Must Have Apps for a Simple Home & Life

Must Have Apps for a Simple Home & Life

Using technology for personal productivity and simplicity is in my blood.  I know it, live it, and breathe it day in and day out.  It is one of my most important secret weapons to living a simple life in this complicated world, and it has become a key component for me to help others in systematizing their complex households and lives to run smoothly and simply.

What is my personal technology story?  [Warning, nerd alert ahead.]    I am in totally and completely in love with my iPhone — it is essentially the worlds smallest laptop with ginormous amounts of functionality and durability.  I purchased my first iPhone in 2009.  Before that, I was a die hard Palm Pilot fanatic (where you could synch your apps via a wire from your computer to the Palm Pilot).  I bought my first Palm Pilot in 1998.  Shortly thereafter, I moved to San Francisco to “get a piece of the Dot Com action”.  I was rubbing elbows with all of the movers and the shakers of cutting edge technology, and this was when my love of everything technology really started to blossom.

The less have I have to store in my head, the more fun I can have.  And for me, the definition of having fun is being free!  So, I consider my smartphone partnered with my laptop as my Brain #2.   And it works like a charm.  I am not ashamed of this fact.  We live in the age of technology, so I may as well use and abuse it.

So, now that you know that I am not only a Simple Living guru, but I am also a super techie, I really want to share with you the apps I insist that you download *immediately* to your smartphone.  (Psst!  If you really need help with all of this, did you know that you can hire me to do custom virtual one-to-one techie tutorials with you to help you save more time in the long run?)

But first….why do I endorse these apps compared to the ba-zillion other “productivity” apps out there for productivity?  First of all, I have been testing out all of the productivity apps for years, and I insist on only using the best.  Life is too short if I settle for anything less.  But here is the *real* reason why I like these apps:   They synch across all of my technology platforms (ie your iPad, all laptops, all desktops) and they are 100% free.

So, without further ado….here is my just have list of apps necessary for running a complex home & life with grace and ease:

1.  Wunderlist

Fabulous for grocery lists (or multiple lists:  ie one for Costco, one for the Farmer’s Market, one for Whole Foods/Regular Grocery)– and you can synch up with hubby!  So when you are cooking in the kitchen, and realize that you are running low on something, instead of saying to yourself “Wow, I really need to buy more of that” — just whip out your smartphone and put it on your Wunderlist.

2.  Evernote

Excellent planning resource for everything that pops into your head;  It is my best vehicle for brain dumping, for event planning, and for work and personal ideas/plans & designs.  This is my favorite place to do my weekly meal planning, and to save recipes. And it is a great place to hold your handyman list and home improvement research info.  And it is totally shareable with your sig other or a friend or a co-worker if you choose to share a notebook or a note.

3.  Pandora

Are you sick of the songs in your iPod?  Oh yeah.  Well, me too.  And I love music — in the car, when I work out, cooking, cleaning.  Pandora has a number of “pre populated” stations to listen to, or you can make your own.  Go ahead, rock out!

4.  Calendar

Okay, this may seem like a no-brainer, but I have confirmed that so many busy people are NOT using their calendar function.  Are you one of them?  The calendar on your smartphone is a gift from the heavens.  If you are not using it, do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars, fill in your calendar NOW!  There are no more excuses of “I don’t have an apple, or I don’t have outlook” — Google Calendar works beautifully (yes, even if you don’t use gmail for your email) as does Yahoo Mail.  So, Get rid of the calendar on the wall of your kitchen to track your personal appointments — you carry your phone with you everywhere, so use it!

5.  Yelp

This has saved me on numerous occassions to get myself and clients some great recommendations;  not just for restaurants, but for everything local.  The function “give me directions to this business” have saved me on numerous occasions, too.  It quickly pops up a map when I need to be hands free, and my fat little fingers just can’t seem to type in the little map search button.  Calgon, take me away! (NOTE: I recommend this only for when in the US)

6.  Mint

Hands down the best hub to link all of your banks, credit cards, retirement & investment accounts together to be able to view them all under one roof to keep tabs on your growth and expenses.  Don’t put your head in the sand and be ignorant anymore.  Own your personal finances.

7.  Saving Bookmarks (using the browser of your choice)–

As I mentioned, my iphone is a mini laptop.  So I want to have access to my bookmarks on my iPhone;  that technology is built in!  (if you are not using Safari at home or simply prefer everything Google, download Google Chrome and use that as your browser — and you can now download it to your smartphone as your browser).  Now when you browse the web on your laptop in your spare time looking for great recipies, you will have quick and easy access to them in the grocery store when shopping, or in the kitchen on your smartphone or iPad (propped like a cookbook!) when you are cooking.

So now it’s your turn.  What apps are you wanting to give a try to help simplify your life?  Or are there any other apps that you want to recommend to the Simple Living readers? Please put your thoughts in the comments below.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

jonathan September 11, 2012 at 5:25 am

Hey guys you can also download the Future Scheduler app(paid), it’s pretty cool.

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