What Apps Do You Use?

The best apps

Our team at Cup of Jo has some serious old-school tendencies. We may or may not still use day planners. But we’ve each managed to get hooked on a few apps that we now can’t imagine living without. Here are our current must-haves, and we’d love to hear yours…


One of my greatest pleasures is reading magazines (in the bathtub!), so I instantly fell for Texture. Conde Nast, Hearst Magazines, Time Inc. and few other big publishers got together to make a beautiful app that gives you unlimited access to more than 160 different magazines — Vogue, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Vanity Fair, Elle Decor, Real Simple, etc. — on your tablet or phone. You can binge-read them Netflix-style for $9.99 a month. Plus, in my case, a waterproof iPad case.

Another media app that’s magic for multitasking is NPR One from National Public Radio. I rarely apply mascara or cook a meal without it on. It handpicks a personalized radio stream just for you based your listening habits and location, and it lets you skip or rewind stories with one tap. My favorite aspect of NPR One (also: it’s free) is that it mixes in a wide range of genres, including news reports, podcast episodes and well-loved stories from their archives you probably haven’t heard before. I’m also really into the authoritative radio voice that says “Here we go!” when you launch the app. Makes me smile every time.


Saving and investing money can be stressful, but the app Acorns makes it easy. It automatically invests your spare change, by syncing with your credit card and rounding up the change from purchases you make (so, a $6.50 burrito would send 50 more cents to Acorns). Your contributions are painless to part with, but can have a crazy huge impact on your long-term savings.

I recently upped my text game by downloading the gif keyboard Riffsy to my phone. When I invited a friend to sneak out with me for a pedicure last weekend I texted Jimmy Fallon dancing. Then, when Alex was out to dinner with a friend, and I was too sleepy to wait up for him, I texted this baby faceplant. It’s so much fun to use and only $1.99 for the best version.


As much as I like to think I can do it all, the truth is, I cannot. So I use Thumbtack, a genius place to find skilled pros to do the stuff you can’t. It matched me with my beloved handyman, a painter, and a strong human to carry furniture up to my fifth-floor walkup. It can also help you find a piano teacher, a math tutor, a personal trainer… Just tell Thumbtack what you’re looking for, and available pros respond immediately with quotes. There are ratings and reviews, like Yelp, so you can feel confident about who you hire.

Think Dirty
Scan the barcode of any beauty or personal care product, and Think Dirty will tell you exactly how bad — or good — the ingredients are. You can even add up how “dirty” your bathroom shelf is, and track your progress as you work to improve it. But be forewarned: You may never look at your favorite lipstick the same way again.


Shipping packages is always a headache; I never have the right materials or the time to schlep to the post office. Enter Shyp, a genius courier service. All you do is snap a picture of your item and request a courier, who arrives within 20 minutes. There is a $5 fee that covers the pickup at your home and whatever packaging materials they’ll need. Shyp then compares prices among carriers, like FedEx, UPS and USPS, to send your shipment with the lowest-cost option. HOW CAN IT BE THAT EASY?!

Dark Sky
The first week I started at Cup of Jo, Caroline and I grabbed lunch at a nearby cafe. Right as we were about to leave, the sprinkle of rain outside morphed into growling sheets of falling water. Caroline casually pulled out her phone to show me Dark Sky, the holy grail of weather apps. “Let’s wait three more minutes and then make a run for it.” Dark Sky predicts, down to the minute, when it will rain or snow at your exact location. I’ve used it every day since, assured I won’t be lifted away by a storm.

What’s your desert island app (if the desert island has wifi)? We want to know!

P.S. 10 great audiobooks and how to figure out what kind of texter you are.

(Illustration by Alessandra Olanow for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Tim says...

    Feedly – I can quickly scan through all the blogs I follow for articles that appeal to me, including “A Cup of Jo.” It allows me to easily save the articles I want to come back to. There is also an “Explore” feature which suggests popular content.

    Tweetbot – I’ve tried all the Twitter apps and this one takes the cake. I enjoy night mode which automatically switches to a darker theme when I’m in bed.

    VSCO – Still the best app (for me) for editing my photos quickly and easily.

    Life360 – Much better than Apple’s “Find My Friends” app. My wife and I receive notifications whenever we leave from or arrive at home and work. This would also be an ideal app for tracking family members (kids) and where they have been.

    AnyList – The best grocery list app I’ve found after trying countless others. Very simple, well-designed user interface, has the ability to share lists (I share with my wife), and automatically groups items according to where they are located in the grocery store.

    1Password – I don’t know how I could function online without this app. It stores all your many different passwords in one place. Remembering a password has never been so easy.

