You can still find them, but the days of the filofax are quickly coming to an end. As access to personal devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones increases, the ways in which we keep organized—calendar, grocery list, recipe cards, monthly budget, and check register are rapidly evolving to better accommodate our digital consumption of information. At Modernize, we know it can be hard to keep up with all of the apps that come out every single day, let alone research and review them. Read on for our top 5 apps to help you organize your life.
1. Get a “Virtual” Personal Assistant with Google Now
Sure, Siri may indulge you by calling you, “Rocketman,” but how many times has she told you, “Sorry, I don’t understand.” You deserve an assistant who gets you! Google Now is an “intelligent personal assistant” that is available for iOS and Android, as well as your desktop. Similar to Siri, Google Now uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of web services. The effectiveness of Google Now improves as your search habits help it to predict information that you may need. The app also organizes just about anything you can think of onto customizable cards. Organize cards by interests—traffic, weather, favorite websites, sport scores, or functionality—barcode scanning, song recognition, and e-ticket storage, including boarding passes.
Via Google Blog
2. Manage Your Spending with HomeBudget
Managing your money can be stressful. Stay on top of your finances and you’ll make better choices, like skipping take-out and saving money by cooking meals at home. You’ll save (and possibly invest) more money to buy that new car or take a vacation to Mexico. You’ll also rest easier, as you’ll know that you have a plan to reach and maintain financial stability. Move beyond the legal pad, calculator, and pile of receipts with HomeBudget.
Via Google Play
HomeBudget is clear, color coded, and easy to navigate. This app may not be free ($4.99), but its functionality encompasses that of many different finance-related apps. The home screen shows the following categories: Expenses, Bills, Income, Budget, and Accounts, as well as the dollar amounts for each category. There are also tabs for Payees, Reports, and Search. The Reports feature can easily show your expenses as related to your income (color coded from 0-100%), as well as a broader month-to-month look at your spending, budgeting, and accounts. If you freelance, the Income section is great for keeping multiple clients and projects organized. The Search tab enables you to track down a wealth of information, including check numbers and payee addresses. The bill reminder function will also ensure you never pay a late fee again.
3. Find the Best Route With Waze
Nothing can derail your day as quickly as getting stuck in traffic. Waze can give you the best routes to avoid traffic jams, construction, and accidents, saving you valuable time and ensuring you get to your destination on time and unflustered. Drivers in your area share real-time traffic and road info to help Waze users collectively outsmart traffic. Millions of users contribute countless data points to create accurate maps. The app combines all of this data to inform you of road closures due to extensive construction, one-way streets, and turn restrictions. If the map doesn’t match what you are seeing in real life, you can report and update the map with a few taps of the screen. Waze will also send you notifications regarding police presence and speed cameras.
Via Gigaom Research
Waze is great, but don’t delete your google maps app just yet, as Waze lacks transit and walking directions as well as 3D satellite imagery.
4. Make Time for Meditation with Insight Timer
Daily meditation provides you with the opportunity to quiet your mind amidst the constant demands of life. It allows you to have more focus and control over your emotions, making you less prone to depression and anxiety. With hectic schedules and ever growing to-do lists, meditation can quickly move down your priority list, but it’s such an important tool to help you manage your day. Prioritize your well-being and commit to meditating with Insight Timer. Insight Timer guides you through meditation with gentle music, timed to match your schedule, so you don’t have to worry about watching the clock. As you grow in your practice you can incorporate more sophisticated features like interval bells, presets, and the meditation journal. Insight Timer also makes it easy to join a meditation community, with over 100 groups for various types of practice you can always find someone to join you on your path toward enlightenment.
5. Archive Your Digital Life with Evernote
Do a simple search on Evernote and you will find that it has a devoted following. Evernote is a cross-platform app that can serve as your digital file cabinet—effectively eliminating the need for jump drives or traveling with multiple devices. You can use it for notes, journaling, project and management, and save anything that you’re interested in on the web (in its entirety) for future reference. Evernote has an e-mail function that allows you to forward emails, tweets, and other content to any of your Evernote notebooks. You can also send content from other services like Gmail to your Evernote account. All of that saved content may seem like an organizational nightmare, but Evernote’s search function allows you to retrieve all of your various documents quickly. Evernote can also turn photos into notes and even decipher any text in those photos—great for capturing notes on a whiteboard!