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I’m going to change things up a bit today by zooming in on something that we use regularly – phones, and more specifically, apps! There are a ton of apps out there, and we’ve gotta find out about them somehow. Today’s post is all about my favorite apps, how I use them and why I think they deserve consideration to be on your phone. Let’s get going!
Mint is huge. Mint helps me organize all of my credit cards, bills, and budget, all in one app. It’s so great I’ll probably do a whole post on its different nooks and crannies at some point. For now, though, I’ll just put it out there that it single-handedly drives my finances. It automatically categorizes spending and slots that right into your existing budget, notifies you of upcoming bills, provides a real-time snapshot of all your accounts on one page, and man, the list goes on!
Right up there with Mint, LastPass saves me time and energy on the reg. It stores all my passwords for me and generates super complex ones that I don’t have to remember, because LastPass will! Along with its browser extension, this app keeps track of all my passwords so I don’t have to, and this makes everything way easier. Plus, really strong passwords.
I have an iPhone with not a lot of storage space. It’s only 16 GB, and while it’s been manageable, it would have been miserable without Google Photos. The primary benefit is this – it stores all my photos and videos in the cloud, for free and with no space limits (as long as I’m ok with a small decrease in quality). Once recent photos are backed up, it will remind you to delete the photos that are still on your device and voila! Space reclaimed.
This is an app Sarah uses and I don’t really understand it, but something about telling you about bad stuff in your make-up and care products. I assume you punch in what you have and it tells you about the yoga mat glue in your eyeliner. Check it out if you want to buy more expensive makeup! I kid. But not really.
I’ve touched on Overcast before and the gist is this: it’s a podcast app with a couple added benefits. Overcast has two settings that I think set it above and beyond – Smart Speed and Voice Boost. Smart Speed basically skips over pauses or silences in the audio to speed up podcasts without actually interfering with your audio experience. And Voice Boost does exactly what it sounds like. There are some other convenient little tweaks you can make under the hood and I really am all about the personalization options.
Given that I’m a project manager, it probably makes sense that I dig Trello. It’s what I would call a Kanban Board, but just picture different categories (ex: to do, doing, done) that tasks get moved along in. I use it for work and to keep track on personal projects, and I guess it kind of takes the place of my traditional Notes app. Sarah does all of our trip planning on it, attaching itineraries, tickets and links to different categories she classifies as “days”. So as you can see, it’s pretty versatile!
This app, the self-declared “Streaming Search Engine” is soooo handy. Anytime I want to see a movie or a show, I search it on JustWatch and it tells me the different platforms it is available on. And with all the different platforms out there, this is saying something. From Prime and HBO to the CW and FX, if it is available for free streaming, JustWatch will find it. If it’s not available, the app tells you the cheapest rental prices at the different quality levels.
I visit this website almost every time I am making a purchase, and the app is handy for any last minute, in-store purchases, just to see if there are any coupons or discounts available. A lot of stores will have percentages off, and RetailMeNot collects all the codes and info and is an easy, one-stop-shop for discounts before you buy.
Think of Hoopla like a digital library… Netflix-lite. Add the app, link your library card and you have on-demand access to movies, audiobooks, music and more. You can borrow up to 15 items at a time and they have some great titles on there. Along those same lines…
Libby is an app that helps streamline your library’s vast collection into an easy-to-use ebook and audiobook platform. Once again, link your library card and search for audiobooks or ebooks, place holds or discover related content. I really like Libby for its ease of use and versatility – I can read it on the app, or I can send it to my Kindle to read. Handy-dandy.
Amazon Music and Prime Video
Do you have a Prime account? If so, you have access to a ton of music and television content through your subscription. Both of their apps have the ability to download content, which is great for long plane rides or out-of-the-country listening. And I was surprised how much great music is available for free through Amazon Music to Prime subscribers.
Disclaimer: I only use this app when I am traveling via air, but I use it almost every time I fly. Here’s why: say you are hanging in the airport and you hear an announcement that your flight is delayed. You are basically left in the dark until they decide to update you again, but with FlightStats, you have the power. Pull up the app, punch in your flight number and carrier, and you can see all of the flights your plane is making that day. So if my flight, 1234, is going from BHM to BWI, FlightStats shows me that flight 1234 and that same plane is coming from Chicago. This is handy because I can tell whether my flight will be delayed even more (i.e., it hasn’t left the ground yet), or it’ll be close to on-time (it has almost landed). FlightStats has helped me decide whether or not I’ll miss connections and to rebook, and almost always it’s been more accurate than the airlines’ estimates.
Buying and selling online, especially with Facebook’s marketplace and local groups, has never been easier. VarageSale is essentially an extension of that, and it has a ton of users and typically a great local reach.
As a calendar card holder, Chick-fil-A’s app has a special place in my heart. We go there at least once a month to redeem our free calendar card treat, and we are always getting free stuff! Sandwich here, milkshake there – out of all the restaurant apps on my phone, Chick-fil-A’s is by far the most generous. Heck, we landed in Baltimore for a layover once and went to Chick-fil-A for breakfast and the app gave me a free sandwich as a “Welcome to Baltimore” treat! Gotta love ‘em <3
If you made it this far down the list, check out Card Decks! It’s a handy app for couples that has some great categories that have different questions for us to ask each other. We pull it out on Roadtrips and it always leads to great conversations.
Assorted Travel Apps
Waze is my go-to map app – I’m a big fan of the alerts that notify you of accidents, police, and traffic.
SpotHero helps me save money on parking.
Wanderu is my go-to “search engine” for finding train and bus trips.
Hangouts is a calling and texting app that I use exclusively for calling in-laws in Canada – or calling into the States when we are abroad. It’s free, and no silly hoops to jump through to get minutes.
The Simple Summary
Well, friends, there is our exhaustive list. Check out some of those apps and let me know what you think below, and also let me know what apps you love – I’m all about finding new ones!