I finally traded in my iPhone for an Android phone; in fact a Google Pixel 2 to be exact. I was constantly frustrated with my iphone battery never lasting and my phone space always running out so I thought it was time to make a change. I’m happy with my decision – once you get your head around it, the Google Pixel 2 is super easy to use and the camera is amazing. Because I have more space, I’ve been downloading tons of cool apps too.

Here’s some helpful apps I’m really loving at the moment.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Tech | 6 apps to help you get your sh*t together

FOREST
This sweet little app is to help you stop being on your phone so much, whether that’s to help you work/study or to just stop relying on your phone. Yes it’s kind of weird and ironic that it’s an actual phone app that helps you but it really does the job. You set a timer for how long you want to to be away from your phone and on screen, shrubs, bushes and trees go. The longer the timer, the more advanced the greenery. If you pick up your phone and use it, the plant dies. At the end of the day you end up with a cute virtual garden and a sum up of how long you’ve been focused for. The more you use the app the more coins you get too to buy other types of flowers and trees. And, even better, if you upgrade to a paid version, each tree you plant ensures a tree is planted somewhere in real life too.

HABITICA
I’m still getting my head around this one but it’s a really niche way to keep up with your to-do lists, habit tracking and the like. Each time you complete a task or a daily habit, you have a little character that levels up and you can essentially then add battle gear and defeat monsters. It takes a while to get into and I still don’t fully understand it, but it’s uber cool and ideal for gamers too.

YEAR IN PIXELS
This app is a really simple way to get hold of your emotions and it’s been a lifesaver for me lately with so much going on. You simply pick a colour based on how happy/sad you are and can add tags for actual feelings like happiness or excitement etc. A grid is filled in and at the end of the year you’ll have a whole year of colour. It’s actually really interesting to look back on – at the time, you might feel like you’re struggling day to day but when you look at the bigger picture, you’ll see that there are still happy times/days too.

FLO
I have no idea how I survived without this app, considering my period is somewhat regular but also often not. This discreet app reminds you when you’re coming up to that time of the month and the interface is really simple and sophisticated too (so many period apps end up being unnecessarily overly feminine). I love that you can tag your moods and stuff also. The main thing is to remember to use this app though. Don’t do what I did and forget to use it then panic and think you’re pregnant when your period is uber late. I can’t be the only one that thinks PMS symptoms and pregnancy symptoms (cravings/tiredness and being over emotional) are waaaaaay too similar…

GOOGLE CALENDAR
Oh I’ve waited years to find a decent and easy to use calendar that sync’s up with everything. This has synced up with a calendar on my laptop and I can create different calendars for work, blogging, events and bills. Y’know, cause I’m an adult now and have SO MANY BILLS now that I live alone. I mean I’m sure all different calendar’s do this too but in the meantime, I’m happy as larry with this one.

DUOLINGO
Yeah, yeah, everyone and their dog uses this app and I’ve used it on and off for years now but right now I am loving it. I may no longer be with my ex boyfriend but I’m still hellbent on learning Romanian, just to say that I can. I’m currently on a 27 day streak BOOYA. And I can string a couple of sentences together now too, not just insults and basic words like the Romanian translation of milk/tea/juice and thank you. Haha. I am a genius in the making.

These are just six apps I am loving right now and they’ve really helped me get my sh*t together – which we all know is one of the best benefits of modern technology.

Can you recommend any apps ideal for productivity? Let me know with a comment below!

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In our society, it’s super easy to feel popular with instagram likes, hundreds of Facebook fans and an audience at your fingertips on Twitter. But we all know just how lonely this can make us too – people often choose to whatsapp instead of meeting for coffee in real life and although blogging has an amazing community, sometimes you just want to step away from the screen and hang out with these people in real life. This is where the app Hey! Vina comes in.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Introducing: Hey! Vina | Friendship | App Review

Hey! Vina describes itself as Tinder for friendship and it follows the same routine – you download the app and create a profile, you join a few communities and when it’s time to look for a friend, you’re faced with basic profile cards where you can swipe left or right to match. Better yet, people actually use this app. I’ve already matched with many lovely sounding girls living local and I’m hoping to take the friendship non-virtual soon.

The app is a great way to meet new people and make new friends – as we all know it’s not easy. The older you get the harder it becomes to make friends in real life – often the closest you’ll get is declaring new best friends in the ladies toilets on a night out only to never see the girls again! So this laid back app takes all that fuss out of it and allows you to chat and mingle with people from the comfort of home.

