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36 Free Killer Apps You Shouldn’t Live Without

36 Free Killer Apps You Shouldn’t Live Without

I consider myself an app nomad; I’m constantly exploring apps and installing and uninstalling them as needed until I find ones that will really help me make the most of my phone and days. Here’s a cream of the crop list of apps I’ve scavenged and compiled (by category) to help you seize the day using your device.

Communication & Social

1. Wickr

wickr-Free-messaging-apps-android-ios

    For users who pay extra attention to information security, Wickr allows you to send and receive top-secret messages, pictures, videos, audio clips, and files. With the ability to permanently erase deleted files from your phone and set expiration dates for your messages and media, while still offering a fun and user-friendly texting app, Wickr allows you to take control of your privacy.

    Platform(s): Android, iOS

    2. Rundavoo

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      Rundavoo is an online and mobile group scheduling app for social outings with friends. With Rundavoo you’ll be able to spend less time planning and more time enjoying your friends. Whether you’re a planner or not, Rundavoo helps you get your friends together for that spontaneous dinner or a much needed planned event.

      Platform(s): Android, iOS

      3. Google Hangouts

      hangouts11

        Hangouts is a messaging app that lets you send and receive messages, photos and more, and even start free video and voice calls – one to one or with a group.  Hangouts allows you to keep in touch with friends across Android, iOS, and the web, and it will sync chats across all your devices. The app is easy on the eyes, and one feature I particularly like enjoy is that all calls to other Hangouts users are free!

        Platform(s): Android, iOS

        4. Textra

        androidpit-textra-sms

          Textra is simply an elegant way to text. With a boatload of features, including pop-up notifications, floating notifications, and a ton of customization options, Textra has long since replaced any other text messaging app on my Android. It’ll help save you time when communicating with your friends and family and will allow you to focus your attention on the important messages you receive.

          Platform(s): Android

          5. LinkedIn

          linkedin-android-app-1024x853

            LinkedIn’s professional social networking app makes it easier to build your personal brand, make connections, stay informed with personalized news, and more — right in your feed. With some customization features and the ability to invite connections with a few taps of your screen, you’re right on your way to building a stronger professional network. One thing about this app which can get a little frustrating is the fact that when you use the search bar to find a person, his/her profile often disappears a second or two after being retrieved in the search results.

            Platform(s): Android, iOS

            Productivity

            6. CamScanner

            camscanner-1

              CamScanner will quickly replace your home scanner and will often be a quicker and more accessible alternative to your office scanner. With a no-nonsense interface, sharing and collaboration capabilities and text recognition and search abilities, CamScanner will most definitely become one of your daily go-to apps.

              Platform(s): Android, iOS

              7. Dropbox

              nexusae0_Screenshot_2012-12-05-12-13-25

                Arguably the world’s most popular cloud storage provider, Dropbox is a free online syncing service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and allows you to share them easily. With easy-to-use apps available for both Android and Apple fans, use Dropbox to save time and avoid ever having to email yourself a file again!

                Platform(s): Android, iOS

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                8. Gmail

                Screenshot_2014-11-02-11-39-41

                  Google’s recently updated Gmail app allows for an intuitive, efficient, and useful interface. Get your email instantly via push notifications, read and respond to your conversations online & offline, and search and find any email. Use it to manage multiple accounts (even the non-Gmail ones), view and save attachments, and set up label notifications. The app’s Android widget allows you to see a list of your recent emails and create a new message with a single tap.

                  Platform(s): Android, iOS

                  9. AirDroid

                  airdroid

                    AirDroid allows you to access and manage your Android phone or tablet from Windows, Mac, or the web, wirelessly, for free. Even when your phone isn’t around you, or you’ve got too much going on to handle, you can take control of your texting, file transfers, notifications, and even your phone’s camera! One drawback to AirDroid is that you can’t send messages to your contacts via third party apps such as Whatsapp.

                    Platform(s): Android

                    10. Google Keep

                    yaabot_noteapps_7

                      Google Keep allows you to create lists, text and voice memos in an aesthetic and organized manner. If you want an app to sync with the rest of your Google products while being able to share your documents and collaborate with others with ease, Keep is for you.

                      Platform(s): Android

                      11. SolCalendar

                      Snip20141221_3

                        This visually-engaging, powerful piece of app will help you live a passionate life, by providing effective time and task management tools. SolCalendar really is the full package, with a range of customizable widgets, an intuitive interface, and an awesome to-do function which will help you stay on top of life.

                        Platform(s): Android

                        News & Reading

                        12. Pocket

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                          Pocket is an app I use on a daily basis. Use it to easily save articles, videos, and other web content for later viewing. With Pocket, all your items go to one place, so you can view, organize and share them anytime, on any device, even offline. It’s super easy to use and provides a number of reading options when it comes down to accessing your content.

                          Platform(s): Android, iOS

                          13. LinkedIn Pulse

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                            As a LinkedIn fanatic, Pulse has quickly become my number one news reading app. You’ll get the knowledge most relevant to you in a bite-sized and beautiful interface. Get news from the world’s most trusted sources and leaders and follow new sources that are meaningful to you – all with a few taps of your screen.

