We all love our phones.
But what we love more than our phones themselves are the apps on our phones. They are the spice of our phones. With them, our phones transform themselves from merely being a device to call on to a device that we can enjoy.
So, today I want to share some of my favorite apps, that even though I’m sharing them in this time of year, they’re actually some of my all-time favorite apps.
Please know that some of the links below are affiliate links which means that if you purchase something through my link, I’ll receive a small commission without costing you any extra.
Many years ago I used to enjoy podcasts.
And I wanted to be an avid podcast listener.
But for some reason, the native iOS podcast app wasn’t doing it for me.
Aside from being too busy breastfeeding to turn on a regular radio, I wasn’t motivated to listen to many podcasts for a while.
I thought that I had to be motivated enough to turn the podcast on.
I thought I was the problem.
And thank goodness I came across this app because it’s really THAT great.
I’ve tried others, but none of them have made me replace this app because I haven’t found any other app that has all the podcasts I want to listen to.
But in case you’re curious, my second favorite podcast listening app is Podcast Bean. I love its interface. I just wish it had all the apps I want to listen to.
Recently, I wrote a blog all about why I love this app so much and how to install The Podcast App. Feel free to check it out.
We’ve all heard that having a shopping list before we go to the store can help us save money.
However, many of us notice that we ran out of a certain food item when we’re in the kitchen. And when we’re in the kitchen, we’re usually busy preparing a meal. And the last thing you want to do while preparing a meal is to get your phone to type something out.
Yes, of course, you might want to text a friend, or search for another video to entertain you, but, usually, at least personally, I would rather jot something my grocery list on a piece of paper.
BUT taking the physical grocery list to the store adds one more thing I have to remember to do…. and then actually do it.
And I think I’m not the only one who would agree that sometimes, you just forget the list. You just do.
So after all of this If You Give A Pig A Pancake conundrum, I have found a better way.
Yep, that’s the name of the app.
Basically, you can use the AnyList app to make any list you want. 😉
But it works wonderfully to make grocery lists because once you install the app, you simply:
- Click the three little dots on the upper right-hand side
- Select “Create List” from the menu that populates
- Give your list a title.
- Personally, I like to keep ONE running grocery list so that I don’t have to create a brand new list after each grocery visit.
- But it’s up to you if you want to:
- create new lists OR
- simply add items, mark off items on that list, add items, mark items on that list, and so on.
- The reason I’m bringing this up now- and asking you to decide whether you’ll be using and reusing one grocery list OR as I said, creating brand new lists every time is that depending on what you decide, you can name your list something specific like “Groceries for July [YEAR}” or maybe you would rather name it “THE Grocery List.”
- After you title your list, you have the option of choosing what type of list you want to create:
- A Grocery list – which is exactly what it sounds like.
- A Categorized list – which is useful for shopping lists and gift lists because
- A Basic List- a list without uncategorized items.
For the purposes of writing a grocery list, you would choose the first option listed above.
The most awesome thing is that if you choose “Grocery List” from the menu after you enter your title, like I do for my groceries, when you enter certain products, it’ll automatically categorize them for you.
For example, if you enter
- Milk it’ll be categorized automatically as Dairy
- Lettuce will be listed under Produce
- Flour will be listed under Grains
This will make it easier to grab the specific items when you’re at the store.
And as you know, technology is technology and it doesn’t always get things right. So if you enter an item that belongs in the Baking Items category, but it automatically comes up in Canned Goods category, you can type on the item and change the category.
What’s The Difference Between A Categorized List and A Basic List?
I know what you’re probably thinking, why make a list of random things that aren’t categorized? The whole purpose of a list is to write like things with like things.
The main difference between the Categorized List and the Basic List, is that with the Categorized List, you can have/add categories on your list.
For example, if you create a Chore List using a Categorized List, you can break down the chores into the different rooms in your house such as
- Living room
- master bathroom
- master bedroom
- Guest bedroom
- Laundry Room
- Home Office
With this Categorized List, you could edit what that category is. In other words, you’ll list will have headings.
With a basic list… you would just have a list of items that you enter, but they wouldn’t be broken down into categories with headings, because you wouldn’t be able to enter what the category is.
What Else Can You Do In AnyList?
The fact that you’re wanting to use a list shows that you’re a visual person, but you can also take things up a notch.
You’re probably already smiling just because you’re happy that you can add emojis. And yes, adding emojis makes buying your groceries week after week or month after month even more fun. 😁
So for example, if you add “Bananas 🍌”, go to the store and cross off the bananas after you buy them, you will be able to make the app have a “memory” and next time, when you type in bananas on the ONE running grocery list that I use and reuse, the word “Bananas” with the banana emoji will appear and you can simply tap it to add it to your list.
