Imagine your smartphone as a tiny, bow-tied pocket butler that, besides the odd fire-up so you can peruse your Instagram mid-lunch, is waiting for a worthy assignment to sink its microprocessors into. Tasked with a million-and-one things to do today? Let your smartphone do the smaller things that bog you down. Here are 19 of our favourite apps to help balance your life.
1. Workflow, iOS
Always email your photos to your partner or friends the moment they’re snapped? Need to book a cab before an important meeting? This genius app can automatically book, send and organise your life, using data based on your daily patterns – much like a real-life personal assistant.
2. Timeful, iOS
A sleek, simple calendar app that learns from your scheduling behaviours and offers you intelligent ways to increase your overall productivity.
3. 30/30, iOS
Easily distracted? 30/30 is an app that allows you to build a to-do list using achievable and realistic blocks of time – once each block is up, an alarm will sound and start the timer on your next task (which can be anything from sending emails, to grabbing the groceries or having a quick Freedom Foods snack break).
4. Swipes, iOS and Android
This handy app organises all of your tasks into one space, and is fully-integrated with Gmail, Evernote and more.
For when your habit of using awesome productivity apps gets in the way of productivity itself, this is your go-to.
Photo by Luis Llerena
5. Shoeboxed, iOS and Android
If your receipt filing system consists of the “desk pile” and the “floor pile”, you’ll dig Shoeboxed – simply scan your receipts, invoices or documents and the app extracts the important data (say, what parts of your work trip can be expensed) and neatly organises everything for you come tax return time.
6. IF, iOS and Android
Similar to Workflow, but a little snappier – this app automates your digital tasks to make life easier. For example, you can create a task that sends you an email to “take some vitamin D” whenever it’s cloudy. Brilliant.
7. Evernote, iOS and Android
As far as note-taking apps are concerned, Evernote is the ultimate. You can write, collect, discuss and present your notes in the one app. Ditch the disorganised post-its stack and jot down everything in the one place.
8. Google Drive, iOS and Android
The current king of online storage and organisation, Google Drive is the same cloud storage you use on your desktop, but for your smartphone. House all your images, documents and more right here. Then share.
Photo by Joshua Sortino
9. Up by Jawbone, iOS and Android
Made for Jawbone’s tracker wearables (but can just as easily be used in tandem with your smartphone) , this fitness app provides really cool stats along your fitness journey (“Did you know that members of the UP community take an average of 7,950 steps a day, that could take you from Madrid to Prague in less than a year?”). Like most other fitness apps, you can set goals based on your specs and UP will give you reminders for things like sleep time and meals,while analysing all your data to create a set of personalised fitness goals.
10. The 7 Minute Workout, iOS and Android
An attractive fitness app that provides several short and practical workout routines – including bodyweight and pilates variations – that counts you down into each exercise. It also features paid options for a stack of additional workouts and a handy log to tick off your PBs.
11. FitStar, iOS
Many pre-programmed workouts can be daunting for a first-timer. Luckily, FitStar has found a way around your initial feelings of intimidation by using data to personalise a workout just for you – including when to take breaks or push through the pain. It’s like having a personal trainer on-hand, in your hand.
12. Nike Training Club, iOS and Android
A training app from the global fitness powerhouse that lets you choose from over 100 free workouts, created by professionals, customised to suit your very needs. There are super simple videos to take you through the more confusing moves, and an option to connect with your friends and flaunt your newfound gym skills.
13. Strava, iOS and Android
Travel a lot? It’s hard to keep your motivation levels up when you’re in unknown territory. Enter Strava – a fitness app that provides the top running and cycling routes in various cities around the globe. Need more motivation? You can also compete with the community to be get the fastest time on a foreign route.
Photo by Julia Caesar
14. MyFitnessPal, iOS and Android
A calorie tracker that removes the boring elements of calculating your calorie intake, all in a sweet little streamlined app that compares your personal stats with its own enormous database (over 5 million foods and counting).
15. Sleep Cycle, iOS and Android
This app turns your smartphone into a monitoring system for your sleeping patterns – analysing how you catch z’s, and working out the best time for you to wake up feeling fresh.
16. Headspace, iOS and Android
A guided meditation app that’s stripped back the gongs and incense and moved into more practical territory. The first ten sessions are free, with a paid option to move on from there – you won’t hesitate once you realise how much more zen it’s made you.
17. Calm, iOS and Android
Need to relax? Calm houses a series of super chill nature sounds, void of all corny whale breaching noises or toucans chirping in the Amazon. It’s very simple, slick and an easy way to score a much-needed dose of relaxation in your day.
Photo by Monstruo Estudio
18. Thyme, iOS and Android
A simple, easy way to keep track of how long everything has been cooking in your kitchen. You can customise the app to suit your exact kitchen stove – then set the time for each element, and an alarm will sound when it’s time to take it off. Meaning, “boiling over” is now a thing of the past.
19. Amount, iOS
A lightweight unit and currency converter at your fingertips – there’s over 700 different units over 30 categories, so you’ll never be at a loss next you’re cooking up a storm.