What Could Robots Do With Your Pictures? 5 Cool AI-Based Photo Editing Apps

ai-photo-apps

For years, science fiction has told us about the wonders of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Today, these photo-editing apps show the cool possibilities of how AI could change things for us. There’s a curiosity around AI that is difficult to quench. So far, we’ve seen how neural networks create paintings, but AI is now going beyond that. There are apps that are trying to “see” photos the way a human would, and do useful or fun stuff based on it. Cartoonify (Web): How Would Robots Draw Your Photo? There are several services online where you can upload your photo, and an…

Read the full article: What Could Robots Do With Your Pictures? 5 Cool AI-Based Photo Editing Apps

ai-photo-apps

For years, science fiction has told us about the wonders of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Today, these photo-editing apps show the cool possibilities of how AI could change things for us.

There’s a curiosity around AI that is difficult to quench. So far, we’ve seen how neural networks create paintings, but AI is now going beyond that. There are apps that are trying to “see” photos the way a human would, and do useful or fun stuff based on it.

Cartoonify (Web): How Would Robots Draw Your Photo?

AI analyzes your photos and tries to draw them in Cartoonify

There are several services online where you can upload your photo, and an artist will turn it into a painting. Now imagine there was a robotic artist. How would a robot look at your picture, and what would it draw? Cartoonify has the answer.

Cartoonify shows that AI still has a long way to go, but it’s impressive nonetheless. You upload a photo, and the AI tries to analyze what’s in the picture. It will then draw out what it thinks the picture is, in a crude sketch.

The end result often looks like something a child drew, but that’s cute in its own way. It shows how far AI still has to go, much like children need to grow. And that’s charming.

DeepAngel (Web): Remove Objects From Images

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

At a conference in 2017, Google had demonstrated a cool upcoming feature in Google Photos where you could seamlessly remove any object or person in an image. That feature never shows up in the actual app, but a team at MIT is working on it.

DeepAngel uses artificial intelligence to remove certain types of objects from any picture. There’s a limited number of objects it can detect and remove right now, but you do get a person, cat, dog, elephant, stop sign, vehicles, and other everyday sights. Upload a picture or an Instagram link, and DeepAngel will do its magic.

DeepAngel also lets you detect images that have been manipulated to remove objects, and there’s a cool game to see if you can spot an altered photo.

Polarr Deep Crop (iOS): AI That Smartly Crops Photos

Polarr Deep Crop shows how a professional photographer would crop your pictures

Composition is key in photography. When cropping an image, good photographers know what to keep and what to remove from a picture. If you want to learn how to crop, or get a trained eye to do it for you, Try Polarr Deep Crop.

The app, made by popular photo editor Polarr, uses AI to analyze your picture, and then recommend a few options on how to crop it. The AI is based on how professional photographs compose their pictures. Deep Crop goes through your camera roll, finds the best way to crop images, and shows what you could get.

It seems kind of plain-jane when you read about it, but try it out, it’s really cool, and you’ll see your own images in a new light. Deep Crop shows that you’re taking better photos than even you knew.

Download: Polarr Deep Crop for iOS ($0.99)

GoArt by Fotor (Web, Android, iOS): Turn Photos to Famous Paintings

GoArt is fast at turning photos into famous paintings

Fotor is a popular app for image editing on the web as well as mobile. Its new GoArt feature turns your pictures into reimaginations of how a famous artist would paint them.

It’s not the first app to turn photos into art, but there are some really likable elements in it. It is the fastest of all such apps that we have used so far, which is a big deal. If you’ve used apps like Prisma or Pikazo, you’ll know that it’s a turn-off when the app takes a long time to turn a photo into a painting. You end up trying out fewer styles in the process. GoArt’s speed is impressive, especially on the web app. Of course, you’ll need an active internet connection to use the app on the web or mobile.

You have plenty of art styles to choose from in the free version, and you can pay for a Fotor account to unlock all options. You can adjust how intensely a style is applied. You can also download the picture without any watermark, which is a blessing.

Download: GoArt for Android | iOS (Free)

Visionist (iOS): Amazing AI Art Styles for Photos

Visionist is another app to turn pictures into art, but it’s not all about famous paintings. You have different old and modern art styles available in the app, and it has some cool alterations too.

For example, since iPhones now offer a portrait mode that separates the background from the subject, you can adjust focus and blur within a stylized artistic painting. There are also three levels of abstractness for each style, so no two pictures will look the same. You can also alter the intensity of the style, the lightness or darkness of the painting, and so on. And best of all, you can combine two styles, creating a whole new style of your own!

The free version of Visionist includes 10 styles, but you can unlock a total of 70 styles for a one-time payment.

Download: Visionist for iOS (Free)

What AI Can Do Already

It’s strange to see how much artificial intelligence can achieve already. We might still be some way away from smart robots that can do anything humans can, but even these photo apps show how impressive they already are.

One of the most advanced AI on the planet today is Google’s DeepMind, which can actually create its own images from nothing! Check out that and other cool things DeepMind can do.

Image Credit: atercorv.gmail.com/Depositphotos

Read the full article: What Could Robots Do With Your Pictures? 5 Cool AI-Based Photo Editing Apps

5 New RSS Reader Apps for News Feeds and Podcast Subscriptions

new-rss-readers

RSS readers aren’t as popular today as they once were, but they are still awesome for news junkies and those who don’t want to miss a single post from their favorite blog or site. These new RSS readers promise to make you fall in love with news feeds again. In case you didn’t know what RSS is, these apps let you add multiple websites and collect every new post from them in one place. You don’t need to go to websites anymore, they come to you. So here are the best new RSS readers you should check out. Winds (Windows,…

Read the full article: 5 New RSS Reader Apps for News Feeds and Podcast Subscriptions

RSS readers aren’t as popular today as they once were, but they are still awesome for news junkies and those who don’t want to miss a single post from their favorite blog or site. These new RSS readers promise to make you fall in love with news feeds again.

In case you didn’t know what RSS is, these apps let you add multiple websites and collect every new post from them in one place. You don’t need to go to websites anymore, they come to you.

So here are the best new RSS readers you should check out.

Winds (Windows, macOS, Linux, Web): Powerful RSS and Podcast Subscriptions

Winds is a powerful desktop rss reader

Instead of different apps for podcasts and news feeds, Winds combines your subscriptions into one app that handles it all. Plus it’s gorgeous, lets you discover new things to read and listen to, and even add notes and highlights.

Winds is available as a desktop program for all major operating systems, as well as a web app in browsers. The dashboard shows latest episodes and articles, as well as the podcasts and websites that you have subscribed to. The “Featured on Winds” section has a variety of recommendations for podcasts, blogs, and websites in topics of your interest.

Finally, for each article or episode, you can add tags, notes, or highlights. Tags are an easy way to bookmark articles for later and sort them, while notes and highlights help you remember why you liked it.

Naturally, Winds is not as powerful as some of the best podcast apps today, but it’s a good player for all your basic needs.

Download: Winds for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

Bloglovin’ (Web): Customizable Views, and Readymade Feeds

Bloglovin makes RSS simple for beginners

Bloglovin’ is a good app for beginners to the world of RSS feeds. It’s simple to set up and add feeds, even by simply searching for the site you want to follow. And the app has readymade feeds for topics like technology, fashion, lifestyle, DIY and crafts, food and drink, and so on.

