Technology: Apps to help you keep your resolutions


You know what it’s like. You wake up on the first of January feeling either great about life or fiercely hung over. You look back over the events of New Year’s Eve, a fond memory to get you through the trying times of winter. Then you realize what you promised to everyone last night, stub out the cigarette and flush the last of the cake down the toilet. Suddenly, winter seems a long and cruel season. Happily, your phone or tablet is here to help. There are apps that’ll help you do everything these days, so round about now, when even the iron wills are crumbling, your favourite device can help you keep your promises.

If you want one of those fancy fitness wristbands, Endomondo is probably the best starting point. It will track your walk, run, swim or any other activity that involves moving using your phone’s GPS and report back with some surprisingly detailed data. It’s high on the compatibility list too, accepting connections from most major fitness band producers.

Probably top of every smoker’s New Year list is to not be a smoker any more, which as an ex-smoker, I can heartily recommend. For Android users, the imaginatively named QuitNow has to be the best, if a little gimmicky. Based on what you tell it (be honest) it’ll let you know how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked and the money you’ve saved. For IPhone, there’s Quit Pro. Very similar to the aforementioned QuitNow, except for the achievements.

So, you’ve nailed smoking and got yourself the body of a Greek god. Perhaps now you’ve less to worry about, you could be more productive and use your healthy mind and body more efficiently? Wunderlist is a ‘to do’ list on steroids. In addition to the usual lists and reminders functions it’ll allow you to collaborate in real time and even converse with members of your team or family. Whether you use it as a life organizer or a shopping list, it’ll surely make at least one aspect of your day easier.

If you’re a more traditional meat-and-potatoes list user, a favourite of mine is Remember The Milk. Lists are presented in a traditional lit, checkmark and crossed out fashion, simulating the paper jotter experience – something that will provide comfort to the slightly technophobic among us.

The distractions of the internet are available 24/7 on the very machine you use to work. Cold Turkey is a PC app that will block access to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr – anything you tell it to. It has a timer built in, so if you need two hours with no distractions, they’re yours. Mac users can  a very similar program called Self Control.