10 Apps to Simplify Your Life

Put your smartphone to good use by downloading apps to help simplify your life. If the app is a good fit, it should save you either time, money, or stress.

After downloading a new app consider placing it on your home page for the first month or two. Once you are accustomed to using it, move it to a page with similar apps. If you find you’re not using the app after that first month or two, delete it.

To easily find your apps, organize them! On your home page put the apps you most frequently use, but don’t feel the need to fill up the entire page. On your home page put the most commonly use apps within your thumbs reach on the hand holding the phone. For the rest of the apps on you home page,  group them together by type. For example, you may have one row of social media apps, and another row of work-related apps.

On each page after your home page, designate a page for similar apps. For example, one page may be for travel, shopping, and restaurants. Another page may for “fun” such as music, games, and shows. While yet another page may be for gadgets such as a magnifier, level, etc. Lastly, have a page for apps you don’t use and can’t delete.

1. Dropbox 
For: Computer & Mobile Devices  Cost: Free and Paid Plan

This app has been a game changer for me. The app is most useful when you have it on both your computer and smartphone. It’s like duplicating files on each of your devices but they synch with each other.

Besides sharing files, your files are also backed up to the cloud. If you accidentally delete a file, you can restore it up to 30 days. You can also go back to previous version of files for the last 30 days.

You can also share folders with clients, co-workers, friends or family. Store all your children’s photos in a folder on your computer in Dropbox and then share with their grandparents. Dropbox is just as impactful for personal use as it is for business. I have been using Dropbox since 2011.

2. Notes (Apple)
For: iOS Devices Only   Cost: Free

Notes is a serious place to jot down notes, thoughts, to-do lists, images, web links, scanned documents, and sketches. You can create folders to organize your notes. You can also share your notes with family, friends, or co-workers to review and edit. Best part is that you can sync notes across all your Apples devices with iCloud.

One of my many favorite uses of notes is to create is a Replacement Parts List. Here you can jot down the type of ink your printer takes, or the air filter number for your air conditioner. This resource list will always be with you as long as your phone is on you.

My second favorite “note” to create is a grocery list. I highly recommend “sharing” this grocery list with your family members. The list can be created as you notice items you are running low on. Once at the grocery store you can check off items as you grocery shop.

You also can be a bit tricky with the grocery list and create a long grocery list of items you normally buy, and the put the items in the order of aisles at the grocery store. Before heading to the store, check off the items you want to buy. As you put the items in your cart, uncheck them.

3. CardStar
For: iOS Mobile Devices  Cost: Free

CardStar eliminates the need to carry around reward cards for retails or membership numbers for hotels, airlines, etc. Scan in you reward cards or enter the numbers manually. The bar code will display for most reward cards.

4. RetailMeNot
For: Web and Mobile Devices  Cost: Free

Find coupons and offers for retail stores, restaurants, entertainment, and more. In the search field on the app, enter the name of the business, and then select search. Current offers will appear.

5. Venmo 
For: Mobile Devices  Cost: Free for Basic Service

Pay friends and family through s Venmo account using money from your bank account, debit card, or money you have in your Venmo account. You can easily send money to someone out of the country.

6. Mag Light 
For: iPhone and iPad  Cost: Free

Mag Light is a magnifier that has zoom features and a light. So whether it is fine print on medication bottle or a menu in a dark restaurant, you can easily read the print.

7. Fandango 
For:  Web and Mobile Devices  Cost: Free

Plan you movie night easily with Fandango. Catch the newest trailers, browse Rotten Tomatoes® scores, find the latest show times and guarantee tickets with more than 30,000 screens nationwide.

8. Wunderlist 
For: iOS, Windows, and Android  Cost: Free and Paid Plan

Whether you have a to-do list, planning a party, or sharing a shopping list, Wunderlist is an easy but comprehensive way to create a checklist of to-do’s.  You can also create reminders.

Since I use Apple Notes to create my lists, and Apple Reminders for needed reminders, I personally don’t use Wunderlist but know many who do.

9. LastPass 
For: Web and Mobile Devices  Cost: Free to Low-Cost Paid Plan

LastPass is a vault for all your passwords so you only have to remember one master password. LastPass has strong encryption algorithms and multifactor authentication.

10. Unroll.Me
For: Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL  Cost: Free

Clean up your inbox with Unroll Me. Instantly see a list of all your subscription emails. Unsubscribe easily from whatever you don’t want and combine your favorite subscriptions into one email.





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