Share Your List
Perhaps the best feature that you get with AnyList is that at the bottom of your grocery lists, you’ll see a feature called “Share Your List.”
When you tap it, you’ll be able to click on “Share THIS List” to add an email address of someone who ALREADY has the AnyList app installed on their phone.
So when you enter their email address, the app on your phone syncs / communicates with the app on their phone, and VOILA!!! the minute you add something to your list, it appears on their grocery list.
This works extremely well between spouses because if you enter something, and ask them to go to the store and buy those things… they can’t come back and tell you, “you didn’t tell me to buy that.” It’s there, in black and white. 🙂
You wanna know what an EVEN COOLER thing is?
That you can add items to that list WHILE they’re at the store! Uh-huh!
So instead of frantically calling and asking them to buy something else or texting them the list, the list will always be updated as long as you’re connected to wi-fi. Of course, you can send them a courtesy text to let them know that you added something, just to let them know and in case they were in the process of heading to the registry when you added that item.
What If Your Spouse Has An Outdated Phone?
In the event that you’re able to install the app, for example, and they have an old phone in which they can’t install the app,
You can also :
- Email your list
- Text Message Your List
- Print your list to share it with them.
You can also print your own list, of course, if you’re more of a pen and paper kind of girl all the way, but remember, if you go that route, take your list to the store with you, although if you forget it, don’t worry, you’ll have it on your phone. 😉
You Can Change The Text Size
You can change size via a feature from iOS called Dynamic text.
You Can Use AnyList With Alexa
I don’t own any of the dot products, but it’s interesting to know that you can have Alexa create your list.
You Can Also Buy a Pro Version
By buying the AnyList Complete version, you can get additional features.
You can assign list items to specific grocery stores. For example, if you usually go to two grocery stores to do your shopping, Store A and Store B, you can filter your list by stores and when:
- you’re in Store A, you can focus on only the items from Store A and
- when you arrive at Store B, you can switch to that store so you can focus on the items you have to buy at that specific store.
With the pro version of the app, you can also add prices to your items. This will allow you to know what your trip to the store will cost without having to do mental math while you’re shopping or worse yet, being surprised AFTER paying of just how much you ended up spending.
You can even enter prices for multiple stores.
AnyList for Macs and PCs
As if all of this versatility wasn’t enough, the pro version of AnyList allows you to work on your lists on your phone or on your computers.
You can benefit from this the most if you like to meal prep from the comfort of your computer while browsing at your recipes that you’ve stored within this app or somewhere else.
Meal Planning Calendar
Speaking of meal planning, with the pro version you’ll get access to a meal planning calendar.
You’ll even be able to see what meals you have scheduled for the upcoming week. and add reminders to yourself to thaw some food items.
And best of all, you can write notes to yourself of what leftovers you’ve stored in your fridge so that, (say it with me) “They don’t go to waste.” Uh! It’s awful when that happens. And statistically speaking, it happens to practically all of us WAY more than it should.
This feature alone may be THE reason to upgrade. Of course, you can make notes on any other app on your phone. The important thing is to put the reminder somewhere where you can see it. And others see it so that the weight of using up meals doesn’t just fall on one person in the household.
A recipe without photos is just blah. You can add photos with the pro version.
You can double, triple, quadruple, etc… the recipes you have.
Access AnyList from Your Apple Watch
You’ll be able to access and cross off your list items with the pro version.
Import Web recipes
You’ll also be able to save recipes within the app so that you can always double check if you’re missing any ingredient for that tasty recipe of yours.
Have you ever texted a photo of a product or ingredient that you wanted them to buy for you while they’re at the store? You can also do that with the pro version of this app. That way it’s even more clear what exactly you want. They will be able to see the photos full screen.
There is another feature, Passcode Lock, that can keep things you want to buy out of reach for prying eyes on all of your devices.
This makes birthday surprises, gifts and shopping list for that surprise party much more fun.
This feature is good for other times of the year, too.
I really don’t advocate for texting and driving… AT ALL. I’m one of those people who tries not to touch their phone at all while driving.
That means that I don’t listen to podcasts (unless I’ve connected my phone to my car speakers before I start driving) or use any of these amazing apps until I’m no longer driving.
Just in this last week, the majority of the drivers that I see driving while watching cars go by are not focused on the road… they’re looking down !! It really freaks me out and I worry about me being on the road with them, my family members, and what it’s going to be like when my kids drive.
But this app has a feature to remind you when you’re near a store or other places that you had to pick something up.
