Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess!
I am once again faced with the dilemma of keeping things versus giving them away. I’ve been doing a massive Marie Kondo tidy-up in our shared apartment as we are preparing to move to our own place this month (more on that soon!), and one of the things that merited an extremely bittersweet farewell was my breakup with over 20 paperback books, which I donated to a church’s book drive.
You might be wondering what this has to do with my article, but I’ll get to the point soon. After letting go of my final paperback book, I decided to finally make the switch to e-books. Home is never really home to me without my books, so while I kept a few for our new place (mostly cookbooks), I realized that the environmental impact that paperback books create is quite big, too. In this immensely mobile and digital world we are now living in, maybe utilizing our devices instead of hoarding paper items is a better, more environmentally friendly solution, especially for us working gals.
I usually have a notebook allotted for a certain subject (e.g. food journal, expense tracker, etc.), and while I still prefer an actual notebook for my planner and journal, here are some apps that I now use to minimize my notebook usage.
1. Seedly (for expenses)
I’ve tried a range of different expense tracking apps over the years, but so far, Seedly has been the one that stuck with me. Apart from the super user-friendly interface, it has the requirements I am looking for in an expense tracker.
Apart from the super clean look and design, I can create separate budgets depending on the month, and I can categorize them as cash or credit, making it easier to track my expenses and how much budget I’ve got left for the month. The categories are also simple and straightforward, and it’s by far the easiest budget app I’ve ever used.
2. Lifesum (for diet tracking)
I was a My Fitness Pal user for quite some time, but I wasn’t motivated to use it as consistently as I wanted to. Lifesum is a paid app, and I find it especially useful if you have varying fitness goals. I tried counting macros, but it was a bit advanced for me. The great thing about the app is that you get to streamline and customize your goals depending on your pace.
As a food journal, Lifesum also has an extensive database of store-bought food and everyday dishes, so you get your calorie count. You also have an option adding a photo to remember your meal better!
Finally, what I love the most about this app is its recipe bank. It has a lot of mouthwatering recipes that pack in a lot of nutrients in them.
3. CountOnly (for counting down days)
I used to hang a calendar and literally put “X” marks on days leading to a certain big event such as a trip home (because I get to see my dog, Rocket) or a special occasion.
CountOnly may have replaced my physical countdown calendar, but it still manages to make me look forward to milestones with ease. It’s super straightforward, and the design is super sleek!
Get it here: iTunes App Store
4. GoodNotes (for note-taking)
I recently got an Apple Pencil for my iPad, and Goodnotes has condensed all my notebooks inside. I use a lot of notebooks as I mentioned, so this app is a lifesaver for me. I have one for my Morning Pages, my “Moving Apartments” checklist, my travel itineraries, and the best part about it is it feels just like I’m writing on paper. This is a bit pricey for a paid app, but it’s super worth it.
Get it here: iTunes App Store
5. Kindle (for reading and book storage)
I used to be one of those girls who “always carried a book with her,” and I still would if I could, but for practical reasons, I am resorting to my Kindle app. And while I am a first-generation Kindle owner, the app is great because it allows me to read my books on my phone or my iPad. It’s so convenient, and despite me being a paperback purist in the past, purchasing e-books has really grown on me.
The turning point happened when I was in Japan, and I read three books through the convenience of my iPhone instead of carrying physical books with me while traveling. That took the cake for me.
6. 1 Second Everyday (for keeping memories)
If you love keeping memories like I do, then make sure to download this app, stat! You take a one-second video every day, and once you’re ready to compile and export, just hit a button. The end product is a lovely montage of your one-second memories. I started only last June, and I am so excited to see how my 2018 looked like once the year comes to a close!
7. Calm (for meditation)
Meditation has always been a love-or-hate thing, but it has worked wonders for me. My brain is always buzzing, and I find myself resorting to not-so-great ways of dealing with it such as nibbling on chocolate, for example, or inhaling a bag of crisps. Calm has been helping me cope with stress and other issues I face as a busy, stress-prone woman. They have a variety of meditations catered to different moods and needs. I subscribed to their app for a year, but I might want to give Headspace a try once it expires.
I know there are a lot of apps out there that do awesome things (share your recommendations below!), and I hope the ones listed in this article could help ease the demands of adulting even just a bit. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Marian Hukom
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