If the default list view of most RSS feeds is a bit overwhelming for you, Bloglovin’ offers multiple customizable views. You can opt for a grid-like view that you’d get in Pinterest, or a list view with small images, or the standard blog view of headline-image-post. It’s a more friendly interface for newcomers.

Panda (Web, Chrome): Digg and Google Alternative, With Pocket Support

Panda RSS is a good alternative to digg reader and google reader

Well, Digg Reader is dead, and Google Reader left many in the lurch years ago. But if you want something similar, check out Panda. Not only is it a powerful RSS reader, but it also integrates with other apps.

The basics of Panda are similar to any other good RSS reader you have used. Let it know your interests for suggestions, or search and add feeds manually, and you’re set. But things get cool when you sign up for the free 30-day trial (no credit card required).

Panda has “integrations” with which you can connect it to popular apps like Twitter, Pocket, Dribble, and Buffer. So for example, if you bookmark an article, it can be added directly to your Buffer queue. Or you can check your Twitter timeline directly in Panda. Or better yet, the awesome Pocket read-it-later articles can be seen without ever leaving the Panda app.

After the 30-day trial, you’ll need to pay to use Panda Pro, which adds unlimited feeds, a reader mode for clean articles, powerful search, and removes ads. It costs $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year.

Download: Panda for Chrome (Free)

Feediary (Web): No Ads, No Tracking, and Simple

Feediary is a privacy focused RSS reader

You should know by now that almost any website or online service you use is tracking you. Feediary tries to put a stop to that with the Do Not Track feature, so that your privacy is protected when you are reading your feeds.

Apart from tracking, Feediary also removes ads entirely. While it wasn’t common to get ads on RSS till a while ago, a lot of the new free RSS readers will push ads at you.

The privacy features aside, it’s still a capable and nice reader. The free account lets you add up to 50 feeds manually or by searching. There’s a handy “read it later” button, as well as “favorites” to save articles for later. And if you have an existing RSS reader, you can import your current list through OPML.

Feediary works on both desktop and mobile, and includes a dark mode. The Pro account (4 euros per month) brings you dark and light themes, full text search, and lists to sort your feeds.

Enkel (Web): Minimalist, Text-Only Reader

Enkel is a minimalist black-and-white rss reader

RSS feeds can often become overwhelming quickly, as the flurry of incoming headlines seems like an information overdose. Cut through the clutter with Enkel, a minimalist reader that focuses on typography and keeping things simple.

The web app is completely black and white, and only text, so you don’t have photos and videos cluttering up the feed. You’re only going to look at headlines and a short blurb. In fact, you can’t even expand articles to read within the app. Enkel will always take you to the original page when you click any headline. While that can be annoying, this sparseness is the appeal of the app.

You will need to find the RSS feeds of your favorite sites as this lacks an RSS search function. Nonetheless, once you set it up, Enkel can go toe-to-toe with some of the best minimalist RSS readers out there.

Don’t Forget The Big Four

These new RSS readers make us believe that RSS isn’t dead yet, and that there is a case to use it instead of social feeds. Even after major apps like Google Reader and Digg Reader shut down, it’s nice to see new readers pop up.

But just because it’s new doesn’t mean it’s better. You should still have a look at the big four apps among RSS readers: Feedly, Inoreader, NewsBlur, and Flipboard. They are among the best alternatives to Google Reader, and come with a ton of features to appeal to both beginners and die-hard RSS users.

Read the full article: 5 New RSS Reader Apps for News Feeds and Podcast Subscriptions

5 Free Apps for Reminders to Take a Break From Screens

reminder-apps

You know that staring at the screen for too long isn’t good for your health or your eyesight, but it’s easy to get sucked in. Use these apps to get a reminder to take a break from screen time, and take care of your health. Continuous screen usage can lead to severe eye strain, neck pain in the cause of phones, and sitting too long causes health issues too. It’s also surprisingly easy to avoid all these problems by simply switching off every once in a while. Usually, a reminder is all you need, and that’s . Stretchly (Windows, macOS,…

Read the full article: 5 Free Apps for Reminders to Take a Break From Screens

You know that staring at the screen for too long isn’t good for your health or your eyesight, but it’s easy to get sucked in. Use these apps to get a reminder to take a break from screen time, and take care of your health.

Continuous screen usage can lead to severe eye strain, neck pain in the cause of phones, and sitting too long causes health issues too. It’s also surprisingly easy to avoid all these problems by simply switching off every once in a while. Usually, a reminder is all you need, and that’s .

Stretchly (Windows, macOS, Linux): Simple Reminder for Micro and Long Breaks

stretchly reminds you to take a break and stretch

For most people, Stretchly is the break reminder that will change how you use the computer. The app enables both micro-breaks as well as scheduled long breaks that will keep you focussed.

A small popup will let you know before it’s time to take a break, and then remind you when it’s time. One of the nicer features of Stretchly is that you can skip to the next break or micro-break at any time, in case you feel like stopping right now and not later. The micro-break is every 10 minutes, for 20 seconds, where the app recommends a few stretches to keep your body healthy. Every 30 minutes, it suggests a longer 5-minute break.

You can naturally customize the duration of micro-breaks and long breaks, as well as how long a break should last. In fact, Stretchly can even become a simple Pomodoro timer to be more productive.

In case you don’t want to take a break, you can skip the prompt and continue working. But if you do this too often, you’re putting your own health at risk. You might want to enable the “strict mode” to ensure you stick to the breaks.

Download: Stretchly for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

Eye Care 20 20 20 (Android, iOS): Put Down Your Mobile

The screens of computers and phones are backlit, casting their light into your eyes. Over time, this can take a toll. In fact, you should check if you have the tell-tale signs of computer eye strain.

Eye Care 20 20 20 is a mobile app to relieve this eye strain using an age-old technique. The idea is that every 20 minutes of using a screen, look at something 20 feet away, for no less than 20 seconds. Apparently this is the relief your eyes need to stay healthy and not get dry.

The Eye Care 20 20 20 app will simply give you simple reminders when the time comes, and not mess around more than that. By that, we mean it isn’t reliant on whether the screen has been on for all of those 20 minutes or not, that reminder is coming.

You can dive into the app’s settings to customize it further, so that you can either manually start it or set it to start automatically at a certain time every day.

Download: Eye Care 20 20 20 for Android | iOS (Free)

Outstanding (Web): Web App for Reminders to Stand Up

Outstanding is a web app for reminders to take breaks through browser notifications

If you don’t want to install Stretchtly (or can’t install it for whatever reason), then Outstanding is the simplest way to get those timely reminders. It’s a free web app that works with any modern browser with notifications.

Go to the website and you can choose how often you want to get a reminder (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or one hour). You can also set how long you should stand up (30 seconds to five minutes) before getting another reminder to get back to work. It’s a simple timer that will keep you on track with ensuring you don’t spend too much time in your office chair.

Since it’s a browser-based app, for Outstanding to work, you will need to enable notifications in case you have disabled browser notifications.

Unhook (Android): Set Screen Time Limits, And Walk to Get More Time

Unhook is the most different app in this list. It doesn’t have reminders to take breaks, but instead, it forces breaks upon you.

Here’s how it works. You set a daily time limit for different types of screen usage, such as social apps, video streaming, and games. Once you cross the limit you set, Unhook makes you walk to unlock more time. For every 100 steps that you walk, you will get 10 minutes of extra usage time on the phone. The data is gathered through the built-in Google Fit on Android, which you can sync with any of your favorite fitness apps as well..

