Saturday, November 29, 2014

My favourite apps for simple living

Simple living and smartphones aren't exactly ideal bedfellows. We're all trying to reduce the amount of stuff we own, to opt out from the need to keep up with fashion and technology trends, and to disconnect more. Being able to connect to your work emails through your phone 24/7 is not quite conducive to this.

But I am trying to reconcile my work life with my simple living philosophy, and unfortunately right now a smartphone is an essential tool for my work. 

So how can I turn the smartphone from a disruption of simple living to an enabler? Can my phone help me to slow down?

I've found a few apps and functions which I find great for this, so here they are. 

 1. Podcasts

There are various podcast apps, so pick the best for your platform. There are podcasts out there about anything - I can now use my walk to or from work or a lunchtime walk to learn something new, and/or to connect with someone else's simple living experiences.

2. Finance trackers

Again, several models out there. I'm using Toshl because it's free, but the basic principle is to track all your expenditure and see immediately how much of your budget is left. If you pay for an upgrade you can manage several budgets at once but I'm cheap, so I am just using this to track one kind of expenditure - the one I am struggling most to contain.

Bulk is an app developed by Bea over at Zero Waste Home (which should totally check out if you don't know it). It picks up on your location and gives you a list of shops in your area which offer products in bulk, so you can cut out packaging. The shops are rated by other app users so you can see which are best for dry goods, which for fruit, which for oils and lotions... I'm dead impressed because it's got loads for Brussels!
Disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated with any of these app's developers nor am I making any money from this post.

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