Wunderlist – This is probably my most frequently used app. I use it to track all of my to-do’s. You can create categories, assign due dates, assign to other people (who also use Wunderlist), make tasks recurring – and that’s just with the free version. There is a version that you can pay for which adds even more options. Whenever someone asks me about how to keep track of everything that they need to do, downloading and using this app is my first suggestion.
Pepperplate – I use this app for my menu planning and as my digital cookbook. It stores your recipes, allows you to create menus for meals you eat frequently, has a planner that allows you to plan for all three meals a day and has a shopping list feature. All of the components are integrated and it’s compatible on all of our devices (desktop computer, iPad and phones). Did I mention that it’s free? I have nothing but heart eyes for this app.
Grocery IQ – This is my preferred shopping list app. My favorite things about it are that you can keep multiple lists for different stores and that you can categorize by grocery aisle, which makes grocery shopping go as fast as it can. It is run by coupons.com, so when you put an item on your list for which they have a coupon, it tells you.
The Weather Channel – So much of our day is determined by the weather. My soul is fed by the outdoors and my kids’ attitudes are noticeably better after getting some fresh air, so I am always trying to find a way to get us outside. Living in Minnesota, the weather isn’t always ideal, so whenever I can find a window of not miserable weather, I can be found pushing the double stroller through the sidewalks of our little town.
Dropbox – I keep most of our family files on dropbox so that they can be accessed from our computer, iPad or phones easily and quickly. My daily to-do worksheet, our family budget and the worksheet I use to estimate my husband’s pay for the week (he’s a UPS driver, and his schedule changes by the day) are at the top of my list of files that I access often. It’s especially helpful when we’re looking for some information on a less-used document and it is, literally, at our fingerprints.
FitBit – My in-laws bought me my FitBit two years ago and I’ve said many times since then that I won’t ever be able to go back. I’m naturally an active and disciplined person, but this helps me put numbers to what I already do, and whenever I’m lacking, it is a fantastic motivator. My husband is an Apple sycophant and would love for us to have Apple watches, but I’m completely content with my FitBit (yes, I understand that the Apple watch does so much more, but I don’t really care about those things).
Nike+Run Club – I’ve tried a few different running/fitness apps, and this is my favorite for tracking runs. When I started using this, I didn’t have my FitBit and their software has been updated to track as you run, but I’ve used this for so long, that I’ve just stuck with it for all of my outdoor runs.
Podcasts (The West Wing Weekly & More Perfect) We don’t have cable – or the time to watch TV – but there are small windows of time when I’m doing menial tasks when it’s nice to be entertained. I’ve listened to a few different podcasts for a few years now, but these two are my most recent finds. I’m the world’s biggest West Wing nerd, and The West Wing Weekly just feeds my nerd-dom. More Perfect was a friend’s recommendation, and it is fascinating.
Sprout – We started using this app shortly after our daughter was born to track feedings, sleeping, diapers & health stuff. Since we’ve outgrown all of that with child #2, I now use it solely for it’s Milestone feature. It acts as a digital calendar to track developments, events and, well, milestones. I write something on each of the kids’ milestone lists each day. I’m not sure what I will do with that information, but I’m sure that there is a point when it will helpful to have. Maybe if I ever get back to scrapbooking……
npr news – This is my go-to source for news. If I don’t get a chance to listen to the news in the morning, I will take a quick glance at the headlines, create a playlist of the articles that interest me, and listen through the day as I have time. I also reach a point in the day when I am done with words, but still enjoy background noise (this is usually the time between naps and supper), so I stream Classical NPR.
Layout – For all of those times that I want to squeeze more than one picture on an Instagram post, this app is gold. Now that Instagram added the feature of putting multiple pictures in a post by swiping, I’m not sure if I will still use this. But, for collages, it’s fantastic.
ReadScripture – My husband found this app last year, which breaks up the Bible into 365 sections that you can read the entire book in one year. We made it until the middle of February. Oops. But resolved to make it through in 2017. And lasted until January 3rd. We’re terrible at this. I’ve put this app in a prominent spot on my phone, so now, whenever I have a quick minute, I open it up and read from where I left off. I’m trying to be better about defaulting to reading through this app instead of wasting time on other social media sites, and this app makes that as easy as it can. They have broken the Bible down into units, and each unit has a video that summarizes that section of scripture. These videos are top-notch. They are constantly updating and adding more features to this app and I cannot say enough good things about it.
It is so easy to let our phones be something that sucks us in and wastes our time. But they can also be an amazing tool to help us get more out of each day. What are your go-to apps that help maximize your days?