by Josh Bryant
Apps can kill your productivity and growth. They can also do the opposite. It all depends on where you decide to spend your time on your phone or tablet. Are you daily going to your games folder? How's your productivity and growth? Here is my daily folder - nine apps that I use every day and endorse for you to consider using as well.
You'll need your church (or at least a church) to have a subscription to DevoHub. When you first open the app, it uses geolocation to determine if you are in the range of a download zone. If you live in Northwest Arkansas, download the app and go sit in the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Rogers. Then you'll be able to access seven different devotional sets ranging from men and women specific to kids to Spanish language. Each devotional only takes about 5 minutes and is well worth the time.
2. Logos Bible
This is an amazing app if you want to go a bit deeper. I like to do a devotional and having a Bible reading plan going on (like reading through the Bible in one year). Logos has the functionality to build just about any kind of reading plan you'd like. It also has a prayer list feature that allows you to schedule days to pray for certain things and take notes about God's response to your prayers. There are study guides and books that you can download too. This really is a great app.
This app just keeps getting better. It's always been good for helping with Scripture memory. Recently though, they've added a groups function as well as a few catechisms. This app could be used to help your kids memorize Scripture - you can do it as a family. You could memorize Scripture in your small group and hold one another accountable to hid God's Word in your collective and individual hearts. It is well worth the small fee.
My personality is such that I need to constantly be learning new things. Curiosity is a great app for that. Select topics that interest you and every day you'll get 3-5 articles from which you can learn something new. Each article only takes 2-5 minutes to read and often comes with related videos. Spending a few minutes in this app is one of the highlights of many of my days.
There are two things I love about this app. The first is a daily motivational video of 2-3 minutes. It's a great way to jump start your day. But, I also like that I can spend 20-30 minutes and hear the highlights of a book rather than have to take 6-8 hours over the course of a couple of weeks to read the whole book. The app also offers master classes on topics ranging from weight management to one of my favorite subjects - stoic philosophy. Lastly, there are several "packs" which combine videos and worksheets thematically to organize the way you study and retain the material.
Most folks have heard of TED talks. A lot of times, I find myself disagreeing with a lot of what is being spoken about. The talks more often than not lean liberal or atheistic, but they do challenge my way of thinking and sharpen my own beliefs and worldview. They help me understand other ways of looking at the world. A lot of the time, the subjects are really intriguing and while I may disagree with the conclusion, the topic itself or the underlying information can be really useful.
Does it work? I don't know. The folks at Luminosity says it does. However, recent research suggests that brain-training games just make you good at brain-training games. Specifically, there was extensive evidence that brain-training improved performance on those specific tasks, less evidence that brain-training affected closely related tasks, and no evidence that brain-training improves overall cognitive functioning. (By the way, I learned that on the Curiosity app.) But if you're going to spend time playing games, this is probably better than football, poker, or Fortnite.
This app is part of a bit of a game changer in journaling and productivity. The first step is to take a short quiz to determine your brain type. I am an alchemist. Then, things get expensive when you order your quarterly day planner and journal for around $45 a pop. But, the planner helps you keep track of things in a way that your brain naturally needs. Alchemists like me need the opportunity to learn, explore, and share discoveries. So the Evo planner makes sure I build time in my day for such activities. It also breaks down goal setting from monthly to weekly to daily goals, all heading towards the same things - productivity and growth.
Last but not least, an exercise app. Exercise helps with so much - weight management, cognitive performance, sleep cycle, cardiovascular health, and more. So of course, we need to have a go to app for daily exercise. There are several out there, but I like Sworkit because all of the exercises require no equipment and can be done indoors. You can also set a timer when creating a workout so that you do each exercise for a few seconds, take breaks when necessary, and finish on time.
I follow Christ. I have a beautiful wife Megan and three wonderful children, Harrisen, Rebekah, and Carter. I am a candidate for a Ph.D. in ethics from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, have an M.Div. from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of Arkansas, am licensed to practice law in several state and federal courts, and live in Rogers, Arkansas. I write a blog and produce a podcast. And I do it all that others may know Christ.