November 27, 2023

My Favorite Apps!

After the super long "favorite things" posts last week, I needed a few days to recover my brain, haha. As simple as the posts seem, they take me forever to put together!

This will be short and sweet, I promise ;)  I debated whether to even do this post, because I don't have a LOT of apps to share, but there are a few apps that I love and/or find helpful, so I want to mention them. I apologize, but most of these are only on iPhone, unfortunately. I didn't know that until I started writing this post--although, I don't know anything about the Google Play store, so I might just be overlooking them.

I've included links to the apps in the Apple App store and for the couple that I could find in the Google Play store. Hopefully the others will include Android soon!

Happy Scale (premium is $2/month, or $12/year, or $40 for lifetime)

This is my favorite weight-tracking app. It's SO HELPFUL if you're tracking your weight loss or if you just want to keep a log of your weight for whatever reason. My weight history goes back to September of 2000(!)--I had it written here and there in notebooks, so I went through and entered them all into the app one day. It's kind of cool to see it all in one spot like that.

(Here is a whole post that I wrote about Happy Scale a couple of years ago--it's much more detailed.)

Anyway, I've tried a ton of weight trackers and this is by far the best one. You can view graphs of periods of a month, a year, all time, etc. You can see averages, highs, lows, predictions of weight trends, view your weight as an average over a week or two rather than a daily number, view all of your past entries, etc.

I don't like apps that do *everything*--for example, a food log + weight tracker + exercise tracker + period tracker, etc. I prefer to have an app that does one thing really well rather than an app that does multiple things in a mediocre way. This app is absolutely what I want out of a weight-tracking app.

I love that Happy Scale still offers a "lifetime" subscription (you pay a one-time cost and don't have recurring payments). It's hard to find apps that do that anymore! I want to mention as well that Russ, the developer, is fantastic. When the app was still new, he asked me to try it and give him some feedback, and I thought it was amazing! I've contacted him a few times over the years and he's always been great about getting back to me. I don't doubt that he treats questions/issues about the app with concern.

I honestly can't think of anything I don't like about the app!

Apple App Store: Happy Scale 

Habit Tracker (premium is $3.49/year or $6 lifetime)

I discovered this app recently when I started working on the "atomic habits" after reading the book 'Atomic Habits' by James Clear. I wanted an app that I could use to track habits, but I'd already downloaded probably a dozen of them in the past--they just weren't what I was looking for.

Once I tried this app, I was HOOKED. This is exactly what I was looking for! Clean-looking, not overwhelming (well, unless you want to add 50 new habits to your life--but that will be overwhelming regardless of how you track them), very helpful, and kind of fun to use. As a numbers person, seeing the statistics of how I've stuck to my habits is kind of cool.

The only downside here is that it took a while to set up. I included things that were already habits to begin with, but helpful to keep in a tracker. You can change the way it logs your habits--whether you want to measure this habit by minutes, days, weeks, or track things like drinking water by the glass, ounce, cup, or even just a simple yes/no if you reached your water goal. I have mine set up so it is mostly a yes/no deal--I either did it or I didn't that day.

It has several features that I don't use (maybe I will, I just haven't tried them yet) like building habits with someone else, different widgets and timers, etc. So far, I have only used it for tracking my daily habits.

After playing around with it, I checked out the price to upgrade and get to add more habits (I think it allowed five(?) for free), and discovered that they have a one-time "pro" option--for $5.99! I'm almost afraid to write this here because I don't want them to change it, haha. It is SO rare to find apps that do this anymore. It's not a subscription--just a one-time payment. I bought this tracker and I use it daily. It's a great habit tracker!

Apple App Store: Habit Tracker

Budget Spending Tracker (premium is $2/mo, $5/year, $9 lifetime)

I have always loved the idea of a budgeting app, but I could never find one that worked how I liked. I can't really describe what a perfect budgeting app would be for me, but all of the ones I'd tried just weren't it. I like to sort and organize things my own way. I like simplicity. And very importantly, I don't want to have a recurring cost. I was thrilled to see that this app has a (cheap) lifetime membership as well!

Like the Habit Tracker, it took a while to set this up. Longer, even, because I had to look up the cost of each of my bills and figure out how much we've been spending on things like food, gas, etc., in order to make an accurate budget. Once I got it set up, though, I was stunned at how organized and the app is and helpful for seeing what money went where.

So, if you've tried other budgeting apps to no avail, this one might be worth a try. I think preferences for apps like these are entirely personal, so what I like may be worthless to others and vice versa. But I wanted to mention this here because I really like it.

Apple App Store: Budget Spending Tracker

Cronometer (premium is $10/mo, or $55/year)

People frequently ask me what calorie tracker I use. I don't track calories anymore, and other than a few days here and there, I haven't for a long time. My go-to suggestion for the average person looking to track calories has always been Fat Secret (I wrote all about it on this post). However, Cronometer is my favorite. It's MUCH more in-depth about nutrition. Since becoming vegan, I was more interested in vitamins/micronutrients than I was calories, and Cronometer is the best for that.

It's expensive (well, I guess it's not bad compared to some others, but $55 a year is kind of pricey--especially if it's not the only app you have a subscription for). The free version is actually really great--the only reason I upgraded was because it let me share my created recipes with Jerry--so he could easily log his food without having to create his own recipes in the app.

Basically, this app is perfect for people who want to see the full spectrum of nutrients and vitamins they are getting. For someone who just wants to count calories, or even macros, there are cheaper and even free ones (I really do like Fat Secret best for that).

Apple App Store: Calorie Counter by Cronometer
Google Play Store: Calorie Counter by Cronometer

Duolingo (Premium is $10/mo or $84/year)

As much as I love this app, I still use the free version. I wanted to state that up front so you can see that you don't *need* premium to love this app. At the beginning of January, I made a goal to learn a new vocabulary word once a week throughout the year. I was really bad at remembering to do that. A friend mentioned that he was 500 days into a streak on Duolingo, a language-learning app, so I decided to use that instead--not to learn a new vocabulary word, but to learn Spanish!

I took four years of Spanish in high school, but was never anywhere-near fluent. And after having gone, oh, two DECADES after high school without needing it, I just forgot everything. But using Duolingo has helped me to refresh it all and I've learned MUCH more. I'm almost 200 days into a daily Duolingo streak--I do at least one lesson a day, but usually more. They only take a few minutes. The repetition and bringing back old vocabulary words from months ago is super helpful in being able to remember everything I've learned.

I don't know that I'll ever get to the point of having a real conversation in Spanish, but for only being 195 days in, I'm impressed with what I've learned.  :)

Apple App Store: Duolingo
Google Play Store: Duolingo

Okay, like I said--short(ish) and sweet... my favorite apps. If you have a favorite that you want to share, please do! (Either here or you can share it on the Facebook post I created for "favorite things". Here is the link to the post on Facebook.) 

1 comment:

  1. Duolingo keeps coming up for me. Maybe soon. Thanks always for sharing your life with us!


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