    Foursquare – Relied heavily on this app for food and fun ideas on a recent trip to Las Vegas, ignoring Trip Advisor, Yelp, and Google Reviews altogether. Sorts places by ratings and reviewer tips highlight the stuff you shouldn’t miss out on.

    Breaking News – Notifies me with push notifications of breaking headline news.

    Pocket – I use this heavily for articles I want to go back and read when I’m short on time. Very easy to use, and very convenient.

    New York Times Cooking – So many delicious recipes that have never disappointed. Be sure to try Mark Bittman’s “No-Knead Bread.” It will change your life.

  2. Orange Harp for finding sustainable goods! Plus they donate 1% to Not for Sale – a non profit that is working to end human trafficking & modern day slavery. So it helps you feel good about the products you bring into your life!

    Unfortunately it is only for iphone atm, but I was so excited that I contacted the brand to see where they are on Android dev, and it’s in their plan!!!

    For now I can look at their brands list ( but still can’t wait for the Android app…

    Also seeing texture mentioned is like a bullet to the heart bc my ex works there. No matter how the relationship ended(my choice) it still sucks to be reminded of that pain :/

  3. patricia says...

    Joanna if you are into greener Apps you would love Seafood WATCH i’ts a guide to sustainable seafood in a world where labeling seafood has been so confusing and dishonest. You basically type in the reataurant or the grocer in your location and it tells you what are the greenest most sustainanle seafood catch around it even has a grading system to make sure you buy the best. If you like to know more about this, an article online called The Piscivore’s Dilemma. And thanks for the apps reviews and what many commentators left on this post. Im happy to check out a few.

  4. Shannon says...

    ~Feedly for aggregating blogs I read.
    ~Storm for weather.
    ~TripIt for organizing all my travel info in one place.
    ~Waze for directions and avoiding traffic snarls.
    ~IF (short for IFTTT or If This Then That) for linking connections (ex. If I post an Instagram photo, copy to Dropbox, or Mute my phone when I get to work (or arrive at the movies))
    ~Delectable for cataloging wine I drink or want to.
    ~Strava for recording my bike rides and sharing with friends. (keeps me motivated by competition)
    ~Quakes for being notified where/when an earthquake happens in the world (I have family in Hawaii who care about tsunami)

  5. amanda says...

    Android POV…
    – NYTimes: love the format for news + daily mini-crossword puzzle
    – Blendoku: amazing game for color nerds
    – KEXP: truly independent rock :)

    Things I would ditch from my phone when I am on a desert island:
    – Google suite that currently keeps my life organized: Keep, Maps, Gmail, Hangouts, Calendar
    – All my work apps

  6. Kate says...

    I read magazines on Zinio free via my library. Fuels my love of magazines for free!

  7. Kit says...

    Love these! My best-loved apps these days are Audible, WorkFlowy (for lists – personal & work, it’s like my brain stored in an app), NYTimes Cooking, Pedometer++ (MUCH better layout than the automatic apple one, plus it makes confetti when you hit 10,000 steps – wheee!), & Insight Timer for timed meditation (plus you get to see how many people you just meditated with around the world!)

  8. Jill says...

    I use EyeEm for photos. So nice for browsing my old photos and discovering new photos. And love their filters.

  9. Love Digit more than Acorn to save money. Auto-deducts small amounts, after analyzing your account, doesn’t require extra app and sends useful texts.

  10. If you love cooking try Paprika. It’s not cheap but I’ve been using it for years to manage my recipe collection. You can organise your recipes any way you like, search by name, ingredient and more, scale them for double or half serves. And best of all, if you find a recipe you like online you can easily pull it into the app using a couple of clicks. There are loads more features too. I use this app every day and can’t recommend it enough

  11. Karen says...

    Pzizz is life changing for me. As someone who loves to nap but can’t seem to nap for less than 1.5 hours each time (no matter how many alarms I set, I always fall into the land-of-no-return deep abyss that is sleep), I can now take 20-30 minute power naps and feel well-rested afterward.

    • downloading now!!! gahhhh!!

  12. MZE says...

    My husband has an Android and I have an Apple phone and we use Wunderlist to create shared To Do lists which we can update and sync with each other’s phones. So useful!

  13. Darcy H says...

    Sky Guide!!

    Sky Guide connects me to what’s-the-what in the universe. Truly. I’ve come to depend on that when facing the daily mundane activities of my tiny earthly life.
    Plus knowing even a little about space impresses all the right people. ~wink
    Only catch is that Sky Guide is for iPhone and iPads only.

    • Alison says...

      I love Sky Guide too! It seems like everyone I know does. It used to be that I didn’t know the first thing about stars and constellations.

  14. Joanna says...

    I love the app Think Dirty!!! thank you so much – downloaded and cleaning my toiletries shelves already.
    I’d love to read more about greener lifestyle choices, Cup of Jo team :-)
    Great post and so many insightful comments!

