My Top 10 Apps for Organizing Your Life – Part 1
I LOVE APPS.
I’m not talking about appetizers, although they’re super important too.
I’m talking about applications for our devices!
The last time I bought an iPhone it was just after they stopped offering two year contracts in exchange for a free (or cheap) phone. My only option was to finance one and make monthly payments.
I hateeeeeee monthly payments.
But I had no choice, so I decided to pick the biggest, baddest phone I could find. After all, if they were giving me two years to pay it off I wanted to make sure it was going to last a lot longer than that.
So I got an iPhone – the latest model, with the biggest screen, and a ton of storage space. Now this was partly because I read a lot, watch TED talks on my phone, love podcasts, and take a lot of pictures. (Seriously, I have a picture-taking problem).
But it was also so that my phone could handle the tasks of a portable laptop – in the form of apps.
After nurturing my cell phone space for the last two years I have come to rely on a few key applications, and that is how this list was formed. Even though I have an iPhone, many of these are available on Android or have a comparable option. 🙂
Here are my Top 10 Apps for Organizing Your Life – Part One:
I love love LOVE Wunderlist. There is a reason it is number one on my list – because I use it for everything! It’s simple to use, easy to set up, and syncs across my devices. I have it on both of my laptops (work and home), plus my phone. I even got my day job hooked on Wunderlist and we use it across all of our devices to share supply lists and meeting topics!
I keep a lot in Wunderlist — including writing topics, to do lists, lists of books I want to read and movies I want to watch, my morning/evening routines and my grocery list. I use #2 for most of my meal planning, but Wunderlist keeps a list of our grocery staples so I can just uncheck them as they’re depleted and then have a working grocery list at the store. Plus, you can share the lists with anyone who has Wunderlist – so my boyfriend and I can add to the same grocery list!
BONUS: This app works on SO MANY DEVICES:
You can even set high priority items, assign tasks to others with whom you have shared your list, and set reminders when tasks have a due date!
(P.S. I’m using the free version!)
MealBoard changed the game for me when it came to meal planning. This app does cost $3.99 but is so so worth it. I used to hate meal planning for various reasons:
– It took too much time.
– I had to adjust the meals each day/week to fit our changing needs.
– It was hard to keep track of my pantry in its entirety and I would end up wasting food.
– I didn’t know how to cook quick, simple, and delicious meals so I spent a lot of time finding recipes, copying them into my meal plan, and then making grocery lists.
It was exhausting. I knew deep down how much I loved to cook and how important it was for our health (and our wallets) that we eat at home most nights and cook enough for leftovers, but making a meal plan became a to do list item that I just dreaded.
And we all know how we handle the things we dread. They get shipped off to:
And then I found MealBoard. In fact, I cannot put it better than MealBoard itself:
MealBoard combines recipe management, meal planning, groceries and pantry management into a single app. It is fully customizable. You can manage your recipes, ingredients, food categories, meal types, stores, store aisles, grocery items and many more with its clean, uncluttered interface.
It took me a little time to get set up on MealBoard because I had to go through my pantry and upload everything in it to the app. This is not required to use the app or anything – but makes things so much easier once you do. Besides, who couldn’t use a deep clean on their pantry?
Then I plug in recipes. There are some meals – like chili, vegetable soup, and tacos that I don’t use a recipe for and so I sometimes just plug in the meal for the day and add in any items I don’t already have in the pantry to my grocery list.
But hands down my favorite part of MealBoard is its ability to import recipes from the web. Am I the only one who is constantly saving foodie pins on Pinterest and hoping to get back to them to try one day??
But no more.
Now when I see a recipe that is frugal and healthy – our two requirements to try new meals – I just import it into MealBoard. Once it imports (from either your phone or computer), you can confirm the details it imported, adjust anything the app didn’t find (it sometimes can’t find the yield, for example), and save it. Then you can easily add the recipe to your meal plan – which automatically adds the ingredients to your grocery list – and check off any ingredients you already have. It also has the ability to copy a meal and add it to another day as a leftover!
You can even sort your shopping list by stores and by aisle in your own store! I’ve got my ALDI’s mapped out and this feature is so helpful in making my grocery shopping as efficient as possible.
Meal planning has never been this easy for someone who loves to try new recipes.
This app saved my sanity when it came to organizing and planning my wardrobe. Like MealBoard’s pantry feature, the setup can take some time. But if you’re overdue for a closet clean out and want a super easy way to streamline your outfits – Stylebook will do the trick.
With Stylebook, you upload pictures of your clothes, shoes, and accessories (including purses ladies!) so you can virtually sort your closet. You can then create outfits with your own clothes, save the outfits, and add them to the calendar! Plus, when you see something that inspires you – maybe a dress your friend wore, or an outfit in a magazine – you can add style inspiration right into the app!
Say it with me now: “WHOA!”
Stylebook costs $3.99 as well. For me – it was totally worth it to be able to sort my clothes, plan my outfits, and see my entire wardrobe – all on the go.
Anki is my favorite app for hardcore learning. I’m using it to learn Spanish, to learn how to make drinks for bartending, and to learn computer science terminology. Fair warning, while the desktop version is free (and necessary to upload content to the app), the app is a whopping $20. Now before you think I’ve lost my frugal-loving-mind – let me explain.
Anki is a flashcard app. It holds over 100,000 flashcards – right on your phone. Now yes, you have to upload each flashcard. BUT you can add in images and text, and Anki has a powerful algorithm that helps you to sort your notecards not only by deck but – as you’re reviewing them – by how well you know the content. The easier the content is for you, the longer Anki will wait to show you that flashcard again. Rather than just going through the flashcards on repeat, the patterns are different each time and you rely on both short and long term memory to learn the concepts.
If you’re trying to learn something and are going to use flashcards anyway – why not invest in a tool that you can carry with you right on your phone? (AND is eco-friendly?)
5. My Calendar
Last but not least (for part one anyway) is my calendar. The calendar app in our phones is one of the most underused apps of all time. Not only is it free and pre-installed but it is the one tool that can truly make or break how you use your time.
Admittedly, I have been a hard and fast paper calendar user for years. I love bullet journaling and spending the time to color code each month by job, board, task, etc.
Unfortunately, as I have incorporated more habits and routines into my life – like my morning/evening routines, my cleaning routine, and my sleep schedule and as I have taken on more work with this blog, social media outreach, my day job, and my professional organizations – keeping a handwritten calendar just doesn’t cut it.
It makes it more difficult to make changes, there are no reminders, and as more and more gets crammed it – there just isn’t enough space.
Now I use my iPhone calendar.
My days are now planned almost start to finish (on the days I’m working anyway). This means that I put my sleep schedule, cleaning chore, routines, 1-3-5 tasks, and everything else on my calendar. Lunches, meal plans, phone calls, emails, blog posts – everything. It’s all color-coded, I can add in reminders, schedule in down time, invite others to a meeting, and even save agendas, websites, and notes right in the events. It’s super easy to reschedule, create recurring events, and even copy and paste events when they fall on an odd schedule.
The best part? It syncs everywhere. This is so important for me to operate at top efficiency so I can add in new meetings right on my laptop and then see my daily schedule on my phone. I can put in goals wayyyy in advance and set up reminders each week to keep me on point. My calendar is my assistant.
If you want some more in-depth posts on any of the above apps – let me know!
Now I have to ask – what apps do you love? What apps have changed the way you run your business or life?