Being a paper planner girl doesn’t mean I’m immune to the pull of apps. After all, I have a sweet iPhone 6+ (well, when the internet connection isn’t crapping out that I have to restart it three times a day it’s sweet) where I now have the storage to download certain apps that my previous 4G (pictured above) could not. Although I do not utilize task/list/schedule apps to manage my day, there are some that I have succumbed to either to compliment my Franklin Covey A5 planner, assist with shopping, business networking or are for just plain enjoyment. I’m sure my list is virginal compared to those of you who have swipe after swipe after swipe of apps on your home screen. The minimalist in me begins to freak when half of the 2nd page starts to fill up. That’s when I start deleting. Then re-downloading, until I finally sat down and made a list of what I absolutely positively needed and would actually use on my phone as opposed to what I’m more comfortable navigating on a desktop.
First, a mention of the standard apps that came with the phone that I love:
Weather: I check this first thing in the morning so I know how to dress (or undress – it’s going to be in the 90’s all week here) accordingly. I also see when we’re expecting rain (if hub’s arthritic tailbone doesn’t gage it like a divining rod) so he’ll know whether to hurry and cut the grass. I also have the weather set for where my parents live in Florida so I know what to expect when I schedule my bi-annual visits.
Music: Whether downloaded songs or selected radio stations, my phone accompanies me on my hour-long power walk to give me jam while I burn jelly!
Clock: As someone who felt stark naked without a watch, it wasn’t until I accidentally threw away the stainless steel Fossil watch hub bought me for Christmas years ago that I’ve been sans-a-watch. I’ve bought several cheapie watches, but never wore them consistently. I’ve now come to rely on my phone for the time.
Calculator: I compare prices while grocery shopping. When I come across something in the supermarket that’s on sale and I have a coupon for, I calculate the unit price then, when I get home, I compare it to the same item we bought in bulk at either Costco or Restaurant Depot (we write the date purchased and price on the packaging for reference) to see if it was a bargain.
You Tube: Oh, the countless hours I’ve spent on Youtube. For instructional videos or webinars where I would need to take notes, I watch on desktop, but when I get into bed at night I tap Youtube the way some would grab a book. What do I watch? Why, planner videos of course!
Passbook: This is a nifty standard app that has allowed me to pare down my wallet of store/reward cards even more. Right now, it houses my Walgreens rewards card, Rite Aid rewards card, Starbucks refillable card and Target mobile coupon card. Cards I don’t have in there I keep on an interlocking ring (see linked post), but am looking to downsize that even more to add to passbook. All that stays in my wallet are purchasing cards (debit/credit), insurance card and my license
Health: This tracks steps, flights of stairs and mileage. You can also put in your body measurements, nutrition, sleep analysis, vitals and a whole mess of other health related statistics. Since my phone comes with me, I mainly use this to log my steps/miles when I power walk, although a Fitbit would be less cumbersome.
Compass: I have a poor sense of direction – don’t judge.
FaceTime: Used it for the very first time a few days ago to talk/see my sister who just moved to S.C.
Okay, now onto those downloaded one which made the cut:
Pinterest: In a nutshell, it’s a time sucking black hole I cannot resist.
Google+: I’ve really come to love this community/interest driven platform and much prefer it to Facebook (which I rarely use or check, therefore, app is not on my phone). Checking G+ is part of my morning-feed check and belong to some great communities for bullet journaling, planners, productivity, organizing, home, recipes, etc.
Instagram: I joined last summer after discovering there was a community of die-hards dedicated to planners, journals, notebooks, stationery, office supplies, etc. Since I’m a visual person, it’s my most favorite feed to check and indulge in.
Twitter: I have one for my bookkeeping business where I keep up on my industry and for The Weekend Wife to post blog content and such. I also use Hootsuite to schedule posts for at least a month.
LinkedIn: Again, another platform that is for my business only. I love interacting with other bookkeepers and belong to several groups where we can trouble shoot and bounce problems off one another.
Bible Gateway: I use the desktop version of this where I’m currently studying the book of Galations, but when I can’t get to sleep and my eyes can’t watch one more video, I put in my earbuds and listen to the bible on the app.