  15. Haley Kraut says...

    think honey nutrition app ( genius snacks and meal ideas of kids, also connects you to nutritionists and you can post a question and time of day and they will respond with an answer!

  16. Taskary because it syncs with gCal and my task list creating a great daily agenda on the widget on my home screen. The reminder functions are great allowing you to set specific times, location based reminders, and snooze them. Sorry Apple users but this is purely an Android app.

  17. caitlin says...

    Gallon size freezer bag ziplock = Best waterproof iPad cover. I only read in the bathtub

  18. LOVE reading through these suggestions- great post! I love a lot of the ones mentioned above, but I’ll add in a few that I didn’t see yet:

    For Fun:
    -One To Watch: Where you can keep track of movies that you’d like to see
    -#FarrOut: Where you can decorate photos with silly images of unicorns, sea creatures, shapes, and colors. Great for making cute little images to send to friends on bdays, celebrations, etc.
    -Grama: Type in a hashtag, and it shows you what the most popular searched hashtags are that relate to it. So if I type “puppy” it might come up with “dogsofinstagram” “puppylove” and “dailydog”. You then select the ones you want to use, and it copies all of them to your clipboard. Tagging is now super easy!

    For Work:
    -TurboScan: Great for “scanning” documents to clients
    -Hours Tracker: Keeps track of my freelance hours; can set it up to include payrate and directly invoice clients
    -TapeACall: I often record my consulting phone calls with my clients and send them a copy when we hang up
    -Pay By Phone: I use this to pay parking meters through my phone. It reminds you when your meter is going to expire and you can automatically add more time. Not sure if it exists outside of San Francisco.

  19. Laura says...

    I love Strava for tracking runs, biking
    Thanks everyone for all your ideas, these are great!

  20. thanks for sharing.. i need to look into Thumbtack.. that sounds like a live saver.. and Shyp

  21. Emmy says...

    Oooh so many great recs! I love Stylisted to book in-home hair and makeup appointments. So easy to use and I get to pick my stylist based on price and their portfolio so I always get someone perfect for me.

    Plus, their customer service can’t be beat.

  22. katy says...

    1 second everyday – record your year through 1 second video snippets (I just try to take a few videos or live photos each day and go through once a week and set it up). I started this at the beginning of the year and LOVE it. I have a 45-second video of the year so far, and it’s such a fun way to look back. Mine has entirely too many videos of my cats, I’m sure with kids this would be even more exciting, to see them grow through the year, :)

    Slidebox – to organize photos with a simple swipe.

    Photo editing apps: VSCO & A Color Story.
    Retouch – to remove things I don’t want in photos (electrical cords, sockets, etc) – like photoshop superlite.

    Bloglovin’ for reading blogs

    addicted to Instagram & Pinterest, of course

    silly cat games: Hackycat & Neko Atsume

    Book Crawler to keep track of what I’ve read – very simple, I like that’s just just for this without all the extras that go along with Goodreads

  23. I’ve heard of apps like Texture and used to sign up for them but I realized after a few months that I missed flipping through magazine pages and ripping out the photos that I liked (and making collages!). But I LOVE the idea of that because all those magazines can definitely get expensive and pile up!



  24. I love that so many mentioned Kindara! Great app!
    I’m living abroad at the moment and rely heavily on Evernote and Skyscanner for travel planning. Skyscanner is amazing for finding affordable, convenient flights. So easy to use. In Evernote, I have a notebook for each upcoming trip where I save anything and everything that might be helpful… Train schedules, lists of best restaurants and shops, key phrases in a foreign language, etc.

  25. My app use is pretty basic with my most-used being Instagram and iTunes Podcasts. For photo editing, I like VSCO and ColorStory. Two other favorites are 8tracks (really good curated playlists) and Mint!


  26. Acorns looks FABULOUS as does Think Dirty. And there is NOTHING wrong with a paper day planner. They are still totally a thing.
    I love A Color Story for photo editing. It’s SUCH a timesaver. Nothing exciting really besides that. My Fitness Pal, Wodify, stuff like that.

  27. Lola says...

    My public library has an app Zinio that lets you read thousands of magazines for free! You just ‘check them out’ on the app using your library card and read away. You can even ‘flip’ through the pages.

  28. Robin says...

    Pocket! I hate leaving articles halfway, but as a mom of three I’m constantly interrupted. So I use Pocket to save long reads, or really anything I want to have a record of. Then I go back to them later when I have some time.

  29. Too bad lost of listed can not be downloaded for my country, Slovenia. I use Bloglovin daily, as it has all the newest posts from my fav blogs. I also use Skitch, I can write messages over my pictures, with my fingers.

