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Apps that will Save you Stress

Date:29 July 2020
Author:Sinead Walsh
BuienAlarm tells you the up-to-date weather wherever you are!
BuienAlarm tells you the up-to-date weather wherever you are!

Some apps are more useful in one country over another. I’ve put together a list of apps that only took me a few years to find after I moved to the Netherlands. You lucky humans are getting them first hand prior to your arrival. I hope they’re helpful because I know they have been hugely beneficial for me at times. 

BuienAlarm 

Download this app now, it will literally save your life. Okay, well maybe not your life, but your clothes and sanity that’s for sure. BuienAlarm tells you the up-to-date weather wherever you are in the Netherlands. It tells you when it will rain, how heavy it will be and when it is going to stop. Sometimes checking BuienAlarm and waiting five minutes before you leave will possibly save you from being soaked when you arrive. It’s obviously not a perfect app but I must say, it’s pretty accurate. 

Lean Library 

This is an extension for google chrome, it grants you quick access to online journals and publications. One of the many great benefits of being in the University of Groningen is that you have access to an online library which is basically unlimited. You can find all of these publications through the universities own search engine Smart Cat. However, sometimes it can be easier to search for things through Google Scholar and having the Lean Library add-on has many benefits. 

9292

Yeah, google maps is great but have you ever used 9292? This app saved me from getting lost more times than I care to admit. It is a personal public transport planner that makes your trip from A to B as quick as possible. You can choose your current location, using GPS or can choose a known location such as a bus stop or shop. You put in your chosen destination and it will tell you how far you need to walk and what forms of transport you can use to get to your destination. 9292 will even give you real-time updates if your train or bus etc. are delayed and by how many minutes. The app is available on both Apple and Android.

Anki

This is an open-source freeware [except for iPhones] programme that makes remembering things easier. They claim it is generally more efficient than traditional study methods as you can either greatly increase your time spent studying or greatly increase the amount you study. In short, Anki is basically like online flashcards but the flashcards are already created for you. The computer version is free for both Mac and Windows.

Headspace 

This is a wonderful app for your mental health, especially because we all know that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Headspace has hundreds of guides for any mind and any goal. They have everything from meditation, sleeping, waking up, anxiety, stress and much more. Unfortunately, the full version is not free, yo get the first two weeks free and after that, it will cost you €57.99 per year which is €4.83 per month. Seems like a pretty cheap investment to me, less than €5 a month for some good mental health tips, why not?! At the moment, they do have a deal that is Free Headspace Plus for the unemployed due to the current Global Pandemic. 

Duolingo

This is one of the most well-known language learning app around. Duolingo is a fun and interactive way to start learning some Dutch prior to your arrival in the Netherlands. You earn points for correct answers, race against the clock and level-up. If you log on every day you get extra points too. I used this app quite a lot in my first and second year of living here and it taught me quite a lot about the Dutch language. 

TooGoodToGo

This is one of the most ingenious sustainable apps that I’ve seen in a long time. I don’t know about you but I absolutely hate food waste and something like one-third of the worlds food is wasted on a daily basis which accounts for 8% of global CO2 emissions. If we are going to slow down global warming it is important to create Circular Economies in all areas. Via the TooGoodToGo app, you can buy a “magic box” from a business near you, such as a bakery, supermarket or restaurant. You do not know what will be in the magic box until you pick it up, however, the food is still edible and tasty. Often there are laws in place that stop stores from giving away their leftover food, this helps to solve that problem. 

Tikkie

This app is used for everything, and when I say everything, I mean everything! After you go out for dinner or some drinks with your friends the most common phrase you’ll hear is, “I’ll Tikkie you”, and so, you get a message the next day of a payment request from your friend. Tikkie works with all major Dutch banks but as far as I know it only works with Dutch Bank accounts. It’s the handiest way of splitting lunch with your friends because everyone knows that us students are always broke and every penny counts. Additionally, The Netherlands is a very cashless country and many places do not take Visa, I would strongly recommend that you create a Dutch Bank Account when you arrive. 

HopOn

This is a mobile app for commuters that transforms ridesharing into a viable mobility solution to today's pressing problems of rising CO2 emissions and transportation costs. HopOn was set up by two alumni of Sustainable Entrepreneurship last year and is very useful for travelling around the country. It’s safe and secure with tracking and sharing services available.

About the author

Sinead Walsh
Hey there! My name is Sinead Walsh. I grew up in Ireland and I'm in the process of figuring out life as an international student in the Netherlands. Aside from an interest in politics and the environment, I am currently studying an MSc in Sustainable Entrepreneurship at Campus Fryslân. You'll see me around the campus almost daily so don't be afraid to come up for a chat any time!