What Are Your Favorite Apps?

woman wearing rings holds her smart phone in her hand; the background is very dark.

We haven’t had a semi-regular discussion on the most favorite apps in a few years, so let’s discuss! What apps do you use on your phone the most? Which ones are you happy you found? (And, how do you organize them on your phone?)

I tend to keep mine in folders that are named things that I think are amusing — for example, all of my smart home / screentime granting apps are under the folder “Overlord” except for the ones I use so often they’re just on the home page.

How about you, readers — which are your most frequently-used apps? Which are your favorites for weather, exercise, mindfulness, productivity, podcasts, books, and more?

My Most Frequently-Used Apps

Spotify, Curl Book, Fitbod, Dark Sky (my preferred weather app), Dropbox, Notes, Shazam, Calculator, Nixplay, ClassDojo, Safari, Pepperplate (my preferred recipe/meal-planning app), Eufy (my scale’s app). Gmail, Google Calendar, Momentum. (Pinned to the bottom of my phone: WW, Slack, Messages, and the basic iPhone camera app.)

I love GoodNotes on iPad and use it frequently, but the phone version isn’t so great – I’ve had better luck using Evernote for finding and loading a PDF quickly/in poor WiFi.

Also: a shoutout to Apple Shortcuts, which can be super useful — I’ve created shortcuts like “check comments!” (where, upon hearing that, Siri will open Safari to the pending comments page here at Corporette), as well as to get my iPhone alarm to play a playlist so I can wake up with shuffled music. I’ve seen a lot of suuuper involved Apple Shortcuts on TikTok but have yet to implement any — things like having your phone ask you how it’s going midday, and depending what you answer it will advise you to go for a walk or drink water or do something for productivity. I also still use Siri a ton for productivity-related things like reminders, Pomodoro timers, and more. (We just scored theater tickets to a sold out show thanks to my Siri reminder — they opened a few new tickets on August 29th at 7 PM.)

{related: tips for digital journaling}

My Favorite Health Apps

  • Clue – my preferred period tracker (but: here’s how to track your period without an app if you prefer)
  • Pollen – for allergies — we’re still assessing how bad my and my eldest son’s allergies are, but it’s helpful to get the reminder that says “Pollen is high today.”
  • Happy Scale – Love this one because it takes scale data and smooths it out for you to look for trends; it can also break weightloss into mini goals so you can celebrate if you’re 1/10th of the way towards your goal.
  • WW – In terms of calorie/food trackers I’m back with WW after a long time with MM+, a macro-counting app — I also look things up on My Fitness Pal sometimes or save meals there (like, uh, the super greasy Chinese delivery collection of apps and meals we often get).

My Favorite Productivity Apps

  • Done (here’s my review)
  • Daylio (here’s my review)
  • Evernote (here are my tips on using Evernote)
  • Docs/Sheets
  • Airtable – this one is surprisingly great on mobile, if you often find yourself trying to look at spreadsheets on mobile I recommend it.

“Entertain Me” – My Favorite Entertainment Apps

  • The usual social media stuff – Twitter, Instagram, TikTok. Netflix, Prime Video, Music (formerly iTunes). I don’t use Reddit often but have the app installed.
  • Overcast – my favorite podcast app
  • Libby – library app that I use all the time! Note that you can put in multiple library cards…
  • Kindle – I don’t read often on my phone, but sometimes.
  • TuneIn Radio – If you’ve cut the cord and want to listen to live music/sports/shows such as MSNBC, ESPN, etc, you can use TuneIn to do it.
  • LTK – I don’t use LTK much as a creator, but I actually do find it helpful for influencers who I follow personally — I find the TikTok/Instagram “link in bio” rigamarole incredibly annoying so I prefer just to see the posts with the products.
  • Audible – I’m getting more into audiobooks — still trying to figure out if the subscription to Audible is worth the price when you can get so much free from Libby or affordably from Chirp Books.
  • Chirp – the Chirp Books app; lots of audio books on sale. You can follow specific authors or books so you’ll be notified when they’re on sale.
  • Audm – I use this sometimes to listen to longer articles such as from The New Yorker or The Atlantic.
  • News actually has its own category — I have The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and New Yorker. I don’t have the New York Times app anymore because it seemed to be connected to my last phone acting weirdly, so I removed it and just read it on Safari now. I have the WSJ app but hate it — it can’t seem to keep me logged in, and the news alerts I get half the time make me go through like 4 different apps before they take me to the homepage of the WSJ app. Grrrr.

My Favorite Mindfulness Apps

I’m on the hunt for a new meditation app — what are your favorites? I actually used Balance, so I might go back to that.

  • Loóna – This is pricy ($20 per year I think) but such a great app if you have problems falling asleep, or wake up and can’t get back to sleep. It does go against the whole “no screens before bed” advice, because the whole point of the app is that you’re being told a story and have to interact with the screen to color parts of a 3D model in front of you that relates to the story… but it is very effective.
  • Yoga (formerly DownDog) – still my favorite yoga app for restorative yoga.
  • Forest – I think we’ve written about this one; it can be a great way to set Pomodoro-like timers to focus only on that. There are also browser plugins.

{related: the benefits of meditation}

Blogging-Related Apps

I don’t open them often but I add stuff to them all the time via my iPhone: Trello, Evernote, Pinterest…

  • LastPass – this is my preferred password app
  • WordSwag – I use this sometimes for text-heavy graphics
  • Rev – I will sometimes dictate draft articles or emails or other things; this app has always been incredibly quick, easy, and affordable to get a transcription or written version.
  • Facebook Ads Manager – If you do any work at all with FB Ads, the app is often better than the full-screen desktop version — it’s just easier somehow.
  • Venmo
  • (I have the apps for PicMonkey and Canva but don’t use them on my phone. The WordPress app is so useless that I don’t even have it on my phone, I just access the sites through Safari.)

{related: the best online tools for working from home}

Readers, how about you — what are your most-used apps? What are the apps that you love using?

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