3 Apps to simplify your life
February 14, 2013 2 comments
As a technologist techie and gadget freak, I’ve always been an app fanatic. These are my favorites, Asana, a to do list app, EEBA a budgeting app and Anylist a shopping list app and here’s why:
As a power Microsoft office user, former teacher and staunch advocate, it pained me to move to apple and a macbook pro. The angst lasted for about five minutes. The thing I did miss most though was my to do list and the ability to drag and drop from mail to calendar to tasks and around. It created the ultimate flexibility in information management. So while I quickly grew to love my mac it really frustrated me to revert to little pieces of paper to keep my tasks. Some apple forums discussed neat tricks like creating all day calendar items for each task and then moving them into the timeslot in which they belong. That works save for the fact that you don’t get a reminder that you were supposed to have done something last week and you forgot. Hello Asana! I found it when my frustration of managing 6 projects and being a mom hit an all time high. The best thing about Asana is that it’s free up to 30 collaborators and available both on your phone and on the cloud via desktop. It is phenomenal at collaboration and provides all the reminders you need, it even synchronizes with a calendar. It allows me to invite clients only to their portion of a project so that they can see what’s happening, what are the tasks associated with their project and what are the due dates. This saves me from having to create a separate document or provide an update, as it emails them any time I’ve updated a task to which I’ve invited them, and it’s completely intuitive. Despite my Microsoft expertise, I struggled in the early days with the mac, to me it wasn’t so intuitive, so Asana is definitely silly proof.
The first time I saw the ad for the new banking application Virtual Wallet by PNC Bank I was insanely jealous! Why couldn’t I have that, the ability to manage my finances on my phone, and budget from a perspective of what I’ve allocated and not what I’ve spent. By the time you’ve spent it, the damange is done. EEBA has been a Godsend. You fill your envelopes every month with your income, you enter very easily every time you spend something and indicate which envelope and voila! Money Management. It’s been great for me as I’m seeing patterns and opportunities for saving long term by cutting back in certain areas and being more realistic in others.
EEBA incorporates your bank accounts although I’ve not enabled that functionality. My accounts are in different currencies so I thought that might confuse it, but I shall try it and provide an update. The app also allows you to share the app with your family members so that if you’re working from one household budget and someone spends from “Takeout” for instance, you know right away.
I’ve used a number of grocery store list applications, I won’t name some of them as many were frustrating and overly complex in their execution. Anylist on the otherhand anticipates what you’re typing pulls from a master list that they already have which is so obvious I don’t know why the others aren’t all doing at least that, and it sorts your list into the areas of the grocery t hat you have to go to get it, so that you don’t realize you need milk three aisles after you’ve passed dairy. It has also been updated to manage multiple lists so that you can do a separate one for pharmacy, hardware store, mega store or shopping abroad, and it’s shareable.
I’ve discovered if you need it and can think of it you can find an app to do it, and if you can’t find it, you might have just stumbled upon the next big business idea. Multiple online services can help you create your dream app, we can help you prepare the plan and beta test it.
With this arsenal of new apps at my fingertips I should be ultra over organized, if only I could get all of my bills and statements solely electronically I could save a forest of trees and never see a piece of paper again. Maybe that’s the next blog, how to save the earth one app at a time.