Who says 2021 has to be as hard as 2020 was? Technology is one way you can make your new year a lot easier than last.
Don’t wait for world events to force you to adopt tools like Zoom. You’ll have an easier time learning them — and get more value out of them — if you’re proactive. Everything from grocery shopping to family fun can be facilitated through tech. Best of all, many of these tools are free.
Why not take advantage of them? Here are six types of tech that will make your life easier this year:
1. Communication Tools
For most people, one of the most difficult parts of 2020 was not being able to spend time with family and loved ones. The Covid-19 pandemic forced families inside, cutting them off from friends and relatives.
Don’t let a lack of facetime destroy your social life. Technology offers all sorts of ways to communicate virtually.
If you’re looking to meet new friends, try Hey! VINA, an app that lets women connect to other women, based on their proximity, quiz data, and mutual friends. RealU is another app that pairs you with users who have similar interests.
Think of your whole family’s needs too. According to Gabb Wireless, you may want to invest in a kids phone for your son or daughter. What about a shared calendar with your spouse? When in doubt, ask what would help them connect.
2. Grocery Shopping Apps
Before the pandemic, not all grocery stores offered online shopping and curbside pickup. Now, chances are excellent your favorite grocer will do the shopping for you.
In 2020, the number of monthly online users doubled. In March alone, 40 million American adults used online grocery shopping services. Many who began using these apps to reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19 have continued to do so because they are so convenient.
Instacart, FreshDirect, and Shipt are three of the most popular grocery delivery apps available. After downloading the app, users simply shop for what they want online, and their groceries are delivered to their door.
Whether you’re too busy to go to the store or you want to limit your exposure during the pandemic, technology has you covered. Just beware that you’ll pay a premium to enlist a personal shopper.
3. Smart Home Technology
Whether you like it or not, you’re probably spending a lot more time at home than you used to. Why not make your experience more comfortable?
Smart homes connect household devices to the internet so they can communicate with one another. From speakers to plugs to blinds to electric blankets to security systems, smart home solutions exist for just about any household need you could come up with.
What if you could turn the lights on inside your home before you arrived? Or, if you enjoy grilling but can’t stand the cold, stay inside and control the grill from your smartphone. Give yourself and your home an upgrade this year.
4. Health and Wellness Apps
Who wants to take the risk of visiting a doctor’s office just to get a medication refill? For routine needs, healthcare apps can connect patients with providers from the comfort of their home. No wonder the use of health apps increased by 37% during the pandemic.
With coronavirus cases still growing in 2021, doctors and patients are still relying on technology to diagnose and treat. There are several apps out there that’ll help you stay healthy in the new year:
Some healthcare apps connect with wearable devices that can monitor your heart rate, stress levels, and more. For example, Motiv Ring is a fitness tracker that can monitor your health metrics and suggest lifestyle changes. Other popular choices include Fitbit and Apple Watch.
Need a replacement for that gym membership you gave up in 2020? Workout apps like Centr, Alo Moves, and Keelo can get you sweating with little or no equipment. Use them for yoga, high-intensity interval training, calisthenics, and more. If you’re still not satisfied, check YouTube and Instagram for fitness videos. Whatever workouts you enjoy, you can find them for free online.
There’s no doubt about it: 2020 was stressful. Why not start the year off in a better state of mind?
You’ll be amazed at what a difference daily meditation makes. Apps like Calm and Headspace can help you achieve, well, calmness and increased headspace. All you need to do is find a quiet space, pop on an episode, and be in the moment. Best of all, meditation can be practiced anywhere, including at work.
5. Secure Banking Apps
Banking apps became the go-to way to manage money during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the rise in online banking has also caused a rise in identity theft and cybercrime.
Don’t be afraid to bank online, but do be choosy about the finance apps you use. Only use those with multi-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and real-time alerts whenever fraudulent activity is suspected.
Should you give up your bank altogether? That depends on whether you regularly need services like notarization and safe deposit box access. According to Chime, online banking apps are a homerun for everyday needs, like reviewing debit card purchases and depositing checks.
6. Organization Apps
Did your life feel like a mess in 2020? Get an organization app to corral your daily to-dos and important documents.
A task management app like Todoist can keep chores from slipping through the cracks. Evernote can store reminders, notes, and checklists that would otherwise be tacked to the fridge. Wunderlist lets you create shareable lists of your favorites, such as restaurants or movies.
Organization apps can augment all the other technologies on this list. Forgetting your grocery list is a lot more difficult when you can call it up on your phone. Sticking to your fitness plan is simple when you record your exercises each day.
If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s that modern life would be a lot more difficult without technology. Don’t be a Luddite. If you can use a tool to make your life easier in 2021, why wouldn’t you?