Three Android Apps I Use Every Day (and maybe you'll use them too)

I'm not here to talk about Twitter and Instagram, which... I use too much. Lets talk about things that make my life better, and might do the same for you.

(If you're an iPhone user, just Google for the iOS version of the following tools. They're all out there)

Rewire App: "Recurring behavior" tracking

I wrote "Habit tracking" originally, but I don't like that phrasing. I'm all for good habits, or eliminating bad ones, but I don't think you should try to form a new habit until you've figured out how to make it really, really easy.

So, I use Rewire to simply track the status of things I'd like to pay attention too. I'm not trying to make new habits. I just want to see how often I do something on its own.

When I do the thing I want to do, I mark that day's habit as "complete". If I don't, I don't mark it as "failed", I just mark it as "skipped". This is a tiny way I can be gentle to myself.

Journey App: Daily gratitude

I write a little bit every day. Three things every day, and never with the intention of publishing them.

Between The Slight Edge and _The Miracle Morning_ and many other books, and endless articles, I've finally been convinced about the benefit of finding a few things every day to be thankful for. Three things, specifically.

For a long time I used Google Keep to track all my items, but it became laggy once I had a few hundred lines of text in it. So, I hunted around, and found Journey.

Journey is an Android (and windows) app + Chrome extension for "daily journaling". I just open it up (usually on my phone, as I go to sleep, other times on the Chrome extension) and I jot down three things I'm thankful for.

The only rules are:

  1. Always three things
  2. No repeats

I enjoy having to be a little creative to make sure I don't repeat things, and it's really encouraging to scroll down through hundreds of little tiny (and sometimes big) things I was (and am) thankful for.

PhoneUsage: Don't waste your life

Apparently, no one has heard of this app. Lifehacker, CNET, Gizmodo, and others all have pretty terrible recommendations for apps that tell you how much you use your phone. I'd know - I tried what they recommended, was frustrated, and then finally found PhoneUsage.

PhoneUsage does exactly what you'd expect:

  • Tells you how much total time you spend with your phone "on". (I use quotes because talking on the phone counts, even though the screen is off.)
  • Tells you how many times you turned your screen on (total #sessions, and also the number of "quick checks". I don't know how it qualifies one from the other.)
  • How much you use each app
  • Lots more.

I love it. I look at it at least once a day, sometimes more. I think it helps me subtly move towards less frivolous time spent on my phone.

Resources used while writing this post:

I didn't say the resources list is ever related to the content of the post. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

PS: To write the ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ figure in Markdown, you actually need to write:

¯\\\_(ツ)_/¯