It’ll say something like “SafewayAldi’sTrader Joe’s/ Whole Foods is nearby, check your list “Surprise Party Grocery List.”
This, of course, means that you have to have Location Services enabled, something that I don’t.
But I can see how this feature can be super attractive for some people.
With the Pro version of the app, you’ll be able to create Folders such as Travel Folder, Household Chore Folder (because remember, this app can house all of your lists), Debts to Pay Off List, Grocery Lists, etc.
And you can also create subfolders like Old Grocery Lists, Places I Want To Visit in the U.S. List, Places I Want To Visit in Europe List, etc..
The Sky Is The Limit
As you can see, the sky is the limit for the things you can do with this app.
Whether you buy the pro version or just use the free version as many people do… the simple act of being able to share the link with someone is golden.
And being able to have a spot for your grocery list can turn something relatively mundane into something a bit more fun.
Are you a writer? A blogger?
Do you love keeping a journal?
Or maybe are you a fan of Evernote, but are unwilling to pay its increasing prices?
If so, you may LOVE a program that I use to write my posts called Bear.
I got introduced to this app by best-selling author Jeff Goins…. and after using it for a few minutes I went Pro, meaning I bought the annual subscription, which unlike Evernote is SO affordable and a TOTAL no-brainer.
At the time of writing this post, the Bear App is $14.99 and it offers one month free.
What Do I Like Best About Bear?
Its background themes. My favorite is the Gotham Theme. Batman just happens to be my favorite superhero, but the reason I love this theme so much is because it has a black background, with neon green headings. It allows me to focus SUPER well.
By clicking on the little green dot, I am able to have the screen cover the top header and all the app icons, so I instantly immerse myself in what I’m writing.
Aside from being able to focus like never before, the beauty about this app is that it syncs on your Mac, your phone and your iPad. So whatever you write on one of your Apple devices appears “magically” in your other devices.
And speaking of other devices, the icon for this app is on the home screen, last row and last slot. That means that it’s super close to my thumb whenever I want to open it. I put it there on purpose because I wanted it to be at my fingertips, specifically “at my thumb.”
Just try it, you’ll love it.
Here is the link:
Do you have to read to your children every day because:
- of conviction,
- you enjoy this time together
- you want to foster a love of reading
- you have to for a Mommy and Me program you’re attending or
- it’s part of your child’s daily homework?
May I recommend to you, Epic, the reading app.
How do I even begin to tell you!?
Look, I LOVE books. Libraries are like many heavens on Earth. Bookshelves are one of the most sacred places in our home…
But this app is TRULY, truly, TRULY a lifesaver.
I absolutely love it.
Just like Amazon saves you from going to the store, Epic saves you from going to the library and checking other books that you need. The benefit is that once you have this app, you get these books instantly, you don’t have to wait for Amazon Prime Shipping .
I was a latecomer to WhatsApp. And I even resisted joining for probably a couple of months.
An old friend from abroad whom I had lost touch with recommended that I join to be able to keep in touch.
And with all the news about Facebook’s Privacy (even before the bigger scandals came out)… to me, one more social media app wasn’t that appealing.
So after a few reminders from that friend of “Hey, have you installed the WhatsApp app yet?” I fiiiiinally installed it.
And pretty much that day I thought to myself: Why did I wait SO long to install it?
It’s free to talk AND CALL, it’s convenient, it’s private, it’s fun.
Now, I use it every day. It’s my favorite way of communicating.
I think it’s genius.
Just Do It
If you haven’t installed it yet, just go ahead and install it.
It’s SOOOOOO worth it.
You’ll be able to say a quick hi to your mom, your sister, your brother, your best friend, etc.
Just know that whomever you add to WhatsApp will be able to see when you’re logged in.
To Add All My Contacts Or To Not All My Contacts, That is the question
Because people can see when you were last connected, I opted to NOT add all my contacts. I never add all my contact information to any other app because to me, it’s not worth it.
There’s no use for it.
And I value my privacy.
Do Yourself And The People You DO Add a Huge Favor
Add a profile picture.
Even if you take a photo of your rug, your floor, your jeans, the sky, the wall, I don’t care, but just add a picture.
It gives people whom you’re talking to on WhatsApp the ability to associate your name/number to a picture and it avoids them sending you a text that wasn’t meant for you. It eliminates your confusion and it eliminates their embarrassment.
I telling you this because I’ve lived through it. But I won’t tell you if I was on the sending or the receiving end. 😉 LOL.
Are you a saver?
And because you’re a saver do you THINK you hardly have any receipts.
Well, think again. Because even the handful of receipts you have can allow you to save even more money by giving you rewards for the receipts you scan.
This program is called Fetch Rewards. It allows you to scan and upload receipts to earn points.
