A new year brings new goals, new aspirations, and new opportunities to grow financially, physically, and mentally. Instead of breaking your resolutions as soon as you make them, start the year off strong with these helpful apps -- and make the most out of 2014.
"The humblest tasks get beautified if loving hands do them."
Any.do tops the list for any productivity enthusiast, thanks to its ease of use, powerful autofill, and clean design. Any.do digs deep to integrate your task with your phone's capabilities. For example, if your task is to call your friend Steve, then Any.do will pull up Steve's number from your Contacts list and add a Call button directly to your list. With added Chrome and Gmail syncing, Any.do is a beautiful reminder that even reminders can be beautifully executed. Plan 2014 right with Any.do.
"There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full."
Cal focuses on the human side of a typical month and day. Created by the Any.do team, Cal for iPhone and Android takes advantage of your Google and Facebook accounts to present the events of your month in a fluid, accordion-style calendar with a modern twist. Cal not only lets you import your Facebook friends' birthdays and Google Calendar events, but also syncs well with Any.do for task-related items. Cal also offers quick access to send greetings via Facebook, Gmail, SMS, and, of course, phone call, so you can stay on top of all your friends' birthdays -- at least for 2014.
"Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it."
As a fitness tracker, Strava has just about everything a serious runner would want in terms of data breakdown for their performance. It'll log your run times, map out routes, and mark changing elevations depending on the terrain of your workout path. Strava also provides a dashboard on the Web for even more detailed tracking of how you run. Though the app is clean and easy to use, Strava's main strength lies in its no-nonsense approach and its fresh incentives, such as running challenges with other Strava users, so that you can hopefully end the next year one pant size smaller.
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
Mint.com Personal FinanceAndroid/iOS
Few financial tracking apps can match Mint when it comes to giving you the tools you need to track and save money. Mint.com Personal Finance helps you set reminders, manage expenses, and set the financial goals you need to leave 2014 with a fatter wallet. Discipline and willpower are not included: Those are still all you, but Mint makes the details easier to deal with.
"One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way."
If you're in the market to learn something new, then why not learn a new language? Duolingo shines above the rest because it's more than a learning companion. It offers the structure of a textbook or course in the form of a game that keeps you hooked while making the learning process genuinely fun and edifying. Duolingo in its current form comes with Spanish, Italian, French, German, and more.