of the many complaints about college students today is their lack of knowledge regarding current events. Get on your phone and find a news application that you like and download it. Personally, I like the USA Today application for how it gives you news on many different areas that may interest you. Each morning prior to class, take fifteen minutes and skim through the articles to increase your overall knowledge of what is going on around the world.
Second, Look into Podcasts
Podcasts are awesome! They have been gaining in popularity, but basically can teach you anything you want to know. Some are short, 5–8 minutes, and others range closer to the hour variety. But literally, any topic or hobby you can think of, someone is podcasting about it. My favorite application for this: iPP Podcast Player. If you don’t like this one, Player FM is also a good option (cool thing is it has a desktop interface that you can log into). Give it a shot, try to find 15–20 minutes of your day (while you’re walking to class or on your daily commute) to listen to at least one. Several of our favorites:
- Art of Manliness (if you love his site, you’ll enjoy his podcast)
- Entrepreneur on Fire (love this, great personality, interviews self-made millionaires, basically)
- The 5 AM Miracle (sometimes hit or miss, but inspiring)
- Read to Lead (about books you should be reading)
- HBR Ideacast (Harvard Business Review, great minds, great ideas)
- APM Marketplace (20-minute update on news)
- Stuff you Should Know (random facts, but entertaining)
- Quick and Dirty podcasts (basically 5–8 minute clips for any hobby you can think of — my favorite are The Public Speaker, Grammar Girl, Get-It-Done, and Fitness)
- If you have any favorites we didn’t list, please let us know in the comments below!
Third, download apps that will help you learn
There are tons of “mind-game” apps you can pick from, one of my favorites: Shortyz Crosswords — I try to get one in a day, but they give you just about every major daily publication of crosswords from newspapers around the world.
Highly recommend downloading Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day app — try to use the word during the day. Most won’t stick, but some will. Think: even if only 20% resonate with you, that’s building your vocabulary by 72 words every year!
Mind Tools is a great app with articles ranging from Leadership to Time Management — might be toilet material for you, but try to knock out one of these every day.
If you know of any other favorites (which undoubtedly you do, these are just a few of ours), please let us know!
Over the next month, be on the lookout for your new challenge every day — you can also follow the updated series of posts here.
Also, be sure to print out and hang up your Challenge Checklist so you can keep track. You’ll get a sneak peak at what’s to come, but can get further details with the post associated with each day.
Remember, legends are constantly improving themselves, so it’s up to you to work hard in accomplishing each daily task to help you become the legend on your campus.
What apps do you use to help keep you productive, learning, or motivated? We want to hear about them. Please keep us updated on your efforts in the comments below!