Listicle: Apps to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions

This article first appeared in Digital Edge, The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on January 18, 2021 - January 24, 2021.
Listicle: Apps to help you keep your New Year’s resolutions
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How are your resolutions holding up? If you are still on track, congratulations! 

But if you are finding it difficult, here are some apps to help you along.

 1  Reading

If you have a pile of books sitting unread and decide that this is the year to tackle them, consider a reading tracker. The basic idea is for users to input books that they are reading or want to read, as well as note down their progress.

a) Read More

This app has interactive features such as a daily reading reminder, reading goal and quote designer for storing interesting or impactful quotes. There are also reading milestone badges to collect. How does the app work? Simply turn on the reading timer and stop it when you are done, after which you can input the number of pages read and the app will determine your reading speed.

b) Traquer

A simple, minimalist and basic reading tracker app, Traquer allows you to create virtual shelves of the books you would like to read as well as categorise your books based on status of completion — in progress, completed and to be read. It also provides weekly and monthly analytics on your reading progress.

 2  Saving

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that it is important to have an emergency fund. If you are looking to start off small, here are some apps to consider:

a) MAE by Maybank2u

Maybank’s new online banking app has features that allow you to check your saving and conscious spending habits. For example, as soon as you log in, your monthly expenses are neatly categorised in a pie chart. The Tabung feature allows you to create a savings goal with a weekly or monthly auto-debit. There are also boosters that allow spare change to be directed into virtual piggy banks and set limits on guilty pleasures.

b) Wallet — finance tracker and budget planner

This easy-to-use app allows you to put available funds into the wallet as well as keep tabs on your daily expenditure. You may also input recurring payments and credit card details, as well as create a savings goal. You may also link your bank account to the app, but this is only available for the premium version, which costs RM13.99 monthly, RM69.99 annually or RM76.99 for a lifetime subscription.

 3  Creative pursuits

a) Brainsparker

Whether you are looking for word prompts for creative writing and other forms of artistic expression, or whether you are just looking for a solution to a problem, this app has random creativity prompts to help you “ignite your imagination, overcome creative blocks and brainstorm new ideas”. It also allows users to schedule daily prompts. However, the app is only available on Apple iOS and the Android version is scheduled to be launched this year.

 4  Outdoor adventures

a) Cairn: Hiking & Outdoor Trails

If you are looking to spend more time outdoors this year, this app will ensure you are kept safe while on hikes, runs or any outdoor activity. You can search for locations and download an offline map, which can be accessed during your outdoor jaunts. You can also set up a list of close family and friends that can be notified in the event of an emergency or if you have been away for too long. This app is free for 30 days.

 5  Self-help

a) Break Bad Habits

New year, new you? You can set up a habit you want to reduce or abstain from, whether it is smoking, drinking or even procrastinating. The app requires you to input the pros and cons of abstaining from the habit as a reminder. As soon as a habit is locked in, a timer is started. Whenever you face a moment of weakness and succumb to the habit, reset the timer. You can also track your progress and collect achievement badges along the way.

b) Happify

Happify uses studied techniques to help you take control of your emotions as well as manage stress and anxiety. The app has a set of activities that need to be completed within a certain amount of time. They range from meditation to listing life’s silver linings and blessings.