I don’t travel often, but I make a point of being as productive as possible when I do. I’ll read books, listen to music, check out the endangered hottie that might get on the bus once in a blue moon, but most of the time, I’ll use the fabulous amount of apps at our disposal.
Most of what I do is in app form on my iPhone. I think we forget just how much possibility there is in the palm of our hands, and if I have to sit or stand and wait for a South Western Railway train to finally turn up then I’m going to find something to do. So here is the list of my top apps to muck around on whilst traveling.
Duolingo is an incredible little language learning app. It’s totally free and totally a joy to use. Its interface is clean and simple to follow and its game-like design is addictive enough to play along for hours.
If you’ve ever had a little gander over at my Bucket List page, you may have noticed one of the first things on there is learn another language. First of all, I believe it’s crucial for young English speaking people not to rely too heavily on much of the world’s ability to speak their language.
I for one find the idea slightly inconsiderate to visit a country without learning some of the native tongue first, either that or I fear getting lost and not being able to ask for directions. And Secondly I can’t think of anything cooler than being able to slip in and out of languages whilst your friends gawp at you with jealousy.
Duolingo is great for setting yourself goals too, helping you get to your language objectives without having to attend a classroom or fork out a ton of money. Follow me, I’m learning German!!
Spreeder is a clever cross-platform tool designed to increase your reading speed. It gives you access to thousands of online articles and links up easily to your preferred e-reader, wherein it fires each and every word at you one by one on the screen, forcing you to enhance your reading speed in order to keep up with the sentence.
Admittedly – and believe me this is hard for me to say since I class myself as a writer – I am not a terribly fast reader. The good thing about Spreeder is that it recognises your current reading speed and intuitively sets you the correct goal in order to speed up your words per minute. I was pretty shocked by how quickly I got through one book after a week or so of using Spreeder. And now I find myself gliding through web articles and blog posts faster than ever.
Since it’s available in app form once registered, I can whip my phone out and fly through a web article faster than ever before my bus stop, all without compromising on concentration.
Foursquare is a local search-and-discovery service mobile app that provides search results on various locations in your area or an area you want to explore.
I have found some super cool places with this app. I’m lucky enough to live in a busy town as well as being very close to London, so my options are very open when it comes to finding somewhere niche and specific. With Foursquare, I’m able to plot and home in on certain places I wish to visit either during lunch breaks or days off, and it’s not just about food or restaurants but also tourist attractions and shops.
I try and make at least an effort to find a few places to check out that week before I get off the bus or train before work, just so I have somewhere new and fresh to explore and so I don’t go completely mad with boredom from working all day.
Darebee is an independent fitness resource run and maintained by a small group of volunteers and fitness professionals. Darebee has a vast library of various exercises in a clean and easy to follow layout designed for both beginners and experts, and it’s completely free!
I’m not great with exercises, mainly because I have no idea where to start or have much of an idea of what I’m doing either. But thanks to Darebee, I can plan in advance my exercise schedule with the comfort of knowing all the hard work of exercising, which for me is knowing what to do, has been taken care of. All I have to do is select the exercise plan I want to do and follow it later that day when I finish work. And whilst I’m travelling it’s fun to create an exercise schedule for the week and know I have something to strive for later on. App must be made by saving the website to your iPhone home screen from the Safari app.
Or when in doubt, I turn to my one and only WordPress. Hailed as one of the best blog platforms on the market, if I’m completely at odds with a traffic jam on the bus or waiting for a typical South Western Railways train delay, I can simply to turn to WordPress and plan out my week for certain blog posts, and then if I’m lucky enough to have time, I’ll edit them on my way home too.
I do believe as writers it’s important to keep our minds sharp. Sure reading is probably the best use of time as a writer when your stuck in a crammed little train but at the end of the day, we all have lives outside the reading and writing world. It’s unfortunate I know. If only we could all live at Hogwarts and we’d never have to worry.
What are your favourite apps for productivity that you use when travelling? Let us know in the comments. 🙂