It’s been said that life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. By that logic, a lot of life must happen while everyone is stuck on the freeway or knee-deep in laundry. Seriously, though, doesn’t it seem like there’s a lot more to do in a lot less time these days?
Luckily, technology is constantly coming up with ways to ease your busy schedule without doing much more than pressing a button. Here are some of the best apps and products that’ll help you hack your life in 2019.
If you and Siri don’t seem to see eye-to-eye when it comes to directions, or your GPS can never seem to make up its mind before you have to take that freeway exit, then VIZR (featured on Prime8) might be the perfect gift for you.
Not only does it turn the inside of your car into the Millennium Falcon, but it also helps you read the map while driving — by projecting the directions onto the windshield. We kid you not.
All you do is download the app, place your phone into the display cradle on your dash and get ready for light speed (or your local speed limit).
Slow-cookers and Instant Pots are having their day in the sun — probably because those of us who do the bulk of the cooking are multitasking with working a job, raising a family and having it all.
This new version of the slow-cooker by Belkin has a Wi-Fi feature that allows you to start and stop your meal from your phone. So if you’re in a long board meeting and need to get dinner started, you can turn the cooker on via your phone and monitor your meal as you finish those daily reports for the boss.
Meal planning is a lot simpler if you don’t have to be there standing over the stove. Of course, you will be more than glad to be there to eat the finished product.
Airmega 400s Air Purifier
Our climate is rapidly changing and, with it, strange weather patterns are becoming more prevalent. And according to Healthline, constant weather fluctuations can cause allergy-type symptoms. This has created all sorts of new allergens and a record high amount of pollen from warmer weather and increased rainfall (not to mention good old pollution clogging up your lungs and sinuses).
The Airmega 400s Purifier, recommended by Money Inc., creates an allergen-free environment for those who are constantly going through bottles of Flonase and boxes of tissues. It has a sensor that can monitor the air quality in your home and adjust it as the weather changes.
If this isn’t quite in your budget, the bargain version of keeping your lungs clear is to pick up some of these Moso air sachets at UncommonGoods. These all-natural sachets are eco-friendly and contain bamboo charcoal for trapping odors and pollutants.
If you want a personal assistant in your pocket, then download the Things app. Conde Nast named it one of the best apps for travel because it can keep track of the trip-planning process, but it is so much more.
Things creates checklists, to-do lists and shopping lists, and it allows you to move things around and shift things as your life does. It will send you reminders to complete certain tasks and offer you a chance to create new lists for new goals you want to accomplish.
This app will become one of your favorite employees, and you don’t even need to provide health insurance and a 401k. Plus, it never takes a sick day (unless you forget to charge your phone).
Kindle with Audible
You’re a voracious reader, but since you find you have less and less time, you now listen to podcasts and books on tape. If you feel a twinge of guilt about skipping over the written word, this is your baby.
If you travel a lot or plan a few special vacations a year, you undoubtedly understand the frustration of FOLO — fear of leaving out. In other words, you may find that you always pack too many shoes, not enough socks and are missing the right length sleeve for the weather.
But if you’re cool with taking some fashion advice from your phone, PackPoint can be your personal porter. Just type in where you are traveling and for how many days, and click on the activities you’ll be doing. The app will then suggest things you may need to pack. You select what you want to include and it will make a list, as well as remind you to pack your passport, camera and other typical travel items.
The only thing it won’t do is tell you how great you look. That you will have to leave to everyone else.
Olloclip Mobile Photography Box Set
Are you upping your food blog game or improving your Instagram presence, but you don’t really want to have to learn the ins and outs of profesh photography? Don’t worry; you can still have the iPhone ease of point-and-click selfies with this camera phone lens set from Olloclip.
Whether you want to zoom in on your chicken Alfredo or get a panoramic shot of your tricked-out tiny home RV on your wellness road trip, this fair-priced package has you covered.
The PhotoStick memory drive
When you take several snaps of your delicious meals for your blog and want to be able to cue up your family memories at your fingertips, The PhotoStick for mobile will back up all of your photography and video media on your phone. (There is a laptop version, too.)
Now, instead of buying more and more data plans or expanding your cloud, you can keep your memories safe in one small stick.
Pampered Chef nylon pan scrapers
You can throw out your steel wool now. These safe for all cookware nylon pan scrapers from Pampered Chef will get the grease and grime off of your pans. Bonus? They’ll do so without having to scrub so hard you remove the Teflon coating.
Plus, they’ll make cleaning up a lot easier, which means it will be easier for you to convince everyone else to do it for you.
Dodow sleep machine
If you suffer sleepless nights due to work, kids or that neighbor above you who definitely took up clogging last week, then Dodow can help you mellow out and get some shut-eye.
A pool of blue light expands and contracts on the ceiling along with your breathing. As you follow the pattern, you are essentially meditating and tricking your brain into falling into a better circadian rhythm, which will help you to enter that REM state.
How many times have you written that “to do” list down on a scrap of paper only to lose it? The Rocketbook allows you to write on a pad, which can be wiped clean like a wipe board. The difference is, this pad is digital.
So anything you write can be uploaded to a device through a downloaded app or sent to the cloud. No more scribbling on paper that gets tossed away! An entire forest of trees just heaved a sigh of relief.
A watched pot never boils — and when you step away from it, that’s when it boils over and the eggs get ruined. How can you make the perfect hard-boiled egg without all the hassle?
For those who are InstaPotters but don’t have the patience for an open flame, this Rapid Egg Cooker will take all the guesswork out of the process. Not only that, but you can make eggs in bulk for Easter egg hunts — or for families who have a healthy appetite for egg salad.
Samsung Family Hub
Let’s just say money is no object and you want to blast your Alexa game into Jetsons territory — Samsung has come up with the Hub, a system that syncs your kitchen appliances to your phone.
This includes your new Samsung fridge, which will take stock of what you have inside (great to peek at when you’re at the grocery store), suggest a recipe and show you how to cook it.
It can also help coordinate schedules with other household members, give calendar reminders and even tell you who is at the door. OK, it is sort of like Big Brother — but you have to admit the Hub is the best, most helpful Big Brother ever.