  30. Stefanie says...

    Try zinio. For me, I set up an account thru my library and get magazines for free.

  31. Katie says...

    Clue – great/easy period tracker.

    Sonos – these speakers have changed my life! All managed through my phone with access to good ol radio (I love my OPB Morning Edition) and everything online. The best.

  32. Erin says...

    It seems I’m in the dark ages as far as blog reader apps go, since no one has mentioned one. Until I recently discovered Newsify, I would visit the web pages for every blog I wanted to read. : ) : ) Why didn’t the blogs ever tell me how to read the blogs!? Anyways, try Newsify.

  33. These apps are awesome! I hadn’t heard of most of them, but will definitely check them out now!

    For me, my desert island app is Wunderlist. I just love its simplicity and ease of organizing tasks. I use it to keep track of work stuff, personal stuff, shopping lists, goals, everything. If I were on a desert island, not sure what I’d have to keep track of (coconut shell harvesting season?) but nevertheless, that’s my can’t live without app. :)

  34. Jodi says...

    For anyone who loves Instagram, I recommend the app Flow. It’s free and allows you view your feed as a gallery instead of scrolling through the long ongoing “list.” I like it so much better!

  35. Graes says...

    I am a sucker for dayplanners, especially if they are beautiful. I have a box of all my planners from years gone by. Go Caroline!
    Thanks for this idea-full post! It’s great to try apps that people already love.

    • CM says...

      Caroline should look up The Bullet Journal…for all of us analog day planner types :-)

  36. I love Noisli! It’s white noise options that are great for working. When I need to really focus on a work item, I put in my headphones and turn on the thunderstorm. Before I know it an hour will have passed with no distraction and no mind wandering. I love it! Helps so much with my productivity.

  37. Kelsey says...

    Great post – love reading everyone’s recommendations! A few of my favorites already mentioned are Pocket, Wunderlist, Day One, and Dark Sky. I keep my blog reading organized with Bloglovin. Also want give a shoutout to the Project Life app – an amazingly beautiful and simple way to scrapbook right on your phone. I have our 2015 family pics completely scrapbooked and printed thanks to this app!

    • Emily says...

      Yes! Love Project Life!!!!

  38. Cash (Square) app. It’s like Venmo, except more streamlined and it sends money directly to your bank account, as opposed to Venmo where the money stays in Venmo until you deposit it. I still have Venmo though since most people do.

    NJ Transit App, I love how now I can buy tickets on my phone literally 10 seconds before the ticket inspector walks by.

    Yup, I’m pretty boring.

  39. I use the Baby Monitor app as a video monitor, We hooked it up with an old iphone. it only cost a few bucks and saved us a couple hundred! it’s great

  40. Erin Maree says...

    I use the following apps daily:
    IMDB – its great when you are watching a movie or TV show and want to find out where you have seen that actor before. Plus it lists random facts and quotes regarding the movie/TV show.
    Breathe by ReachOut – this app is amazing as someone who suffers from anxiety attacks, whenever I feel one coming on I just whip out at the app and it takes you through some breathing exercises to calm you down. Its one of those apps that is so simple but life changing and you wonder how you lived without it. ReachOut also does a WorryTime app (you are able to set aside a set amount of time a day to worry) and a Recharge app (it helps get your sleep back on track) which are both amazing as well.
    Two Dots – this game is amazing and I will often play it when I am watching TV you get to solve puzzles by connecting dots.
    Woodblock – you have to fit different size pieces of wood into set shapes its really fun and there are some that are super challenging and will have you wanting to throw the phone across the room.

  41. So excited to calculate my beauty routine with Think Dirty! Thanks for the rec.


  42. Sarah says...

    Oh Caroline, you transformed my beauty routine today. I thought I was doing so good! But I downloaded Think Dirty and here’s what ranked a 9 or 10 on the DIRTY scale. Since I’m pregnant, I’m serious about throwing some stuff out. Here’s what has to go: Aveeno Moisturizer (whoa!), Cetaphil gentle cleanser, Anastasia clear brow gel (so sad, but Jane Iredale makes one I’m going to try), Embryolisse cream, Neutrogena makeup remover, and Klorane dry shampoo (noooooo). But it’s interesting that it’s not particular brands that have dangerous products. For example, Klorane makeup remover is ranked only a 4, so I’m going to swap out Neutrogena for that but ditch my Klorane shampoo. My Neutrogena shampoo is fine – also a 4. Anastasia did not do very well, but my Urban Decay eyeliner gets to stay! And my Maybelline mascara is only a 5, which surprised me.

    • I tossed all my Cetaphil too! One of my biggest surprises was the Burt’s Baby Shampoo and Wash (a 9!).

