Most of these work for you for a bit until you tire of them and replace them with a newfangled version. Or you may cycle between using one (Instagram!) more than another (SnapChat!) and then back again (Wait, Instagram has stories, now?). It’s an ever-changing landscape, that iPhone screen.
But then there are the essential apps that run. your. life.
Well, at least for me there are. These are the ones I open multiple times a day: Productivity apps that help me stay organized and on top of my game, that store important information and streamline my day-to-day existence.
They deserve a front row position on your home screen, preferably where it’s easiest to tap them using a ninja one-handed thumb grip.
In case you need a few to add to your go-to collection, I’m sharing the essential apps I can’t live without—and how I use them—below.
Evernote basically acts as my bottomless digital filing cabinet and is key to my paperless life. I file away every note I take, relevant emails, travel itinerary, web clippings, photos, and anything else I don’t want to forget in here. It’s essential when I travel and at home I can instantly dig up old receipts, contracts, report cards, doctor’s records, and more.
Don’t tell me you’re still hanging Post-its everywhere? Todoist is my task list. When I think of something I need to do, I don’t keep it in my inbox or write it down, I put it in here. I organize tasks by context (personal or work, for example) and date (if they’re time-sensitive), so i know exactly what to work on at any given time. And it’s oh-so-satisfying to check them all off throughout the day. Plus, with their new Amazon Alexa integration, I can add tasks hands-free using my voice.
Inbox by Gmail
Many great email programs have stolen my heart only to be acquired by big companies and shut down, so as of late I’ve landed on Inbox by Gmail. I like that it organizes my emails so I can see the most relevant ones first (from people, not companies) and then sorts the rest by Social, Purchases, Updates, etc., so I can easily scan and see what’s important. It also bundles related emails together—like emails related to the same trip—so I have a mini-itinerary in my inbox with reminders to check in for my flight, hotel confirmations, and car rental receipts.
Babysitters, guitar teachers, friends who split the bill at lunch, friends who cover for me when I forget to bring in the field trip money… Venmo makes it easy for me to pay them all. Without cash, from my phone… even when I’m out of town. In short, it’s become a lifeline for making sure I don’t stiff people.
At any given time, I’m always working on establishing a few different habits. I might want to stretch more at night, meditate, or remember to take a probiotic. Today is a habit tracking app helps me make a game out of it. I’m able to set reminders and add pretty photos to help motivate me, kind of like using an interactive vision board. And a satisfying tap lets the app know I completed my daily mission.
I don’t know about you, but the UPS guy is one of my besties. I do a ton of online shopping, for groceries, clothes, shoes, and household supplies and Slice helps me keep track of it all. It lets me know when things are coming so I can look out for packages and even alerts me if something I bought drops in price.
My airline tickets, credit cards, and loyalty cards all go in Apple Wallet, and more and more, I also pay with Apple Pay. It’s easy to add things like concert tickets, restaurant reservations. Fumbling around in my purse for a bulging wallet gets so old, you know?
Music is a huge part of my day, and Spotify has taken the stress out of finding and downloading music and of managing a collection. With almost no limits on the choices I have, I can create playlists on the fly and share musical knowledge with the kids whenever, wherever.
That’s it! Oh, and once you’ve got your go-to line-up, don’t forget to organize them too.
Which are the apps that run your life? Share your faves with me, below!