Don’t worry, it isn’t an intrusive and strict app. When you really need to browse your phone but can’t be bothered with those extra steps, you can switch off Unhook and continue using the phone as usual. But use this sparingly, it’s all about self-discipline.

Download: Unhook for Android (Free)

Micro Breaks (Chrome): Customizable Reminder for Multiple Breaks

Micro Breaks is a customizable Chrome extension for periodic reminders to take breaks

If you use Google Chrome, don’t look further than this little extension for all your break reminders. Micro Breaks is the simplest and best tool for the job.

By default, there are a few reminders already set for healthy habits. This includes:

  • Breathing: Breathe in and out to manage stress, for 2 minutes, every 2 hours.
  • 20/20/20: Prevent digital eye strain by looking at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
  • Break: A simple break, for 6 minutes, every 80 minutes.
  • Exercise: Stand up and stretch to relieve muscles, for 2 minutes, every hour.

Micro Breaks also lets you set up any custom reminders you might want, and it’s all free. This is hands down the simplest implementation of a timer reminder in Chrome. Nonetheless, you might want to check out other excellent Chrome extensions to keep you healthy at your desk.

Download: Micro Breaks for Chrome (Free)

Fix Your Posture Quickly

These apps solve that important problem of getting a reminder to regularly take a break from your computer or phone screen. But they don’t always tell you what to do when you take those breaks.

We’ve got a few suggestions on unique ways to recharge with a break, whether it’s a long one or a micro-break. One of the best options for desk workers is to try out this 3-minute exercise to fix your posture. You can do it anywhere, and it doesn’t look so weird that the whole office will stare at you.

Read the full article: 5 Free Apps for Reminders to Take a Break From Screens

What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android

android-usb-otg

USB drives are convenient, but you can’t use one with your phone. Well, unless you have an Android phone and know what USB OTG is. USB On-The-Go (OTG) is a standardized specification that allows a device to read data from a USB device without requiring a PC. The device basically becomes a USB host, which isn’t an ability every gadget has. You can do a lot with this, For example, you might connect a USB flash drive to your phone, or use an old video game controller with a tablet. USB OTG is not an Android-specific feature. But since that’s…

Read the full article: What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android

android-usb-otg

USB drives are convenient, but you can’t use one with your phone. Well, unless you have an Android phone and know what USB OTG is.

USB On-The-Go (OTG) is a standardized specification that allows a device to read data from a USB device without requiring a PC. The device basically becomes a USB host, which isn’t an ability every gadget has.

You can do a lot with this, For example, you might connect a USB flash drive to your phone, or use an old video game controller with a tablet.

USB OTG is not an Android-specific feature. But since that’s its most popular use, we’ll focus on using it with Android.

Check If Your Android Supports USB OTG

usb otg logo for android phones

The easiest way to check if your phone or tablet supports USB OTG is to look at the box it came in, or the manufacturer’s website. You’ll see a logo like the one above, or USB OTG listed in the specifications.

Another easy method is to use a USB OTG checker app. There are plenty of such free apps on the Google Play Store, but some are loaded with ads. Easy OTG Checker is a reliable app for this. Download and run it, and you’ll know if your phone supports USB OTG.

Not every Android device supports USB OTG; it’s something the manufacturer has to enable. If you find out your phone isn’t compatible when you use USB OTG Checker, this unfortunately won’t work for you.

What You Need to Use USB OTG

USB-C to USB-A Adapter

Your Android device has a standard micro-USB or USB-C port (our guide to USB cables). However, most USB devices require a full-size USB port. You can resolve that with a converter/adapter.

Specifically, look for a micro-USB or USB-C (depending on what your phone uses) male to full-size USB female adapter—those male and female designations are essential. Amazon carries many such adapters, like the popular Anker USB-C to USB adapter.

Anker USB C to USB 3.0 Adapter (Female), Type-C Adapter with Data Transfer Speed of Up to 5Gbps, Compatible with MacBook 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 S8+ S9, Google Pixel, Nexus, and More Anker USB C to USB 3.0 Adapter (Female), Type-C Adapter with Data Transfer Speed of Up to 5Gbps, Compatible with MacBook 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 S8+ S9, Google Pixel, Nexus, and More Buy Now At Amazon $9.99

It’s also possible to buy flash drives with both micro-USB and standard USB ports, like the super useful Kingston Micro Duo. It doesn’t cost much more than a regular USB drive either, so it’s a pretty sound purchase.

Kingston Digital 32GB Data Traveler Micro Duo USB 3.0 Micro USB OTG (DTDUO3/32GB) Kingston Digital 32GB Data Traveler Micro Duo USB 3.0 Micro USB OTG (DTDUO3/32GB) Buy Now At Amazon $10.95

Once you’re ready with USB OTG for your Android device, a world of opportunities opens up. Here are some of the most popular uses.

1. Connect Flash Drives and External Hard Drives

standard usb flash drive

Unsurprisingly, external storage is at the top of this list. Just plug a drive in and you’ll be ready to go. You can then transfer all kinds of files.

Flash drives are the easiest to connect; external hard drives may or may not work. Portable hard drives that draw power from the phone won’t always work, but external drives with their own power source should work just fine.

You’ll need these drives to be in FAT32 format, as NTFS doesn’t work properly with Android. For more, we have a full guide on how to get extra storage on Android from flash drives.

2. Play With Video Game Controllers

Xbox 360 controller via USB for android

Android Pie and newer natively support the Xbox One controller. But the older Xbox 360 controller also works with Android devices via USB OTG. It’s as simple as plug-and-play to start gaming with a controller. Of course, you need to play games that compatible with a controller.

If you have rooted your Android device, you can also connect PlayStation controllers. With this, you could connect a PS2 controller and turn your Android device into a retro gaming hub!

3. Control Android With Keyboard and Mouse

Android’s open nature makes it easy to connect just about anything. If you want to use your tablet as a laptop, a keyboard and mouse is integral to the experience. You’ll be happy to know that Android works well with most wireless and wired keyboards and mice.

We recommend getting a wireless keyboard and mouse set with a unified receiver, since you only have one available USB connection. I haven’t seen a functional USB hub working over USB OTG.

You should buy a standard plug-and-play wireless set that is compatible with all platforms. However, make sure you don’t buy something that requires accompanying software, like some Logitech devices that require the SetPoint software.

As noted in our detailed guide to connecting a USB keyboard to Android devices, the OS defaults to QWERTY. You’ll need a special keyboard app for other layouts, like Colemak or DVORAK.

4. Print Directly From a Printer

standard printer

Much like keyboards, printers with a standard plug-and-play USB work well with Android devices. These let you start printing without requiring a wireless connection or having to transfer anything to a PC first.

Android hasn’t supported USB Mass Storage mode for some time. Thus, if you want to print photos and documents, you’ll need to use the PTP or MTP modes for your USB connection.

Of course, it’s easier if your printer has Wi-Fi support. If it doesn’t, it might be time to upgrade to one of the best printers for homes and small offices.

5. Control Your DSLR Camera

Photographers will love this one. You can wire your Android device up to your DSLR camera and turn it into a giant live screen, complete with the ability to capture, focus, control shutter speed, and much more. It’s one of the most creative uses of an Android tablet.