  43. Always lovely to discover new apps, podcasts and books from this blog!

  44. Peak and Lumosity – brain training exercises in attention, speed, problem solving, flexibility and memory.

    Headspace – mindfulness meditations, but in a friendly, girl-friend chatty way, not a mystical trance type of thing.

    Duolingo! Same approach as Rosetta Stone to learn a language, but *completely* free!

    Ask Pastor John – listen to Piper’s podcasts answering tough theological questions (listeners are also encouraged to ask them). Great resource.

    Vis à Vis

  45. Jessica says...

    My four year old and I love Cut the Rope – which is a silly game with a cute monster that is quite addictive! Also love Tiny Scanner (for saving my daughter’s artwork), Alpha Tots (for interactive letter learning), Petting Zoo (silly animals) and Pic Stitch! These are just a few that help us on long car rides :)

  46. Jessica says...

    These must work only in cities. There is no way Shyp would work in Wyoming. Wishing I lived in a place where apps come to life for real! You should do a motherhood around the US series and feature places in rural America where the Internet isn’t even universally adopted! Ha ha

    • That would be awesome!! Hang in there :)

    • Katie says...

      Jessica – I grew up in rural northern California (pop 800, so not super tiny, but still!!) and friends of mine still don’t believe that my hometown doesn’t have cable! Wifi? HA HA HA! ;) I agree that rural living is such an untapped app market! I wonder how that might change, and when?

    • Allison says...

      I love this idea! <3

  47. Caz says...

    For editing photos (and tonnes of great filters) I love Afterlight. And old faithful Shazam, for getting the name of that random song playing in the shop you’re in.

    Another I was recently introduced to is Settle Up – it’s great to use when you go travelling with a friend or in a group. You enter in who paid for something and it automatically divides it among the group (or only certain members if you wish) and keeps track of who owes what to whom. So instead of trying to split every single bill or taxi ride and keep track of who paid what deposit for what accommodation etc, you just throw it in the app and at any time you can see who owes what. I think it would also work well with household expenses with a group of flatmates instead of keeping a cash kitty.

  48. haha great post. But it inspired me to get off my phone, because really, we can all learn how to SMELL the rain.

  49. Wow, you intrigued me with the weather app, because I don’t trust weather forecasts. Maybe it’s just bad luck, but every time I check them they’re wrong. Predicting weather precisely sounds amazing, so I have to check this app out.

    As for me, I love making lists, so Wunderlist is an app I couldn’t live without. I like the option of assigning tasks to particular days and listing them under separate projects. It really helps me to keep my life more organised.

  50. Carly says...

    The shopbop app is amazing. It’s like having a virtual store at your finger tips and allows you to curate your perfect wardrobe.

  51. Waze – for driving/GPS. I use it all the time and recommend to everyone!

    Kindara – for period/fertility tracking. Great for trying to avoid pregnancy as well as trying to conceive. You learn so much about your body/cycle! Great way to get your scientific nerd on. I know when I’m ovulating, when my next period is, if my period is late because of possible pregnancy or just stress/other factors. It’s fantastic!! – for finances. I love being able to see all my accounts (student loans, checking, savings, 401k, etc) all in one place. Perfect for on the go too.

  52. Ashley says...

    The app that would keep me most entertained on an island: BOOMERANG!

  53. Kathryn says...

    Simple Contacts is a great new app! You can reorder your prescription lenses by getting a renewal exam on your phone, without a visit to the doctor. So much easier. It’s amazing what’s happening in telemedicine right now!

  54. Ok, Dark Sky sounds amazing because I absolutely hate rain! I don’t know that I really have any exciting apps that I love love love. My fiancé and I really love using Cozi – an app where you can create lists which are shared between whoever else is on your account. We have a target list, Costco, Whole Foods, etc. We also use it for when we think of gifts to buy for people or miscellaneous other things to remember. It been very useful with two kids and a busy family!


    • Theresa says...

      I’ve been wanting something like Cozi! Thank you!

    • Jenny says...

      We use Cozi too, I was hoping for a cleaner looking one that would download info to Google calendar but for now it does really well in keeping us on the same page.

  55. I love Texture! I’ve had it for years now and can’t recommend it enough!!

    I also live and die by Wunderlist (I especially love subtasks and the ability to share lists) and love Afterlight for editing photos :)

  56. I love Sleep Cycle.

    Before you fall asleep, you set an alarm for a 30-60 minute window time where you want to wake up. The app analyzes your motion/sound when you’re sleeping to gauge the perfect time in your sleep cycle to wake you up. I always wake up feeling more rested and usually don’t press snooze too many times (or even at all!).

