One of the takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic is the growing reliance on smartphone apps. Whether helping us keep in touch with friends and family, ordering groceries online, or performing other necessary tasks, apps have become deeply entrenched in everyday life.
With the growing reliance on apps, you might be asking yourself what apps do I need to make life just a little easier in 2021? Well, we’ve done a little research and rounded up some of the apps growing in popularity that you might want to look at to see if one or more could be something you’d want to use.
Buddy is a personal budgeting app that might be of interest to those particularly concerned with online security. That’s because unlike some budgeting apps that link to your bank account, Buddy does not require access to your sensitive financial information. Instead, you simply create a budget and then enter each transaction.
The Buddy interface is clean because you can add any budget category making it more specific than the general categories offered by similar apps. For example, you can add a category for “Groceries” and another one for “UberEats”, since you may have different spending goals for each.
Buddy is free to start and offers a monthly or yearly subscription. The subscriptions offer premium functionality not available in the free version.
You may already use Trello at work to help collaborate and manage cross-team projects, but did you know there’s also a version that can help you manage your personal time and household tasks? Simply list tasks under columns labeled “To Do”, “Doing” and “Done”. As each task is completed, move it across the columns. How satisfying is it to see a list of all your tasks line up under the Done column?
You can organize each task by priority, assign a due date and include any additional information: for example, “clean out linen closet - due April 6, low priority” or “throw out all old bedsheets and wipe shelves”.
The great thing about Trello is that you can sign-up your entire household. Assign tasks to your spouse, children and hold them accountable for completing them. If everyone gets on board your household can run a lot smoother.
Trello is free but a premium version with added functionality is available for a month or yearly subscription.
Video conferencing has been a mainstay during the pandemic and for good reason. If you’re not already using it, Zoom is one of the more popular conferencing apps thanks to its ease of use and useful features including screen-sharing capability.
People have put these features to good use this past year judging by the number of “Zoom Weddings” and other gatherings that have taken place since the pandemic forced so many of us to shelter at home. Zoom is very straight-forward to use and because it is cloud-based, it is easy for anyone with an internet connection to participate.
As the host of a Zoom gathering, all you need to do is create a link and copy and send it to anyone you want to attend. Your guests just need to download the light-weight app on their phone or desktop. Be sure also to use the security provisions and set a password to prevent unwanted visitors “zoombombing” your session.
Zoom is free for personal use and allows you to host up to 100 participants. There is a catch, however, as large meetings are capped at 40 minutes in length for the free version of Zoom. For one-to-one sessions, however, there are no time limitations.
Do you struggle to remember all your passwords? With all the passwords you need now, it’s understandable if you do, and with the level of complexity now required for most passwords, it’s only becoming more of a challenge. After all, who can be expected to remember a password 10 words long with three special characters, one lowercase, one upper case letter that does not have four consecutive characters in a row or a password you’ve used in the last year?
Geez -- no wonder we need an app to remember all our passwords.
The Notes app is one simple way to securely store your passwords and it comes free with your smartphone. After all, you almost always have your phone with you, and with the secure login features on your phone including fingerprint and facial recognition, you can rest easy knowing that your passwords are safe from prying eyes.
Dropbox is a must-have app for file management that also keeps your files safe. Even if your computer crashes or you accidentally lose or damage your phone, all the files you place in Dropbox are automatically secured in the cloud.
Dropbox offers several handy features including the ability to scan documents, such as receipts, straight into folders. Dropbox makes it easy to share folders with others and you can access files in your account even when offline with no additional special software required.
Dropbox is free for personal use but there are plans available should you need additional storage space.
The cost of groceries has risen sharply in recent months but there are several apps out there that can help you save. One of the more popular ones is Flipp, a free app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet. Flipp works by compiling all the grocery store flyers in your area so you can see which stores are offering the best prices on any given product.
With Flipp, you can “clip” coupons so you can go digital and forget about lugging around all those paper coupons. You can even type in your shopping list and Flipp will automatically highlight the stores where you can find those items on sale.