If you enter this code upon signing up through my link: W9MWQ you’ll get 2,000 points and I will too. It’s a win-win.
So if we HAVE to buy certain things, why not be rewarded for them?
I know that this program sounds too good to be true… so feel free to learn a bit more about this app for yourself. Free Rewards on Groceries | Fetch Rewards
Can You add e-receipts?
Yes, you can by signing up with your email and connecting your Amazon account to Fetch Rewards. And we know that we do a lot of shopping on Amazon so that is a smart idea.
How Does Fetch Rewards Work?
Out of all the “get some rewards back” apps out there, for me, Fetch Rewards is the easiest to work with.
You don’t have to scour your receipt for certain brands and you don’t have to scan bar codes:
What you do is:
- Open up App Store on your phone.
- Search for the Fetch app.
- Download it.
- Open it.
- Enter this code W9MWQ.
- Start scanning your receipts and you’ll get points from your receipt PLUS you’ll get the 2,000 EXTRA points for having used the code that I shared with you W9MWQ.
- The app will search your receipt and the app will automatically give you points based on participating products and special offers.
- 8. Scan your receipts in the first 14 days that you get them, otherwise, you won’t be able to buy more rewards.
- Once you have at least 3,000 points, you can exchange your points for rewards.
- Share Fetch Rewards with your friends and family as well as the code you’ll get so that you can start getting rewards, too and you can get rewards faster.
- When you find an award you like, tap on “Get This Reward” and your electronic gift will be delivered to you.
What Are the Categories of Rewards You can earn?
As you know, it usually takes lots of points to get rewards, but with this app, I find that the points accumulate rather fast. So you’ll be able to get something quite soon.
There are hundreds of awards you can choose from… whether it’s for getting gift cards yourself or cards to donate to a worthy cause.
Here are the rewards that were available at the time of writing this:
- You can participate in a $1000 sweepstakes and buy 1 entry for 100 points
- 7 entries for 500 points and
- 30 entries 1,000 points
- You can participate in a $1000 sweepstakes and buy 1 entry for 100 points
- Art Poster Gift Cards
- Art.com Gift Cards
- Cake Beauty Online Only Gift Card
- Sephora In-Stores and Online Gift Card
- American Cancer Society
- Charity Choice
- City Year
- Clean Water Fund
- Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics
- Girls Who Code
- Habitat for Humanity
- Huntsman Cancer Foundation
- National Park Foundation
- Special Olympics
- The Nature Conservancy
- Best Buy In-Stores & Online
- AMC Theatres
- Atom Tickets
- Razer Gold eGift Card
- Regal Entertainment Group
- American Eagle Outfitters
- Banana Republic
- Casual Male XL
- Charming Charlie
- Columbia Sportswear
- Destination Maternity
- Destination XL
- Hot Topic
- Kid’s Foot Locker
- L.L. Bean
- Land’s End
- Lane Bryant
- Old Navy
- Stitch Fix
- White House Black Market
- Home Goods
- Bed Bath & Beyond
- Crate and Barrel
- Master Card/Visa
- Virtual MasterCard Reward
- Visa USD
- Apple iTunes
- Google Play
- Hulu Plus
- Play Station Store
- PlayStation Store
- Office Supplies
- Office Depot
- Bahama Breeze
- BJ’s Restaurants
- Bloomin’ Brands
- Bonefish Grill
- Brinker International
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
- Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Burger King
- California Pizza Kitchen, Inc.
- Captain D’s
- Caribou Coffee
- Carrabba’s Italian Grill
- Claim Jumper Restaurant
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
- Darden Restaurants, Inc.
- Domin’s Pizza
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
- Krispy Kreme
- Levy Restaurants
- Logan’s Roadhouse
- LonHorn Steakhouse
- McCormick & Schmick’s
- Morton’s The Steakhouse
- Olive Garden
- Outback Steakhouse
- Panera Bread
- Papa John’s
- Rainforest Cafe
- Red Robin
- Ruby Tuesday
- Steak ’n Shake
- T.G.I. Friday’s
- The Cheesecake Factory
- The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
- Tony Roma’s
- Uno Chicago Grill
Do you dream of paying off all of your debt except your home — not decades down the road but ASAP?
And do you also dream of paying off your home faster than the 30 or 40 years that your mortgage dictates?
Then… download the EveryDollar App.
EveryDollar is an app by Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze that allows you to create monthly budgets so that you keep a close eye on where every one of your dollars goes.
I know that to some, it might seem restrictive to give every dollar a name to see what they’re going to do. However, it’s actually liberating to know that you can plan purchases and stay within budget.