  57. Sue says...

    WorkFlowy- great functionality for a to-do list without distracting bells and whistles, seamless between platforms. Love it!
    MightyText- Text from your computer. So helpful.
    Weather Whiskers- if you like a cute lumberjack cat or astronaut cat photo with you your forecast, this is it.

  58. I know this isn’t the most original of answers, but I just love runkeeper. I like keeping track of my runs, hikes and cycling adventures. Especially because my sense of direction isn’t all that. It’s fun to see what my routes looked like, how fast I went and what distance I made!

  59. jen says...

    #1 app for me is Pocket. With that said, another favorite is Hopper. You enter the from and to destination with dates and the app will track the flight for you and tell you if you should buy the ticket now or wait because it knows better prices will be coming up.

  60. Tina, nyc says...

    Kindara tracks my fertility using basal body temperature and cervical mucus. The app can be used to help you get pregnant or avoid pregnancy.

    I will be checking these other apps out. The to do list ones sounds great and I am intrigued by acorns.

  61. Lexie says...

    Pocket (saving articles for plane rides!)
    Wahoo 7 minute work out (new favorite)
    List App (created by BJ Novak!!)
    Pinterest (I much prefer to use the Pinterest app than the site!!)

  62. Erin says...

    My hubby uses Acorns (I should really start using it), and we both like Walkmeter and Waze. I also love D Minder. It tells you when your exact vitamin D making window is, what the angle of the sun is, the UV index, as well as how many I.U.’s of D you’re making per minute, and how much of your target you hit. So satisfying! If you’re still too far north to be making any D this time of year, it tells you exactly how many days you have left before the angle of the sun changes.

  63. I love the Sunrise app – It’s so much better than the iCal. I LOVE that when I want to meet up with people I can send them multiple times I’m free and they can compare it to their calendar. I can do this through TEXT! Or through desktop as well. I’m obsessed.

    Venmo – easy person to person payment, but hard to get other people on board sometimes!

    Upwork – Right now it’s just messaging but I work with a lot of freelancers so being able to message them through Upwork (a freelance hiring site) is really nice. Especially with time differences, it’s nice to instantly get a hold of someone.

  64. Victoria Elisara says...

    I love YOU-app, for making small, mindful differences to my day and HerePin, which has just launched. It help travelers connect with other travelers and get recommendations and advice when you’re adventuring!

  65. Nancy says...

    Our Groceries–my husband and I have it on our phones and on the iPad we keep in our kitchen. Whenever an item is added (or removed), it shows up (or disappears) on all of the devices. You can make custom lists (like drug store, hardware store, groceries) and put items into categories. Makes splitting up to attack the groceries and errand running so much more efficient! And the free version is just fine!

    • Alison says...

      Agree that this app is amazing! I haven’t forgotten my paper list in years!!! You can also make meal item lists (if you have a recipe routine) and when you click on the meal name it adds ALL of the ingredients to your list.

    • Rose says...

      Our Groceries changed my life! The key for me is the ability to share the grocery list instantly with my husband. We also make each other smile by putting silly things on the list as a joke, or leaving little love notes.

    • Sara says...

      I use Grocery IQ which sounds like it works just about the same way as Our Groceries. This little gem has absolutely changed the way we run errands and keep track of what we have run out of during the week!

  66. Amy says...

    H*nest Meditation app. (Based off the “F*ck That” meditation video.) Always mellows me out.

  67. 2Do – great to-do app and I’ve tried them all. This is my favorite one.
    Wunderlist – keeps track of books i want to read, restaurants to try, etc.
    ColorStory – makes my photos pop
    PHHHOTO – fun app that shoots moving pictures
    Burst Mode – takes multiple pics
    Noisli – background noise & color generator to help with focus, relaxation & productivity

  68. Think Dirty sounds like a great app! I always get overwhelmed when I’m shopping for beauty products and hoping that what I buy is not full of harmful stuff. I am waaaaaaayyy behind in the app world and was shocked to find out that all of my friends have period trackers. And they swear by them! huh? So I got the P Tracker Lite (apparently this is what ALL of my friends do in their spare time) and it’s actually pretty cool. And now I will know how to answer that question of “the first day of your last period” when I go to the doctor, instead of looking at them like their crazy and wondering who in the world know the first day of their last period.

  69. Sasha says...

    Overdrive app to check out library books and read them on my phone (includes audiobooks). Clue period/fertility tracking app.

  70. i love the idea of thumbtack! that’s so smart and makes those little steps of finding the right person/service so easy. i’ll have to look into it

    i’m like caroline where i keep a day planner too ;) old school

  71. Nina says...

    So, I love the idea of dark sky but…I hate spending 3.99 on an app. Is that ridiculous? Our weather here in Utah seems impossible for our weather people to predict…I wish someone had an app that you could try out any app (not the free versions that never work as well or are filled with ads) for like two weeks to see if you like it and it becomes priceless to you, ya know? I have set up with my bank to transfer $1 to savings everytime I use my debit card…but they need to NOT put it in my savings but in an off-shore, inaccessible account because its too easy to transfer back to checking. :/

  72. This post makes me excited because my FIRST smartphone is arriving tomorrow. Yay! I will be checking back through the comments, too!