You will need the DSLR Controller app, and ideally a Canon camera. It works with some Nikon and Sony cameras, but they aren’t officially supported. It’s a hefty $8 for the app, but quite useful for enthusiastic DSLR owners.

The Other Big Android USB

Learning about USB OTG and its many uses opens up a host of new tricks for Android devices. In fact, if you have an old Android tablet or phone lying around, one of the USB OTG applications above can give it a new lease of life.

Apart from OTG, there’s another USB feature on Android that you should know about. If you aren’t aware about it already, read up on Android USB Debugging and why it’s awesome.

Read the full article: What Is USB OTG? 5 Cool Ways to Use It on Android

5 Self-Care Apps and Sites for Positive and Healthy Reminders

self-care-apps

In the rush of looking after your family, meeting your work requirements, and getting things done, it’s easy to neglect your own well-being. These websites, apps, and social accounts will ensure you remember to take care of yourself. Even five minutes of self-care is enough to make a big difference in how you feel. Whether it’s a reminder to take a break from work or an uplifting message that puts you in a positive frame of mind, there’s something for everyone here. Teeny Breaks (Web, Chrome): How to Take Science-Backed Mindful Breaks Mindfulness sounds simple, but it’s difficult to practice….

Read the full article: 5 Self-Care Apps and Sites for Positive and Healthy Reminders

self-care-apps

In the rush of looking after your family, meeting your work requirements, and getting things done, it’s easy to neglect your own well-being. These websites, apps, and social accounts will ensure you remember to take care of yourself.

Even five minutes of self-care is enough to make a big difference in how you feel. Whether it’s a reminder to take a break from work or an uplifting message that puts you in a positive frame of mind, there’s something for everyone here.

Teeny Breaks (Web, Chrome): How to Take Science-Backed Mindful Breaks

Take scientifically helpful breaks with Teeny Breaks

Mindfulness sounds simple, but it’s difficult to practice. In essence, it is going out of your auto-pilot mode and noticing, really noticing, every single thing you are doing. Teeny Breaks shows you a mindful way to take a healthy break.

Available as a website or a productivity-focused New Tab extension for Chrome, Teeny Breaks gives you a new suggestion every time you access it. These suggestions are science-backed tricks to improve your health, such as doing a 2-minute burst of physical activity to improve your focus and short-term memory. Each tip includes a citation so you can read more about how effective it is.

Teeny Breaks doesn’t teach mindfulness itself, instead it tells you to be mindful during your breaks instead of letting your mind drift. If you want to learn mindfulness, try the best mindful meditation apps to get started.

Download: Teeny Breaks for Chrome (Free)

@TinyCareBot (Twitter): Short, Helpful Reminders on Twitter

It’s no secret that social media can have adverse effects on your mental health. But it’s not all bad. Accounts like @TinyCareBot put a positive spin on how social accounts can affect you.

The bot sends a tweet every few hours that encourages a healthy habit of some sort. Some examples include reminders to drink water or eat something nutritious, focussing on a few deep breaths, or that it’s okay to ask people for help when you need it. These are the kinds of small daily reminders that can turn a bad day into a good day.

Apart from @TinyCareBot, there are other similar ways to use social media positively. For example, you can follow celebrities who inspire you to take care of your mental health. Don’t mock these small steps, they all add up.

Simple Reminders (Facebook, Instagram): Inspiring Breaks In Social Feeds

There are plenty of studies that prove that Facebook makes you sad, but dumping it altogether isn’t an option either. So how do you combat it? For starters, try subscribing to self-caring accounts like Simple Reminders.

The website has social accounts on both Facebook and Instagram with the kind of motivational posters you are probably used to seeing by now. But these regular updates in your feed can actually have a positive effect on your outlook, especially when the rest of the feed is filled with things that make you a little world-weary.

Granted, some of the messages on Simple Reminders are corny. But hey, different people need different kinds of encouragement and inspiration.

Follow: Simple Reminders on Facebook | Instagram

Good Blocks (Android, iOS): Positive Self-Esteem Reinforcement Game

Good Blocks is a game that encourages positive self-esteem

Whenever you take a break from your chores, treat yourself with a pick-me-up game of Good Blocks. Designed by a clinical psychologist, this game uses cognitive behavioral therapy and other mind hacks to defeat everyday negativity.

The game is pretty simple. It shows you bad thoughts and good thoughts. Swipe the bad thoughts away from you, i.e. to the top of the screen or to either side. Swipe the good thoughts towards you, i.e. down to yourself. It’s a game of positive reinforcement that helps with self-esteem.

The idea is that playing the game trains your mind to reject negative self-image thoughts when they come up, and truly accept positive thoughts.

Apart from Good Blocks, you can also check out some other games to understand and cope with depression.

Download: Good Blocks for Android | iOS (Free)

Reboot (Web): Forced Break From Screens

Reboot forces you to take a break from the screen

Reboot eschews reminders and instead uses forced compliance. If you don’t do what the app says, you’re in trouble. But this is how your break should be if you spend too much time at your computer screen.

Whenever you want to relieve eye-strain caused by computers, head to Reboot. On the web app, choose how many minutes you want to take a break for: two, three, or five. Once you start the break, you aren’t allowed to do anything. If you move the cursor or press a key, the timer will restart and you have to begin your break all over.

It’s an effective way to ensure that when you are trying to take a break from work, you also take a break from the screen, instead of browsing social media. And since it doesn’t have a reminder, maybe you can install one of the Chrome extensions to stay healthy at your desk, which usually have reminders to prevent eye-strain.

Instant Shots of Happiness

Constant nudges of such positive and healthy reminders can help you maintain a good outlook towards life. In a busy day full of challenges, one of these messages or games can stop you from spiraling into negative thoughts.

But sometimes, you need a little more than a nudge. If you’re already down in the doldrums, these tools might not help. Then, turn to something that gives you an instant shot of happiness.

Read the full article: 5 Self-Care Apps and Sites for Positive and Healthy Reminders

5 Food Diary Apps to Track What You Eat and How It Affects You

food-diary

What you eat affects how you are. And it’s not your weight alone. Food affects mood, health, and other lifestyle factors. Track what you eat with these food diary apps to discover how food impacts you. It might seem like a pain to track every single thing you eat, from odd snacks to meals. But much like it’s a good habit to maintain a journal, it’s a good habit to log all your food consumption. You’ll discover new things about yourself. The best food diary apps have different approaches. Some ask to only add what you eat, others ask for…

Read the full article: 5 Food Diary Apps to Track What You Eat and How It Affects You

What you eat affects how you are. And it’s not your weight alone. Food affects mood, health, and other lifestyle factors. Track what you eat with these food diary apps to discover how food impacts you.

It might seem like a pain to track every single thing you eat, from odd snacks to meals. But much like it’s a good habit to maintain a journal, it’s a good habit to log all your food consumption. You’ll discover new things about yourself.

The best food diary apps have different approaches. Some ask to only add what you eat, others ask for more details. Take a look and pick what works well for your style of journaling.

See How You Eat (Android, iOS): A Visual Food Diary

The easiest way to start your food journaling journey is by taking photos of every single thing you eat. See How You Eat is still a work in progress, but it’s a pretty cool app for beginners.

The idea behind the app is that most food diary apps require too much input (like calorie counting apps) and are thus a turn-off. See How You Eat requires nothing more than taking a photograph of what you ate, and then you move on. For beginners who forget to do so, it also includes reminders so that you can get alerts during your regular meal times.

