Some of us may be thinking, “Oh no, I don’t need another reason to be on my phone,” and we hear you. We do. But hear us out. Where things can be complex, tech has tried its darndest to make it simple. There’s always an app for that. Here are some of our favorite apps for work, play, finances, self-improvement, and more so we can function like modern adults, but more optimally.
This app is excellent for safety, especially for those of us who live in a big city. Users get location-based safety alerts that can help us evade stumbling upon risky situations and know when to stay home if something dangerous is occurring in our ‘hood.
We can access ongoing reports, leave comments and advice, and even share live videos. Their website touts “COVID-19 contact tracing, access to real-time 911 alerts, instant help from crisis responders, and safety tracking for friends and families.” If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that we need more access to pro-safety apps like this.
We know what it’s like to let something broken in our home go a little too long without attention. Showering ankle-deep? Unacceptable. But easy to forget the second you step out, or block from your memory (seriously, ew). Streamline the arduous process of getting anything repaired or upgraded with the Handy app by comparing prices and hiring local contractors in your area. Services cover everything from home cleaning to a kitchen remodel, so no task is too small.
2020 also brought us the great work-from-home era. It’s all fun and games and sweatpants until we call out to our work-wife and oh … right. Crickets. Or maybe our SO, or child. Still not what we were looking for. Save texting for fun convos and emails for attachments. Slack is the best workspace messaging app to streamline on-the-fly communication between team members. Create channels, set availability alerts, send reminders, attach files, comment, and organize all in one, without overloading your Google Drive.
This app is not only great for productivity but straight-up self-improvement. It’s no secret here at BeautyLeeBar that we love optimizing for our best, healthiest selves, inside and out. Done helps us craft healthy routines by setting goals, tracking progress, and sending motivational alerts. Drop bad habits and carve out good ones by setting tangible daily, weekly, or monthly goals, and let Done be your gentle drill sergeant to hammer in the details so you can hold yourself accountable, and watch a digital paper trail of your progress. We’ll let you decide how you want to reward yourself.
If any sort of financial jargon makes you instantly glaze over, then consider us a Krispy Kreme. It may not be our lingo, but we want in. Acorns automatically invest your chump change when you opt-in (think $1-$5) regularly, watching your portfolio for automatic balancing. But it’s not just investing in stocks. You can automatically save for retirement with recurring contributions based on your goals, employment, and income. It’s personalized and all laid out for you. You just fill in the blanks.
Not all our crap is total crap. Some of it is kinda worth something! Skip the pesky Craigslist ad and upload pics of your unwanted goods to the Offerup app to name your price, haggle, and get rid of things taking up space in your life, all from your phone on the couch. It’s also a great way to find amazing deals on used furniture, appliances, even cars! There is no limit to the goods you can find and sell on OfferUp.
If This Then That
The ultimate streamliner, If This Then That (IFTT) lets you connect all your services (which is what they call productivity apps like Google Assistant, Evernote, Fitbit, Twitter, Dropbox, etc.) so that you never lose track of a task, event, or goal via what they deem an “Applet.” Their example: “an Applet can sync your Amazon Alexa to-dos with your Google Calendar. Or create events in your iPhone Calendar, via Google Assistant.” If you’ve ever wished your productivity tools could talk to each other so you don’t need another app to remind you to check your apps, IFTT does that.
After all this talk of productivity, who has time to meditate? You do. We do. Because of Headspace! What has seemed daunting in the past is now totally digestible thanks to founder Andy Puddicombe’s quest to bring his pivotal Buddhist monk experience into the daily lives of us all. We don’t have to quit our day jobs and shave our heads and take a silent retreat to embrace mindfulness and learn the major benefits of meditation first-hand. Guided meditations of all kinds and lengths can be found on the app to get us started and keep us going.
So we’ve talked about investing, but what about just organization? Mint helps you create budgets, track spending, monitor credit and reach savings goals in one super-secure app. If you’re never sure where all your money goes by the end of the month, or want to get better at saving, or simply want to be in touch with your finances on an intimate level, this is the app that will get you there. Money can be a touchy topic that we tend to avoid, but Mint melts away that anxiety with clear-cut organization, goal setting, and encouraging clarity.
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