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7 free apps to help you get your life together

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    • 7 free smartphone apps to help you get your life together

       

      Smartphone apps are more than just social media black holes for frittering away long train rides with Facebook, Snapchat and Tumblr.

      If you've ever stared into a mirror and asked yourself how to be more adult, look no further.

      The Straits Times rounds up seven free apps to take control of your life, from organising your to-do list to shopping smart.

      GOOGLE KEEP

      Free on iOS and Android

      Android users should take advantage of this free app, which is just as helpful as it is simple when it comes to keeping track of tasks.

      Like a virtual collection of sticky notes - with customisable colour-coding for individual entries - Keep stores photos and to-do lists and has an option for setting reminders.

      The checklist feature is a nice plus. There's nothing more satisfying than ticking the little box and seeing a task crossed off.

      TOSHL FINANCE

      Free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone and website; comes with in-app purchases

       

      This budget planner comes with slick graphs to track your income and expenses using tags and categories, the option to plan monthly budgets and adorable cartoon demons that nag at you with passive-aggressive questions like "How's those textbooks you're spending all your money on?".

      Frequent travellers and online shoppers who make purchases on overseas marketplaces like Amazon and Taobao will appreciate the ability to enter sums in 172 currencies which update with the latest Singapore dollar exchange rate.

      ZOMBIES, RUN!

      Free on iOS, Android and Windows Phone; comes with in-app purchases

      If you were looking for more motivation to stay on track with your exercise schedule, Zombies, Run! makes pounding the pavement - dare we say it - fun.

      This augmented reality mobile game has users in the role of a zombie apocalypse survivor who must outrun zombies and collect supplies.

      At the very least, it's a somewhat more cardio-intensive alternative to Pokemon Go.

      CLUE

      Free on iOS and Android

      Clue is possibly the most informative menstrual calender you'll ever download.

      This app allows users to take control of their fertility by tracking everything from their mood and energy levels to pain symptoms like tender breasts.

      Those trying to conceive will appreciate the option to track signs of ovulation, while those who are avoiding pregnancy can opt to be reminded to use their preferred contraception method.

      Fact sheets explaining different aspects of human fertility are available in-app - complete with medical journal citations - and will be e-mailed to you as well, if you choose to sync your data to the cloud. You can also share your calendar data with other users, such as a family member.

      DUOLINGO

      Free on iOS, Android and Windows Phone

      Looking to pick up a new language on the go?

      Enter Duolingo, an app developed by computer science professor Luis von Ahn, who grew up in Guatemala, and Swiss computer scientist Severin Hacker.

      It jazzes up the language learning process through gamification features like "points". English speakers have the option of learning 21 languages on the platform, including Danish, Turkish, Hebrew and Welsh.

      BUYCOTT

      Free on iOS and Android

      Shoppers with a conscience can use Buycott, an app that allows users to scan barcodes with their phone to find out more about a product.

      Buycott will display the product's manufacturer and all its parent and associated companies - which can be an eye-opening lesson on the extent of mega-corporations' dominance in the retail market.

      Users can join crowdsourced campaigns to eschew products with controversial backgrounds - for example, those containing palm oil.

      They can also join campaigns to purchase products linked to certain causes, such as fair trade or manufacturers which support LGBT rights.

      FOREST

      Free on Android; available for a fee on iOS and Windows Phone

      If you're worried about how much time you're spending with your handheld demon, you can kick your smartphone addiction with - ironically enough - another app.

      Forest is a countdown timer that lets you set aside "away time" in 30-minute bursts. Over the course of half an hour, an animated tree starts to "grow" on your screen.

      If you leave the app, the tree dies - but if you are patient, you can end up with a sizable virtual forest... and a peaceful state of mind.

       

       

      ST

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