If you have ever taken Financial Peace University, or want to, this app works wonderfully with it.
Should You Go Pro?
Like with many of these apps, you often debate whether you should buy the pro version or not.
You can buy the pro version. However, please know that there are banks that don’t work very favorably with this app, but it’s getting better and better. You would have 15 days to verify if your bank and the app work together.
If your banks are able to connect to the app, the app will import the information from your bank so that you can just designate to which category it goes to.
This can be a good thing or not such a good thing. It’s convenient, but for some people, it’s easier to manually enter the expenses to be more conscious of where each of your dollars is going.
My favorite feature of going pro is that at the time of writing this post, if you buy the Pro version of this app, you’ll get access to Financial Peace University for free! Isn’t that wonderful?
Still Not Sure Whether This App or Financial Peace Is right for you?
If you’re new to Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze, I highly recommend you watch The Rachel Cruze Show on YouTube.
Regardless of what your religion is, being wiser with your money is super important for your peace and your family’s peace and stability.
If you’re a memory keeper… you’re going to want this app.
Basically, it allows you to scrapbook on the palm of your hand, when you’re in bed, waiting in line at the grocery store, in the restroom, waiting at the bus stop, at soccer practice, during a commute, during a flight, whenever, wherever… you can scrapbook a page in minutes.
You can order:
- Create photo layouts
- Share those photo layouts
- Print those photo layouts within the app or elsewhere
- Print photo books— super high-quality hard-bound books that lay flat OR soft books that you can print as extra copies for your children.
If you want more information, go here.
But What’s Better Than More Information?
Trying the app and seeing if it’s something YOU like.
What is simply crazy about the Project Life App is that it’s free to download and it even offers free templates that you can start using. And that’s a big deal because some people (cough, cough, like me), actually paid for the app.
Now you can get the app for FREE!
Just download it and try it out!
You’re Free To Print Whenever and Wherever
Oh! And just in case you feel that using this app will make you be forever obliged to purchase from it— don’t worry, you won’t.
You can print anywhere you like.
Just remember to save your pages in 12 X 12… because it’s easier to shrink a large image into a smaller one than try to print a small image into a waaaay bigger one. It’ll become pixelated of course!
And also remember to back up your files elsewhere… personally, I prefer Dropbox.
And you can print as you go … or in batches (especially when Becky puts out a coupon– that she’ll usually share on her email list first and then on Becky’s Instagram page— by the way, her Instagram stories are my favorite stories to watch).
Or if you don’t want to put your final photo pages in an album, you can create your very own super high-quality photo album that has pages that lay flat.
One of the best delights in life is food.
And whether you’re someone who’s in the kitchen most hours of the day, or someone who treasures recipes, this app is for you.
There is something magical about being able to access your grandma’s recipe, your mother’s recipe, or your favorite recipes from The Food Network, Rachael Ray or Pinterest all in one place.
And you can make this magical wish a reality with Paprika.
Paprika is a recipe manager that you can use to save all your recipes.
It has apps that you can use on your phone, on your computer and on your iPad.
You’ll think that you only want to have the iPhone version, but it’s very likely that you’ll end up buying the desktop version as well.
Paprika allows you to download a bookmarklet onto your Chrome Browser. And when you’re online and you come across a recipe you want to try, you simply click that link on your Chrome extensions heading and voila! you’ll have that recipe saved on your phone, and on your iPhone and iPad if you have those apps, too.
And best of all, it saves the picture of the recipe, too if a picture is available… and you and I know that recipes with pictures seem more appetizing.
You can then:
- add the recipe to one or more categories which you can make up like –
- Pumpkin Recipes
- Bread Pudding Recipes
- This allows you to be able to find the recipe more quickly and be able to make them more.
- double, triple, quadruple the recipe
- Add the recipe ingredients to a shopping list
- Meal plan with those recipes
- Share those recipes with others super fast
And the list can go on and on.
I love this app so much that if I really, really, really love you it’s very likely you’ve gotten this app as a gift from me.
I’ve gifted this app more times than any other app. As a matter of fact, Paprika is the only app I’ve gifted. It’s THAT good.
If you have to only buy one version of the app, use the one that you use most often to cook.
10) Kindle App
One of my favorite ways to read is via the Kindle App. I love it because aside from being my main reading app for decades, I’m an Amazon lover, so buying books from Amazon, is a no-brainer.
More than anything though, my favorite Kindle App feature is the fact that I can have a black background on which to read.
Currently, I’m reading books such as Medical Medium’s books, which I HIGHLY recommend.
What About You?
What are your favorite apps and why? Share your answers in the comments below.
I can’t wait to discover even more exciting apps.