The Coupons App: I discovered this while trying to download Cartwheel on my old 4g. But when my old phone didn’t have enough storage to download Cartwheel, I found this little gem. You can program it with your zip code where it’ll tell you where local sales are going on, links to free samples, online promo codes and where to get the cheapest gas in your area. I’ve gotten 2 magazine subscriptions for free, saved 40% off clearance merchandise at JC Penney online and got coupons for buy one/get one free entree at Longhorn and free ice cream at Carvel. I like free 🙂
Cartwheel: The first app I downloaded when I got my 6+ as Target is my mothership. I follow @allthingstarget on IG where they break down items on sale. They then proceed to show you how you can get it for even cheaper by ‘stacking’ Target coupons, mfg coupons and Cartwheel % off, then further combining certain product purchases where Target offers either a $5 or $10 gift card back. So far, my biggest success was spending $120, but only paying $81. And that even included grocery items (meat too!)
Calendar by Readdle: For certain appointments/events, I also need more of a reminder than writing it in my planner. At work, if I’m alone, I’ll leave my planner open on the side table so I can always glance at it. But if not, then I need an audio reminder. That’s where Google Calendar comes in, however, I don’t like the mobile layout (first photo) nor did I like the phone’s calendar that synchs to my Outlook (second photo). So I found a neat little calendar app called Calendar by Readdle that synchs with G-Cal and gives me a nice, color-coded landscaped layout similar to G-Cal on desktop (third photo).
Dropbox: I had downloaded, removed and downloaded this app several times since 2013, until I finally got in the groove. Docs, photos, website links, receipt copies, household spreadsheets, etc. that I wanted to get off my desktop go here. It’s our filing cabinet in the cloud that I can access from anywhere. It came in very handy when I was at the doctor’s in April to follow up on a tick bite. Seems they, um, lost the tick I saved in a bottle to get tested for Lyme. Fortunately, I had taken a photo of the little bugger (no pun intended!) and saved it to a Medical folder in Dropbox. Wanna see?? Yeah, I know….ew! He didn’t get much – trust me.Kindle: Since the 6+ has such a nice, big screen it makes reading an e-book, article, etc. a lot more comfortable.
Bloglovin’: I just downloaded this after adding this blog there. I follow several blogs and can enjoy catching up on them whenever I have downtime or waiting for a dr. appointment, getting my oil changed, etc.
WordPress: Where this blog is hosted on. Wow, why hadn’t I downloaded this sooner? Since I don’t have a digital camera (hub does, but I take all my blog/IG photos with my phone), I used to take the photo, email to myself, save it to my desktop then uploaded it to the media library. Now, all I have to do is snap the photo, tap on the app, log into my dashboard and upload the photo right on the spot. And because of the screen size, and the help of a stylus, I can also set up/work on blog posts right on my phone.
That’s the list of my pared-down essential apps. If there’s something already on my phone that can do the job, then I don’t need to take up any additional real estate on my screen – large as it may be 🙂
Honorable mentions (but not downloaded)
Pocket: This is a great app to download articles and videos to read/view later. Currently, if I want to read something later I just save it to my ‘Reading List’ on my phone. I’m sure Pocket has more features that the standard reading list doesn’t, but for now it works. And it’s one less app on my screen.
Trello: Several members of the productivity community I follow on G+ use this project management tool and a few in the bullet journal community use it as a companion to their analogue systems to manage larger tasks. Right now, I’m using One Note at work to manage orders, phone calls and follow ups for something I’m assisting another department with while they’re short handed. But this is on my desktop only, whereas Trello can either used alone or with team members. I’m currently testing this on desktop as something hub and I can collaborate stuff on a common board for a specific project (house, yard, business) we’re trying get ideas for before I decide to give it a permanent home on my phone.
Evernote: This was an app I had tried, but discarded. But that’s because I was using it more of an online storage (like I’m using Dropbox for) rather than notes, which seems to be it’s strong point. I prefer analogue notes for the very reason that I can write a lot faster than type into my phone. And I quickly found that it’s a bit difficult to retrieve a photo from Evernote once it’s put in there. My phone won’t let me ‘save image’ back to my phone once it’s in there. So, I pulled whatever I had in there (which took a while) and stored everything in Dropbox where retrieval is easier. But if you’re all about taking notes either on desktop or phone, then Evernote is a good tool. Just not for me.
What are you favorite apps to compliment your analogue life?