Nicole Khabra is a member of the WhiteHat Community Leadership Team and Digital Marketing apprentice at Spark Foundry, part of the Publicis Media group.
FOR WORK, PRODUCTIVITY & PLAY
Welcome to the first instalment of my series An App a Day in which I will be walking you through my top app picks for the week. I’ve collated seven apps for each day of the week, all of which serve a particular purpose, whether it be professional enhancement, cultivating new hobbies or self-care.
I wrote this article with inclusivity in mind, so all the apps I reference within this series are free and available to any apprentice with a phone and internet access, so hopefully you will all be able to download them and trial them out.
Primer is a Google-developed mobile application designed to teach digital marketing and business management skills to small business owners and job seekers alike. It features content around marketing measurement, online sales and branding, and even offers lots of helpful personal advice like how to combat fatigue whilst managing a start-up. Unlike most bulky online courses though, Primer’s lessons are each a couple of minutes long and presented in a visually compelling, interactive format to keep you captivated throughout your learning.
Understanding how a business operates or how to create a personal brand identity is a critical piece of knowledge to have regardless of which industry you fit into, which is why I’d argue everyone would benefit from downloading Primer onto their phone. And if in the future you decide to capitalise on your side hustle – well, you’ll know exactly how to market it and manage your accounts!
Otter.ai is a fantastic productivity app that completely revolutionised the way I took my notes. It is essentially a voice recorder that captures everyday conversations between multiple speakers and transcribes them in real time to perfectly capitalised, punctuated, paragraphed notes that you can further enrich by adding your own slides, images or links.
I tested this app out during a Teams meeting I had with six other colleagues a couple of days ago: I was excited to put this fascinating new technology to the test and see how it would pan out in a real-life scenario. After my meeting had concluded, I previewed what had been recorded and was pleasantly surprised by the grammatically impeccable text transcription, save for the odd contextual error. Another immensely useful feature was the app’s capability to sort the text transcripts by any recurring keyword, so I could later delve back into my notes and group them by theme. Afterwards, I had the option to share the link with my colleagues so we could add to the transcripts together, making it the ultimate software for team collaboration and note-taking.
Wednesday: Google Arts & Culture
ARTS & CULTURE
As an individual, one of my biggest areas of interest is the arts, be it visual, literal, historical or architectural. Prior to lockdown, I would spend most of my time exploring various historical landmarks and museums in London with my friends, and so I became very frustrated once I realised those activities had to come to an end under quarantine.
Google Arts and Culture, however, got me as close to the real experience as I could possibly hope to get from the comfort of my own sofa. From virtual tours of its hundreds of partner museums and reams of art pieces with easy contextual guides you can dive into – you can be sure to find an art movement or cultural artefact that sparks your inner historian. As things start to slowly open back up, you might not depend on Google Arts & Culture as heavily as I did during lockdown, but I’d urge you to trial the app anyway and marvel at its extraordinary innovative technological potential!
HOBBIES & INTERESTS
Anchor is a spectacularly neat application that lets you record a podcast from your own phone. Its sleek, colourful interface and fantastic platform capabilities allow you to curate your own podcast, complete with a one-minute trailer and background music, and distribute them across a variety of mp3 platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You can even feature guest speakers, import recordings and analyse your podcast metrics after it airs. If you’re keen to dive into a new hobby or looking to express your creativity in a different way – Anchor is definitely the app to trial!
LIFESTYLE & HEALTH
As someone who tries to eat plant-based, it can be cumbersome to scour the internet for ages for a good vegan recipe, and I absolutely refuse to spend money on culinary books (they’re so expensive!), so my first port of call was the App Store. It was there that I stumbled upon the joy that is Yummly, a comprehensive personalised cooking guide with over 2 million recipes that you can filter to cater to any diet, nutrition type or cuisine preference. The app is backed by 15 million active users whose glowing reviews have landed it in the Editor’s Choice in the App Store.
The other awesome thing about Yummly is that it acts as a meal planner so you can add items directly from your recipes to a grocery list, and even order groceries to be delivered directly to your home from the app. This app does everything for you except actually cook, so I would definitely encourage everyone to download it and give some of the delicious recipes a go. There’s even a cheeky little cocktail section for those stressful work days!
Although you might think playing as a worm-based avatar is a crude and unsophisticated concept for a game in 2020, I would argue that the vast appeal of Slither.io lies within its dazzling simplicity, which is also what makes it so addictive. The game’s objective is very straightforward: you begin your adventure as a squiggly little worm and collect energy in order to grow in size and reach the top of the Slither.io scoreboard. To grow, you can either collect the iridescent multi-coloured orbs streaking the floor of the game, or adopt a more bloodthirsty strategy in which you writhe and encircle other players to collect the extra-large juicy energy orbs that manifest once another Slither.io player has died.
I’ll stop here before I segue into a wormhole and let you discover the delights of Slither.io for yourself – but be ready for your screen-time to increase exponentially!
Done takes the form of a to-do list and its goal is to help you build better habits. You can create as many habits as you want within the app and define a goal target and a goal period for your habit. Working on your goal in your defined goal period helps you solidify your habit, or your “streak”, while breaking the chain means your streak will reset to 0 days. Having this app on my phone keeps me consistently motivated to complete my streak for the day, and seeing my score rise with the completion of every goal is incredibly satisfying. So far, I’ve made goals for drinking more water, exercising and journaling for half an hour each day, and I haven’t broken a streak since starting.
Done has genuinely been my lifesaver for keeping my mental, emotional and physical wellbeing in check during this difficult lockdown period, and I know I’m going to continue using it as we emerge from the lockdown to keep myself healthy and motivated. I’d recommend this app to anyone who’d like to rewire their bad habits or track progress towards your desired goals.
So that concludes my list of apps for the week! Please let me know in the comments which you think is the most interesting, or if you try any of them out – I’d love to know your experiences!