2020 was absolute crap… but as I’ve written before, it wasn’t all bad. No major crisis ever is, really. I listened to a Podcast recently that explained how the Spanish Flu pandemic was essential in eventually getting women the right to vote.
So somehow or other, in every crap situation a bit of positive leaps up from the pile of garbage before us. Extra time at home in this generation means more time in front of the computer and on the phone. Which, of course, means discovering more of the treasures out there in the world.
Here are five websites or apps I started using in 2020, in no particular order, and a little bit about my experience with each one:
Over: The App that Changed the Game
Alright, full disclosure here: I didn’t just start using this app out of nowhere. My company (GoDaddy) purchased the app, and now I do support for them alongside my primary job.
So… I love the app… but it’s also paying my bills. That’s not to say I get any bonus points for writing this blog post. I don’t. Wouldn’t that be nice!
Anyhow, I love this product and I am happy and proud to be a part of what they’re creating. You may have noticed that the main images on this site have gotten a bit of an upgrade. All created with Over. And quickly! I also use it for posts on Instagram and my Facebook page. It’s super easy, and you can create gorgeous products in minutes.
I’d say the app was almost perfect. It just needed the upgrade of some world-class support staff. Bam! Check! Now it can do anything. Seriously, it’s a lot of fun, there’s a free plan, and if you get stuck on anything, you know who to call.
Quora: The Answer I’m Looking For
This app and website have become a big part of my life, and quickly. Most people have probably noticed Quora while doing Google searches, even if they’ve never bothered doing much with the website at all. I am definitely one of those people. I saw it and just completely ignored this treasure standing right there in front of me.
But I caught the bug fairly quickly, and now I’m practically addicted to putting new content on the site every single day.
What is Quora? It’s basically what would happen if a social media website and a question and answer website came together and had an illegitimate child. Boom! That’s Quora. And I love answering questions every single day, getting massive attention to my brilliant words of wisdom… and having crazy people argue with me. It’s like everything we love and hate about the internet… only more so.
Goals for 2021:
Ten million content views, 2000 followers. Let’s do this!What is Quora? It's basically what would happen if a social media website and a question and answer website came together and had an illegitimate child. Click To Tweet
Instagram: Better Late than Never
Yeah, I know. I’m late for the game. Everybody and their grandmother knows about and uses Instagram. Fine, I humbly accept that… but nonetheless, 2020 is the year I signed up for and started using Instagram.
In a world in which I’m active on Facebook, I didn’t understand why I or anyone would need an Instagram… but piece by piece I’m starting to get it.
I initially started the account to try and advertise my books, and that’s still my primary purpose. But I must say, quickly scrolling through scores of pictures of old friends and students is a whole lot of fun.
And when it recommends posts and videos for me to look at, the algorithm seems to be spot on. It’s basically a massive gathering of mixed martial arts news, and it’s mildly addicting for me to scroll through everything.
Worldometers: A Website to Feed Your Up-to-the-Minute Corona Addiction
Like so many others, I have been hyper-focused on the numbers all year long. It is fairly likely that by the time today is over, I’ll have checked this website dozens of times. It is the perfect way to really understand what’s going on in the world in the times of this nasty virus.
The site is professional, easy to use, and constantly updating. During a very dark time in history, it has been ultra-helpful in at least making me feel like I’m informed.
I only have one gripe and one suggestion. The gripe: I think the site should offer charts showing progressions or comparisons between different days. Right now you can only seem to know what’s happened today, and what’s happened overall since the beginning of the pandemic.
My suggestion: A new column for vaccination tallies. I think it would be an incredible addition to an already extremely informative and helpful site.
Anabolic Aliens: Saving Me During Hard Times
I mainly use their YouTube channel, which is some dude with a thick Boston accent leading you through rigorous exercise routines. But they also have a website and a really amazing app (Exerprise). There’s a paid version with all sorts of neat features I’d love to try out one day, but there’s so much available for free.
The app is essentially a random exercise workout generator. You put into the app a bunch of information, like what body parts you want to work out, how long, and what equipment you have available. And poof, it spits out a routine for you.
If you’re like me and you’re ready to rip down the world to get back to your gym, this is a solid way to make your workouts not suck.
I still miss the gym. A whole lot! But I’m so happy I found a way to cope through all this insanity.
What have you found out there since getting trapped in your home in 2020?
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