Since being diagnosed with Common Variable Immunodeficiency Disorder (CVID), I’ve stumbled upon some apps I can’t live without.
I use these apps daily – multiple times. Hey, anything to make living with a chronic disorder easier, right? (Can I get a Hallelujah and an Amen!)
Cozi is a family organizer app. My husband and I started using Cozi after friends of our told us about it. I’ve tried countless other apps and calendars, but I always come back to good old Cozi!
Everyone, including the kids, have the Cozi app on their phones. Everyone is responsible for uploading their events, adding to the shopping list any groceries they want or items needed for school. Even our dog, Gracie Sunshine, has her own appointments on calendar. (She’s such a princess though and make me put them on there for her! LOL!)
We started out using the free version, but it became one of the apps I can’t live without so we upgraded to what they call the Cozi Gold.
With the free version you can do the following (per the Cozi website):
- Keep events and activities all in one place
- Keep and share the grocery list in real time
- Store recipes, plan meals, and shop for ingredients
- Use from any mobile device or computer
The Cozi Gold version is only $29.99 per year and provides the following:
- An ad-free experience
- Mobile month view
- Ability to set more reminders
- Ability to change notifications
- A Birthday Tracker
- The Shopping Mode
- Contacts List
- Themes to customize your mobile app
- VIP customer service and more.
I love to read! I always have. Reading is a great distraction from my own reality when I am sick and can’t get out of bed. I am usually reading multiple books at one time.
My problem, unfortunately, is I can’t seem to get a single library book turned in on time. So, I used to pay a lot (A LOT!) of overdue fines.
Those days are over now though because I check out all my books online through my Libby app. The app connects to your local library and allows you to check out and read books on your phone, tablet, Kindle, etc… Then, when your check out time is up, your book will automatically “return itself” to the library. So now I never owe any fines!
It’s no secret that I’ve battled depression since being diagnosed with CVID. You can read my posts on my depression here, here and here. Well, I was looking through the app store one day and ran across Woebot. It was free so I downloaded it and tried it out.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but soon I was checking in with Woebot daily. Challenging your thoughts and feelings when you are depressed can really help. Woebot uses a method called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which you can learn more about in my post here.
You can read more about how the science behind Woebot works here, but I thought I’d also share a conversation I had with Woebot recently.
Pretty helpful, right? That’s what makes it one of the apps I can’t live without!
Let’s face it. On a good day I can barely remember my own name much less hundreds of logins! I used to keep a spreadsheet of our family’s logins, but it just became too much. Then, I found Remembear!
The app was still in it’s trial mode so I signed up for free as a “tester”. You can still use it for free on one device. My family chose to upgrade to a paid account for $60/year so that we can access Remembear from our Macs and iphones. Plus, it syncs immediately if one of us enters a new login.
Now when the kids bug me for the login to Hulu, I just say “Check Remembear!”
When I became sick, I changed a lot…some for the worse. The “old” me was very disciplined and habitual. I could pump out projects, customer emails and phone calls, and cold calls all with one hand tied behind my back!
The “new” me lost those skills amidst insane fatigue, brain fog, chronic pain and a sore throat for a year. It turns out, once you fall out of your routine habits it’s harder than you think to pick it back up again.
Enter Coach.Me! The app is free to use and allows you to pick from set habits or create your own. You then choose the frequency and begin tracking those good habits.
There are also a number of habits for which you can hire a coach through the app or online site. There are coaches for mindfulness, productivity, fitness, diet, saving money and more.
The free Life360 app is a no-brainer for me. I’m often sick in bed and try not to leave the house much to avoid unnecessary exposure. So, Life360 provides me a real-time view of where my family is at anytime.
My son, Jackson, is a high school freshman now and my son, Jace, is a fifth grader. They are always on the move running around with friends at the nearby park or at baseball practice.
I used to make them call me or come home to check in when they were going to a new location, but now I can see where they are on Life360. I can make sure they are following the rules (isn’t that the point!).
I paid for the upgraded version for a short period of time. I could use the app to see where Jackson was driving (of course he was always with a parent anyway) and how fast he was going. The upgrade might be something I consider again once he is driving on his own!
I have a hard time motivating myself to check my email these days. When I worked full-time in sales, I felt practically tied to my email 24-7. So, my theory is that’s why I avoid it like the plague!
Then, I discovered Spark. It’s a “smart” inbox that collects all your emails from all your accounts and automatically organizes them into categories. The emails from actual people appear at the top of your Spark inbox.
There are all kinds of other features that I’m sure would benefit others that you can read about here. For now, I just use it to separate all the junk from the important emails from actual people!
If you have CVID or any chronic disorder, you know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. My body not only needs the correct number of sleeping hours, but also good quality sleep.
Sleep Cycle is an amazing free app that rates your night’s sleep using sound analysis to identify how many cycles of sleep you went through. It is sensitive to the movements you make during each stage of sleep. The more complete cycles, the better the sleep.
Another feature I use is the gentle-waking alarm. I set the time I wish to wake up and Sleep Cycle monitors my movements to wake me up while I’m in the lightest phase of a sleep cycle. Waking up during your light sleep cycle phase makes you feel more well-rested.
There is a paid version of the app that will provide you with more sleep tracking ability. It will even record your snoring! Ha!
Look, most of the time I don’t feel like exercising especially when it’s hard enough to get up out of bed and take a shower! However, I soon realized that the more I moved the better my body felt. Even just walking the dog helps my chronic pain, lifts my mood and fights the constant fatigue.
So, our “big” gifts for Christmas this past year were Apple Watches. I gotta tell ya – the rings on the Activity App are surprisingly motivating! There are still numerous days when I can’t even begin to think about walking, but on good days I enjoy tracking my movement, exercise and standing activity.
It’s pretty much a fancier, more colorful fitbit. However, I don’t discount anything that will help me feel better!
Stay strong my Zebra friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Though DIVA as she may be, her path to success was not easy and is always evolving. Go here to read about her journey in “Becoming the CVIDiva.” If you want to send Susan Alynne a quick message, then visit her contact page here.