Good or bad, most of our daily habits are things that we do without even thinking. In fact, it’s the subconscious routine of habits that makes us unaware of most of them. But even if you’ve found yourself quite cozy in every step of your daily to-dos, there are ways to eliminate some of those in-between parts to streamline your life, even just a bit.
This week’s Product Hunt finds may intuitively make you more productive, but we wouldn’t call them “products for productivity.” These apps and gadgets don’t help you get more done in meetings or organize your calendar. Instead they simplify the in-between stuff like finding your keys and checking your social media feeds. They’re little changes that make a big difference.
(If you like the products in this Weekly Roundup, go check out last week’s where we found 5 ways to message smarter.)
Magnetic light switch cover
Habits are not things that we form through a series of logical, rational thoughts. If they were, we’d all be super-efficient productivity machines. Instead, we form habits like tossing our keys anywhere when we get home and then searching the house for them the next day.
NeoCover is a face-palmingly simple solution to this problem that has plagued humankind since the dawn of time … or at least the dawn of the time when we started carrying around keys.
Designer Jake Frey connected the dots between two of the main things we do when we get home: toss down our keys and flip up the light switch. The NeoCover is a magnetic light switch cover that not only lets you combine these two actions, it keeps you from losing your keys every day. It’s easy to install and even easier to use … you just stick magnetic stuff to it.
In addition to (up to 27) keys, the cover can hold tools, your lighter, flash drives, and anything else magnetic — even a hammer. And not to worry, the neodymium magnets are safe around your storage/ID devices like flash drives and security cards.
There are plenty of clever dongles out there like Tile and TrackR that can help you find your lost keys, wallet, phone or anything else you stick them to, but the NeoCover is a solution that fixes the problem before it exists — at least at your home. It’s low-tech. It’s completely covert. And it could easily save you multiple headaches by making it convenient to replace a bad habit with a good one.
You can buy your own NeoCover for $20.
All of your social feeds in one place
The big three of social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) each fill different needs in our online social lives. Even as their features are crossing over more and more, you probably don’t go to Twitter to see what your friends did this weekend just like you don’t go to Instagram to get the latest news. But together (with a few others) these social networks give us the scope of what’s going on in the worlds we care about, so it’s about time they came together on one screen.
Yes, of course, Hootsuite and Buffer do this just fine. But those are tools that are built more for the social media manager or entrepreneur managing their business account. Their UX is built to make scheduling posts and checking stats simpler. But Feedient is specifically designed for the personal user. In one browser tab, you can view your feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube in real time all in one place. It even goes one step further to show you any notifications you have across any of the platforms.
Feedient is in its early stages so there’s still a lot of progress to be made with the mass amount of potential a service like this provides. One of the site’s cofounder’s Jesper Lindström jumped into the conversation on Product Hunt and mentioned a couple of features which should be added within the next month: Facebook Page feeds and RSS support. In addition to those, we’re really excited for the future capabilities of what Lindström calls “workspaces.” With this function, you could potentially group together different platforms for your different uses. For example, you could create a “Work” workspace with selected Twitter lists and Facebook Pages you follow for business.
It seems that to avoid becoming head-to-head competition with services like Hootsuite and Buffer, Feedient has to keep things relatively personal and not go in the direction of stats, graphs and scheduled posts. For now, at least, it’s strictly a viewing space — a kind of social ticker. It spares you a couple tabs and can save you time wasted flipping between feeds.
You can use Feedient for free from your browser right now, but it’s still in its early stages so the creators warn it can be a bit buggy.
A simple and secure router
A lot of routers look simpler than they are. On the other hand, some don’t look simple at all and instead have nubby antennas sticking out of them. But no matter how sleek or how nubby your router’s design, if you’re having to look at it or touch it at all, chances are it’s because there’s a problem with it. A problem with your router means a problem with your connection to the world and in this digital age … that’s a big problem. Keewifi is a beautiful solution to your connection woes, and it’s bringing elegance and simplicity to the router game.
To start, it’s stunning. But we’ve been fooled before by sleek-looking WiFi routers, so what else does this one have in store? It boosts security by eliminating passwords, resets your connection with the push of a button, and lets you program personalized router settings from your smartphone.
