In this modern age of technology, it’s not uncommon to rely on apps for any occasion. Need a cleaner? Swipe your phone screen. Your usual babysitter cancelled? There’s an app for that! It’s pouring cats and dogs? Call an Uber! For every inconvenience in life, there’s an app. We have become highly dependent on our phones. Some would argue this is a bad thing. We say it can be a very good thing.
That is, when the right apps get installed on your mobile device. Apps that contribute to a healthy work/life balance.
We’d like to introduce you to our top 5 apps that help you maintain this healthy balance:
Wunderlist is a free tool that you can use as an app or desktop interface. It is useful on so many levels due to the many great functions: You can add multiple to do lists and share them with whomever you want and give them access to edit the lists if needed, for example. You can easily cross to-dos off your list and see what still needs to be done or what has already been completed. Still worried you might miss something? Set a (push) notification for a specific task or list! If you need to prioritize your tasks, that’s no problem. You can even add extra information to your to do’s if necessary. This enables you to jot down anything that’s still wandering around in your mind so you can get through your day with more room to focus on more important things (like the next item on your to-do list). This wonderful app (no pun intended) makes sure you can access your to-do list at any place at any time. The list automatically syncs when you are connected with the Internet, making sure you won’t miss an action item and you can move through life carefree not ever having to wonder if your most important lists are accessible. What’s a better example of a great work/life balancing app then Wunderlist that enables busy working parents to come to the grocery store well prepared: They just open Wunderlist to view the synced grocery list that the kids already filled in! Pro tip: Forward any e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and your e-mail turns up in your inbox on your Wunderlist. (Make sure to enable this functionality in your settings though).
We are big fans of Headspace! The smartphone app that is changing many different lives: From stockbrokers to athletes, anyone leading a (busy) life needs to install Headspace on their device right away. This app is a breakthrough: With 8,5 million and counting users, it is becoming clear you don’t have to be a hippy-dippy to come to terms you need to get your zen on once in a while. Headspace is the reminder that you need calm on a daily basis in order for you to stay (mentally) healthy. It decreases mood-swings, anxiety, binge eating and many more things that are very hard to deal with when you have a busy work schedule. Co-founder Andy Puddicombe is the friendly voice behind the first Headspace instructions, covering the basics of meditations that vary from a few minutes to hours and are categorized for all kinds of situations: Before a nerve wrecking presentation, a plane ride you are not too fond of or just a moment for yourself every day to prevent burnouts. At The Next Web festival that was held in Amsterdam last June, we were very lucky to attend the interview with Rich Pierson: Co-founder and CEO of Headspace. He explained this guided meditation app is the much-needed piece of tranquillity a lot of people are longing for these days. Especially for men, this app can be a godsend since it's still frowned upon men showing their emotions in several cultures. The app is free to download, with a 30-day trial. After that, some guided meditations ask for paid unlocking. By using Headspace you get a clear view of what’s happening inside of you. This has many benefits like qualitatively better good night sleeps, feeling more productive and energetic, and becoming a nicer person to work/live with overall. Pro tip: Check out Andy Puddicombe’s Ted talk about why ten minutes a day of doing nothing can help you live your best life and get hooked!
This project management tool can be used for any type of project. Whether you need to cook a Christmas dinner for your 27 relatives and need to keep track of dietary wishes or you are in charge of the marketing team of a thriving, let’s say, smart-lock company. Trello lets you create different boards for any project. These boards show cards similar to sticky notes that you can move from the sections you create yourself. The cards can contain pictures, checklists, due dates, coloured labels or other information. Once you are following up on a specific card it can be moved from ‘Draft’ to 'In Progress’ and eventually to ‘Done’ for example. For the project planners who are more visual oriented over textual Trello is a helpful tool! Work projects, story writing, family chores, they all get their own board and card with corresponding coloured labels. This helps to store important information in the brain. It’s so good because it’s so easy! Trello has a mobile app available, which happens to be very user-friendly and you can manage your projects on the go! Pro tip: As a result of the many ways Trello can be used the Trello team has an amazing company blog which is filled with Trello tips & tricks for work as well as home project planning.
If you are one of those that respond to a work e-mail in a heartbeat, you are probably someone that’s loved by your coworkers but frowned upon by your loved ones. Liking your work that much is great and we applaud that. Nevertheless, it can be a deathtrap to always be available. In order to stay productive on a daily basis, you need your break from all that is digital at least a few moments a day. With Breakfree it becomes clear if you are a phone-junkie or not. Breakfree monitors how long a time you spend on your phone. It can even see how long you spend on each app. Set a schedule for yourself and see if you can keep your word of not responding to work e-mails on the weekend. Give your family the attention they deserve and come to the office well rested and ready to get shit done by Monday. Pro tip: Disable sound and Internet for a certain period of time so you won’t get distracted or seduced to use your phone.
Install Hello Alfred on your phone if you want to kick your life-work balance up a notch! This app lets you come into a perfectly organized home by the time you come back from an exhausting working day. This service does your grocery shopping, picks up dry cleaning, ships packages and cleans your apartment while you are doing something else. Sounds like a dream, right! You might be hesitant at first. It’s not always easy to let a stranger into your apartment let alone letting them take care of all that’s precious to you like your pets. That’s why all ‘Alfred’s have completed a special Hello Alfred academy that was designed by hospitality specialists. Start feeling more in charge of your work life balance with the knowledge a well trained Alfred is taking care of everything that enables a happy private life. Pro tip: Hello Alfred can also help with prepping a party or planning that longed for holiday!