the 10 best apps in the world… as told by me…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a ton of stuff going on pretty much all the time. And I do mean all the time. I work two different jobs, attempt to do things with this blog, and hang out with my friends, among other busy-bee things. Some days, it’s hard to keep my shit together.

I don’t consider myself to be a totally scatterbrained person, but I’ll admit to being borderline scatterbrained. There’s a fine line and I walk it often. How do I stay sane? By organizing my life with the beauty that is technology.

I’m not a techy girl, Reader, but boy, do I live and die by my apps. You’ll have to pry my iPhone 5 (still too cheap to get a new one, though I desperately need it) and MacBook from my cold, dead hands before I’ll give up these organizational godsends. And the best part about all of them? They sync across all my devices – including that iPad mini I have and rarely use.

Looking to get your shit organized or attempting to simplify your life? Check these out.

1. TickTick

TickTick

I get so busy during the week and feel so wiped out by the time I get home that trying to do “normal” things like laundry and wash my dishes is more than just a household chore. I have to literally set reminders for everything. From charging my new FitBit to all my assignments from Charm House to keeping things organized here on A Little Bit Brave, I rely on TickTick to keep my tasks at the front of my mind. If it’s not in TickTick, it’s probably not going to happen.

TickTick lets me create checklists for all the crap I need to get done. And then, on top of that, I can make sub-checklists within a single task. For example, if I need to email a client, I can set a task item in my “Charm House” checklist (to separate it from my other personal checklists!) to “Email client.” Then, I can make a checklist in that task to ensure I include all the information I planned in said email to client.

GENIUS.

2. Chrome

Google Chrome is the bomb, y’all. We use Google for all our work stuff at Charm House which is what caused me to fall in love with it entirely. I was using it here and there before, but I’ve pretty much completely abandoned all other browsers. (Korea still insists on using Internet Explorer – and outdated versions, at that. If I can’t get it on Chrome, I can’t get it. Not even trying.)

Chrome lets me access pages that are open on one of my other devices when I’m logged in from somewhere else. All my bookmarks are synced. I can find everything I need in my Google Drive or check assignment due dates on my calendar. I am never “out of the office” which is awesome (and also obsessive).

I know, I know. iOS has Safari and Safari also syncs across iOS devices. But you know what, Reader? Safari sucks. There, I said it.

Googs rules all.

3. Kindle

Kindle

I wish I had more time to read and I wish I was a faster reader. When I do make time to read, I love reading from my Kindle app. I’ve got it installed on my iPad Mini (which is all I ever use that thing for anymore) and occasionally download it to my phone to read on the go. And guess what? Chrome let’s me access my Kindle library from any browser, too!

I also retained my library card from the Americas so I can check books out from my library. Hello, free books for book club meetings!

4. Weight Watchers

Somehow, I ran a marathon in 2012. Yes, a whole marathon. (That’s an actual 26.2 miles for those of you who want to know “how long” the marathon was. There is only one distance for a “marathon” and that distance is 26.2 miles. Consider yourself educated. :) Never ask a runner this again.)

Then, during my recovery time, I quit running consistently. Then, I got fat again.

Trying to lose weight in a foreign country is hard work. It’s especially hard when you’re busy like me and don’t have/want to make time to cook stuff. Or when you don’t enjoy cooking. Or when you’re best meals are weird concoctions of avocado, fajitas, and quinoa.

I use the Weight Watchers app and I love it. I’ve used it before, but I wasn’t committed then. Now, I’m effing committed, Reader. I am so tired of my students asking me if I’m pregnant. And honestly, I feel better when I’m eating better and running.

I bought a FitBit a few weeks ago and WW lets me sync my steps to my WW account each day. Talk about built-in activity.

5. Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail

When my other teammates at Charm House made the switch over to Inbox, I wasn’t so sure about it. I resisted the first week or two and then, suddenly, it was like a lightbulb went on in my head. Now, I have no interest in using any other email option.

I don’t know if you can still exclusively even use Gmail’s old version, but I’m here to tell you how awesome Inbox is. Instead of deleting, you can mark items in your inbox as “done,” which doesn’t delete them, but rather archives them. Then you search to find them at any time you need to go back.

It’s not such a new feature, true, but what is a new feature? Treating your inbox like a to-do list. (If you haven’t caught on to my love of lists yet, see my TickTick point above and my goal lists from last year.)

6. LastPass

LastPass

I don’t remember or keep track of my passwords anymore. I let LastPass do it for me. I remember a few of them, but not many. I let LastPass create a totally random, oddball password for me now when I sign up for new stuff.

I’m also able to create password items for our clients and share them with my Charm House teammates so we can work with our clients on their respective projects.

Protect your information. Check out LastPass. It’s amazing.

7. Google Apps

Docs. Sheets. Forms. Calendars. Folders. All of it accessible in one place and shareable with anyone who also has a Gmail account (which is pretty much everyone, these days).

Google Apps are easy to use and super accessible. I quit paying for my MS Office subscription because I was never using it and frankly, those programs are a pain in the ass.

Google Apps will allow you the same capabilities and let you have them fo’ free, yo. FREE. (In fact, I wrote this post in a Google doc.)

8. Toggl Timer

Toggl

I keep track of how much time I spend on my assignments for Charm House and to do that, I use Toggl. I create a task name and then I can assign a category to that task. At the end of every week, Toggl sends me a report of all the stuff I did throughout the week. I can use it on any of my devices by opening the app I downloaded or by accessing my account via an internet connection in Chrome (or other browser). Again, I can work from anywhere!

9. Photos for iOS

iPhoto

I don’t bother to back up my photos anymore because my Macbook and iPhone do it for me. All my images are backed up into the cloud. I can scan through my phone and pull photos from literally 7 years ago. Not that I need to, but I could if I wanted to. That’s the whole point.

Crazy, right?

10. iTunes Apple Music

Apple Music

I decided to try out the free membership Apple offered to me and was instantly hooked. I can access any of my playlists via the cloud (gods, I love the effing cloud) that aren’t downloaded on my phone via data or wifi. I can add songs I don’t own (but like) to my playlists. Apple curates music I like and makes lists based on what I say I enjoy.

Now, I know that Spotify and Pandora were the leaders in this realm, but you know what? Those a-holes didn’t make their streaming services available in Korea. (Also, those don’t connect directly to my iTunes account.) But Apple does. And for $10 a month, I get all the music I could ever want at my literal fingertips.

 

So there you have it, Reader. The apps I simply couldn’t live without. And I’m serious about that. Could. Not. Live. Without. Them. Don’t make me try.

*************

Do you use any of the apps that I do? Are you hooked on something else amazing?

Leave your app rant in the comments!

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