With apps being a dime a dozen these days, it can be difficult to weed out which productivity apps are actually counterproductive. Here, I’ve listed some apps that are tried and true for me, but-disclaimer: most of these apps collect and store very sensitive, personal information. I do encourage giving each app’s security policy a once-over before you begin.
On to the list!
I love Mint. Mint is a one-stop finance shop when it comes to banking and bill paying. You simply link your bank accounts, credit union, credit cards, etc and watch the app work. You’ll get reminders about when bills are coming due, an up-to-date view of all your balances and a warning if your money’s getting a little low. Mint will track and trend your spending habits and make suggestions on where you could afford to save some money. Sure, every now and then you’ll want to tell Mint to mind its own business, but that wouldn’t be very productive, now would it? For a couple of added bonuses, Mint will keep you abreast of what your credit score looks like, and the app will categorize your spending habits, compiling all the data into digestible charts and graphs. The interface is bright and user friendly; two thumbs up for me.
Credit Karma (free)
If you want an app to help you zero in on what’s happening with your credit at all times, Credit Karma is the one. Its user interface is intuitive. Also, you get constant access to your credit score, as well as alerts anytime there are changes. You are promptly alerted whenever your score adjusts; update cycles are typically about every 7 days. You will receive information regarding the reason for the change, and suggestions on things you can do to maintain a healthy score. Credit Karma will also alert you regarding inquiries added to your report, as well as any changes to personal identification information, such as your address. Literally any activity happening with your credit is at your fingertips with Credit Karma.
Acorns is a great app for micro investing, and especially so if you’re new to investing altogether. The interface is decent and the options are pretty simple. For a nominal monthly fee, you choose how and what you’d like to invest. You can decide to set up automatic deposits on a consistent basis, be it weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whatever you heart…and wallet desire. Or, you may opt to use “round-ups”. The round up feature is really nice because you can conveniently link your debit or credit card to the app and it will round all of your purchases up to the nearest dollar, and invest the spare change. The third way to invest is by reinvesting market dividends. From there, you choose your portfolio: conservative, moderately aggressive, or aggressive. You’re able to make deposits and withdrawals whenever you’d like; but my advice? Park your money and watch it grow.
Trello (basic free)
Trello is basically a super functional task management app. You’re able to create “boards”. Within a board, you create a list, each item on your list is called a “card”. On each card, you’re able to add additional information about the task. Another feature allows you to add members to your board. Those member are then able to comment on each card and you’re able to respond so that group communication is at play. When you want to move items off of your list, you can drag and drop them to other boards. A great example that Trello uses is creating three boards: To-Do, In Progress, and Done. You can drag and drop as you go. Trello is great for work projects, household lists, family vacation planning, and more.
Headspace (basic free)
And after all that organizing and number crunching, surely you could use a break. My experience with mentioning meditation to people is a draw between a response of interest, and one of “you’re weird”. Meditation doesn’t have to be a super deep process. It can simply be, taking a moment to breathe and clear the clutter from your mind. I always recommend guided meditation to start, that’s exactly what this app is all about. The interface could not be any easier, and you get cute little animations to walk you through the process. you can start with 5 minutes, 10 minutes, wherever you’d like. Just give it a try, no harm, no foul right?
Well, these are five apps that absolutely make a difference in my day. Comment below what apps make a difference in yours as well!