As I mentioned in my last post, I now have an iPhone. Yes, I realize that I am late to the party, but I thought it might be fun to share the list of apps that I downloaded in the first week of iPhone bliss.
Since I am a minimalist at heart, I’m not interested in adding apps to my phone just for the heck of it. Rather, I’m interested in adding apps that will simplify or greatly enhance my life.
Here’s the list:
My daughter insisted that I download Snapchat. I can’t say that I grasped the concept until I started using it.
Now that she is studying abroad, it’s a great way to stay in touch. I take a picture every morning with the caption “Good Morning, Sunshine!” and send it her way. She sends me pictures of her adventures in Sweden. I send lots of pictures of our dog, Sophie.
It’s a really fun way to interact with a 16-year-old (and my husband too!).
This was another essential app according to my daughter. I must say I’m having a lot of fun with this social media platform. I’m keeping it private and only accepting followers who are family or close friends. This makes the feed manageable and allows for more personal pictures and posts.
For example, today, I posted a picture of my awesome new running shoes. (Yes, I’m pretty excited!)
(I also got the Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ apps, but they’re not quite as exciting as Instagram.)
My husband gave me a Fitbit Force for Christmas. (Love it!) So, of course, I had to download the Fitbit app. It syncs with the Force via Bluetooth and is generally awesome. I love the clean interface. Thumbs up.
I hit 133K+ steps the first week. It’s pretty motivational:
I’ve been using mint.com to keep track of our personal finances ever since I read the amazing book, Your Money or Your Life. The book recommends writing everything down in a notebook, but I decided to go high-tech. Mint.com lets you create any number of categories and allocate your transactions accordingly.
I haven’t used the app a lot yet, but I like having the option to allocate transactions on my phone. It’s nice to have the ability to take care of little tasks like this when away from the computer. And the app does provide a nice overview of the month’s cash flow, spending, etc.
Between the two of us, my husband and I go to three different grocery stores on a weekly basis. Hence, we always have multiple grocery lists going (which I forget at home half the time). So I was really excited to find AnyList, which lets you create and share any number of lists on your phone.
It has a special type of list for groceries with a built-in list of items and categories, but you can use it for any type of list (hence the name). In addition to the three shared grocery lists, I also have a gift idea list for each of my family members.
I love my Kindle, but I don’t always have it with me, so it’s nice to be able to access my Kindle library on my phone.
Right now, I’m reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Brilliant.
The iPhone 5c comes with a built-in map app, but my husband informed me that Google Maps is the way to go. So I got it, and it did help us find our way home from Chicago earlier this week.
Built-in GPS -> One less device to worry about. Can you say simplify?
I use Google Tasks for my to-do list for both home and work. So I thought it would be useful to be able to manage these on my phone. However, the built-in Reminders app on the iPhone is pretty sweet as well (and works with Siri).
I’m not sure which app will win for my personal todo list. (Reminders has a big advantage with the recurrence feature.) However, I’m pretty sure I’ll continue using Google Tasks for work, so it won’t be a wasted purchase (yes, this was one of the few apps that had a price tag).
I’ve attempted to keep a runner’s log in those free logs that Runner’s World would send to their subscribers, but it never lasted very long. I have high hopes that I will be more diligent using my shiny new app. So far, I like it a lot. It has a really nice, simple interface.
The best part is that it keeps track of how many miles you’ve put on your shoes. Now I don’t have to wait for my joints to tell me that it’s time to buy the latest version of Brooks Glycerine.
Swedish news. Recommended by my mom. Latest news is that one of the Doctors Without Borders staff that were seized in Syria is Swedish. (Prayers for peace.)
It’s nice to keep up with one’s home country. I have been exceptionally bad at this over the past 18 years since I emigrated. Better late than never.
And that’s all I have… So, what essential apps did I miss? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. For those of you who attended my time management class this past fall, it’s time for that wine and app productivity tips get-together. Let’s make it happen!