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Fun and Useful Apps (and more) for Working from Home

Day One on the iPad

One of the realities of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak is that physical distancing is the new normal right now. Though it pains us to say it, we all have to face the fact that we’re going to be in this for a while.

An interesting side effect of all this is that workforces around the world are now partaking in a “work from home” experiment of unprecedented scale. Millions of people are suddenly finding themselves trying to carve out the space and time to get their work done from home, with no friends or coworkers to chat with in person, all while dealing with the everyday distractions of home and making sure the kids — who are also now stuck at home — are fed, schooled, and generally occupied all day.

Yeesh!

As experienced work-from-homers ourselves, what we on the Blanc Media team can offer here are tips on fun/useful apps ↓ and calming music ↓ to get through this whole mess with your sanity and health intact.

Work From Home….

30% Off The WFH Course Bundle

Get our task and time management mini-course (All the Things (Analog)), plus with our Day One in Depth screencast course. This “WFH Bundle” is 30% off right now.

We’ll show you…

  • How to schedule your day for maximum productivity in the least amount of time. This is especially helpful if you and your significant other are juggling responsibilities of kids and home life while also trying to do work.
  • Weekly planning and reviewing. A great way to get ahead of your upcoming week so you can be prepared and have a priority of what needs to be done.
  • Custom Productivity Templates: These are a few of the main PDF templates that you can print out or use on your iPad in order to follow along.
  • How to use Day One, the best journaling app out there: which can help with reducing stress and anxiety, celebrating your wins each day, and keeping a log of what is happening in life right now.

Bundle Bonus: The WFH Bundle also includes three bonuses: The Calm Inbox Checklist, the Habit Tracking Quick-Start Guide, and Using Day One templates for the 5-Minute Journal.

Normal Price: $68
WFH Bundle Price: $47 (You save $21)

GET THE WFH BUNDLE

Apps

✍️ Take stock of your thoughts by journaling: Day One for iOS and for Mac

With all these big life changes happening at once, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with your own thoughts and worries. Keeping a journal where you can get those things out of your head and onto the page can be a useful way to sort through it all in a more concrete fashion, and Day One is the only app we trust with the task.

  + Save 30% on our WFH Bundle which includes access to our Day One in Depth course so you can learn how to make the most of this award-winning journaling app.


👥 Stay (reasonably) connected with the outside world: Tweetbot 5 for iOS and Tweetbot 3 for Mac

Self-isolation can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you mostly want to avoid the information firehose offered by platforms like Twitter, but you also know you need to stay on top of what’s happening out there, as it might affect your home situation.

We rely on Tweetbot’s handy mute features to make Twitter a more tolerable and less distracting experience, so we can follow the news and what’s happening with our friends without getting bogged down with fluff.

  + Read our iOS and Mac reviews of Tweetbot for all the details.


📚🎧 Read all those books you’ve been putting off: Amazon’s Kindle App and Audible app

Even if your local library has remained open so far, staying away from there is still the right thing to do. That’s okay though, because you can still get your reading fix at home with the Kindle app for ebooks, or the Audible app for audiobook listening. Over at our sister site, Tools & Toys, we’ve got a bunch of novel recommendations for you to start with.

If you’d prefer to have more of an actual library lending experience from home, there’s a good chance you’re eligible to check out ebooks and audiobooks through the Overdrive service, which accepts library cards from all over. Check out their “Libby” companion app for the most beautiful experience.


🐭🎞🦸 There’s no shame in binging a little: Disney+

There’s nothing like being stuck at home to make one realize just how much of their work/school day has been spent trying to look busy versus doing actual tasks. Some newfound downtime is inevitable for many, and catching the occasional TV show or movie won’t be out of the question anymore.

Disney Plus is the hottest thing in streaming right now, especially for families. It’s got all the Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars content (and then some) you could ever want, from nostalgic classics to the latest originals.


📰📥 Save interesting links for later: Instapaper for iOS and for Mac

You can’t always read articles or watch YouTube videos the second you come across them. You’re a busy person. That’s why Instapaper exists — it’s the bucket where you can send all those things to consume later, at your leisure. It can also be an enjoyable way to start your day while you eat your breakfast and have coffee.

  + Read our full review of Instapaper here.


😌 Clear your mind through meditation: Headspace

If journaling and a bit of mindless entertainment aren’t taking your stress levels down, we recommend setting aside a little time each day for mindfulness meditation. Simply focusing on one’s own breathing for 10 or 15 minutes can be hugely beneficial for one’s mental and even physical health.

For us, Headspace is the best meditation app. Whether you’re a total beginner or you’ve practiced the habit for a long time, this app will help you sustain that habit over time, offering a large library of guided meditations and a clean interface that’s a joy to use.

  + Read our full review of Headspace here.


⌚️🏃 Track your fitness levels from your wrist: Workouts++ for Apple Watch

Virus outbreaks aside, you won’t believe how fast your personal health will start going downhill when you’re sitting around your house all day, with all those snacks and drinks easily accessible. If you want to avoid that fate and get in some exercise throughout the day, use David Smith’s Workouts++ app to keep tabs on your fitness data.

Workouts++ lets you completely customize the way different workouts and metrics are displayed on your Apple Watch, and features useful audible alerts, great integration with the Health and Activity apps, and support for listening to podcasts during workouts.

  + Read our full review of Workouts++ here.

* * *

Music

As our editor-in-chief Shawn Blanc said in a recent blog post, “good music is instrumental (ha!) for [doing] focused work.”

Over the years, our team has collectively curated an impressive number of albums that are perfect for working to, and rather than list all of them here, we’ll point you to the places where we’ve talked about our favorites:

If you do want specific examples of albums we like, here are a few:

If you prefer ambient sounds over music, there are utilities like…

Work From Home….

30% Off The WFH Course Bundle

Get our task and time management mini-course (All the Things (Analog)), plus with our Day One in Depth screencast course. This “WFH Bundle” is 30% off right now.

We’ll show you…

  • How to schedule your day for maximum productivity in the least amount of time. This is especially helpful if you and your significant other are juggling responsibilities of kids and home life while also trying to do work.
  • Weekly planning and reviewing. A great way to get ahead of your upcoming week so you can be prepared and have a priority of what needs to be done.
  • Custom Productivity Templates: These are a few of the main PDF templates that you can print out or use on your iPad in order to follow along.
  • How to use Day One, the best journaling app out there: which can help with reducing stress and anxiety, celebrating your wins each day, and keeping a log of what is happening in life right now.

Bundle Bonus: The WFH Bundle also includes three bonuses: The Calm Inbox Checklist, the Habit Tracking Quick-Start Guide, and Using Day One templates for the 5-Minute Journal.

Normal Price: $68
WFH Bundle Price: $47 (You save $21)

GET THE WFH BUNDLE