There’s an app for almost anything. And that can be a little overwhelming. So much so, that I try to limit the number of apps I have on my phone. (They take up space!)
On a day-to-day basis, I use my phone for its very basic functions: communication (messages/phone/mail), social media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat), and music. There’s the occasional internet search (safari). I check my calendar, I also take photos and scroll through my camera roll.
I’m an app minimalist.
So I thought I’d share the apps I use on a very regular basis – excluding the obvious apps I’ve mentioned above, including social media – because these apps actually make life a little easier, and that’s always a good thing. 😉
1. Dropbox / Google Drive
These two are extremely similar. They serve different functions for me, but that’s a personal preference thing. I love both Dropbox and Google Drive because the apps sync with my computer and I can access any/all of my important documents in one place. (The “cloud,” my friends, is a beautiful thing.)
If you don’t have an app for saving/securing your passwords, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! Seriously, stop what you’re doing and create an account with 1Password online. I’ll wait. All my passwords are saved in one place and it’s super secure. I have one “master password,” but I don’t have to remember anything else. All passwords/security questions are saved in the vault. I also have my credit card info and social security number saved in 1Password. It’s really convenient to access my passwords on the go. (This is another app which syncs with your computer / online account… I even have access to “shared” passwords between myself and my family.)
I love reading my physical Kindle, but I also enjoy reading ebooks on my phone. I can pick and choose which ebooks I want to download to my phone at any given time. (The rest of my library lives in the cloud.) Again, this is an app which syncs with my computer / online account. Beautiful.
I use the computer equivalent NvAlt to take notes on my computer. I use NvAlt more frequently than I use a word processor like Microsoft Word. It’s much too tedious to save individual Word docs to my computer. NvAlt keeps all my notes in one place – it has a super simple interface and it’s easy/quick to access. And it’s searchable. The Notesy app syncs all my computer notes to my iPhone, which means I never have to worry about forgetting something I’ve recorded on my computer if I don’t have it with me at the time. I prefer Notesy to the built-in Apple “Notes” app for this reason.
My preferred writing app. Want to guess why? Yep, it’s because it syncs with my computer. Originally, I used Scrivener on my Mac, but when I discovered Ulysses there was no turning back. I appreciate that I can keep all my projects in one place without creating individual files. The interface is very clean and non distracting. I use Ulysses on my computer to brainstorm/outline/draft blog posts, and now I can access all this and more on my phone as well.
This is an awesome journaling app I’ve used for about a year now. It comes highly recommended. I mentioned this app in my previous post about journaling (check it out if you’re interested). At the end of every day, I open the app and quickly type a bulleted list of the day’s activities / etc. If I want, I can attach photos to the entry (directly from my camera roll!). The app records stats like day/time, my location, weather conditions, step count. AND…all entries sync to my computer. 🙂
7. Snapseed / VSCO
These are currently the only two photo-editing apps I use. VSCO used to be my #1 fave but it’s being slowly replaced by Snapseed.
I love storing photos with Flickr. My albums are easy to view/share. Best part? The app syncs with my online account and I can instantly view photos on my phone that I’ve only just uploaded via my computer.
9. Charles Schwab
My mobile banking app. (Obviously, you may not bank with Charles Schwab, but I encourage you to check the app store for your own banking app.) The app makes it so easy for me to view my balance and to deposit checks. Seriously, why have I been driving to the bank all these years?!
10. Like to Know It
A must-have app for all the ladies. I follow so many bloggers on Instagram who tag their outfits with Like to Know It links, and when I screenshot these Insta pics, the outfit details immediately show up in the app. I can shop each piece from within the app, which is both fabulous and dangerous. Originally, users needed a public Insta account in order to subscribe to Like to Know It, and outfit details were sent to your email address (which is clunky and inconvenient). So I’m super thankful for the app. I go back and delete all my screenshots, but the Insta pics are saved within the app and I can scroll through them anytime for outfit inspo.
I DO use other apps, but for the purpose of this post I excluded educational apps (pertaining only to my university), and travel apps (which I typically only use when I’m traveling). Honorable mentions include Hooked, an app I recently stumbled across which lists all restaurant deals within your neighborhood (often a dangerous thing for me – I do not need that $2 Burgerfi shake, no matter how cheap/delicious!), Paprika, an app for saving recipes (which syncs to my computer! hurrah!), GroupMe, a group messaging app, and Feedly, an app for collecting/reading online articles by following the RSS feeds.
I hope you’ve found something in this list that might be helpful to you! If you have any questions/comments, feel free to reach out via email or social media or in the comments below.
And please share your “must-have” apps! I’m a sucker for anything that will improve my productivity/etc. Thanks for reading!