                            Platform(s): Android, iOS

                            14. Salon.com

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                              Salon.com’s app offers fresh insight into the most important and interesting news of the day, with topics ranging from politics and entertainment to business and technology. The app allows you to share content-rich articles with images and video on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or by email.

                              Platform(s): Android, iOS

                              15. RT News English

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                                RT is a 24/7 English-language news channel. The channel and app’s coverage focuses on international headlines, giving an innovative angle set to challenge viewers worldwide. What I particularly like about this app is the level of insight and analysis they provide, which is typically left out by more mainstream media channels. With easy article sharing abilities and live streaming, the RT app will help keep you updated on what’s really going on around the world.

                                Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                16. Nuzzel

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                                  Nuzzel is a super-easy way to see news from your friends. Discover the top news stories shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter, without being overwhelmed or missing anything. This app is very user-friendly and even shows your top stories in your iPhone’s Notification Center.

                                  Platform(s): iOS

                                  Health & Fitness

                                  17. Strava

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                                    Strava is my go-to running and cycling app. It allows you to track your runs and rides with GPS, join Challenges and see how your running and riding compares with friends. If you’re serious about fitness and tracking your results and progress, or you’d like to get serious, this is the app to help you get there. It’s extremely accurate in terms of mapping routes and capturing results and allows you to explore new paths and routes around you.

                                    Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                    18. MyFitnessPal

                                    MyFitnessPal

                                      If you’re looking to improve your diet and get serious about your lifestyle, you’re looking at the right app. With a seemingly endless database of items (4,000,000+), MyFitnessPal’s awesome calorie counting app allows for maximum accuracy when you’re trying to achieve your lifestyle changes. Phone not in range? No problem. You can also enter your meals online, with automatic syncing between your pc/laptop and your mobile device. With amazingly fast food and exercise entry, you’ve got a new weapon in the war against your love handles! The only thing I’d wish they include is alternative/healthier food suggestions to help you reach your goals faster.

                                      Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                      19. Cookpad Recipes

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                                        Cookpad is an unique cooking community app where people post recipes and pictures. It’s your personal recipe composer. After cooking your recipe, other people can post the photo of their own attempt of making the recipe and others can comment. This app has tons of cool features, from a shopping list, to a meal planner and even a forum. Cookpad will help you spend less time thinking about what to cook and will give you the motivation to get straight to cooking.

                                        Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                        20. Fooducate

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                                          Fooducate is a great alternative to MyFitnessPal. It helps you achieve healthy weight loss, while being able to track your progress and discuss with the community. What really differentiates this app from MyFitnessPal and other healthy-eating apps is that Fooducate goes beyond simply counting the calories in your food items and suggests healthier alternatives to help you reach your weight goals. However, unlike MyFitnessPal, Fooducate only allows you to track food activity; there is currently no way to track your exercise/fitness routines.

                                          Platform(s): iOS

                                          21. My Diet Coach

                                          MyDietCoach

                                            My Diet Coach will motivate you, help keep you on track, resist food cravings, emotional eating, exercise laziness and other obstacles. How so? It provides motivational arguments, guidelines, tracking challenges, getting virtual rewards for your achievements, helpful reminders and notifications with your goal and your motivational photos. One con about this app — it’s currently only available for women. There’s also no word on if there will be an app released for guys anytime in the near future.

                                            Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                            Money & Budgeting

                                            22. Wally

                                            wally07

                                              Wally is a personal finance app that helps you take control of your money. With an intuitive user-friendly design, Wally helps you understand where you money is going, set and stick to budgets, balance your income and expenses, and achieve your financial goals. You can also save receipts with each transaction, export data to Excel, and backup your data with iCloud.

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                                              Platform(s): iOS

                                              23. Mint.com

                                              mint-com-android-apps-screenshot-970x546

                                                Mint pulls in all your personal finance accounts and investments into one place, so you can track your spending, create a budget, receive bill reminders, and save money. What’s really great about Mint is that you can set up all your bank accounts in just a minutes. One drawback to this app is that it can sometimes be tedious to add a personal bank account or credit card to your profile; the account verification can be a huge turn off.

                                                Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                24. Financius

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                                                  Financius is a simple application that helps you log and track your expenses and keep an eye on your balance. What I particular like about Financius over other finance apps, such as Mint, is its simplicity and the fact that it’s very easy on the eyes. This app is sure to help you better manage your finances! The one slight drawback about Financius is that all of your accounts and balances must be manually input; there is currently no feature which allows you to link your personal bank and credit card accounts to the app.

                                                  Platform(s): Android

                                                  25. Goodbudget

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                                                    Goodbudget is a money manager for budget planning and personal finance management. It has a unique “envelopes” feature, which allows you to allocate money for different people and purposes in your household. Use this app if you’re looking to keep an eye on your kids and other family members.

                                                    Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                    Shopping & Saving

                                                    26. The Hunt

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                                                      The Hunt app will keep you from ever wondering where someone got that amazing outfit from again! Post a pic of what you’re looking for, and the community of over three million savvy shoppers will help you find it, style it, or buy it for less. As a member of community, you can return the favour and help others with your own style expertise. Trade fashion tips, get advice, and discover new places to shop.

