Ok so just a quick post. These are little reviews of my most frequently used or most useful apps. Some of these apps are aimed at anyone and everyone but others are more for people with illnesses or disabilities. If you see something totally irrelevant then please just keep scrolling on to the next one. So here we go. In no particular order, my top 5 Adaptive Life apps.
First up is a fabulous little computer app called f.lux.
F.lux is available for Windows, Linux, Mac and ios. Basically it’s a clever little screen-tinting app that changes the colour of your screen based on the time of day. Computer screens are bright white/blue and designed to mimic daylight but at 8pm you shouldn’t really be looking at daylight, apps like f.lux take out the blue end of the light spectrum and tint your screen a soft pink/orange. This all happens gradually and follows the natural dawn and dusk times for your time zone. Once installed you just have to tell f.lux where you live and what kind of lighting you have then you leave it running. If (like me) you do a lot of colour sensitive work like photo editing, you have the option to turn off the tint for an hour or until dawn (over night).
According to the makers of f.lux, benefits of this include reducing eye strain and helping you sleep better. When you sleep is based on circadian rhythms, your body takes cues from natural light, it tells you when to be awake and when to sleep. The theory is, if you’re sat in front of a computer screen at midnight, you brain is being told it’s daylight, this could make you much less likely to fall asleep. The same goes for mobile phones and tablets, this is why the sleep hygiene experts tell you not to use a smart phone in bed!
The images below show f.lux in effect throughout the day / night. You can see it makes quite a difference but because it changes gradually it kind of sneaks up on you and you don’t really notice.
If you’ve got devices that aren’t compatible with f.lux such as chrome books and some smart phones there are alternatives available, my phone app is called twilight and works on much the same principle, I believe google now has an add on called G.lux .. My phone twilight app is pictured below.
Again, this one creeps up on you gradually so you don’t notice it all that much unless you’ve looking at photos. There is one small thing I don’t like about the Twilight version, when you do screen captures like the one above it tints them too.. in this case it’s convenient as it makes this blog post much easier but most of the time it’s a little annoying. with f.lux you can do screen captures and they come up looking totally normal.
Next up is my Medication management app. MediSafe.
MediSafe creates a cool little virtual pill-box for you, it reminds you when to take your pills and also keeps track of PRN (as needed) medications like pain killers. You can store information like your doctors contact details, appointments, weight measurements, blood pressure measurements and more.
With medications you can fill in dosage, frequency and even customise the logo to match the colour, shape and size of your actual meds! Each reminder tells you what to take, how many and what they look like. If you have multiple medications at the same time then you can ‘shake to take’, you literally shake your phone and it will record all of the meds in that reminder as taken.
If you fill prescriptions at regular intervals you can also set reminders for that too!
The pic below just shows my virtual pill-box as it appears on the app.
The app highlights time period you are currently in, medications get a little green tick if you’ve taken them and a little grey cross if you missed them. Pretty neat huh.
I tried a few different medication apps before settling on this one but I’ve found this one to be the most user-friendly, I also love that it stores your info with your email address so when you get a new phone you can download it all filled in!
Next up is my emergency app. ICE: In case of Emergency.
This is one of the few apps I actually paid a little bit for. There are plenty of free apps on the market. This one allows you to put the ICE info on the lock screen so that paramedics can see your medical info but can’t access the rest o your phone.
This app stores simple instructions, medication lists, allergies, emergency contacts numbers, medical conditions and your identification information. The last line on my medic-alert bracelet states that I have information on my phone ICE app so emergency responders know to check.
Lots of free apps are out there and they all work in very similar ways, I prefer this one because of the feature that allows you to put it on the lock screen. Many people choose to password protect their phones and this allows you to do this while making your emergency information available.
My next app is WorkRave.
WordRave is a clever little app that reminds you to take breaks when using a computer. You can set time intervals of your choice for Micro-breaks and rest breaks as well as a total time usage for the day.
I tend to have a micro-break every 15 minutes, micro-breaks are just 30 seconds or so to stretch and change position.
Rest breaks are longer breaks, typically a few minutes to walk away and get a coffee or do some stretches etc. Every hour I have 5 minutes off.
I know a few people who use this app and they have more frequent breaks than me, personally when doing uni work I found it distracting to have too many short breaks so this was the best balance for me. If you decide to give WorkRave a go you’ll need to try different times and settings to see what works for you. Some of the WorkRave settings can be seen below.
When you’ve sorted your settings, WorkRave leaves a tiny little box on your desk top then uses pop-ups to remind you about breaks. If you’re super busy or in the middle of something you can turn on the option to postpone breaks for a short time. If you find you’re ignoring breaks too often then you can set it to lock you out of your laptop during breaks. This is a great way to train yourself to take breaks but it can be more than a little annoying being locked out mid sentence!
My final app is Goal Tracker & Habit List. I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth mentioning again.
Goal Tracker is a calendar app I downloaded after leaving pain/hypermobility rehab. I used it to keep track of how often I’m doing my physio exercises or going swimming etc. You add your own goals then simply check the days you complete them. You can select how often you’d like to complete them too.
If your goal comes up in red then you are not completing your goals as often as you wanted too.
Here’s an old pic on my kindle fire.
I do hope some of you find these useful! As always questions and comments are welcome and feel free to share this post.