Tools and Tech That Helped Us Live Better in 2014

jesse Blog, Personal Growth Leave a Comment

We spend a lot of our time at Love Thy Neighborhood thinking, talking and praying about how to help young adults grow in their faith and life skills and how to equip them to help their hurting neighbors. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ and begin envisioning the next year of our lives, here are a few tools and resources we’ve appreciated this year.

SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT

ESV Journal Bible: I’ve previously written about how I personally use this Bible layout. It’s a great place for sermon notes, book quotes and commentary to find a permanent home.

Pray-As-You-Go Podcast: We recently began using this short podcast to start off our days in the office. Pray as you go is a daily prayer session, designed for use on mobile and desktop devices, to help you pray whenever you find time. A new prayer session is produced every day of the working week and one session for the weekend. It is not a ‘Thought for the Day’, a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a framework for your own prayer. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.

Verses Bible Memory App: Verses helps you memorize and retain scripture using a series of memory games. There are five memory games with adaptive learning that increase the difficulty based on your progress. You can memorize any verse or an entire chapter at a time.

REST

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock App: About a year ago, I started having trouble staying asleep and waking up in the morning. A friend turned me on to Sleep Cycle which I use every night. Sleep Cycle analyzes the quality of your sleep and then wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase. It’s got great features like white noise for nighttime and you can select music to wake you in the morning. (I wake up every morning to “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” by Deathcab for Cutie.)

har•mo•ny 2 App: I know the scientists say we shouldn’t even bring our phones into bed with us, but I do. This is a low stress, relaxing puzzle game with music from one of my favorite bands, Hammock. My wife actually prefers me to play it with the music turned up because it helps her fall asleep as well. A perfect blend of beautiful, relaxing color pallets and beautiful music. It even has a timer you can set to let the music continue as you fall asleep.

Sleepover.FM: Hammock also created a website with 2 hours of ambient music for the sole purpose of helping people relax and fall asleep. Simply open the website page and let it play.

READING

Send to Kindle: I get distracted easily during my work day. I finally had to figure out a way to read the blogs and news I wanted to without it interrupting my workflow. I found Send to Kindle. It does exactly what it sounds like. You can send the webpage or the pdf file you are reading directly to your Kindle where it will load into your reading library for later.

Kindle (Not Kindle Fire): As much as I love a world full of multitasking tools, it also proves bad news for my ability to focus for extended periods of time. Aside from physical books, I wanted something to connect the convenience of digital books, blogs and news with my personal need to read without the distraction of social media and email. My Kindle is loaded with everything from news articles on Ferguson, MO to Sherlock Holmes to Bible commentaries. I use Send to Kindle daily to send myself items I want to read later. I typically try to put my phone on silence and in another room when I read.

TIME MANAGEMENT

RescueTime: With so many distractions and possibilities in your digital life, it’s easy to get scattered. RescueTime helps you understand your electronic daily habits so you can focus and be more productive. It tracks time spent on applications and websites and gives you self-awareness on how you spend your time.

 

What are some of your favorite tools? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

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