  73. I like using to manage my finances but I would say their website is better than their app!

    Also like the Zillow app to calculate your mortgage payment and mortgage interest.

  74. Rachel says...

    Yay for the Acorns shout out! My cousin works for them … and it is available in Australia now!

  75. Courtney says...

    Joanna, as an avid walker (slash maybe runner now!), with your love of literature, AND podcasts, I’m shocked that Audible wasn’t on there! I am obsessed with Audible. It makes me actually want to exercise. There is a monthly fee, and you can download audio books. My husband and I listened to “Brooklyn” and “Crazy Rich Asians” on a roadtrip. The voices and accents of the narrators are so good. Plus, I like the man at the beginning that says, “This is Audible,” in a very formal way!

    • Abby says...

      Me too! That man’s voice though. Can’t do any cooking or falling asleep without audible anymore. I also listen to all of the sponsors at the end of my favourite podcasts like “this american life” or “serial” just because I find the repetition and reading of the slogans soothing somehow.

  76. Can’t go without: Waze, Wunderlist (must have for couples), The Work, and Spire for my Spire. Downloaded a few of these, keep ’em comin!!

    • Loribeth says...

      Wunderlist has revolutionized how I communicate to-do lists with my husbands! No more getting upset when he offers to pick up groceries but can’t remember to take the grocery list with him!

  77. Kim says...

    I started using Acorn two weeks ago and already have $20 of “spare change” in my account! It’s pretty awesome because I’m not missing that money, but am already seeing it build (I think today it says I’m up 50 cents on my investment). Watch out world! :-P

  78. Maud says...

    WAZE! We were driving back from Stockbridge to Boston last night and it’s so right on about traffic, accidents, police up ahead, etc.
    I’ve done “keep the change” with my Bank of America account for years. It doesn’t add up as fast as I thought it would; maybe adding Acorn would help.
    I use Wine Searcher at least once a week. Anytime I’m at a place that has wine by the glass that I’m not familiar with, it helps me decide which one to order.

  79. Slice! It’s amazing app that tracks all your online purchases in one place. It tells you when items will be delivered, and it even lets you know if something you ordered went on sale. A must for any online shopper (guilty).

  80. Katie F. says...

    Kudos to for Caroline on still having a planner. Ditto over here. Nothing like having it all out in front of you to see on paper!

  81. Nicole says...

    This post is so awesome!!!! I’m going to use almost all of these apps- thanks!

  82. None. The phone I use is the one they give me at work so I can’t have any app besides Outlook, and I’m ok this way.

  83. molly says...

    Overdrive – rent books/audio books from the library and listen to them on your phone or in your browser. Great for long commutes or cooking dinner!
    Pomodoro – I am possibly the worlds worst procrastinator and happen to have a very short attention span (especially if i am doing something I find boring) this is a productivity app that segments work time into 25 minute increments with short breaks in between. It really helps force you to concentrate.
    Evernote – I love to write To Do lists and this is the perfect place to write them!
    Headspace – guided meditation, Andy’s voice is the best

  84. Kaitlin says...

    Beyond the usual suspects (Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Starbucks, Yelp, OpenTable, Starbucks, amiright?), my multitasking brain likes to do puzzles or simple games to calm down. I’m currently into Two Dots and Threes, but have also loved Solitaire, Quiz Up, and that scrabble game Words With Friends a million years ago.
    I love the photo editing app VSCO.
    And my own personal party trick is pulling out Heads Up, because who doesn’t love playing that game at a party that needs an injection of laughter.
    Also, I’ve been using Vivino to track wine I like and don’t like because I don’t have a head for it and I’ve found it so helpful.

    • Joanna says...

      You might like the game 2048

    • try Ruzzle. it’s a word puzzle game that i have been playing for a few years.

  85. Irene says...


    Headspace – gorgeously designed meditation app for beginners and pros, with guided meditations starting at 10mins in length. Pretty animations to get you comfortable with the concept of meditation. I don’t use it nearly as often as I should…

    • Headspace is the best. Such a good way to get into meditation. And Andy’s voice is heaven . . . !!

  86. Gem says...

    Pocket is my favorite! Every time I see an article and think “oh I should read that…..later.” You just click to save it to pocket, and then it’s saved for offline reading. That was I can catch up on all the articles I’ve been meaning to read while on the subway (works underground bc it’s offline!), and they’re all in one place.

