12 Apps to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

A lot of us are going to make New Year’s resolutions this year, but most of us are going to find it hard to keep them. Whether we fall back into bad habits or don’t really commit to our resolutions in the first place, a lot of us end up feeling pretty disappointed in ourselves and more than a little disenchanted with the whole New Year’s resolution process.

But just like every year, the start of 2013 is a clean slate, a chance to start over. If you haven’t managed to keep your New Year’s resolutions in the past, you’re not alone, but with some help 2013 may be the year you succeed. We’ve gathered together some great apps to keep you on the path to resolution success, and with some planning and a bit of work on your part, 2013 may be the start of a whole new you.


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Get Organized

Clear

Clear

One of the top New Year’s resolutions every year is to get organized, de-stress your life, and make time for all the fun things you’d rather be doing, but sometimes you need some help. Clear was a real charmer of a todo app on the iPhone and with the jump to the Mac, you can now sync between devices. Clear isn’t just for creating todo lists, and the warm gradient interface and gesture-based controls will make you want to find more and more uses for this flexible app. From shopping lists to project outlines, Clear is a record of whatever you want to do but haven’t gotten around to yet.

Price: $6.99
Requires: OS X 10.8.2 or later
Developer: Realmac Software Limited

Wunderlist

Wunderlist

Wunderlist sets itself apart by its availability on just about every device you can name, including a web app if you happen to be away from your main machine when you’re struck by todo list inspiration. You can also share your lists if you create an account, nicely placing the burden grocery shopping inspiration on your significant other or roomie. Shared lists are a big help if you’re planning a party or working on a project with a group, even if that project is just a household project and the group is your family.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: 6 Wunderkinder

Evernote

Evernote

If you’re looking for more than a task manager to get yourself organized in 2013, Evernote may be what you’re after. It’s certainly helped to get me on the straight and narrow over the last couple of months, I can tell you. Not only can you jot down whatever you need to remember and keep notes on all of your projects, but you can also forward any emails you need to keep track of to your special Evernote inbox and clip notes directly from web pages or screenshots.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Evernote

Read More

Kindle

Kindle for Mac

The Kindle app for Mac lets you read the full Kindle library right on your computer without a separate ereader or tablet. With so many authors self-publishing through Amazon’s Kindle store, you can really find a good bargain on ebooks, and even books that have been published through traditional means can often be found a lot cheaper as ebooks. Try searching for classics to find a treasure trove of free literature, ready to download to your Mac.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Amazon.com

Adobe Digital Editions

Adobe Digital Editions

My library system like many relies on OverDrive Media Console to manage its ebooks and they’re funny about compatibility. If you want to read all those awesome ebooks, you’re going to need a compatible app, like Adobe Digital Editions. Once you’ve got Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll have access to all sorts of content you wouldn’t have been able to reach before, and not just from your library. Look out for book and short story bundles, too, that you’ll be able read with Adobe Digital Editions and won’t find advertised in traditional online booksellers.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Adobe

Write a Book or Keep a Journal

Scrivener

Scrivener

Writing more, especially for aspiring novelists, is another popular New Year’s resolution. But when you’re laying out the plot of a novel or just planning a short essay, there can be a lot of pieces to keep track of. Scrivener steps in as the whiteboard for authors and as a writing workspace to which you can tack all your notes, keeping everything having to do with a piece of writing together. Scrivener isn’t just for organization, though; it’s also where you’ll do the actual act of writing. Allowing you a space to create the notes integral to writing and keep them close at hand while you work can make a big difference in whether you’re able to get that novel from idea to reality.

Price: $44.99
Requires: OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Literature & Latte Ltd

iA Writer

iA Writer

You know what, though? Sometimes all of that can just get in the way of writing. Sometimes all you need is to start. iA Writer gives you a clean place to just type, get your thoughts out of your head and onto the screen. Here there aren’t any extra tools to organize your plot or characters or keep your bibliography straight, but there also isn’t anything to get in your way. With support for Markdown, iAWriter does allow you to style your writing, but it keeps your writing workspace clean and uncluttered, never distracting you from the job at hand.

Price: $4.99
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Information Architects, Inc.