To set up Keewifi, just plug it in. That’s it. They’ve done all of the work for you — as it should be. To connect your devices to Keewifi, you simply go to the WiFi selection on your device and put your device close to the router. With proximity authentication, your device is approved and connected without the need for a single password. The connection of this modern router is powerful enough for multiple devices, which is key when your chill time is spent on your computer, phone and PlayStation simultaneously.
This router is fast and efficient, but if the connection is ever lost or muddied, you simply press the only button on the device, aptly named the Zen button. This does way more than what you do when you plug and unplug your current router. The Zen button triggers a self-diagnosis of common issues, finds any problems, and then tries to fix them.
All of your router settings can be adjusted from your smartphone using the Keewifi app. From the app, you can lock and unlock the WiFi, block users, approve users, or set a time limit for how long a device can be connected on your router — this can come in handy when using Keewifi as a public router in say, a coffee shop. If you don’t want to swap out your whole WiFi set up but could use an extra boost, you can use Keewifi as a range extender for your current router.
Until now, routers have been right up there with TV remotes on the list of archaic gadgets that just can’t keep up. There’s still a long way to go on the remote, but hopefully this is the start of a stronger, more seamless Internet connection for the router, sparing you the old plug/unplug routine every time something goes wrong. And we all know, the less time spent on the phone with Comcast, the better.
You can help fund Keewifi on Kickstarter. A $69 pledge gets you the device, or you can buy it retail for $99.
Automate actions on your iPhone/iPad
If you could track every tap you make on your smartphone, you’d definitely find habitual sequences. For example, maybe every time you order an Uber, you text someone to say you’re on your way. Workflow, similar to IFTTT, allow you to record and save these actions so you can skip a few steps and let your phone do the work for you.
By connecting the apps on your phone through the workflows you create, you can skip the small stuff like opening apps and tapping “OK” and instead complete your task quickly and, even better, automatically. For example, a fellow Product Hunter created a workflow that instantly saves screenshots to Dropbox and then deletes them. Talk about a Camera Roll, instant clean-up. Right now, in addition to standard iOS apps (Camera, Camera Roll, Maps) you can also create workflows with social apps like Facebook and Twitter. Whether it’s automatically making a GIF from back-to-back photos or automatically getting directions to the next event on your calendar, Workflow makes life from your smartphone a little more fluid and intuitive.
As more people download this top-selling app and come up with new workflows, you can select from an ever-growing bank of automated actions users have already created. “If this, then that” technology is the name of the game in simple automation right now, and since we have the capability to get a lot done on our smartphones, it makes sense to speed up the actions we already know we’re going to take.
You can download Workflow for $2.99 on the App Store.
Just for Fun: Memms
Share photos and videos without an app
Even if you are tech savvy, sharing everyone’s pictures from the company holiday party can be kind of a pain. You can ask people to screenshot your Instagram, tag them on Facebook or download an entirely new third-party app to share photos from an event.
Chances are good, though, that your grandpa doesn’t know or care about what any of those things mean, but he probably knows how to text. Whether or not a person is tech savvy, almost everyone understands the basics of text messaging. Memms provides an easy way for you to share pictures and videos with family and friends using a sort of texting chat room model that doesn’t require an app.
From the Memms website, you simply create an event and with that comes a designated, randomized phone number. During an event, like a family reunion, you and other people with the phone number can text photos and videos to that number to share with each other. It’s basically like an event-based group text for pictures and videos that you can view on your computer too.
Keep in mind, your Memms number will expire after 30 days and currently you can only have one event running at a time, but there are plans to update this so users can have multiple events running simultaneously. Another feature (that should probably be updated sooner rather than later) is that right now, you’ll notice fake names attached to pictures. This is because the app doesn’t have the capability yet for people to add their names to their photos. While you have to create an account and validate your phone number to create a Memms event, no one else does. Anyone else with the number can simply text media to it like they would any other phone number.
Sure, people will probably still keep using wedding hashtags for Instagram, but this is a great way to swap pictures and videos, even if you’re not posting them on social media. And it’s great for sharing with all of the people in your life who don’t use social media at all.
You can use Memms now from the website.
Have you tried any of these products? We’d love to hear your thoughts on how they’ve impacted your daily habits.