    • Lexie says...

      I love Pocket for airplane travel!!!

  87. Irene says...

    Teuxdeux – have been using this for YEARS as a simple, streamlined to-do app. It also functions as a calendar for me. I’ve tried other to-do apps but they’re all overly complicated to me. Couldn’t function without it – I highly recommend it!

    DarkSky – not always super accurate, but such a pretty and detailed weather app.

    MailOnline – total guilty pleasure. Horrible British tabloid with mostly American coverage; I need to stay on top of my gossip!

  88. Angela says...

    I’m probably not the best one to be providing input on this topic, but 2 handy apps I have are the Nest app and the Relax Melodies app. Obviously, you have to have a Nest thermostat to use the app, but I love it because I can use the app to control the temperature in my home without getting up (hello, lazy). It’s especially handy when we are on vacation- if we forget to set our thermostats beforehand, we can set them to “Away” while we are on the road.

    And the Relax Melodies app is just a great white noise app that I’ve used for myself and for my son. I love it because you can layer sounds to make your own unique ambient noise.

    Also, Caroline- girl, keep it up with the Day Planner. 😉 I find I remember things so much better when I have engaged in the physical action of writing things down.

  89. Sarah Z. says...

    Acorns sounds genius! Does it just direct deposit it into your checking account?

    The apps that are the most helpful to me are actually the game apps my kids play- buys me a moment of zen! Their latest obsession is Skip to My Hue.

  90. I’m about to start using a day planner too, because that one is sooo pretty. I noticed it in the photos of the NatureBox/office tour post last week!

    My favorite app is Kindara, a free fertility tracking app. It’s perfect for tracking cycles (you can include as many or as few details as you like) and includes tips on both avoiding or trying for pregnancy. It’s awesome if you want to stop using hormonal birth control and learn about your body’s natural rhythms.

    • Laura says...

      I noticed it in that photo too! Swoon!

  91. My two most recent app favorites have been A Color Story App and This AM. A Color Story is by the wonderful girls at A Beautiful Mess and is the best thing since I discovered VSCO. As I designer by day, I love how much control this lets me have over my pictures (hello curves!). This AM is an app put together by Refinery29 and gives you 8 news headlines – everything from entertainment to politics to finance. If you’re interested, you can click and read the who article. It makes news easy to digest and pretty to look at! What’s not to love?

  92. alyssa says...

    Dark sky sounds really cool! I downloaded Acorns but then just… never used it? I’m not sure why. I love the app Cakewalk – it’s a step counter, but it’s cute and sassy. If you let it, it will publicly shame you on Twitter when you’re lazy, and there’s a leaderboard among your Twitter followers to add a bit of competition! It was just released on the Apple app store a week or two ago I think. I love it!

  93. Elaine says...

    Pocket – Saves articles, or any page for that matter, to be revisited later
    MyFitnessPal – Tracks daily caloric intake
    Headspace – Guided meditations; the voice is so calming!
    Habit List – Daily activities to check off so they actually become a habit
    Routsy – SF Bay Area public transportation timetables and maps

  94. Acorns sounds like a genius idea! Pity it only seems to be available in the US, I might try and come up with a similar system myself! I love the pinterest app (for mindless scrolling while I’m ignoring the staff room nonsense going on around me!) and also the Anamaya meditation app, which grows a virtual plant the more you meditate (a bit like a grown up tamagotchi for the brain!) Great post! x

  95. Lindsay says...

    Yes to Acorns! my Boyfriend and I both swear by it. Such a great way to start investing in your future.

  96. Gracie says...

    My favorite apps to use are the following: Evernote (I love note-taking), Google Maps (an essential), Day One (for journaling and building memories), Mint (for budgeting), Wunderlist (I’m a sucker for making lists/reminders), and Instapaper (for saving online articles to read later).

  97. I’d never heard of any of these – and I love that! Already downloading some on my phone.

  98. Vi says...

    Ovia fertility tracker! I’m not currently trying to conceive, but the app is so accurate at predicting cycles and letting you know when you’re in your fertile window that I use it as back-up birth control. And just recently got addicted to Poshmark, the app where you can easily sell your things (and purchase!) It’s an easy way to Marie Kondo your closet :)

  99. Colleen says...

    Love this post!! Like Caroline, I use a paper planner for my personal life and at work use the electronic one the company provides. As far as apps go,I’m a devoted Evernote jotter, I keep library book lists, lists of favorite items by favorite stores, vacation ideas, gift ideas, garden thoughts etc. My daughter adores Birthday Party, she has used that for at least five years (she’s now 9 and still loves it). Sworkit is also great for quick guided workouts.

  100. Hunter says...

    Oh my goodness!!

    Acorns sounds you love it/can really see a difference?