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Confession: I am one of those compulsive people who will routinely closes out apps on my iPhone so that only the most used apps are there. Yes, it can take time to double-tap the home button, long press one of the most recent apps, and then hit that little red circle with the line. But I do so that the apps I use the most are easily accessible and not cluttered among other ones.
So below are some of the most used apps on my phone with a brief snippet as to why. Please note that they are not listed in particular order. Also, basic apps like Phone, Music, and Messages have been excluded from consideration.
Twitter: Also self-explanatory, but I use the default app because it provides the ability to add more than one account so everything can still be done in one place.
Mailbox: Been using this in place of the default Mail app. Mailbox takes an innovative approach to email and turns your inbox into a to-do list with the goal of reaching “Zero Inbox” or no current messages. You can easily push things back to later and mark items complete so you can focus on what’s important right now.
Tempo Smart Calendar: I’ve also been using this in place of the default Calendar app. I don’t have any qualms with the latter but Tempo provides more info and context for each event along with the current weather. Tempo allows me to easily see a map of the location and message/email the other participants if I’m late. Very useful.
iTunes U: I have a commute to work each day and I take public transit. I enjoy listening to podcasts from colleges and universities on very diverse topics that are of interest to me. Currently listening to a course on evaluating information from the University of Michigan.
Data Usage Pro: I have a limited data plan at 300mb in order to save money. This handy little app helps keep me from going over that limit and provides alerts and projections on use along the way. This is the only paid app on the list and it was worth it all the way.
IMDb: Often my wife and I are watching a show and recognize one of the characters but don’t know where we’ve seen them before. IMDb always comes to the rescue.
Into the Dead: I don’t play a lot of games on my phone but this is my current favorite. Very simple premise in that you run as long as you can without being eaten by zombies. There are weapons along the way to help you along.
LDS Gospel Library: This is the official app from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). I’m able to use this app to study my scriptures on the go along with other church materials. It lets me plan lessons and syncs the data to my online account at LDS.org so all my notes and highlights are up-to-date.
Dropbox: I love Dropbox and its service is invaluable. This is my go-to source for cloud storage.
Circa: I love their approach to news and breaking the story down into quick, easy snippets.
Zite: I like Zite and how it “learns” what kind of news I like and put into my feed. Convenient sharing options are a plus.
Honorable Mentions: WordPress, Hootsuite, Soundcloud, Lemon Wallet, Yahoo Weather
So I looked through the different browsers I use between home and work to make a list of the top sites I visit the most. I’ve listed them below along with a quick note to why it is one of the top places I visit on the Internet. Please note that the sites are not listed in any particular order.
Google: Google is my main hub as I make use of the majority of their services: gmail, News, Drive, Blogger, Maps, Voice, Calendar, Reader (previously), etc. The one thing I don’t use it for a lot though is Search (see Bing below).
Twitter: I maintain three different twitter accounts and prefer the main site for interacting (especially since my work’s firewall prevents most of other ones but not the main site for whatever reason). I usually have two of the acocunts open at any given time so I also have two browsers open too.
Facebook: I don’t think this one needs explaining.
Amazon: Great site that I couldn’t live without. I come here to price check items, read reviews, add things to wish lists, and when there’s some extra dough laying about I’ll order a thing or two.
Tweetdeck: Sometime you want to send a tweet out but in 2 hours from now or even 2 days or weeks from now. Tweetdeck lets you do that. (Hootsuite is blocked at work but I also use them).
Bitly: In the twitter world of short messages and character limits, you have to make every character count. Bitly lets you take long links and shorten them up to give you more room to work with. It has an added benefit of letting you see how many people are clicking on the link so you can see what works and what doesn’t.
Bing: I use Bing instead of Google for one main reason: they give me points to search which I can redeem for items like Amazon gift cards. I have found very little difference in the two services so if I’m going to be searching anyway, might as well get rewarded for doing so.
LDS.org: This is the main site for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.* I have been a Mormon since I was born and served two years as a Missionary for the church in Mexico. I come here to read inspirational messages and search the scriptures online.
IFTTT: This acronym stands for “if this, then that.” The site allows you to create “recipes” that do something for you when a certain action is triggered. For example, I have a recipe that says when a new blog post goes up on WordPress, send that same post to my tumblr/blogger/whatever. Its a very useful tool for automating your online activity. I plan to write more about this later.
Wunderlist: This is a to-do list service that has web and mobile versions. it allows for sharing lists with others and syncs seamlessly. Speed and overall performance has been significantly increased with a recent update. Wunderlist is an amazing service. Did I mention it was free?**
Honorable Mentions: WordPress, IMDb, Pinterest, Hulu, tumblr
*If interested in learning more about Mormons and their beliefs, please see mormon.org. This site contains a basic overview of main beliefs with personal stories from actual members. There is also an option to ask questions from those members and others.
**As a matter of fact, all the services and sites listed above are free.