Thursday, 19 November 2020

Essential Tools for my Daily Routine - HappyFeed

My friend Michelle has been doing a really interesting series on her blog around her daily routine and other people's daily routines and I've been finding it absolutely fascinating. I love hearing about how other people plan their days, and I particularly love hearing about the tools and techniques they use to manage them.

Now I'm going to be honest, it feels like a pretty weird time to be writing about something like this when my daily routine is an absolute million miles away from the usual at the moment, so I'm going to focus instead on the things I use day in, day out, whether it's a normal (or "normal") day, a weekend, a day off, a holiday.

These aren't expensive products or time-consuming tips, and it's worth saying here that just because these are the things I enjoy, doesn't mean they will work for everyone. Furthermore, I am always trying new things, changing my routines up, looking for new things that might work better (one of the apps I want to talk about in a later post I've only been using for a few weeks!).

When I started this idea for a blog post, I focused first on apps, as I ticked something off my Productive app and went to track my mood in Daylio, but I soon found myself wanting to add my iPhone Notes onto the list and my bullet journal, and before I knew it I had a whole list of tools beyond just apps, and across multiple categories.

So in the interest in this not being the longest and most in-depth blog post of all time, I decided to split this idea into a couple of blog posts, and into a few categories. They are:

- Memories, gratitude and mood
- Organisation
- Productivity

I originally wrote this as 3 blog posts, but they were so enormous they've been sat in my drafts for literally months because I was too overwhelmed to edit them, so instead I've split them into mini posts.

First up, in the category of "memories, gratitude and mood" is one of my absolute favourite and post-used apps, HappyFeed.

The alternative title for this post is, How HappyFeed forces me to be grateful even when I don't want to be!

The HappyFeed app is a digital gratitude journal - every single day you have to list three things you are grateful for, or three things that made you happy today. 

(Just to add, like my post on Eat Your Books, this is not sponsored - it's just an app I really love!)

Some days are great. Remember those days when we used to be able to, you know, do stuff? Go to places? Some days it's hard to narrow my happy things down to just 3, or I bunch them up into long sprawling sentences of gratitude.

More often than not at the moment, thinking of 3 things to be happy about is hard.

Some days the best I can come up with is "I'm enjoying my book" or "dinner tonight was good" or "my dog is nice" but that's okay. Forcing me to think of 3 things that were positive, even on the worst days, really helps you to be grateful and look around a little bit more.

I've been using HappyFeed now for nearly 3 years (I specifically remember I'd only been using it a few weeks when I got the add the entry "WE GOT ENGAGED TODAY!" on Boxing Day 2017) and one of my favourite features is its "memories" feature, where you can see your 3 happy things from 3 months ago, 6 months ago, 12 months ago etc. Sometimes just remembering something from 6 months ago is enough to make you smile all over again!

Another feature I like is tagging your "best days" with a representative emoji. Obviously some days are super special but other days are just really good days I want to remember, like our anniversary this month. It wasn't exactly our wedding day but we got a lovely takeaway and watched one of our favourite films and got dressed up for the occasion. I love tagging these days to remember for the future.

At the end of each month you also get an email with a review of the month - some of your photos and most-used words, plus a few random memories from the month. This is such a nice reminder of the nice things you did.

Finally, there's a really nice random-generator feature where you can "shake the jar" for a happy memory which can give you a boost when you need one!

I currently use the free version of HappyFeed but in the paid version you can add up to 10 happy things, use offline mode, search your moments and download. I think eventually I'll upgrade to support the developers, but for now I have everything I need in the free version.

I'm currently on 1048 days and a streak of 538 days (luckily you can go back up to 3 days if you forget a day which I sometimes do!) and I love having older memories to look back on (especially now when time makes no sense!).

HappyFeed is available for iOS and Android.

Charlotte x

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