Back to Instagram…
The endless social media trap is an easy one to fall into, but you never leave it feeling very good about how you’ve used the last hour.
The next time you pick up your phone to kill a bit of time, why not try one of these apps that help keep your mind working? You can learn a new language or skill, or just get lost in a good story.
Learn one or more of 35 different languages with the most popular language app in the world. Options range from Spanish (the app’s most popular language) to Ukrainian to High Valyrian – in case you’re anticipating a trip to the world of Game of Thrones. You can learn on your phone or computer, and lessons are quick, taking just a few minutes.
This word game combines anagrams and crossword puzzles to test out your vocabulary. When you’re given six letters, how many words can you find? With over 6000 levels, you’ll be busy solving for a while. Oodg Ulkc!
Mensa Brain Training
When Mensa, the non-profit organization open to people whose IQ scores are in the 98th or higher percentile, releases a brain-training app, it’s probably a good idea for us normals to pay attention. The app lets you test & train yourself in five key areas: memory, concentration, agility, perception and reasoning.
For another type of brain-training, turn to Happify. Instead of making you smarter, this app aims to “improve overall well-being and happiness.” With games and activities, Happify teaches you to reframe your view of the world and take control of your emotional well-being, allowing you to focus on the good side!
The Great Courses
Want to learn about Ancient Civilizations of North America? How about Quantum Physics or Organic Chemistry? All that and just about everything in between is covered in at least one course from The Great Courses. While you do have to pay for most of the courses, can you really put a price on having that amount of knowledge in your back pocket?
If you have a shelf full of books you’re always meaning to read but never getting around to, Blinkist is here to help. Their team has taken over 3000 non-fiction books and distilled them into quick articles that take about 15 minutes to get the key ideas across. It’s the SparkNotes of non-fiction, to help you make changes in your life or just be able to carry on a conversation about the book everyone’s reading.
If you want to sound really clever the next time you find yourself in an art museum, you could do a lot worse than downloading DailyArt. Every day, the app sends you a new piece of art, along with a story about it or the artist who created it. Because there’s only one each day, it’s not overwhelming – why not find your new favourite artist?
Most public libraries in Ireland have access to BorrowBox, an app for borrowing e-books and audiobooks. With tens of thousands of books at your fingertips, you’ll never run out of things to read again. Get in touch with your local library to learn more!