Free Your Space: These are few of my favorite apps

“The Sound of Music” marked its Golden Anniversary this year. As I hum the familiar tunes in my head, it occurs to me how different the sounds around us are today, 50 years later, many of them bursting into our day from once unexpected places like pockets and purses.

And, while I still do appreciate the wonders of raindrops on roses, some of our modern wonders also fill me with excitement and appreciation.

For those, like myself who have joined the generation of smart phone users, here are a few of my favorite apps and some of their pros and cons.

Calendar - my very favorite. Smart phones come with their own calendar apps or can be set to access a cloud-based calendar. I personally use Google for my calendar and have it synced with my phone. Pros – can add and change appointments on the go; can set reminders that will travel with you all the time; can add specific details for each appointment such as names, phone numbers, addresses and what to bring; eliminates the need for paper calendars. Cons – Outlook calendars are not accessible via phone; one can lose track of appointments when trying to keep both paper and electronic calendars.

Dictionary – if you use the Internet on your phone you can go online and access any dictionary. But, not all smart-phone users go online with their phones. If you simply download a dictionary app you can have a dictionary at your fingertips wherever you go. My family likes to play games so my favorite is a Scrabble dictionary. My mom, who is in her 80s has this app on her phone too so she’s always ready for a challenge! Pros – easier to read than tiny paper dictionary print; can use at home or when you’re visiting someone else; always updated with new words and definitions. Cons – can be challenging to find the right word when you are not sure of its spelling.

Evernote – this app is sort of like having a mini office in your hand. Evernote gives the user the ability to create files or “notebooks” and store things in them according to their category. Anything from clippings from an online article to a photo you take with your phone to a voice memo you make to yourself in the car. Pros – instantly categorize and save information in organized files; Evernote will date & time stamp each entry including the location at which it was entered (I find this handy when taking photos or notes while at a client’s home); ability to create and categorize checkable to-do lists. Cons – please let me know if you’ve found one.

Google Drive – (previously Google Docs) In order to use this app you must have a Google account (which is free to set up). Pros – Can create, save and share photos, documents, spreadsheets and other files; can send many multiple photos from your camera to your Google drive storage at one time – really fast; can collaboratively edit shared documents with other users simultaneously. Cons – must sign up for a Google account.

Key Ring – toss out all those loyalty cards, but not before setting up your Key Ring account! This app allows you to enter the numbers for each of your store loyalty cards such as grocery, pharmacy and other cards (like Panera or AMC movies) and will display your personal bar code that can be scanned at that store’s register. Pros – no more bulky wallets or keyrings; never forget your reward card at home; have a 2nd home or family in another state? Keep those cards on Key Ring also! Cons – if your phone is dead or out of a service area you’re stuck without your cards.

Pandora – Pandora is an app that allows you to create your own radio stations by entering in artists, genres or song titles. Pros – free music at your fingertips; play exactly the type of music you’re in the mood for; shuffle several of stations so you can please everyone in the room; find new artists whose music is similar to those you already like. I used this app while packing my mother for her recent move and was able to keep 4 generations happy by shuffling stations that appealed to each! Cons – playing music through your phone can be a quick drain on your battery, I suggest keeping it plugged in while you listen.

All of the apps I have mentioned above are ones that I use myself and have made my life easier and more in enjoyable in some way or another. They are all available for FREE on your smart phone. Some offer more robust versions for a fee, however, the free versions are quite extensive and will most likely be all you’ll need.

Have a favorite smart phone app you’d like to sing about? Please reply here and let us know.

*Annette Reyman is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO®) and president of its Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Visit her websites at www.allrightorganizing.com and www.allrightmoves.com. Follow All Right Organizing on Facebook and Pinterest. To contact Annette Reyman for organizing work, professional unpacking, productivity support, gift certificates or speaking engagements call 610-213-9559 or email Annette at annette@allrightorganizing.com.

 

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