Ideally, you should take photos of every single thing you eat, from a drink of water to the biggest meal. See How You Eat limits you to 12 photos a day, so you can’t use it for water or maybe even your coffee breaks. There are still a few bugs too, but the app works well enough for beginners to start tracking their food.

Download: See How You Eat for Android | iOS (Free)

YouEat (Android, iOS): What You Eat and Why You Eat It

YouEat is a gorgeous food tracker and journal app that wants to chart the path of all your meals and ask why you ate them. It basically shows you the triggers that make you eat right or stray from your diet plan.

Here’s how it works. You take a photo of whatever you’re eating and mark it as on-path or off-path. The “path” is your diet plan, so whenever you cheat or have something you aren’t supposed to, mark it as off-path. For each photo, you also mark why you ate that meal, such as hungry, stressed, cravings, it was time, etc. And you can add notes, of course.

Do it regularly and YouEat’s path becomes an excellent way to look at the food choices you make, and the reasons behind them. Adding that reason is a good way to figure out what triggers are causing you to break your diet. Stuff like this is what you need to stick to your diet and lose weight.

Download: YouEat for Android | iOS (Free)

RiseUp (Android, iOS): How Your Food Affects Your Mood

RiseUp recognizes that what you consume affects your mental status, especially if you suffer from any disorder. The app lets you track what you ate and how you felt that day, giving you recognizable patterns over time.

The meal log is where you add what you ate, how you ate it, and even if you ate it alone or with other people. You also add how you were feeling around that meal time. RiseUp also has a few target behaviors that you can add to the meal, such as weighing yourself before/after, or binge-eating. It’s all about recognizing patterns.

RiseUp also sends you reminders throughout the day to check-in with your current feelings and thoughts. When you take all of that data together, you’ll get a picture of how food affects your mood.

Download: RiseUp for Android | iOS (Free)

Cara (Android, iOS): Advanced Full-Body Tracker

Cara is an excellent app for advanced users who want to connect their food and water consumption with symptoms in their lives. Apart from food, it tracks a range of other factors, so you can connect the dots later.

Like with the other apps, every time you eat or drink something, add it to Cara. There are no fancy drop-down menus here, simply type it, and take a photo if you want. Cara also tracks water intake. Not drinking it can have adverse health effects, so this is a good way to remember to drink water.

Other factors you add include your stool, digestion, mental status, medications and supplements, period, skin condition, workout, sleep, and pain. Over time, patterns will emerge that make connections between your health and food. So if eating pineapples gives you rashes, this is the best app to find that out.

Download: Cara for Android | iOS (Free)

MyPlate (Android, iOS): Simple Calorie Counter With Great Community

MyPlate is a calorie counting app by LiveStrong, which means you get the entire existing LiveStrong community to push you along in your goals and desires. It is like any of the other calorie counting fitness apps, but I found its interface to be easier and more pleasing to use than any other.

MyPlate asks you to set goals, such as watching your carb or sodium intake. Then it’s about logging everything you eat. It is simple to add anything by searching from the database of two million items, or by taking photos of bar codes to automatically identify items. MyPlate will automatically calculate the calories and nutritional break-up.

The app is actually very similar to other heavyweights like MyFitnessPal, HealthifyMe, or Lifesum. If you prefer any of those, go with that. But if you haven’t tried any other calorie counting app, MyPlate’s interface might be easier to start with.

You Can’t Skip Exercise

Once you find out what your eating habits are like and how they affect you, you might be tempted to think that it’s the only change you need to shed those pounds. But science disagrees.

While a good diet is necessary to lose weight, you can’t skip exercise or other healthy choices. To find out more about the science behind this, read our article on losing weight faster with diet or exercise.

Read the full article: 5 Food Diary Apps to Track What You Eat and How It Affects You

The 6 Best Cheap Gaming Monitors to Buy on Black Friday

gaming-monitors-blackfriday

If you’re a PC gamer, the screen is an important part of the experience. PC gamers shouldn’t just go for a random monitor though. Instead, it’s best to buy a gaming monitor, and thankfully there are some cheap gaming monitors available to buy. What to Know Before Buying a Gaming Monitor Gaming monitors focus on a few things that a regular monitor or TV will not. Here is a quick list of the essential things you need to know when buying a gaming monitor: Refresh rate: A higher refresh rate is better. Standard monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz….

Read the full article: The 6 Best Cheap Gaming Monitors to Buy on Black Friday

gaming-monitors-blackfriday

If you’re a PC gamer, the screen is an important part of the experience. PC gamers shouldn’t just go for a random monitor though. Instead, it’s best to buy a gaming monitor, and thankfully there are some cheap gaming monitors available to buy.

What to Know Before Buying a Gaming Monitor

Gaming monitors focus on a few things that a regular monitor or TV will not. Here is a quick list of the essential things you need to know when buying a gaming monitor:

Refresh rate: A higher refresh rate is better. Standard monitors have a refresh rate of 60Hz. Gaming monitors have a refresh rate of 144Hz, sometimes going up to 240Hz.

Response time: A lower response time is better. This is a measure of how quickly a pixel can go from black to white to black again. Gaming monitors will usually have response times of 5ms (milliseconds) or lower.

HDR: It’s best if a monitor has it, but this isn’t a dealbreaker. HDR (High Dynamic Range) makes the colors pop, but in budget monitors, this is often looks over-saturated.

FreeSync vs. G-Sync: FreeSync and G-Sync are competitive technologies from AMD and Nvidia to improve picture quality and reduce lag. AMD supports FreeSync monitors, Nvidia supports G-Sync monitors. There are great budget graphics cards for gaming from both.

4K Monitors and Size

don't buy cheap 4k gaming monitors

The biggest question you need to ask yourself is about the size of the monitor. As a rule of thumb, “bigger is better” can work, but it’s not always true. Much like picking the right TV for your living room, calculate the distance from the monitor to where your eyes are likely to be, and buy accordingly. For most people, a 24-inch or a 27-inch gaming monitor is ideal.

It is also difficult to escape the lure of UHD or 4K gaming monitors now. If one fits in your budget, get it. But 4K resolution isn’t a must-have feature. Resolution doesn’t make the graphics better, there are other things that matter in a monitor, like the factors listed above. For example, a cheap 4K monitor with HDR will still not give you a satisfying experience if its refresh rate is low and its response time is high.

There’s a lot of debate about PC gaming at 4K. The bottom line is that while it enhances the visuals, it’s not a deal-breaker if the monitor doesn’t support 4K. And this is especially important for budget gaming monitors.

1. The Cheapest 24-Inch Gaming Monitor: BenQ Zowie RL2455

benq zowie rl2455 is the cheapest gaming monitor worth buying

BenQ Zowie 24 inch Full HD Gaming Monitor - 1080p 1ms Response Time for Competitive Esports Gaming, Color Vibrance, Dual HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub (RL2455S) BenQ Zowie 24 inch Full HD Gaming Monitor - 1080p 1ms Response Time for Competitive Esports Gaming, Color Vibrance, Dual HDMI, DVI-D, D-Sub (RL2455S) Buy Now At Amazon $169.00

The most common size for desktop monitors is 24 inches. For that, a no-frills no-fuss recommendation is the BenQ Zowie RL2455. It gets the basics right with a clear and vibrant screen, 1ms response time, and several ports for inputs. But BenQ’s small additions make a difference.

