Apps So Good, You’ll Feel Like You’re Cheating

posted in: adulting, Adulting101, Life, productivity | 0

Simple Apps to Make Life Better

A little announcement: After two rounds of traveling in the last 60 days, I realized that there is a need for a no-nonsense “How-to/Best of” blog. While there are countless of amazing sites with countdowns and advice, it’s easy to get lost amidst the pictures of puppies and quizzes.

For right now, I’m going to start rolling “Best Of” lists on my personal blog that you’re currently viewing. For the (hopefully near!) future, I’ve started to assemble a team of entrepreneurs, business owners, financial analysts, moms and dads, and professionals (plus many more) to help create a collaborative, no-nonsense, no distractions, “How-To/Best Of” site. It will cover everything from the best videos on changing a flat tire to teaching you how to tie a tie for a job interview. We will even have explanations on 401ks and choosing insurance in basic terms that even I can understand. Enough of that for now, I will revisit this topic later on once we are closer to launch! 

Here is a list of some of the best apps I’ve been using to get through life, traveling, and graduate school. If you have any apps that you recommend, feel free to reach out.

Calendar Apps

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Sunrise Calendar (Free)

IMG_3862Don’t let the “Outlook” portion of this app scare you. If you use 15 planners, 3 to-do lists, and still can’t get organized, this app will be your best friend. It syncs every possible Calendar and To-Do list and aside from all your usual calendar stuff, it can pull calendars for your favorite TV show, sports team, and a lot more.

The best feature: scheduling meetings. Sunrise has a keyboard feature that pulls up your calendar right in a text (or on your desktop). From there, you select the open meeting times you have, make a title, and send it to your contact. They get a link, they open it, select the time that works best for the them and it puts it automatically on your calendar. Technology, folks.

Wunderlist (Free)Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 10.29.47 AM

Wunderlist is a great replacement for Reminders (or other native To-Do Lists) because it seamlessly allows for folders, sharing/collaboration, and separation of Due Dates and reminders. It’s less clunky, syncs to every device, has a web app, and has customizable appearances.

Productivity, Research, and Writing

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Zotero (Free) 

Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that let you save research for your literature review/citations WITH the metadata (author, title, date, etc.)? Wouldn’t it be even better if it had a Word plugin where you could simply press a button and it would add the citation in any format possible? Wouldn’t it be amazing if it GENERATED ITS OWN WORKS CITED FOR YOU?!

Guess what: Zotero does all of this and more. While it’s a little clunky (it’s a crowd-source program), it’s one of the most powerful programs any student or researcher can use. Once you download it, make sure you watch these videos to get you going.

Sleep Cycle (Partially Free)

IMG_3863If you want to become more efficient, more productive, and feel alive (as opposed to, well, dead) you need to have productive sleep. Sleep Cycle is an app that tracks your movements at night using sound, to help you visually see your sleep cycles.
It lets you create notes (such as drinking coffee or working out) to see how it affects your sleep. If you pay a yearly membership, it will also show you how air pressure and other aspects can affect your sleep quality too.

Saving Dat Money!

Ibotta (free)


Coupons? That’s my mother-in-law, call me ibotta. If you’re in marketing, I’m available. Who wants some extra Starbucks cash? Ibotta is simple and easy to use. My system to make sure I’m not buying 10 packs of Oreos:

Create a grocery list (or household supplies) and then search for them in Ibotta – it pulls local grocery stores (and big box stores) loading savings into your account. Once you buy the item, scan your receipt and it gives you money back. Save it up and get it in cash form. Easy, simple, and it fits seamlessly into your life.

Honey (Free)

Honey is one of those “Well, duh” moments in Google Chrome Extension history. It searches the internet for all possible coupons and applies them, getting you the best combination of savings. Last Black Friday I was in dire need of some new winter jackets. I saw a jacket for 40% off. Honey found another coupon that gave me an additional 30% off. Worth every dime.


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