This New Years, I got a little app-happy.  I don't know why, but getting a new app makes me feel like some magic portal has opened in my life, and I can finally do whatever I want, and do it much easier.  I found a bunch of new apps this past holiday season, and I've been yapping on and on about them.

So, I thought I would share them with you, because, just maybe, they'll open a magic portal in your life as well...


1.  Zombie 5K Training

This one I JUST started today, and it already is pretty awesome.  This isn't your run of the mill get off your butt training program to get you from walking to running a 5K.  No.  This is a story that you become immersed in, where you live in a post-apocalyptical world where zombies are everywhere, and you are a runner in one of the human settlements that has to go out and get supplies and such.

Now.  I hate running.  But, I always seem to sign myself up for these things.  I had a bit of hope because not only is this the top fitness app, but there were all sorts of comments from people who hate running, who found this fun and motivating.

I've already done the pre-workout, a "get to know you" workout, if you will, where you don't have to run if you don't want to.  It basically is introducing the story & how you got to the township of people.  But I tell you what, as I listened to the story, and that adrenaline got going, I picked up my little feet and started to book it.  So, I can see how people have said that they look forward to their next workout, because they want to see what happens next.

Oh, and another aspect that I love about it, is that it interfaces with their website, where you can see your runs (including a map of where you've run), your pace, what achievements you've unlocked, and more.

So stay tuned to see if I still rave about this once I get into the serious running portion....


2.  Strides

This app is going to change my life.  

No big deal.  It's just the best goal tracker I've found.  Why?  

1st, I do love the attractive and simple interface.    

2nd, there area several different ways to approach goal setting.  For instance, if you want to take advantage of the theory that you have to do something 30 times to make it a habit, you can set up your goal to check in daily.  Or, if you want to hit an average (like the recommended 10,000 steps a day), there is a lovely tracker for that as well.  Lastly, I love that you can even have a project type goal, where you can add several different components into a larger goal, and weight them, so as you complete them, the larger goal fills up.  Personally, most of mine are of the "do it 30 times" style (though it doesn't have to be 30, you can set it to whatever number you wish).  Which leads me to...

3rd, for the "do it 30 times" style, if you fall of the wagon, you lose everything.  I found this out when I was trying to get fruit at breakfast everyday.  My little green bar was edging along, and then one day I forgot to eat fruit.  And alllll of that progress I had made slipped back to 0.  And you know what?  I haven't missed a day yet.  With that or my other top goals, because I just make sure it happens, or I lose EVERYTHING!  

This app really gets around my BS excuses.  Amen.


3.  Moves

I've had this app for a little while and have really enjoyed it.  Though I will admit so far it hasn't motivated me to move much more, but I really haven't focused on it yet.  But I do have a lot of fun with it anyway.

You just have to carry it around with you - in your purse, pocket, whatever - and it will track you.  And the amazing thing is, it can tell when you are walking, or running, or cycling, or in a car.  It also has a simple interface, that allows you to see where you went, and then adds up all your movement to give you totals of how many miles you walked that day.  

Much better than a pedometer.  Love it.



Okay, this one blew me away when I found it, and realize that this is the next step into the future.

Seriously.  Sometimes I feel OLD.  This app made me feel old.  But really excited.  

IFTTT - If This Then That.  This app works across several apps on your phone.  You make "recipes" by combining actions in two different apps.  For instance, you can use the weather app and your text app to make a recipe where "If the forecast calls for rain, then text me to bring an umbrella".  Or "If someone tags me in a photo on facebook then add that photo to my photo album app".  Those are a few of the popular recipes, but the possibilities are endless, especially as they continue to add more apps.  

I am particularly intrigued by the ones that use the mapping system.  One I have set up is that when I leave the area around my office, that I get a text to remind myself to walk home.  You could also set it to text your spouse that you are coming home, or add the info to a google spreadsheet to track your hours, or to turn on the lights at home (well, if you don't mind buying $100 lightbulbs that interface with a particular app).

I think this one is just beginning and I'm really excited to see where this takes us...


5.  Toodledo

Okay, so I'm a little obsessed with task management systems.  It probably is my favorite procrastination thing to do, is to simple reorganize my tasks into a new system.  It takes quite awhile to do, and I feel like I accomplished something.  Yeah, well.

Well!  This app & on-line program is pretty nifty, if I do say so myself.  Now, if you like things clean & simple, this probably isn't the one for you.  But if you like things to really dig in to your task system, get ready my dear.  

I particularly like that I can create goals and assign tasks to that goal, even though the tasks may live in different folders.  For instance, I have tasks that may be in my "household" folder, or my "biz" folder, that may both feed in to the same goal.  Then I can sort my task list to just look at those contributing to a particular goal.

And I also really love that it takes in various different aspects of the task (due date, priority level, etc), and gives it a importance number.  So then I'm able to sort my tasks in order of importance, to really get a good idea of what is REALLY on the top of my list.

There is so much this app does, I can't even get into it all.  So check it out to see if it is your thing.  If it is, Mazel Tov!  If not, no biggie. 
So.  There you go.  Hopefully you'll find an idea or two in there to really make the most of 2014.  

I think it's going to be a good year.