Of course the next step to actually arranging to meet in real life is a little scary and I have to admit, I’m yet to find the courage to do so. But does it actually work? Do people actually make friends in real life via this app? It turns out they do, as a few girls have told me – so the app definitely does the job.

You can join little groups/communities based on your interests and circumstances too – such as Yogis, Expats and SciFi Sisters – although so far, other than seeing other peoples communities on their profile, I don’t quite understand what the communities are for yet as there’s not really a page or message board for each. Still, it’s a great way to easily see at a glance whether or not you have things in common with someone.

The app is absolutely beautiful too and filled with cute and quirky illustrations. It looks so sweet on my phone and I have to admit, the look of the app is part of what drew me in to download it and try it (as I’ve tried similar friendship apps before but they’ve never really lived up to my expectations).

So overall, it’s a great app for whatever your circumstances. I’ve spoken to girls just moved to the area and who don’t know anyone yet, ladies who are recently single and people who just want to make new friends – like me.

And if you’re scared about starting the conversation first, you don’t have to worry. As soon as you match with someone, an automatic message from VINA pops up, prompting you to talk and creating a chat stream. So cool, and almost impossible to ignore (in a good way).

So if you’re feeling lonely or like you need to meet new people in your area, I’d definitely recommend Hey! Vina. It’s an app that I feel is really needed right now as I know first hand how hard it is to meet new people and make new friends, so I really hope more people become aware of it and start using it soon.

Would you ever try and app like Hey! Vina? Let me know!

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One of my favourite things about having a smartphone is all the amazing apps that are available; from budgeting to finding the nearest public loo, apps are a lifesaver more often than not. I last wrote a post like this in 2016, so I thought it was time for an update to share what my favourite apps are in 2018.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Tech | My favourite apps for 2018

LIFESTYLE | TOWNFISH
This app is still in its beta phrase – and I’ve been helping to test it out – but so far, it’s been super useful for me when I’m in London. Relying on locals, the app lists all cool and quirky events going on in the city and is really great if you’re in London at a loss of what to do and need to find something pretty damn quickly. You can also ask questions or ask for recommendations, and the app shares blog posts like where to celebrate pancake day in London or free things to do in the city. Keep an eye out for this app for when it launches properly.

BUDGETING | MONZO
I recommended this app in 2016 but still find it totally relevant. With this app, I have my own (funky pink!) prepaid card to help me budget my money. Whenever I get paid, I now top up the card with whatever essentials I need to spend money on that month; petrol, parking, food shopping etc. Anything left over in my bank account I try to save. It’s useful because the money I need is already set aside so if ever I’m skint, I don’t have to panic about important things like that. It’s really popular too – I see people coming into work and using their own Monzo cards all the time!

FITNESS | 30 DAY SQUAT CHALLENGE
Paired with taking up Pound Fitness again, committing myself to the simple 30 Day Squat Challenge will ensure that I will have the best bottom ever pretty soon..! (Hopefully)

DRIVING | WAZE
The satnav in your pocket! I adore Waze, a cute satnav driving app. I still use my actual satnav for long journeys but Waze is ideal on a day to day basis as it updates as you’re driving to reflect traffic and suggest other routes to take, you can send ETA’s through it (quite possibly my favourite part), ‘bib’ your friends when they’re online and earn points with the more you drive. So useful. Plus the avatar’s are really cute. Mine is a little zombie because I’m forever doing early morning delivery shifts at work and therefore driving half asleep in the morning looking like a zombie.

LIFESTYLE | STRIDES
A new year means a new you, but for those of us who don’t bullet journal, keeping a level head and remembering all our new year habits is hard. I’ve started using Strides, which is a basic little app that records your new habits. It’s very satisfying to hit seven days in a row or being able to look at the calendar to see more green (completed) than red (failed) dates. I use mine to track eating vegan, learning Romanian, doing exercise, hitting my daily water intake goal and not speaking to my ex, ha. It has really helped to motivate me and for anyone struggling in the new year, even beginning to record one small habit can help anyone keep a level head or routine when everything feels too much.

MONEYSAVING | CHIP
Another money saving app is Chip – something I’ve blogged about so many times because it’s just that amazing. Since using downloading it, I’ve saved nearly £300 without even realizing it. The app links up to your bank account and judges your spending to work out what can be saved each week – so it will vary from a couple of quid to £50! And, if it’s too much, you can cancel the withdrawal. It’s such a smart app and it’s the only way I’ve ever managed to properly save. If you’re interested, you can use my referral code JLB3BY to earn 1% interest on all your savings. 1% might not seem like a lot, but every little helps. Plus, since you save so regularly, the interest will soon build up. You can read about the app in more detail here.

