I have no problem admitting I’m a podcast junkie, a productivity junkie (I especially love a good productivity podcast!), and, yes, a bit of an app junkie. The problem is, like other areas of my life, I want my phone (and my tech life) to be as simplified as possible. I reconcile these things by downloading a boatload of apps and programs and then deleting 95% of them. 🙂
Inspired by Pat Flynn’s 9 Tools and Apps I’ll Use More Than Any Others in 2015, I thought I’d take a look at – and share – what I’m using a lot these days since most of my life is digital. It’s true. I even stalked my Erin Condren order for weeks, bought a bunch of supplies to get into the paper planner craze, and it sits mostly unused.
So without further ado…
Evernote – I tried Evernote at least half a dozen times and couldn’t get into it. I heard over and over again that it would change my life, that it could do anything, and yet I downloaded and deleted it more than probably any other app. Then for whatever reason – whether it got better or I got smarter – the elephant and I clicked in 2014. If you aren’t familiar with Evernote, it’s your notes app on steroids – across all your devices. You can sort by notebooks, tags (with some services), and more. The search functionality is incredible. You can import photos, audio, web pages and more – including importing directly from many sources across the web and various operating systems. And it all syncs between Windows, Mac, and Android mobile and desktop programs. Even for free.
Feedly – When Google Reader died a slow and painful death a few years ago, I was crushed. I found Feedly though, and it was totally one of those situations where you can’t know what a real relationship is until you break up with the loser boyfriend first. 🙂 Feedly provides one-stop subscriptions to all of your favorite web-content. It’s interface and functionality, especially on mobile devices, is gorgeous. It also integrates perfectly with many other apps, like Instapaper and Buffer, for example. Oh, hey…
Buffer – Buffer is another one of those that I tried a while ago, then switched to a few other similar apps, but came back to because they just got it all figured out first. With Buffer, you can schedule social status updates for various platforms. I think that social media should be exactly that – social – so I definitely prefer to engage personally on my accounts. That said, there are times when it’s beneficial especially to writers, small business owners and the like to not go completely radio silent if they’re otherwise unable to post. Buffer also allows you to curate content and feeds right within the interface, though I don’t use that feature much because I greatly prefer feedly (above). For what it’s worth, I subscribe to the “Awesome” plan for $10/month. Their customer service is top-notch, so I haven’t regretted it for a second.
Scrivener – Scrivener is an absolutely incredible program designed for writers. Authors, bloggers, whoever – if you write a lot, it’s well worth the investment. If you’re writing a book (or two), it seems to me to be a no-brianer. If you’re interested in purchasing scrivener, I can’t recommend “Learn Scrivener Fast” highly enough. It’s THE most highly recommended way to learn the program (and a bunch of extra hacks for it), and for good reason. You can also get a free trial of Scrivener 2 and check out the Learn Scrivener program before committing. 🙂
Snapseed – The most robust but easy to use editing app I’ve ever found on the iPhone. Recommended by my favorite iPhone Photography expert (and professional photographer) David Molnar, so it was good enough for me to download – and it’s been worth every penny.
EOS Remote – This is only going to be applicable if you have a compatible camera, but I wanted to encourage you to explore the possibilities. If you have a wifi-capable camera (mine is a Canon 6D, but there are others!), take a look around for an app that allows you to view and share photos remotely, as well as utilize your device as a remote shutter and more. For me, it was what made my decision for this camera versus the 5D an easy one.
Nike Running/FitBit – Because I don’t wear a watch (or similar) I was never sure about the fitbit, UpBand, etc when they came out. A cheaper option to boot, the Fitbit Zip tucks away nicely and still gets the job done. It was a nice “first step” for me while I wait for the iWatch 😉 Having tried a few different running apps, Kyle and I have both settled on the Nike+ Running app (for both iOS and Android) for the last year or two. Just be sure to get the right one, and make sure your GPS is working – or it isn’t so great. Don’t ask how we know.
Podcasts – I mean, this one hardly counts since you can’t even get rid of it off of new iOS devices, but since I use it like 8 hours a day, I thought I’d include it. Other popular options to listen to podcasts include PocketCast and Stitcher Radio. Just find something and start listening. 🙂
Songza – Songza is THE most brilliant streaming radio option I’ve ever seen. Listen by genre, by mood, by day of the week (let’s be honest, you need a different set of tunes on Monday morning than you do on Saturday night), by activity. Find “spotless”/clean stuff, “Songs to raise your kids by” and more. If you’re a geek like me and have ever made a playlist themed to anything at all, you will totally dig this app.
Spotify – And then of course our other go-to streaming music program, and the only one that allows you to choose your songs at will. This one isn’t necessarily mind-blowing, but it does get the most airtime in our house!
Honorable Mentions: Netflix, Hulu +, and Amazon Prime. We haven’t had cable (or satellite) in about 6 years, and this is how we watch any TV. It’s the best. 🙂
So tell me… what programs are always running in your background?
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