I do a ton of stuff on my phone every day – as do most people. It’s funny because of the amazing variety of iPhone and Android apps, I think every phone is as unique as a fingerprint. I think the apps you have on your phone tell a lot about you. Some people have a ton of games and silly photo apps, some people have a lot of sports, or a lot of keep connected-type apps like Skype and Instagram, and various chats. I think mine says – this lady likes to get shit done!
I like to play games or listen to music once in a while, but those are definitely secondary. To me a phone is a tool and not a toy and my computer is the same way. I’ve got a lot to do and I like to have all my tools right at the ready. They always say if you want to get something done, ask a busy person, and that is me exactly. Here are some of my best iPhone apps to get stuff done:
1. Waze – This is a little-known navigation app and I’m always surprised at that because I think it is FAR superior to Google Maps and some of the other navigation tools out there. Although it does get angry with you if you miss a turn and you’ll hear a very distinctive chirp if you turn the wrong way. I literally wouldn’t leave home without it. It gives clear turn-by-turn voice instructions and even sends you warnings of accidents, traffic, or cops up again. You can return the favor by reporting trouble spots to other drivers, but not while you are driving – yay! It pops up a warning if it detects that you are using it while moving. I wish all apps did that!
2. IMDB – In our house, we are all movie buffs and we are constantly having arguments over who a particular actor is or who is doing the voice for a cartoon character. I inherited a head for useless trivia from my Dad and I seem to have passed it on to my kids, so rarely a day goes by that one of us doesn’t whip this one out to settle an argument over who that guy in the last scene was.
3. Fiverr – I do a lot of work on Fiverr these day – mostly writing complaint letters and pitches for Crowdfunding campaigns. It’s kind of a little side job I do for extra money. The app is pretty good. It lets me keep track of my orders, respond to customer questions, and easily send feedback at the end of an order.
4. Snapseed – Snapseed is another of those little-known jewels for editing photos. I use it all the time to edit photos before I post them to Facebook. You can crop, straighten, adjust, brighten, frame, etc. I take lousy photos most of the time, so they need all the cosmetic help they can get.
5. Striiv/MyFitness Pal – This is my team of apps for keeping in shape. Hey, round IS a shape! Striiv is the greatest totally FREE fitness app you never heard of. If you don’t want to shell out whatever ridiculous price they are getting for a FitBit, this is the app for you. I’ve been using it for probably 2-1/2 years, which is something of a record for me. You not only track your every step automatically, but there is a couple of different games built right into the app to keep you motivated. There is a magical land where you can buy plants, buildings, and animals to decorate it based on your steps. The animals move around and everything and you can complete quests and challenges. You can also pair up with friends and do virtual races and challenges to raise money for charity. All in all, it’s a great app. And MyFitnessPal is terrific for keeping track of your eating. You can use the barcode scanner or put in foods by searching for them – they have an extensive database, and it will tell you exactly how many calories, fats, proteins, etc. you are eating. It’s like having a Weight Watcher meeting in your pocket.
6. Calendar 5 – I’ve always struggled to get on board the calendar train. Back in the 90’s when everyone was carrying around huge Franklin Planners, I bought several of them and valiantly tried to keep up with them, but I would fail miserably in a couple of weeks. However, the online calendar has finally managed to get me in the habit and Calendar 5 is the best I’ve tried. It integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar, you can color code, you can see by day, week, month, or list, and you can set the most flexible set of reminders I’ve ever seen. And I use reminders for just about EVERYTHING – I frequently will have 8 or 10 of them popping up throughout the day to keep me on track for all the stuff I need to do.
7. Dropbox – I think everyone needs to use something to keep track of all their photos and documents and this is my drug of choice. My computer is highly allergic to iCloud for some odd reason, so this is how I back up all my millions of photos from my phone, and I can also send and receive photos from friends and family.
Bonus: Clock/Notes – I know it’s silly, but I use these built-in apps a TON. In addition to my calendar, I am pretty time challenged and I work with people in three time zones, so I use the world clock to calculate meeting times in different time zones. I have a whole bunch of alarms and reminders that I use on different days of the week. I also take naps, so I use the timer a LOT or to keep me on task when I’m doing housework or other tasks. And I use the Notes app quite a bit to jot down little reminders here and there. It takes up less space than Evernote and I keep my Christmas lists on there (kids never think to look in something as boring as Notes) as well as shoe sizes, curtain measurements, notes from meetings, just lots of stuff that keeps falling out of my head.
And yes, don’t look at the number of unread messages I have in my inbox – 755 and that’s just from May (sigh). I actually have a great post on managing your Inbox, but I need to get better about following my own advice!