The daily commute is something that we have all experienced (or currently do experience). In plain language; it’s a grind. Bit by bit, day by day, this recurring journey that we make twice per day takes a massive toll on our physical and mental well being.
How do you get to work? Do you drive? Take the train? Maybe you bike. Either way the commute is a total grind. You’re crowded and miserable no matter which method you use to get around.
Just short of finding a better way to ease the way you commute, there are a few apps out there designed to help make your commute a little more manageable.
1. E-mail Checkers
Raise your hand if you get upwards of fifty e-mails each day. Raise your glass and take a big sip of your stiff drink if you get hundreds each day. If you just can’t find the time to check all of your e-mails, then try out these apps.
— Siri and Google can both read your e-mails and texts. You’ll just need a bluetooth connection in your car, or maybe some headphones in if you’re on the train. Be warned, they will read literally everything, with no sense of gusto or emotion.
— Speaking e-mail gives the user a bit more control. They can choose the speed at which they want their messages read, and if driving, steering wheel commands are available.
2. Task Management
There are so many ways to stay connected to your work on-the-go. It’s really about picking the right app for you.
— For all of you marketers and sales people out there, Hubspot offers a mobile app. So if you are already using the CRM tool to track your marketing efforts, download the app and never miss a beat.
— Todoist is the to do list that follows you everywhere. You can set tasks and reminders so that you can stay connected at all times. The app also gives you analytics reports to help you optimize your time spent.
— Trello gives you interactive lists and tasks. Stay up-to-date with your team, even while you’re on your way to/from work.
3. Clear Your Mind
Just as much as hard work is important to success, rest and relaxation will also help improve productivity and keep you relaxed. For many people, they go home and have to make dinner, take their kids to extracurricular activities, or do a million other chores. Take the time on your commute to centre yourself, and recharge your batteries before heading home to job #2.
— It might be a little awkward to sit on a bus or train with a mindfulness bell while you centre yourself. Or, maybe you have never tried the practice of mindfulness. Either way, Headspace offers a great way to curb your anxieties while you ride home on your commute.
— Developed by neuroscientists, Personal Zen uses a scientifically-driven method to train your brain to subdue anxiety and stress.
4. Learn a Language
Whether you’re trying to scale your business out to a new country, or you just want to learn a new language, there are a handful of good apps to help you learn your new skill along your daily commute.
— Ahhh the classic. We’ve all heard of, used, or know someone that has used Rosetta Stone in the past. But did you know that they have a mobile app?! Vous pouvez apprendre un nouveau langue dans un fraction du temps!
— Duolingo is the fun and free way to learn a new language. It’s game style user experience makes learning fun and addictive.
5. Health and Food
After a long day of work, nobody wants to go home and cook a meal. Worse than that, some would rather climb up an active volcano than take the time to plan and meal prep for the week.
— Eat This Much is quite literally what it sounds like. This app takes care of the planning part of meal prep. It won’t bring a personal chef to your house to cook meals for you, but the app will design personalized meal plans for you based on your budget, schedule and preferences. Vegan? Ketogenic? This app can help!
- Order Ahead apps
— These apps, like Ritual allow you to place your food order ahead of time. So if you’re constantly on-the-go and you want to avoid fast food, order while you commute and pick it up on-the-way! (For that morning coffee, try the Tim Hortons & Starbucks apps).
6. Social Media
The infamous social media platforms. We’re all familiar with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and the long list of these apps. However, there are a couple of social media platforms that you might not be aware of.
— Close your eyes and imagine your dream home. Think of all of those renovations that could be done. Houzz is a niche social media platform that connects you with interior design tools, professionals, ideas, and even products! After commuting home everyday it would be utopic to relax in the home you’ve always wanted.
— Beer lovers, this is the social media network for you! This app is the hub for all things beer. You can search for breweries, discover new types of beer, and find events around you. The best part is, you get badges for trying new beer!
No time to cozy up to a fire and read a book? Try these apps to help you escape to a fantasy world or learn about the new great theorem while you’re commuting.
— Amazon’s audio book platform is all the buzz. If you don’t have time to read, or your eyes are tired of staring at a screen all day, listen to your favourite books with Audible. For drivers, listen while you ride in the car instead of the usual radio chatter.
— Scribd is the “Netflix for e-books”. Pay a monthly fee and get unlimited access to books, audiobooks, magazines and more!
8. Stay Topical
With no time to stay up-to-date with the world, you still need a way to read the daily news. There are so many apps that will keep you updated, but to maximize your time, you need a platform that will offer you the content that you want.
— Throughout the day you can save articles or pieces that interest you, and read them later while you commute home. Collect the items that interest you and (for you subway riders) you can even access saved articles offline.
— There’s no need to lug around magazines on top of everything else on that long, uncomfortable commute. Zinio allows you to browse thousands of magazines and purchase the ones that you want to read.
- Podcasts — Download your favourite podcasts for a different type of learning. Listen daily and impress your friends with all of that worldly knowledge.
9. Mapping Aides
Whether you’re driving, biking, or walking, you can track the traffic and other obstacles along your way to help you get home quicker than ever.
— ETA is an app that helps you get to your favourite destinations. The app tracks the time it takes to get to your frequently visited places, and gives you turn-by-turn directions. You can share your ETAs with your friends and family to let them know how long it takes to get to different places.
- For Drivers: GasBuddy
— All of the drivers can definitely understand those crazy, rising gas prices. GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas near you. The app will tell you where and even when to buy gas for optimal cost saving.
10. Carpooling App
— Launching in 2019, Hop In is the fun way to commute! Get grouped into consistent ride groups based on social compatibility to start commuting everyday with your new best friends! Whether you’re riding all the way to work, or even just to the transit stations, Hop In will help you love your commute, while saving money!
We spend so much time commuting each day, that there need to be ways to make it more enjoyable. Try some of these tips and share with your friends and family!