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2013’s Must-Have Mobile Apps to Simplify Your Life

Sarah W. Caron
photo credit: Creatas Images / Creatas

photo credit: Creatas Images / Creatas


Once upon a time, I was a devoted Blackberry user who swore she would never give up her trusty phone with the little keyboard. Then I was gifted an iPhone for my birthday and everything changed. All those years of swearing that on-screen keyboards weren’t for me drifted away as I quickly got the hang of it.

And promptly fell in love.

Over the last seven months, I have tried out countless apps in search of just the right ones to simplify my life. Here are my very favorites:

MyNetDiary – MyNetDiary is an all-in-one place to track meals, record workout sessions, analyze your performance and also make sure you drink enough water. It’s simple and intuitive to use, and you can even scan bar codes to make adding foods to your day super easy. I use the free version, and absolutely love it.

Manilla.com — Manilla.com is an award-winning, free and secure service that lets you take control of your life by managing everything in one organized place. Using just one password, you can manage your financial accounts, bills, travel rewards, daily deals, magazine and Netflix subscriptions, and more. Manilla sends you reminders when your bills are almost due and when your rewards points are about to expire. Manilla even provides unlimited online document storage forever, for free, so you have access to your bills and statements whenever you need them. Manilla is free, and it’s available for the iPhone and Android.

30/30 – A blogging friend recommended this to me and I promptly became addicted to it. As someone with a busy work schedule, I need to stay focused so that my life doesn’t dissolve into all work and no play. The 30/30 app helps. It’s a timer that lets you set up your own list of tasks and how long you want to spend on them. Then you start it and it dings when the time for one task is up, immediately launching into the next. Using this, I have discovered that I work best with a 30 minutes on, 10 minutes free schedule. I can’t recommend it enough – you could also use it for timing chores too.

Grocery List – My husband and I were at a soccer practice last fall when I discovered this app. I was looking for an easy to use grocery app that would let me make lists of what we needed really quickly. This one was perfect because it prioritizes things you’ve logged before, making it so easy to create a new list before dashing to the store.

Instagram – I take so many pictures of my kids, little things I see around town and more. I love the Instagram app for sharing those pictures with my friends and colleagues. And the filters? So fun. I use this practically every day, and also love seeing what everyone else is up to. One friend and I always look for hearts in nature, and snap pictures when we find them.

Stylebook – I wish I could say I use this app all the time, but I don’t. Still, it’s probably my very favorite app of all time. Why? It’s like that scene in Clueless where Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher is using a touch screen computer to pick out an outfit – except it’s real and on your phone. You literally photograph all your clothes and then use the app to create looks. How fun is that? Now, I just need to photography my wardrobe.

How about you? What are your must-have apps for 2013?

Sarah W. Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. She blogs about chasing those big life dreams on Sarah by the Sea.