At the time of writing many people around the world are just discovering that for the first time in their lives they miss work, school or any other source of early morning misery that used to mark the start of their days. Some experts are even warning us of possible negative mental health effects due to all these lockdowns and quarantines.  However, these lockdowns have also provided us with a resource that we spend most of our lives bemoaning the lack of—time. As you are cooped in with your family and loved ones, the only change of scenery you are likely to experience is the kind you can only witness through your favourite screen. So today I am going to list a couple of apps which you may find useful and which can (hopefully) give you the illusion of shorter days.


Google’s video-sharing service is one of the world’s most popular websites and you have probably used it before. Youtube has a wide variety of content which ranges from music videos to quantum physics lectures and everything in between. You can use it for entertainment or learn useful skills such as cooking soap, playing chess, the piano and a lot more.

However, the site has a dark underside in the form of content which can, at best, waste your time and at worst, be so lurid it can traumatise you. However, as long as you stay on the well-frequented parts of the site you should be safe. Word of advice: stay away from conspiracy theories; they are one of those time-wasters that trick you into believing that you are using your brain.

Khan Academy

This is a non-profit educational service that produces short lessons in the form of videos. Such a knowledge delivery medium makes it one of the best means of learning for those of us who describe themselves as visual learners (a somewhat fancy term for someone who hates to read). Available for Android and iOS devices.


This app is used for managing a list of online articles to read and videos to watch at a later time. These are saved and synced across your devices for offline reading. It also removes clutter like adverts and excessive graphics from those articles. This will probably be a godsend for those of us whose internet is timed in addition to being metered.


TED is an American media organisation that posts talks by various experts online for free. In the past, these talks have focused on technology, entertainment and design (hence T.E.D) but in recent years there have been broadened to include scientific, cultural, political and academic ones. Past speakers include Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Pope Francis, the Google founders and several Nobel Prize winners. There is a lot that one can learn from these brilliant men and others. The TED app allows you to download and watch these inspiring and educational videos for free. Available for Android and iOS.


This online learning platform was founded in 2012 by two Stanford professors. It offers MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) which are open access courses open to unlimited participation. The organization works with universities and other organizations to offer online courses and degrees in engineering, data science, machine learning, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing and other fields. Available for Android and iOS devices.


Udemy allows students to take online courses which are largely meant to improve job-related skills. As of 2020 more than 150 000 courses are being offered by the organisation.  Some of the courses offered contribute to technical certifications. The organization has in the past also made efforts to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for the employees of their companies. Available for Android and iOS devices


This is a news aggregator app which collects content from social media, news feeds, photo sharing sites and other websites. The saved content is then presented in a magazine-like format and the user can then “flip” through these articles, images and videos. Available for Android and iOS devices.


This Chinese owned online video-sharing and social networking service are used to create, share and watch very short videos which only last between 3 and 15 seconds. These usually dance, lip-sync, comedy or talent videos. If you are not interested in creating your videos you can still entertain yourself with the hours of videos uploaded by other users. Tiktok is being touted as the next social media King so it wouldn’t hurt to understand it.

Motivation 365

Sitting at home while your means of livelihood is in jeopardy can be a very stressful and demotivating experience. Sometimes all it takes to starve off a little bit of depression; boost your productivity and thirst for life is a well-timed quote of a proverb. Download Motivation 365, an app which promises to keep you motivated every day for the whole year—it is right there in the name.