My 2017 in Mobile Applications

Hello? Hey! Hi. How are you?
So, you may or may not remember this but we knew each other once upon a time. Well, I knew you. You may not remember me. We met over on this site, kathleensiminyu.com. I used to frequently blog there. I think you stumbled across it once or twice. Maybe?

Well, anyway, I have been away for a while. Not that I went anywhere far away, my fingers just have not been doing the usual keyboard rounds. Even now, this seems a little foreign to them. Plus, I have been a bit 50/50 about doing a holiday-themed post. I know, I know, why not do a holiday themed post, right? Such an obvious choice. Seems like a good idea to maximize on people’s holiday cheer, it might even increase the click-through rate, the likes, the shares. Yeah, all reasons to do a holiday-themed post. Also all reasons why I did not. Because everyone is doing it. Such a disordered desire to be different I seem to have. Le sigh.

Okay. I also just inadvertently took a break. I think this has done me some good. I am happy. I am healthy. That is all that matters. I hope you are too.

And…after that rant about clichés, here’s a somewhat holiday-themed post anyway.

My favourite part about Jan, besides growing older, is the fact that there is so much optimism in the air. I see all these memes on the Internet these days, a pic of the Iron Man guy(Robert Downey Jr.) rolling his eyes and the meme says something like, ‘time for that new year new me isht’. Ha ha. Why don’t people enjoy this? How optimistic Jan is. When individuals believe more than ever in a better version of themselves, when they dare to dream, to plan, to believe that that infinitely better version of themselves can be them. Because the whole year is a new slate and they can begin again. I love beginnings. New slates. This is why I love Mondays. It feels more natural to start things at beginnings which is why Jan, being a major beginning, comes with so much promise. It is one big MONDAY! Love it!

So while there are statistics everywhere, I am sure, about how New Years’ Resolutions never amount to much, I am 100% pro making them, except maybe rename them, evaluate them often, more often than once a year. Give yourself time to try and fail and try and fail, start again every Monday, every month perhaps. Most resolutions that never amount to anything are because guys run out of steam after failing once or twice. Well, good people of the earth, rather than injecting thyself with good vibes in Jan only, try do it more often. I’m advocating for every Monday. Start again and again and again. And track progress!

On tracking progress, I am setting a few goals of my own and tracking them in the best most obvious non-obvious way, mobile applications!
*happy dance*
*feeling like a revolutionary*
*game changer*

So, I really do believe that being able to see progress can be something to spur us on to be and do more, which is why with these goals, I am using tools, some that I already use, others that I have had to download for the first time, to help keep me on track. It is also just exciting for me to look at my phone and the apps on it in terms of, are they helping me grow? Not just those like Uber that make me grow fat and poor though.

Here goes:

Let me start with those that we all probably use. Social Media platforms, Facebook and Instagram. They have such notorious reputations for being productivity sinks, rightfully so, but social media can also be very useful for producers. Think about it this way, there are producers and consumers where social media is concerned. Most people are consumers. You get online and consume content created by other people. Tweets, posts, links shared, the likes. The producers create the content. In which case we must all be producers because we all at one point or another have posted updates, pictures, tweets. Except, we are not all ‘winning’ when it comes to social media. The guys ‘winning’ are using it to market their work, craft, business. They are building a following, feeding it quality content and leveraging themselves for whatever comes next…whatever their minds can dream of.
I’m not there yet, far from it, but the advantage of social media I am looking to leverage is the fact that everything is time-stamped and easily accessible for all of time.

On Facebook, I’ve created a page for my blog, where I often share shorter musings. (If you happen to have missed me a little over here, like the page, I am more frequent there. #SelfPromotion. For real though, you can do it with just one click.)

When December 2017 rolls round, I would like to see how much the page will have grown. At the time of my writing this, I’m at 65 likes. I’m interested in seeing what more content and perhaps ads will do for those numbers with time.

On Instagram, I’ve created an account, @hairartbykat, which will chronicle my journey with doing people’s hair. I have been doing mine for years and I enjoy it. You should see me on YouTube or Instagram or Pinterest poring over natural hairstyles. Time to put all those hours of consuming into production!
P.S. If you are a fierce naturalista(or non-naturalista, hair is hair), willing to let me experiment on your head, drop me a line. I am pro-bono for a couple of months. As long as I have time on my hands, I shall slot you in.

Pinterest. If you have ever been to my bedroom, you know I am about the vision board life, where my wall was my vision board. Well, on the 2nd of Jan I took it all down. Why? I felt it had become outdated. A physical vision board has many benefits but it is hard to keep up to date with my constantly changing dreams. Pinterest is here to make all my vision boards come to life! I can create boards for literally everything and pin to them pictures, words, all manner of things that inspire and spur me on to…onwards onwards!

Duolingo. Do you know I am a language fanatic? I am. In the past year I was learning Spanish, via Duolingo, but I happened to let that fire die. Well, I am rekindling those flames! At some point last year my Spanish competency score, according to Duolingo, was at 45%! Right now it is down to 34% but I want to see if by the time Dec comes I will have been able to hit 100%. Then plan a trip to Spanish speaking lands! A quick Google search of Spanish-speaking countries in Africa has brought Equitorial Guinea to my attention. Hmmm…

Next is GoodReads! Have you heard of GoodReads? All my fellow ‘reading challenge’ friends, GoodReads is the perfect tool to help you keep track of every single book you read this year. It let’s you set your own reading targets and then occasionally sends you notifications to tell you how much time you have left and how many books you have completed thus far. Waiting on December 2017, eager to see those numbers add up over time. My 2017 reading target is a book a week.

Nike+ Run Club! Thank you Timmy, for this one. Now, once upon a time, when I was young and full of energy, I used to run. My knee, however, has always been problematic. I would run today and be limping for the next 3 days because something with my left knee just does not handle impact too well. This has been happening for ages, gradually getting worse, to a point where I just gave up running all-together. I had no intentions of taking it up this year but through a series of fortunate events, ie. me feeling yucky on the 1st of Jan, deciding to go out for a walk, telling a friend of mine about it, him introducing me to this app, me going for a run the next day, then…addiction. Blissful addiction. Here I am now, baptising 2017 a year of running. I love that this app has running levels. I am 42.28 kilometres to the orange level, having run 7.72km thus far this year. The highest level is attained by logging 15,000km. Challenge accepted! Let’s go!!!

Finally Alarmy. I’m an early riser but this does not come naturally. Especially coming out of the holiday season when I have been sleeping well into the day, going back to 4 am mornings is no easy task. Alarmy always has my back though. It is not a typical alarm that you will snooze or put off while half conscious and then go straight back to dreamland. Nope. Alarmy makes you jump through some serious hoops before the alarm stops ringing. There’s a task that requires you to take a picture of a predefined item, eg. your bathroom sink. So to silence the alarm, you have to physically get out of bed, head to the bathroom, or wherever, and take a picture of whatever it is your designated item is. That’s one of the tasks. The one I use is an option to shake the phone several times. I have to shake my phone 50 times before it goes silent. This works sufficiently. Although, I have noticed that I am inclined to linger in bed once the alarm is off since shaking the phone can be done in bed. I should change my settings.

Well, that has been a lengthy post. If you made it to the end, I hope that it gets you thinking about your 2017 in terms of the apps on your phone and what they can help you achieve or alternatively identify the ways in which some of them detract you.

Follow up post in December. Let’s see how far tracking my goals via mobile applications will get me.

In the months till then…BE FEARLESS!

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