We're all guilty of spending a little too much time on social media these days. According to research, the average person will spend more than five years of their life on social media. This figure, scary as it may be, seems to have little effect on how often we visit Instagram and Facebook for a quick fix of the latest happenings.
Sure, it can feel good to partake in a mindless scroll through your Instagram feed, but sometimes it feels like we're missing an opportunity to put those minutes to better use. In an effort to feel better about our phone time, we sourced six productivity-boosting apps that will definitely benefit you more than seeing your Instagram acquaintances vacationing in Europe.
If you're looking for a more beneficial alternative to Candy Crush, then try Lumosity, a brain-training program designed by scientists to satiate your gaming needs. The app helps to stretch your cognitive abilities through fun games and puzzles. And with more than 85 million users, you'll be in good (and smart) company.
Whether you need company on your lunch break or just want something inspiring to listen to while you pump out a hefty report, TED provides engaging, insightful listening. Regular use will give you practical knowledge, conversation starters, and sparks of inspiration to move you through your day-to-day happenings.
3. Gutenberg Project
We've long spoken about starting a book club in the office, but lugging a weighty novel around can be a hassle. Gutenberg Project allows you to read more than 53,000 books from the comfort of your phone, including some of the world's most respected reads. For the paper-devout, the app mimics a book-like format, so you'll feel totally at home flipping from page to page.
4. Daily Page
Research suggests that journaling increases mental wellbeing and physical health. Enter Daily Page, a writing app that provides a new word prompt each day and gives you 24 hours to complete an entry. Plus, you can share your work with other users and read what they've come up with, which provides plenty of creative inspiration.
5. Hey! VINA
Making new pals when you enter the adult world can be really hard. Hey! VINA is basically the Tinder of girl-boss friendship, connecting busy women with new friends who share similar interests. It allows you to swipe right to meet fellow ladies, join like-minded e-communities, and take quizzes and read articles about bettering yourself.
If you have a weakness for interior styling, HomeStyler is right up your alley. A "virtual fitting room" for your space, it allows you to upload a snapshot of your home and then go window shopping for new items. You can see what items will look like in your space before you buy them, so it's particularly great for commitment-phobes. Even if you don't need a new couch, it's fun to play shop for a while (especially when you're doing it from bed).
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Mediakix. How Much Time Do We Spend on Social Media? 2020.
Smyth JM, Johnson JA, Auer BJ, Lehman E, Talamo G, Sciamanna CN. Online Positive Affect Journaling in the Improvement of Mental Distress and Well-Being in General Medical Patients With Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Preliminary Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Ment Health. 2018;5(4):e11290. doi:10.2196/11290