For instance, the monitor comes with preset modes for different types of games, such as strategy games, shooters, and so on. BenQ also has a smart built-in software called Black eQualizer, which makes dark areas a little brighter to see clearly, without turning the whole screen bright. Several customers and reviewers have pointedly appreciated this feature.

2. The Best Cheap Gaming Monitor with IPS: ViewSonic VX2476

viewsonic vx2476 is the best cheap gaming monitor with an ips panel

ViewSonic VX2476-SMHD 24 Inch 1080p Frameless Widescreen IPS Monitor with HDMI and DisplayPort ViewSonic VX2476-SMHD 24 Inch 1080p Frameless Widescreen IPS Monitor with HDMI and DisplayPort Buy Now At Amazon $137.20

The BenQ Zowie has a TN panel. When you’re buying a gaming monitor, you’ll need to decide between an IPS screen or a TN screen. Generally speaking, IPS screens have better viewing angles and colors, while TN panels have faster refresh rates and response times. But these are outdated myths about monitors.

When it comes to budget gaming monitors, an IPS screen doesn’t give that much extra oomph. But if you’d still prefer it, then the ViewSonic VX2476 is the cheap option to go with. It’s available in different sizes (22, 23, 24, 27, and 32 inches) for a fantastic rate.

Buy this if watching movies is more important than playing games, but you still want a good gaming experience.

3. The Best Cheap Gaming Monitor With 144Hz Refresh Rate: Asus VG248QE

asus vg248qe is the best cheap gaming monitor with 144hz refresh rate

ASUS VG248QE 24" Full HD 1920x1080 144Hz 1ms HDMI Gaming Monitor ASUS VG248QE 24" Full HD 1920x1080 144Hz 1ms HDMI Gaming Monitor Buy Now At Amazon $217.99

If your budget allows for it, don’t settle for anything less than a monitor with 144Hz refresh rate. It’s the most visually striking feature when it comes to modern gaming. The best cheap option with that feature is the Asus VG248QE.

There is nothing special in this Asus model other than the 144Hz refresh rate. It is simply a solid device that does all the basics as perfectly as possible. Make sure you buy the 144Hz model with a TN panel, as there is also a 75Hz model with an IPS panel.

4. The Best Cheap Gaming Monitor With FreeSync: Samsung’s 390 Series

samsung c24fg73 is the best cheap gaming monitor with amd freesync

Samsung CFG7 Screen LED-Lit Monitor 23.5" (C24FG73FQN) Samsung CFG7 Screen LED-Lit Monitor 23.5" (C24FG73FQN) Buy Now At Amazon $259.99

Whether it’s the 24-inch version or the 27-inch version, Samsung’s 390 series is a good choice for those with AMD graphics cards that support FreeSync. Samsung uses a VA panel, which is kind of a compromise between IPS and TN.

5. The Best Budget Gaming Monitor With G-Sync: Dell S2417DG

dell 2417dg is the best cheap gaming monitor with g-sync

Dell Gaming Monitor S2417DG YNY1D 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit TN with G-SYNC, QHD 2560 x 1440, 165Hz Refresh Rate, 1ms Response Time, 16:9 Aspect Ratio Dell Gaming Monitor S2417DG YNY1D 24-Inch Screen LED-Lit TN with G-SYNC, QHD 2560 x 1440, 165Hz Refresh Rate, 1ms Response Time, 16:9 Aspect Ratio Buy Now At Amazon $372.99

Nvidia’s G-Sync works differently than AMD’s FreeSync, as it requires the monitors to have a chip. This raises the price, but also improves quality. And if you have an Nvidia card, the much-loved Dell S2417 is the way to go.

Even with a TN panel, the colors pop like on an IPS panel. It has 165Hz refresh rate, and a 1ms response time. You even get higher resolution at 2560×1440 pixels.

Almost everyone agrees that this is the best budget gaming monitor around today. It’s so good that you should buy it even if you have an AMD graphics card and won’t get FreeSync.

You can also get a 27-inch version of this Dell model, which has all of the same features.

6. The Best Cheap Curved Gaming Monitor With HDR: BenQ EX3203R

benq ex3203r is the best cheap gaming monitor with hdr and a curved screen

BenQ EX3203R 32" Curve HDR Gaming Monitor, WQHD, FreeSync2, Ultra Slim Bezel, Brightness Intelligence, USB-C BenQ EX3203R 32" Curve HDR Gaming Monitor, WQHD, FreeSync2, Ultra Slim Bezel, Brightness Intelligence, USB-C Buy Now At Amazon $699.99

For most gamers on a budget, the Dell S2417DG should be the maximum they spend on a monitor. But in case you want a little extra oomph, take a look at the BenQ EX3203R.

It’s a curved gaming monitor that supports HDR, along with FreeSync. The resolution is again 2560×1440 pixels, which is plenty for a gaming monitor when the rest of the image quality is so good. Forget about 4K.

Of course, you get 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time at this price. This model also comes with a USB-C port, which you don’t see often on monitors. We were mighty impressed in our BenQ EX3203R review.

What About 4K Gaming Monitors?

As you have probably noticed, this list doesn’t include a single monitor with 4K resolution. That’s because when you’re buying a cheap gaming monitor, the other factors (panel quality, image processor, etc.) matter more than the resolution.

But if you want a 4K monitor despite that, there are a few options. Remember to stick to gaming monitors that offer 4K, rather than a random 4K monitor. We have a list of the best 4K gaming monitors for all budgets, and hopefully one of them will work for you.

Read the full article: The 6 Best Cheap Gaming Monitors to Buy on Black Friday

How Dumb Are You? 5 Brain Training and Analyzing Apps to Check Your Mind

brain-training

Like everything else about yourself, you can improve how your brain functions. These brain training and analyzing apps show just how dumb you are, and teach you to sharpen your mind. We aren’t going to debate brain training games and their neuroscience. These apps will analyze your brain to give you an idea of which areas you really need to work on. Others give you exercises to improve those functions. And one app shows you how the human brain is easily tricked into making bad decisions. Cambridge Brain Sciences (Web): Free “Brain Health” Analysis Canada-based Cambridge Brain Sciences (CBS) is…

Read the full article: How Dumb Are You? 5 Brain Training and Analyzing Apps to Check Your Mind

brain-training

Like everything else about yourself, you can improve how your brain functions. These brain training and analyzing apps show just how dumb you are, and teach you to sharpen your mind.

We aren’t going to debate brain training games and their neuroscience. These apps will analyze your brain to give you an idea of which areas you really need to work on. Others give you exercises to improve those functions. And one app shows you how the human brain is easily tricked into making bad decisions.

Cambridge Brain Sciences (Web): Free “Brain Health” Analysis

Canada-based Cambridge Brain Sciences (CBS) is the go-to app if you want to analyze how healthy your brain is right now. It’s even used by researchers and academics for basic cognitive function tests, and were the prime tests for our analysis of what happens when you stare at a screen for 48 hours.

Sign up for the free service and you can access these tests, split into reasoning, memory, and verbal. Each test is an online game with simple instructions, like the one in the video above. The more answers you get right, the more difficult the game gets. There’s a timer for each turn, and three wrong answers ends the game. Get as high a score as you can to raise your brain health.

At the end of the test, CBS calculates an overall brain health score and shows how you ranked compared to others who took the same tests. It’ll also break down your reasoning, memory, and verbal skills to show how you did. This is a good indication of which part you really need to work on next, with the help of other apps.

