I'm not a super techie girl, so when something really works for me, it's a pretty big deal. The Pomodroido phone app was my first Favorite App pick; I still use this timer app regularly and I'm certain it helps me get more done and motivates me to stay on track. You can read my post about this simple yet profoundly impactful phone app here.
My latest favorite app is First5, a free Bible Study app offered by Proverbs 31 Ministries. The name says it all: it's a short (five minute or so) read, meant for the first five minutes of your day. Beyond just a Bible Study, you can opt to use an alarm from within the app to wake you up that holds your phone at First5 for the first five minutes, so you can be sure to set your mind and heart up for the day with something thought provoking and encouraging.
I don't use the alarm myself, since just knowing the idea is to spend your first five minutes in Bible study instead of email or social media is motivation enough for me. I know from experience that the days that I jump right into the media whirl never do seem to get off on the right foot. One thing leads to another and before I know it, the morning is well beyond where I'd like to start my day. There is, however, kind of an itch to be on my phone first thing in the morning, and First5 satisfies that in a positive way. After I read the First5 study, I move along to other things I'm reading and it's the kick off for my Bible study/prayer time/day planning.
First5 Bible studies are substantive and thought provoking, and they offer a lovely shareable graphic to go along with each day's topic. At the end of each post, there's also a comments section where you can leave your own comment and connect with other readers. Study authors are Lysa TerKeurst, Wendy Blight, Whitney Capps, Leah DiPascal, Wendy Pope, and Krista Williams. Although the study is short, it's satisfyingly in depth, and the approach of going through the Bible featuring one verse from each chapter gives you a real sense of momentum. I heard about this app on a podcast, and I seem to remember that if you stick with First5, you'll go through the entire Bible in two years, five minutes at a time.
If you want a little more info on the day's topic, you can click through to the "Go Deeper" section for a few more related thoughts, and if having a Study Guide is your thing, that's available for a nominal price. Daily devotions are right there for your Monday through Friday, and on weekends, there's a video wrap up discussion by the authors.
I love the sequential study, which offers familiar and not so familiar topics, along with original thought on each subject. But my favorite thing is that using First5 gives a nod to the urge to pick up my phone first thing, all the while getting my day started in a meaningful way. Once I click into First5, the urge to step into the technological whirl abates and I can focus on spending some time centering my heart and mind on God.
If you give First5 a try, I'd love to know what you think. And if you have a favorite phone app, I'd love to know that, too!