What are good apps for rationalists?

post by dekelron · 2011-12-30T08:54:19.642Z · LW · GW · Legacy · 26 comments

The smartphone world is relatively new, so I suspect there are amazing (yet sometimes unknown) apps that can help various aspects of our lives. I cannot think of a better discussion place for this topic. So,

Which app help you optimize life?

Is there an app you keep searching for in vain? (though it might exist!)

For me (I was searching for both apps for months!! until they were finally created):

Anki, A flashcard memorization app with many useful features.

[From the link] Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it is a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn.
Anyone who needs to remember things in their daily life can benefit from Anki. Since it is content-agnostic and supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup (via LaTeX), the possibilities are endless.

Simple Counter Widget, A counter widget. Sounds simple, but it's amazingly helpful.
I use it as a tool to better myself. Every time I eat my gum (an annoying mostly unconscious habit), the gum-eating-widget is increased by one. Because the widget is so accessible, I rarely cheat. This gives the habit immediate negative feedback, and allows me to check improvement over time. (Also my desktop looks cool, with many intriguing numbers popping from everywhere)

(less interesting: Record Mic and Call - which includes a useful recording widget, and Waze - which is amazing but well known GPS app (at least here))


please share to make this interesting :)


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by prase · 2011-12-30T12:14:16.106Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It has already been said several times, but again: please, don't overuse "rational" and related words, especially in titles. The "for rationalists" part is redundant.

comment by Bobertron · 2011-12-30T13:16:51.583Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Apps that somehow aid in behavior modification or decision making could be described as "for rationalists", while games or technical apps could not. While "for rationalists" might not be the best choice of words, it's not completely redundant either.

comment by prase · 2011-12-30T14:12:06.497Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Not completely redundant, but largely so. One needn't include everything in the title. Lot of people are becoming tired by "rationality" popping up from every other sentence on this website. Not only it looks cultish and fanatical, but it is suspected that people put "rationality" in their articles as an "applause light", i.e. phrases used for signalling and gaining approval with little other information value. It may be therefore a good policy to avoid "rational" whenever possible.

comment by dekelron · 2012-01-01T20:08:00.701Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Note taken. I can see why the phrase is resented.

comment by Andy_McKenzie · 2011-12-30T18:35:43.232Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I would prefer the phrase "aspiring rationalists" or even "wannabe rationalists."

comment by occlude · 2011-12-30T23:56:01.762Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Using Noom Weight Loss Coach for integrated food logging, workout tracking, and weight loss plan management. I'm more aware of the quality of the food I'm eating and of how calorie content and exercise are contributing to my weight loss goals. Highly recommended.

comment by curiousepic · 2011-12-30T15:56:08.436Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I use EpicWin for an organizer and task reminder - the occasional somewhat humorous reward may help me use it consistently where other task apps have not.

Sleep Cycle helped make my mornings consistently tolerable.

comment by Curiouskid · 2012-01-01T23:05:50.436Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

So the Sleep Cycle thing actually works? I would think that it would be highly dependent on what sort of mattress you have or whether you fidget a lot. Something like zeo which purportedly measures brain waves should work better in theory, but doesn't really work from the reviews I've read.

comment by curiousepic · 2012-01-02T17:53:00.180Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It's definitely worth the dollar to find out if it works for you personally.

comment by David Althaus (wallowinmaya) · 2011-12-30T11:12:37.448Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I think toodledo ( to organize your life) and evernote ( for taking notes) are really useful apps.

Oh, I have some related questions for the LW-hivemind:

Is the iPhone sufficiently awesome to justify its high price? Are there good low-cost smartphones? Ios or android?

comment by Wilka · 2011-12-30T14:06:45.665Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is the iPhone sufficiently awesome to justify its high price? Are there good low-cost smartphones? Ios or android?

My first question would be: how do you intend to use the device?

The two apps you mentioned are also available on Android, and I'm very happy with Evernote on my HTC Desire HD (I don't use Toodledo). So if your main use would be those apps along with the typical phone stuff (calls/text message/email/web browsing) then an Android device should be fine for you.

However, a high-end Android device gets close to the price range of an iPhone.

comment by dbaupp · 2011-12-30T13:46:50.165Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Ios or android?

The iPhone is the only iOS smartphone (older versions like the 3G, 3GS and 4 (the current version is 4S) are cheaper).

Android phones can be got very cheaply, but there can be hardware trade-offs (e.g. low quality screens), and many cheaper Android phones have outdated versions of Android, although this can be mitigated by installing a custom ROM like CyanogenMOD (a word of warning: depending on the specific phone, the difficulty of installation of custom ROMs ranges from very easy & safe to near impossible & risky. Something to keep in mind.)

comment by Pablo_Stafforini · 2012-08-16T10:34:43.478Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Toodledo is an absolutely fantastic app! I have used it for several months and cannot recommend it strongly enough. Recently, I have also started using the collaboration feature with a few other rationalists for mutual goal-reporting.

comment by Risto_Saarelma · 2012-08-16T13:58:22.634Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have a HTC Desire Android phone. It is sufficiently awesome. I'm not familiar with the current market, but it looks like the new HTC Desire C model has been pegged as the budget alternative at 220 euro.

comment by [deleted] · 2015-09-03T12:51:16.938Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

The LessWrong App!

(Browser, so you can access LessWrong)

comment by Curiouskid · 2012-01-02T20:28:02.930Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Bam! This is the list of extensions for chrome.

I personally love Diigo. It's a web highlighter and I use it to highlight all the pages I read on LW so that I can go back over them quickly.

comment by Curiouskid · 2012-01-03T03:16:03.939Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Apps for pingbacks/trackbacks-

I find that my recall/understanding of certain posts is much improved when I can see all the places it's linked to.

For example: the wiki has a tool that allows you to see all the places that a particular article is linked to. I think this would be useful for every page that I visit on the web. Are there any apps that do this? Can we develop something like this for other LW articles?

comment by Curiouskid · 2012-01-01T23:17:33.916Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I use the recording app on my iphone for dream journaling rather than pen and paper. I don't have to move as much and therefore, can fall asleep much more quickly after I've logged a dream. Also, I use to have really great ideas for songs right before I went to bed which could only be recorded on a phone and not on a standard journal.

comment by Dr_Manhattan · 2011-12-31T14:22:15.482Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

(for iOS) I use Instapaper to time shift reading distractions, AVplayerHD to play videos @2x, Audible to listen to a lot of books ( mostly nonfiction, at 3x), iAnnotatePDF for reading and taking notes on PDF files

comment by [deleted] · 2011-12-30T15:17:29.368Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

One I just downloaded but haven't tested is called Daytum, which helps for data-tracking. I'm using it to track how often I do daily tasks like brushing my teeth, showering, eating well, etc.

comment by Curiouskid · 2012-01-01T23:09:15.277Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Why not just do them?

comment by [deleted] · 2012-01-02T00:43:57.847Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have the vague sense that I do them, but I know I skip sometimes, and I want to know the extent to which I fail to actually do them. I also know that tracking things helps me be more aware of them and thus do them more often.

comment by vallinder · 2011-12-30T09:46:55.763Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I use Eternity to keep track of time use, and Lemon to keep track of expenses. Judging by my interactions with the Quantified Self community, neither app seems too well known.

comment by wedrifid · 2011-12-30T10:28:08.658Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Based on your interactions with the Quantified Self community what apps are well known?

comment by vallinder · 2011-12-30T11:08:11.974Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

By "well known", I suppose I just meant listed among the 503 tools here.

comment by dekelron · 2011-12-30T09:13:31.217Z · LW(p) · GW(p)