What are your favourite or most useful apps? Let me know!

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Mental health is an extremely important issue in our day in age, especially when we live in a world where people are lonelier than ever despite having the whole world at their fingertips via a phone or laptop. Luckily, this is where Mental Snapp comes in.

Mental Snapp is a brand new app which bridges the gap between modern technology and mental health. In a nutshell, you use the app on a daily basis to record your feelings by filming videos simply just talking about your feelings and how your day has gone. It’s a great way to get in touch with yourself and is a modern take on checking in on how your doing and feeling.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Introducing: Mental Snapp | App | App Review | Mental Health | Mental Snapp

The videos are entirely private, but depending on what tags you use, the app comes up with responses and prompts for what to record next. You have the opportunity to rate your mood, name your feelings and add a subject area regarding what you are recording about, be that stress or how well you’re sleeping.

It’s a new way to journal on a daily basis, which is perfect for people with not a lot of time or who are too forgetful to keep a diary. Although you don’t have to use the app daily, you can add reminders and this can be another way to get a grip on your mental health by sticking to a routine.

By tagging videos and adding summaries, you can also view an insights graph which shows you an easy to understand analysis of your feelings. It’s a bit like an online bullet journal!

The prompts are a great idea too. If you feel like you’ve had a pretty average day and don’t really know what to talk about, choosing a prompt is another great way to self-improve also. You can remind yourself of ways to improve your motivation, or talk about the qualities in friends or family that make you feel appreciated. There’s also an SOS section which I love. Here, you can choose prompts to help you next time you’re close to a break down or having a bad day. This section almost makes you become your own therapist as you answer questions about who to reach out for in a crises or what you can do to help yourself calm down.

PERSONAL USE & THOUGHTS
I’ve been using Mental Snapp for a few weeks now and what a difference it has made. Although I have yet to remember to record daily, I have found the process of filming a quick video at the end of my day relaxing and somewhat comforting. I could compare it to talking to a diary or even a friend in an informal way; a gentle recap of my day’s events.

Looking back over my videos has been eye opening too. My videos began with me feeling quite down and heartbroken at the end of my last relationship and I’ve noticed that gradually I’ve begun to look just a little less upset and a little more, well, positive. It’s not a big difference, but it’s the kick I need to know that I am going to be okay.

Additionally, seeing how tired and just downright sad I looked to begin with has given me the confidence to take back control of my life. I don’t want to be that person anymore. My relationships, my ex boyfriend – the things that happen in my life may affect me as a person but they do not define me or define my feelings. Downloading and using this app has helped me get a grip on my mental health and helped me realize that it’s time to take back control of my feelings with help Lexapro.

Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Introducing: Mental Snapp | App | App Review | Mental Health | Mental Snapp Formidable Joy - UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Introducing: Mental Snapp | App | App Review | Mental Health | Mental Snapp

In this day in age – when therapists are expensive and our online lives force us to feel lonelier than ever – Mental Snapp is the app we need to take back control of our mental health and help us get a grip on managing it.

My only small issue with the app is where the videos are stored – I found quite quickly I was unable to record more videos unless I free’d up some space on my phone. Anyone with an iPhone will know how irritating this is – and how easy it is to run out of space – so although I don’t know much about phone storage, perhaps it would work out better if the videos were stored in the app only so that it doesn’t affect how much space is needed on your phone.

The video lengths are bite size at two minutes long – which I kind of like. It took me a while to get used to how short they are and for my first few videos I didn’t get to get in everything I wanted to say. I think this is a good thing though as it cuts out the cr*p so to speak – you get right to your point talking about your day. If you want to record a longer video – a ramble about your feelings perhaps – there are other ways to do this.

It does feel a little weird filming yourself at first. Of course confident vloggers likely won’t experience this, but it’s comforting to know that the videos are entirely private to you. You don’t even have to watch them if you don’t want to.

Still, overall, Mental Snapp has quickly become one of my go-to apps on my phone and pretty much does work like a personal diary or therapist in your pocket. It’s such a smart idea and I’m really glad that such an app was developed.

Would you use an app like Mental Snapp to get to grips with your mental health? Let me know with a comment!

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