NeuroNation (Web): Long-Term Brain-Boosting Courses Based on Analysis

NeuroNation has brain training analysis and exercises

Much like CBS, NeuroNation offers its own exercises to create a profile of your current brain health. But it doesn’t just stop there. NeuroNation also provides a series of courses for free.

There are six courses for different aspects of brain training: memory, concentration, intelligence, equilibrium, primus (ability to learn faster), and memowork (memory, reasoning, and learning). Each course is a few weeks long and is tailored based on how you do on the brain test at the start.

Some of the courses or games are free to begin but will ask you for payment to continue. This can range from $20 to $60.

Note that NeuroNation is primarily a German app, and there are aspects of the test that require language skills. So if you want to take an English test, please make sure the URL says “en” and your browser doesn’t ask to translate the German page to English at any time. Taking the German test would give a false result and the test would suffer.

Brain Errors (Web): How Your Brain Makes Silly Mistakes

Brain Errors shows how the human brain makes mistakes through experiements

The human brain is far more powerful than any supercomputer on the planet. But unlike those supercomputers, our brains can make silly mistakes. It’s hard-wired in us, as scientists are discovering.

Brain Errors is a website that explains the most common ways our mind trips over its own feet. Each error is presented as a question you have to answer. It doesn’t matter how right or wrong you are, the analysis explains how the brain abandons logic in common situations. Each error includes research papers to find out more about it.

Brain Errors is a classy way to find out more about the inner workings of the mind. Try all 12 experiments, it’s fascinating. And if you find this interesting, you might want to check out these fantastic TED talks that explain how the brain works.

Brain Workshop (Windows, macOS, Linux): Dual N-Back Brain Training

There is still a lot of debate about whether brain-training games help or not. But what everyone agrees on is that playing Dual N-Back games boost short-term memory and fluid intelligence, which we commoners call smartness.

What is Dual N-Back? Let’s say “N” is two. You’ll be shown a pattern, while at the same time a letter of the alphabet is said out loud. Then you’ll get another pattern and number. And so on, infinitely.

If the current pattern or number matches the pattern or number of what was shown two (N) turns ago, you need to act. If the number repeated, click the number button. If the letter repeated, click the letter button. The video above demonstrates a simple version of the free Brain Workshop game,

The brain constantly has to discard something from the memory and add something new to it. It sounds difficult, but try it out, and you’ll get better at it over time.

Download: Brain Workshop for Windows | macOS | Linux (Free)

If you don’t want to install anything, try a free web version of the Dual N-Back game.

Brainturk (Web, Android, iOS): Cheapest Brain Training Games App

Brain-training apps are a hot commodity with big names like Lumosity and Peak. So why should you look at Brainturk instead of these amazing brain exercise games for mobile? Because the price is right.

Most brain-training apps force you to buy a monthly subscription to unlock all games or give you a few for free. These costs can end up costing a pretty penny. And it’s a bit annoying when most of these games are similar anyway. Brainturk also makes you pay, but it’s the cheapest option among all these apps.

For three dollars, you get over 40 games that you can play endlessly. Use the CBS test to find out what you need to work on, and play games from that category to slowly improve your cognitive functions.

In fact, if you play Brainturk on the web, you don’t even need to pay anything. Sign up and start playing all the games for free.

Download: Brainturk Lite for Android | iOS (Free)

Download: Brainturk for Android | iOS ($2.99)

5-Minute Exercises For Your Brain

These apps will help you appreciate how your brain functions, and even level-up your mind with repeated usage. But apps aren’t the only solution to better mental capabilities. In fact, there are a series of proven 5-minute exercises for your brain that can make you smarter over time.

Read the full article: How Dumb Are You? 5 Brain Training and Analyzing Apps to Check Your Mind

Good News! 5 Places to Read or Hear Positive and Uplifting News

good-news-

Turn on the TV, pick up the newspaper, or hop on to social media, and it seems like there is nothing but bad news. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a ton of positive, good news that you are missing, and these sites and apps want to fix that. A constant barrage of negative and depressing news can have an effect on how you think and feel. Seeking out positive news is one of the important steps to escape the drama of bad news. As you can see, that news can be got through websites, a browser’s…

Read the full article: Good News! 5 Places to Read or Hear Positive and Uplifting News

good-news-

Turn on the TV, pick up the newspaper, or hop on to social media, and it seems like there is nothing but bad news. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a ton of positive, good news that you are missing, and these sites and apps want to fix that.

A constant barrage of negative and depressing news can have an effect on how you think and feel. Seeking out positive news is one of the important steps to escape the drama of bad news.

As you can see, that news can be got through websites, a browser’s new tab extension, podcasts, or even by talking to your Google Assistant.

Not Depressing and r/UpliftingNews (Web): News Feeds of Hopeful and Inspiring Stories

Not Depressing News has a lsit of positive news articles

The simplest way to see positive stories happening across the world is to go to one of these two sites, which present a list of such hopeful events.

Not Depressing aggregates links from several media outlets, including the world’s most trusted news sites. You’ll see a headline and a picture, which you click to be taken to the news article in a new tab. Don’t rely on the “Top Today”, which is the first section and doesn’t update often. Scroll down to “New” and you’ll find the latest happenings.

Similarly, u/UpliftingNews is a Reddit community that shares such good news. A lot of these are real stories of samaritans, while others are links to news articles. If you want a discussion forum along with your positive news, then Uplifting News is where you should head to. It’s one of the sure-fire ways to get an instant shot of happiness.

Goodnet (Web): Positive and Uplifting Articles, Videos, and More

Goodnet for uplifting news

Goodnet is an all-in-one destination for anyone who wants to seek some good news. The aim is to report on anyone making a positive impact through volunteering, charity work, microfunding, creativity, green tech, water conservation, collaborative consumption, mindful living, or anything else.

The main page seems like any other news site you might go to. The only difference is that all of the content is about something good happening in the world. You can largely filter the topics as me, people, planet, innovation, good news, and good action. Goodnet is almost a zealot about propagating positivity and seems to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

The site also has a “Good Media” section where it hosts positive videos as well as other media like infographics and quizzes. It’s a nice break from the age-old way of consuming news.

Sounds Good (Podcast): Conversations With Optimists and World-Changers

Brendan Harvey of Sounds Good podcast for Conversations With Optimists and World-Changers

GoodGoodGood is trying to start a physical newspaper that only reports positive news, and has launched a Kickstarter for that. Till that comes to fruition, you can check their weekly podcast, Sounds Good.

Every week, host Branden Harvey speaks to people who are making a positive change in the world. These are both influencers in the limelight as well as people who work hard behind the scenes to get things done. The focus here is on helping society evolve and push forward.

Sounds Good is available for free on different podcast networks, so you can easily subscribe to it. There are over 100 episodes for you to listen to.

Subscribe to Sounds Good: iTunes | Stitcher | Overcast | SoundCloud

GoodGoodGood also has a newsletter for positive stories. Every Tuesday, the GoodNewsletter sends you five uplifting news articles to brighten your week. You will routinely learn something new with this newsletter.

Google Assistant (Google Home, Android, iOS): Articles From “Solutions Journalism”

Google News is the default news source for millions of people. And the new changes in Google News make it better than ever before. But it is still riddled with depressing news. In this constant effort to improve, Google Assistant can now show you articles that are about positive and uplifting events.