                                                      Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                      27. Flipp

                                                      WISHABI - Flipp app now gives Android users all their favorite

                                                        Say goodbye to flyers! Flipp delivers your favorite circulars and Weekly Ads to your fingertips. With Flipp, you can easily search for the items you need, quickly create a handy shopping list and price match in a flash at the checkout. This has become a staple app which I use for every grocery trip.

                                                        Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                        28. Etsy

                                                        etsy

                                                          The Etsy app is the official mobile app for Etsy.com — home to the world’s small businesses and a great alternative to Amazon. Etsy will help you discover over 17 million unique items from 800,000 sellers around the world, while allowing you to shop and manage your orders with ease.

                                                          Platform(s): Android

                                                          29. LivingSocial

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                                                            LivingSocial will help you save up to 80% on great local restaurants, relaxing spas, unique products, and exotic vacations. Use the LivingSocial app for Android and iPhone to help you discover and share the best things to see and do in your city. Although this app is quite good, there are also many alternative apps which can be used, such as Groupon, Dealfind, etc.; it’s all a matter of tastes and preferences.

                                                            Platform(s): Android, iOS

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                                                            Other Goodies

                                                            30. How to Tie a Tie

                                                            How-to-tie-a-tie-App

                                                              Never ask your coworker, friend, or dad to help you tie your tie ever again. With a seemingly endless list of knots (20, to be exact) and accompanying instructions, pictures, and videos, become a tie-tying pro for any occasion you’re challenged with.

                                                              Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                              31. Waze

                                                              Les-multiples-services-de-Waze

                                                                Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Join drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road info to save time, gas money, and improve daily commuting for all. You can also actively report accidents, police traps, and other hazards you see on the road. Get road alerts along your route and find the cheapest gas prices around you shared by the community. Plus, you can add friends, send locations, or keep others posted on your arrival time. One thing which really frustrated me about the app when I tried using it was that it was impossible for me to add my home and work addresses to the app though I’m not sure if this is a general issue other uses are experiencing, or if it was just my device.

                                                                Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                32. Easy Taxi

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                                                                  Never will you have to wave down a taxi again! Easy Taxi allows you to easily book a taxi and track it in real time, with just a tap of a button. All you have to do is wait for the app to automatically locate your address using GPS, confirm your location, and tap “Request taxi.” Then, stand aside and watch how Easy Taxi assigns a nearby driver.

                                                                  Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                  33. Duolingo

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                                                                    Duolingo will help you learn some of the world’s most popular languages, including: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, and English in a fun and free way. Speaking from experience, the Duolingo app can be used as a standalone method of learning a language, or alongside the excellent website for extra notes and immersion features. I really wish there were more languages offered, such as Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin, and there is definitely room here for development.

                                                                    Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                    34. TED

                                                                    ted-android-app

                                                                      TED’s official app presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus, and music legends. Find more than 1,700 TEDTalk videos and audios (with more added weekly) on the official TED app. What’s awesome about the TED app is not only is it incredibly easy to use, it’ll help you learn a ton of stuff in over 22 languages!

                                                                      Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                      35. BestParking – Find Parking

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                                                                        BestParking steers drivers toward the cheapest and most convenient parking garages and lots in 105 cities and 115 airports throughout North America. Use this app to help save yourself money, as well as the frustration which comes from crazily looking around for a parking spot during your commute.

                                                                        Platform(s): Android, iOS

                                                                        36. Carrr Matey

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                                                                          Never lose your car in a parking lot or a busy street again! Carrr Matey guides you back using a compass or walking directions. Its’s perfect for airports, stadiums, shopping malls, etc. Plus, use the timer to park at meters worry-free. My favourite feature about this app is that it does all of this in a pirate theme!

                                                                          Platform(s): Android

                                                                          Featured photo credit: young girl working with tablet in the street via shutterstock.com

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                                                                          1 11 Reasons Why We Fail to Achieve Our Goals 2 How to Set Goals Effectively And Grow Continuously 3 How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day 4 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life 5 How to Commit, Achieve Excellence And Change Your Life

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                                                                          Last Updated on July 13, 2020

                                                                          How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                                                                          How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

                                                                          Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

                                                                          If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

                                                                          1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

                                                                          The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

                                                                          Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

                                                                          For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

                                                                          The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

                                                                          2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

                                                                          Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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                                                                          As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

                                                                          Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

                                                                          3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

                                                                          Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

                                                                            This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

                                                                            We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

                                                                            Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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                                                                            When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

                                                                            Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

                                                                            4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

                                                                            Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

                                                                            For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

                                                                            Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

                                                                            5. Make Decisions

                                                                            For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

                                                                            If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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                                                                            If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

                                                                            Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

                                                                            I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

                                                                            This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

                                                                            The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

                                                                            6. Take Some Form of Action

                                                                            Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

                                                                            The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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                                                                            It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

                                                                            Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

                                                                            The Bottom Line

                                                                            Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

                                                                            When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

                                                                            More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

                                                                            Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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