Apps That Make Your Life Easier
May 12, 2021 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm seeking recommendations for apps that have made your life easier when it comes to daily activities and staying on top of everything.

I have recently come across several apps that have greatly improved my daily life activities. I tend to get overwhelmed by everything I have to take care of, so these have been super helpful. Seeking recommendations for other apps in this vein that will help make my life easier. Here's what I've recently started using and love so far:

Tody - Just started using this for cleaning around the house and I love it! Helps remind me what I need to do and keeps me on schedule so I don't suddenly realize oh shit it's been 3 months since I've mopped the floors.

PlateJoy - Meal planning by providing recipes to accommodate my food allergies and restrictive dietary needs. No more spending hours browsing Pinterest for recipes that might work, or struggling to come up with healthy meal ideas.

AnyList - Grocery lists all in one place on my phone so I don't forget my paper lists at home on my fridge! Also can make different lists for different stores which is helpful.

What else do you have for me?
posted by Malleable to Technology (9 answers total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
I use it to organize my life. It excels at bringing together different types of information and organizing them (links, lists, screenshots, etc)

Pack lists for different sports
Grocery lists
My health history / immunization history
My cat's health history
Trip planning (easy to embed links / bookmarks, toggle lists for hotel info, flight info, activities planned, packlist..)
Movies / books / shows I want to watch
Recipe log
My random Animal Crossing shit I want to keep track of
Car accidents (writing notes, keeping a log of insurance communications, keeping together other relevant info)

I also use it to quickly jot down notes I need to refer to later.
It's also very easy to archive old pages (past trips, conference notes...)
posted by blueberrypuffin at 1:03 PM on May 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

I like Streaks for tracking my daily/weekly habits on iPhone.
posted by nathaole at 3:15 PM on May 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

I'm sure I'm pretty late on this one, but a friend told me about the Shop app a couple of months ago, and I'm so, so glad. It's just a package tracker, if you have shipping info for USPS, UPS, etc., you can put them in (and I'm finding that some places I order stuff from give me the option automatically) and see everything in one list, with its status. It tells you where in the shipping process your item is, when it's out for delivery, and when it's been delivered in more or less real time. It's awesome. I didn't know how much I wanted to know if something had been delivered or not until I started using Shop. Especially because I live in an upstairs apartment, it saves me a lot of trips up and down the stairs hoping for that package.
posted by Occula at 3:36 PM on May 12, 2021 [3 favorites]

I haven't used it in a bit but I use a simple app called Counters that gives you as many simple counters as you want, which you can label and tap up or down. I used it to track good habits and reward myself later.

Pocket is a great thing for not getting distracted, if I find something interesting I want to read I just hit the button and a few days or a week later when I have time to read and don't feel like a book, I have a few (hundred) articles waiting for me.

I come up with lots of random story ideas and come across many other little things I want to remember, and Simplenote is a great cross-platform way to make sure when I write something down, it stays written.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:31 PM on May 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have been using Evernote for 10 years and use it to store everything from my current clothing measurements to PDFs of all the academic literature related to my research activities.

I started using the Forest app early on in the pandemic and I am OBSESSED with it. It is an app designed to get you to put your phone away. Basically you have a little virtual cartoon garden and you can set a timer to grow a witchy mushroom or a cat-shaped shrub or a patch of sunflowers or whatever. I set up a bunch of tags with my version of the app with activities I'd like to being doing instead of wasting time. When I'm struggling with focus at work or if I'm messing around on my phone too much, I'll set up a little 15 minute timer tagged with one of my routine work activities and that helps me get started. I use it so much that I am now using it as a time-tracking method to determine how long I am working on different categories of work.
posted by mostly vowels at 7:01 PM on May 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

I like Things. macOS/iOS
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 5:36 AM on May 13, 2021

I started using Moleskine Journey on my iPhone and Mac, and it has made me so much more productive and less scattered. Before, I used the Apple Calendar app, Day One for journaling, and Things for to-do lists. I still use all of them for more specialized tasks, but I've turned Journey into my primary support system.

It shows my daily schedule, taken from Calendar, and my daily to-do list, after which you can add 'habits,' which are widgets which are very flexible. 'Journal' is basically a free-form text field, which I use for morning and evening journaling. 'Food diary' is self-explanatory (and honestly it's the only time I've ever been able to keep one, since it's right there with the rest of the tools I use to get through the day). Photo diary lets you add a photo or drawing, 'challenge' lets you record a streak of a particular goal such as 'write every day' or 'exercise every day,' gratitude list is just another free-form text field. Today's Goals lets you have goal lists which are separate from your to-do list, which I love: my to-do list is set up so that if I don't check something off, it doesn't roll over to the next day, but I have a daily goal list and a weekly goal list, both of which do roll over if I don't check them off. Mood of the Day lets you assign a scale of 1-4 (bad, average, good, excellent) to something.

All of these widgets are flexible -- you can add as many as you like, have them show up every day or at whatever interval you like, and modify them as you like. It touts wellness tools, but it's not cutesy or pushy about it. For example, nothing says the 'gratitude list' has to be a gratitude list: rename it 'enemies list' and retype your list every day if you like. If there's something you want to track or add to your day, one of the widgets is bound to be flexible enough to work for you.

You can also add "Tasks" and "Projects," which can be linked to your daily planner or remain separate from it. Honestly, it doesn't yet do this part as well as Things, so I still use Things, but it's a useful way to add stuff like a longer-term to-do list which doesn't need to show up on my daily planner.

Just being able to have everything all in once place has been such a big help for me, and I've been able to use it to focus really well and get a lot more done than usual.
posted by shirobara at 8:44 AM on May 13, 2021

You don't mention which phone or OS, so if you're not using an Android phone this may not work for you but I heartily recommend Colornote. Dead simple text notes and checklists, it also has a calendar with reminders . Many other features (the link goes to the feature overview page) - but my favorite is the checklists. Create one, move items up and down in it, edit it, add to it later, but then when using it simply touch the item to cross it off, and when the list is done the list title is crossed off in the list of notes. Oh, and just learned that you can sort a list by status so all the undone stuff goes to the top.
posted by TimHare at 7:53 AM on May 16, 2021

I've been loving Brili for making routines for myself when stuck at home. I have morning, noon, and night routines for myself.
I've found the Shoppify Shop app useful for tracking all the stuff en route to me. I just have to make sure orders all end up in the same email box.
1 Radio Pro is my favorite app for audio news, you can listen to live streams or short hourly newscasts from all over the world. (Android only)
posted by BasalGuilder at 10:29 AM on June 11, 2021

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