With so much of our lives spent working, it’s easy to forget to interact with others — whether it be through social events, hobbies, or other activities that truly enrich our lives.
I’ve recently tried out some apps that encourage real, offline face-time, allowing you to meet new people, connect with people who share common interests, and even discover opportunities that will benefit you professionally.
Here are some of my favorite apps that help me connect with like-minded people.
Meetup connects people who share the same interests. It shows upcoming events and activities in my area (or an area I’m traveling to) so I can meet with others who are interested in the same event.
It’s not only a fun way to meet new people, but it provides you with instant conversation material to build up social skills and relationships in a much more comfortable way. Meetup also encourages business networking by allowing you to create and promote professional networking events.
I’m often so busy with work and traveling that I forget to take the time to schedule social events. Time to Enjoy helps you discover and plan events in a matter of seconds using your mobile device. It’s free, and it’s easy. The app compares my work schedule and calendar with upcoming events. This way, I won’t miss out on events that will get me out of the house (or the hotel).
GoTribe is both an online and offline community designed to make fitness and wellness a social event and a fun lifestyle. Available in nine countries and 12 states, the app connects you with “workout buddies” so you can provide each other with encouragement and get together in person to get in shape. I use this to help balance work with my physical health; and find like-minded individuals to go exercise with when I’m on a business trip.
This app is great for foodies. SupperClub is a social food and friends app that helps you easily create or join supper club groups, share recipes and share photos of your food experiences.
With Supper Club, you can set up a group outing to a new restaurant or host a social dinner party at a nearby eatery. The app also hosts its own events that you can attend in various cities around the country. I’ve used it to organize dinners for my employees, special occasions, and even client meetings.
Golden connects you with volunteer opportunities and other people who enjoy volunteering. I can even choose to invite friends to volunteer for an upcoming event. This makes it easy to get out there and do something good for your community while allowing you to meet new people who share the same passion for social consciousness.
citysocializer is a local, social life app that can help you do more of the things you like with people going out around you. This app is another great way to locate people who share similar interests.
The app provides an extensive list of social groups and organizations I can join in my city and information on upcoming events by interest. On business trips, it’s a great way to fill some free time rather than sitting in my hotel room.
Work smart, play hard
All work and no play makes for a dull life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work, but it doesn’t provide as satisfying an experience as actually going out and cultivating friendships through activities you enjoy.
Since using these apps, I’ve participated in more activities away from the computer, made some great friends, and created some incredible memories. As an added incentive, these apps are free, making it easy for you to get out and get involved in your community.
This article has been edited.
Peter Daisyme is a special adviser to Due, an invoicing company helping small business owners transact money online.