Do you feel like you live in total chaos?
Do you have nine pairs of scissors because you keep losing them in the piles of junk in your home, then buying new ones?
Do you get stuck paying late fees on your credit cards because you forget to pay the bills on time?
Is your key ring weighted down with a dozen different rewards cards from grocery and drugstore chains? Get rid of all of them with Key Ring, which lets you store all the information from those cards in one place and just scan your phone when you’re in the store. Some membership cards, like for the gym, library cards and gift cards can be stored here, too—just aim your smartphone camera at the bar code. Not only will you always have the card you need when you need it, you’ll be spared those dirty looks from shoppers behind you in the checkout line as you frantically dig for the missing rewards card.
Nothing is as frustrating as getting to the checkout counter at the grocery store to find that you didn’t bring enough cash to pay for your order—or that if it goes through on your ATM card, you’ll be overdrawn. With Grocery iQ, you not only have your list at your fingertips, you can add up your total bill before you get to the checkout—and put that steak or beer back if it puts you over the limit. Plus, this app has a constantly-updated coupon database that lets you select coupons and print them wirelessly for maximum savings.
Got a grandma who loves getting photos of your kids—and constantly complains you don’t sent any? If granny has a smartphone, share stuff with her via Dropbox. Just download the app, sign up for an account and you get 2GB of free storage. It’s password protected, so you can use Dropbox to share documents with co-workers, too.
Are your pockets or purse full of crumpled up notes that you can’t even read anymore? Put all your notes, ideas, photos, music and lots of other things in one place with Evernote. If you can see it or hear it, you can store it on Evernote, plus it’s searchable and taggable so you’ll be able to find that note or idea months later. This is a great place to store business or travel plans so you can edit or add to them in the future. Or your plans for retirement, if you ever get to have one.
Do you waste time trying to get into your numerous online accounts because you have a lousy memory for passwords? Stash all your passwords on LastPass, where you only need to remember one password to get in. You can also save time on filling out new account forms by storing your name and address. Just don’t forget your LastPass password.
Ever wish you had a personal assistant to remind you of things, like appointments, court dates and your anniversary? This app allows you to tell your smartphone what to do and when to do it, like reminding you of a meeting or when to pick up your dry cleaning. At the appointed time, reQall will send you a reminder via IM or email. If you have a later model iPhone, you have Siri for this kind of thing, but if you don’t and are prone to forgetting things, reQall is a good deal.
Is your desk piled high with magazines and newspapers containing articles you’re planning to read—someday? Toss ‘em out and get Instapaper, the app that lets you read web content at your leisure by storing your must-reads in one place. You never know when you’ll be stuck for hours in a waiting room or airline terminal and need something interesting to read.
I bet you are already feeling more organized. We aren’t close to finished yet so keep reading for more apps that will help you stay organized and improve your productivity.
Do you go crazy every year at tax time trying to find and organize all your receipts and other paperwork? Did your accountant dump you as a client after you ran into his office on April 14 carrying a shoebox full of wadded-up receipts? Shoeboxed lets you snap a photo of your receipts and other important paperwork to be stored, categorized and organized. Not only is this app free, it can save you a bundle on accounting and tax preparation. Plus, it creates and sends expense reports. Just promise yourself to photograph every single receipt when you get it, OK?
Did you pass your disorganization gene onto your kids? Let Cozi organize the lives of your entire clan, from school schedules and soccer practice to doctor’s appointments and birthday parties. All members of your forgetful family can access Cozi from their mobile devices and add or update events with this calendar/organizer.
Do you waste way too much time driving from store to store, looking for the best price on that special item, or calling them ahead of time, only to be left on hold forever? Zero in on that elusive bargain with RedLaser, that lets you scan barcodes from online retailers as well as the brick-and-mortar kind. Since some chains will match a competitor’s price, you may be able to save a few bucks by showing that the item is selling for less someplace else.
Photo Manager Pro
Are you going crazy trying to find those wedding or birthday party photos from a year or two ago? Get your family pix organized with Photo Manager Pro, which will let you create custom folders and tag photos or videos by date, genre, file name and other filters. It costs three bucks, but can save you plenty of time (and whining by family members who want to see their old photos.)
The financially challenged can manage money, pay bills and track spending in one place with this app. Streamline all your finances with Pageonce, which lets you see your bank accounts, get bill reminders and check credit card statements. Best of all, this app is free, and it can save you big bucks if you’re prone to paying bills late and racking up fees.
Do you spend too much money on takeout food because you never have the stuff you need to cook? With Menu Planner, you can create meal plans, keep track of what you have on hand, import recipes from various sites, and generally plan meals that are healthier and cheaper than that takeout pizza you’ve been ordering.
Is your closet or garage cluttered up by old computers, printers or other outdated equipment that you haven’t used in years? Clear out that space and do something good for the planet with iRecycle. This app can tell you where and how to recycle practically anything at a location close to you. Get all the pertinent info on your local recycling stations, including address, phone number, hours and directions, as well as what items they take.
While there’s no one perfect app to organize everything in your life, some combination of these should work for you!
|Written on 8/25/2013 by Linda Cauthen.|