Mornings aren’t for everyone. But even if you never become a fan, you might as well leverage modern technology in order to make the most of them. Here are some great free apps sure to get you out of bed, up to speed, and ready to tackle the day.
1. Wake up (no matter what)
Heavy sleeper? This app’s got you covered . . . unfortunately. Alarmy (Android, Apple) features several truly awful methods for making sure you don’t hit snooze—or, at least, you don’t hit snooze easily. Super loud alarms? Check. Being forced to solve math problems? Check. Having to take a picture of something specific? Check. If you’re not into psychologically browbeating yourself, there are gentler settings as well, such as waking to music, gradual alarms, and other more humane options.
2. Plow through your messages, mentions, and more
You’re an influencer of sorts, yes? Then consolidate your email, calendars, and social media in once place with BlackBerry Hub+ Inbox (Android), which indeed comes to us from the one-time titan of smartphones. The app makes it easy to check, respond to, and snooze messages from popular email platforms, plus Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, WeChat, and others. It’s free and fully functional for 30 days, after which you’ll be shown ads here and there unless you subscribe.
3. Get caught up at a glance
Look, you don’t need to read every news story thoroughly, but a quick glance at headlines can go a long way toward keeping you informed. To that end, Google News (Android, Apple, Web) is a pretty easy way to wrap your head around the day’s headlines. The mobile apps, especially, do a good job of showing you the top five stories going on at the moment, while the web version lets you dig into various sections and features a bit more easily.
4. Listen while you prep
When it’s finally time to start getting ready, the nearly limitless audio buffet from TuneIn (Android, Apple, Web) offers streams of more than 100,000 radio stations from around the world and access to popular podcasts so you never run out of listenables. The free version is plenty feature-rich, while the $10/month or $100/year premium version adds streams from sporting events and news outlets.
5. Tackle your to-dos
Now that you’re ready to face the day, take a couple minutes to put a simple checklist together. The team behind the excellent Wunderlist has built the also-excellent Microsoft To-Do (Android, Apple, Web), which lets you quickly add and check off tasks, syncs with Outlook, and makes it easy to break larger tasks into smaller chunks. Sharing lists with others is easy, too, for those times you need to delegate.