The new year has finally arrived, and 2019 could be just the year to make a new start and improve yourself. As luck would have it, tech can help, and we've listed some of the must have gadgets and software to help you be the best you possible.
Maybe you've overindulged over Christmas? If so, we've picked out some excellent blenders and fitness watches that can get you back on track.
Or, maybe you've been procrastinating about creating your own website for yourself or your business. If so, creating a website in 2019 is easier than ever with our recommendations.
Read on to pick up some great tips, and tech, to lead you into the new year.
Resolution: Get Into Shape
January sees plenty of us piling into the gyms with good intentions, or hitting the sidewalks in our running gear. Sadly, not many of us make it through brutal January before hanging up our sneakers. But a fitness tracker can give you the impetus to stick with your new regime.
By recording and tracking your achievements, as well as monitoring your progress, a fitness tracker is a fantastic tool for seeing just how well you're doing, or giving you a nudge when your progress is stalling.
Available whether you're working to a tight budget or looking to splash out, there's a fitness watch out there that's just right for you. We've listed three of the best below, but you can find even more our on dedicated Fitbit tracker page.
Fitbit Charge 3
- Water resistant to 50m
- Built-in smartwatch features
- Long battery life
- No on-board GPS
- No pressable buttons
Fitbit Flex 2
- Classic, minimalist look
- Lots of accessories
- Very small tracker; easy to lose
- No display
Garmin Vivosmart 4
- Heart rate tracking
- Blood oxygen monitoring
- Step and activity tracking
- Up to 7 days battery life
- No built-in GPS or phone GPS sync
- More of a health tracker than fitness tracker
Resolution: Read More
If you've been dreaming of joining the book club at work but can't find the time, or simply have a long list of recommendations from friends that you've never got round to, make 2019 the year.
One of the most convenient ways to read a book is with an Amazon Kindle. Not only can you carry thousands of books around with you, but its easy to pick up where you left off, a Kindle is smaller and more portable than a book.
The latest Kindle Paperwhite (and more expensive Oasis model) is even waterproof – perfect for the bath, beach or pool.
We've listed the main Amazon Kindle models below, and what makes each one different from the others.
For more help deciding, see our Which Amazon Kindle Should I Buy? guide.
- Back-light for night time reading
- Anti-glare screen
- Touchscreen page turning rather than button may not suit everyone
- Very affordable
- Lightweight and slim
- Less detailed screen resolution
- Little storage
- Lots of features
- Back light for reading in the dark
- Very expensive
- Design with one-sided bezel may not appeal
Resolution: Finally Publish that Website
Publishing your own website used to be hard. As well as learning how to create a website from scratch, with little guidance, you also had to host it somewhere, which was a complicated process in itself.
Luckily, some smart people out there realized that not everyone who wants to create a decent looking website is a computer wizard (or feels like paying for one to do it for them).
There's a large number of excellent website builders out there that can help you make professional websites that simply work, within minutes.
One of our favorites is Wix, thanks to its excellent number of features, as well as its competitive pricing. Whether you're looking to update your business with a new website, or simply want to create one for fun, Wix's easy-to-use interface and slick options mean that 2019 is the year that you, too, should create your perfect website.
- Unmatched for amount and quality of features
- Class-leading AI site development
- Great range of pricing plans
- Templates can't be changed after publishing
- Free version forces adverts and a poor URL
Resolution: Stop Using the Same Passwords
It seems not a month can go by without news of a massive site data breach, subjecting hundreds of thousands of users' personal details to scammers and hackers. That's why it's really important to use different passwords for different sites. Yes, this means you, too.
If someone gets hold of one of your passwords, it's a pain, but easily fixed. If they get hold of a password you use across multiple sites, then your entire online life is at risk.
Luckily, password managers make it easy to ensure you have secure, unique passwords across all the sites you use, without having to remember them. A password manager will log you in securely, and give you water-tight protection.
1Password is one of the best password managers we've tested, thanks to its excellent usability across different devices, helped by a well-designed app.
- Local storage makes saving changed passwords more reliable
- Large number of secure note templates for storing sensitive information
- Very well-designed app
- No automated password changing feature
- Desktop app seems superfluous
- No camera integration on mobile
Resolution: Get Serious About Your Online Privacy
There are people out there who really want to know what you get up to online, whether its to try to steal your data or financial details, or to monitor your activity for ad-driven profit.
Unfortunately, your standard ISP connection can reveal a lot about your activities to third parties.
This is one of the reasons why people use a VPN. These services route your internet traffic through private servers, so that it can't be snooped on by anyone with nefarious means. Not even your own ISP can see what you're up to – it's a safe, legal means for protecting your online privacy.
VPNs can be had for a few bucks a month, and one of the best we've tested is PureVPN, detailed below. You can also read our other VPN reviews.
- Effective privacy and security features
- Smart Mode-based approach
- Clear notifications
- Excellent value
- Not as fast as billed
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix unless you use the browser extension
Resolution: Eat More Fruit and Veg
According to a study by the Centre for Diseases Control, only one-in-ten Americans eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables each day. At 1.5 – 2 cups, it might seem like a big ask. But a smoothie maker can work wonders if you're staring at a mound of healthy food not knowing where to start.
With a product like a NutriBullet, you can cram your minimum recommended allowance into one smoothie, or if you prefer, check out numerous other recipes that take your basic fruit and vegetables and turn them into something to really look forward to.
There's a wide range of NutriBullets to choose between, including a great value basic model. We've picked out three below and explain the differences.
The Newest NutriBullet with a Connected Smart App
- 1200-watt Power Base
- Holds up to 32 oz
- Lots of added cups and accessories
- Bluetooth-enabled app for nutritional tracking
Original, Affordable Model for Newbies
- 600-watt Power Base
- Holds up to 24 oz
- No variable speeds
- Very good value
Mid-Range NutriBullet with Heavy-Duty Blade
- 900-watt Power Base
- Holds up to 32 oz
- Strong blade that can cut anything
- Affordable model