All you have to do is fire up Google Assistant on your Android device or iPhone, or speak to it on a Google Home device. The magic command is, “OK Google, tell me something good.”

To serve this positive news, Google has partnered with the Solutions Journalism Network, which finds instances from across the world about how anyone can make positive change and solve problems.

“Solutions journalism empowers and energizes audiences, helping to combat negative news fatigue,” says Google. But if you’re still not happy with the search giant’s efforts, you might want to switch to some of the best Google News alternatives.

Goodnews (Chrome): Uplifting News In New Tab

Goodnews for Chrome puts positive news in a new tab

Google Chrome’s New Tab page can be customized to do a lot of things. One of them is to give you a dose of good and positive news through the Goodnews extension.

It’s a minimalistic and gorgeous add-on that does one job well. Install it, and every time you open a new tab, you will see one positive headline, along with where it’s from. Placed on a solid single-color background, it has a calming and uplifting effect. This is one of those tiny changes that can make a big difference to your outlook without you trying much.

Of course, this would mean you have to give up on other things like the best New Tab page extensions for productivity. But choose what you want, a healthier mind or a work boost.

Download: Goodnews for Chrome (Free)

Instead of Positive, Go for Funny

With the help of these sites, apps, and podcasts, you will get a dose of positive news in your life without much effort. It’s a welcome change from the depressing and dark articles flooding your social media.

But such “good news sites” aren’t the only way to break out of the negative news cycle. You can also look at a daily dose of humorous news as an alternative. Try any of these 15 enjoyable and funny news websites to see the world in a positive light.

Read the full article: Good News! 5 Places to Read or Hear Positive and Uplifting News

5 Must-Have Email Web Apps for Reminders, Quick Mails, Burners, and More

email-web-apps

Email is one of the quintessentially important elements of using the internet. From signing up for websites and services to serving as a place for tasks, reminders, and notes, these web apps turn email into a much more powerful tool. For most of these apps, it doesn’t matter whether you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or any of the other popular email service providers. A couple of them are based on Gmail, and we do think that’s the best email app too. Regardless, the email service shouldn’t be a big issue, as long as you use one of the popular…

Read the full article: 5 Must-Have Email Web Apps for Reminders, Quick Mails, Burners, and More

email-web-apps

Email is one of the quintessentially important elements of using the internet. From signing up for websites and services to serving as a place for tasks, reminders, and notes, these web apps turn email into a much more powerful tool.

For most of these apps, it doesn’t matter whether you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or any of the other popular email service providers. A couple of them are based on Gmail, and we do think that’s the best email app too. Regardless, the email service shouldn’t be a big issue, as long as you use one of the popular options.

Dear Ele (Web): Schedule Email Reminders to Yourself or Others

Dear Ele lets you send delayed emails to anyone, without installing anything. The idea is to send a reminder through an email that doesn’t rely on any app.

Here’s how it works. You open your inbox, compose a new message, and type an email to Dear Ele that includes a certain time frame. For example:

  • 4hours@dearele.com
  • 3days@dearele.com
  • tomorrow2pm@dearele.com
  • wednesday@dearele.com
  • nextweek@dearele.com
  • nextmonth@dearele.com

As you can see, each of the email addresses makes it pretty clear when the email will be sent. Along with that, you can add a CC or BCC so that the reminder goes out to multiple people, without needing any of them to be using the same reminder or to-do app. You can also add the Dear Ele email in the CC or BCC.

Dear Ele is a free, simple, and effective solution to an everyday problem. The free version allows 100 reminders a month, while you’ll have to pay to unlock more reminders. But if you’re using it that frequently, you should instead look at specialized apps. In fact, Google Calendar’s new Reminders function is awesome.

QuickSend (Web): Send an Email Without Logging Into Your Inbox

send emails without logging into inbox with quicksend

Commit this name to your memory. If you’re using someone else’s computer or phone, and need to send an email urgently, QuickSend is the best solution we’ve seen in a long time.

To send a message, you add the recipient’s email address, the sender’s email address, the subject, and compose the message. When you’re done, send it. It’s really as simple as that, making it one of the best no-signup services for everyday use.

QuickSend isn’t as instantaneous as regular email. In our tests, the email landed in the recipient’s inbox about 10-15 minutes after it was sent. While that’s not bad, it loses the speed of email. But hey, at least you are protected and can use a public computer safely for your email.

Speaking of privacy, don’t worry, QuickSend encrypts all data, so no one can intercept or read the email apart from the intended recipient.

BurnerMail (Chrome, Firefox): Easiest App for Disposable Emails

burnermail is the easiest extension to manage free disposable email addresses

When you sign up for any service on the internet, it’s good security and privacy practice to use a disposable email address instead of your primary email account. BurnerMail is the easiest app for this.

Download the BurnerMail extension for Chrome or Firefox to begin. Set up an account with your primary email, which BurnerMail will protect. Whenever you go to a website which asks for an email address to sign up, BurnerMail will offer to create a disposable email account. Sign up with that, and the emails go to your primary inbox.

But once you’re done with that service, or if you don’t want the emails cluttering up your inbox, click the extension and disable that disposable email. It’s really that simple. So even if the service leaks your email address, you won’t get bombarded with more spam.

Download: BurnerMail for Chrome | Firefox (Free)

AhhLife (Web): Regular Reminders to Write a Journal Entry

Write a journal from your email inbox with AhhLife

Most productivity and lifestyle experts recommend writing a journal regularly as an exercise to center yourself and take stock. AhhLife puts the journal in your inbox, making you write an email that serves as a journal entry.

It’s a simple and easy solution, and it’s completely free. You can set the frequency of the reminders, choosing whether to write a journal every day, every few days, every week, or so on. And you can choose the reminder email’s time too, for morning or evening entries. Once you get the reminder, just reply to it.

AhhLife saves all your entries in a dashboard that you can access on its web app. It’s a neat and clean design to revisit what you’ve chronicled. It only supports text entries though, so you can’t attach photos and videos.

The only barrier to AhhLife is that it uses a Google account exclusively, so you can’t use other email services. Instead, you can use Journal Jerk, one of the best journaling and diary apps, which works with multiple email providers.

EmailThis.Me (Web): Save and Read Articles In Inbox

emailthis.me is a pocket alternative to save and read articles in your inbox

Don’t bother with read-it-later apps. After using EmailThis.Me for a year, we can happily recommend it once again as one of the best alternatives to Pocket bookmark articles for later.

EmailThis.Me takes any article on the web, strips unnecessary and cluttering elements, and presents a clean read in your inbox. You don’t need any app to access what you want to read, and it works perfectly on both desktop and mobile.

Since its launch, EmailThis.Me has worked to improve support for many sites that try to thwart such apps that strip elements for a clean read. While there are extensions available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, you might want to use the simple bookmarklet instead. It works perfectly and doesn’t add extra load to your browser’s resources.

Download: EmailThis.Me for Chrome | Firefox | Opera (Free)

More Tools for Better Email

Naturally, this isn’t an exhaustive list of email apps and tools. You are more likely to find better extensions and add-ons for particular browsers and services, like the best Chrome extensions to super-power Gmail.

But there are always exceptions. In fact, we’ve already talked about a few such tools that you can use with any service or browser, so check out these other universal email tools to make your life easier.

Read the full article: 5 Must-Have Email Web Apps for Reminders, Quick Mails, Burners, and More