Day One

Day One

If you want to keep a daily journal but have never been able to manage it in the past, Day One may be for you. It will sit up in your menu bar, so you don’t have to remember to open up a separate app everyday. Even if you still manage to forget, Day One will prompt you to get on the ball and write something already. And if you can’t think of anything to say, Day One has that covered, too, with inspirational messages to get you going.

Price: $9.99
Requires: OS X 10.7.4 or later
Developer: Bloom Built, LLC

Get Healthy

Water Break

Water Break

If you’re not getting enough water, Water Break reminds you at regular intervals to have a glass of water. Just let the app know how much water you want to have per day, and Water Break will sit in your menu bar until it’s time to take a drink. Not only does Water Break serve as a good reminder to get your recommended glasses of water everyday, but it also lets you step away from the computer at regular intervals, too, also important for good health.

Price: $0.99
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Raj Kumar Shaw

Perfect Diet Tracker

Perfect Diet Tracker

Perfect Diet Tracker may not be exactly perfect, but it did get a lot of things right. If you’re looking to eat a bit healthier and want to plan out your meals and track your progress, this is definitely one app to try. The food database and diary will help you create your personalized meal plan and track the calories you consume throughout the day. If you’re trying out a low carb diet or are specifically trying to minimize your fat intake, Perfect Diet Tracker is going to have all that nutritional information there for you, too.

Price: $19.99
Requires: OS X 10.6.7 or later
Developer: Byoni Ltd

iKeepActive

iKeepActive

If you need to get off the couch and start moving more, iKeepActive may help you achieve that New Year’s resolution. Calculate your body mass index to get a baseline for your fitness level at the begininning of the year, then start tracking your activities and create an exercise plan. iKeepActive can even count your calories burned, so you can see a real result for all that hard work right in the application, even before it starts to show on your slimmer physique.

Price: $14.99
Requires: OS X 10.6.8 or later
Developer: Jeffrey Bakker

Save Money and Pay off Debt

Mint QuickView

Mint QuickView

We could all use a bit more cash in our pockets, and if you’ve got old debt or built up some new debt over the holidays, it may be time to tighten your financial belt. Mint QuickView, the Mac client for the popular Mint web app can help you out with that. Keep an eye on your expenses in real time and know when your bills are due so you never miss a payment. Plus, all the Mint budgeting tools can keep your spending in check, so you can finally pay down that debt or start adding to your savings.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Intuit, Inc.

Final Thoughts

If you haven’t been able to make and keep your New Year’s resolutions in the past, it may have all been down to lacking the proper tools. At the end of the day, though, that’s all these apps are, tools, and it’s going to be up to you to put in the real work of making a change in 2013. With the right help from the right apps, you can really make a difference in your life, and of course, there’s always next year!


  • http://get.kwit.fr Geoffrey

    One is missing : Kwit, to quit smoking :)

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      I thought about a “quit smoking” app, since it is a really popular resolution, but I felt like I was getting all judgey up in people’s lives. It’s a fine line. :) Thanks for recommending an app for that!

  • https://twitter.com/r_thakker Rakshit

    I would like to one more app here: Awareness from Futureproof (http://iamfutureproof.com/tools/awareness/)

    • Blair

      I second Awareness, and add Time Track Pro (http://timetrack.bloop.info); so you see where your time is going.

      • Blair

        . . . and in the vein of Awareness, there is the app Self Control (http://selfcontrolapp.com), which will be a last resort to help me stay off social sites like Facebook. I like this app because it was designed by an artist, Steve Lambert (http://visitsteve.com), who then hired a coder to put it together. Meaning his approach was much more conceptual than techy.

    • http://pauladupont.com Paula DuPont

      Oh, that’s a nice one, especially if you need to get off the computer at the end of the day and go do something else, like I do!

  • Pingback: Keeping Resolutions in 2013 « Random Homemaking

  • http://apfelpage.de Philipp Tusch

    Clear is a Must-Have! No doupt! On the Mac as well as on the iPhone. I am looking forward to the iPad version.

  • mike featherspoon

    Yeh, Waterbreak goes with me where ever I go. I use it on my iPhone on the road and on my iMac at home. My doctor made me slow down on the coffee and triple up on water. Water Break is so simple to use and follow that it has been helpful.

  • http://danehomenick.com Dane

    Some doozies in here. I live on Evernote, but it’s nice to check out a few you mentioned that I haven’t heard of before.

    Have a great 2013 yourself!

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