Ever have an especially lazy day … or week or year? Sometimes it's not laziness, it's just a lack of discipline. Here's a few useful apps to boost your productivity, improve the quality of your life and keep you on the straight and narrow for the times when your parents aren't around to spoil you.
1) Morning Routine
Just one of many wake-up apps that promise to crack the whip on even the most reluctant riser, Morning Routine is a rather sadistic option for those sleepyheads superglued to their mattress. Instead of just letting you hit the snooze button, the app doesn't silence the alarm until you actually get out of bed and scan the barcode of items around your house. That means you have to get up and walk to the kitchen (or wherever) to scan that carton of milk to turn off the alarm. And presto, you're up.
Available: Android - Free (Try Sleep If U Can for a similar iOS version - HK$ 15)
2) Ultimate Study Timer
A sleek, no-nonsense app designed to help you customise your study schedule by changing the duration of "alpha" and "beta" periods based on your daily mood. Using the separate periods for different activities or just to regulate breaks during heavy study sessions, you control the duration depending on how much work needs to be done. Better still, two patterns of vibration alert you to when the periods are over, so you don't have to constantly check your screen to see "how much longer".
Available: Android - Free (Currently unavailable on iOS)
"Hello, lazy human." There's nothing like a bit of shame to get you motivated. Being flaky - saying you'll do something or be somewhere and then backing out - is a bad habit to get into. This app encourages commitment by turning productivity into a game. The best thing about Carrot is that it has a personality and becomes "disappointed" when you don't accomplish your goals, but rewards you by letting you level up when you get stuff done.
Available: iOS - HK$23 (Check out the less judgmental Wunderlist for Android - Free)
4) Zombies, Run!
Hong Kong is not the most forgiving place for outdoor jogging, but if you can find a safe, open space away from the cars and crowds, you can turn a tedious run into a game of survival. The wildly popular fitness app has you running for your life away from flesh-eating zombies you can hear chasing you in real time. You can view detailed stats to track your progress and choose your own playlists before you start, so the story takes place between your favourite tracks.
Available: iOS/Android - Free
There's nothing like that feeling of satisfaction when crossing the last item off a to-do or shopping list. Habitual list-makers will appreciate how easy and fast it is to use this handy personal assistant. One of the more popular choices in a very saturated genre, Any.Do stands out for its intuitive layout and simple interface, which make scheduling activities and keeping on top of commitments a breeze. After typing or speaking to create the entries, you can sync your lists between your mobile, tablet and desktop computers, so there's never an excuse not to be organised.
Available: iOS/Android - Free