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Apps to Organize Your Life

For nearly everybody these days, smartphone addiction is a simple fact of life, as most of us struggle to imagine life without our devices. But while it’s easy to spend hours upon hours staring at our screens, consuming mindless content like Netflix shows and Youtube videos, the potential of our phones to positively impact our daily lives is much greater than that. Thanks to the widespread availability of third-party applications on both iOS and Android devices, there’s no shortage of apps that promise to enhance your lifestyle in any number of ways. But this abundance of apps can make it difficult to determine which are worth downloading and investing time and money into and which are just a waste of time. As such, this article showcases the best and most useful lifestyle apps out there.

Perhaps the most versatile of these apps is IFTTT, which stands for If This Then That and allows you to program your phone to take actions automatically in response to certain events. For example, you can create a program that automatically turns on the Wi-Fi radio on your device when you enter your home and turns it off when you leave, or one that automatically shares social media posts across different platforms. IFTTT is designed to work with a multitude of services and platforms, such as Philips’ Hue lighting system and the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, enabling greater flexibility with respect to how services work together and integrating system not originally designed to be compatible with one another. Using IFTTT, you can create your own “applets,” or download ones shared by the community by taking advantage of a polished and easy-to-use interface. IFTTT is available for iOS, Android, and personal computers, and is free for personal use.

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If you’re a frequent online shopper, you may enjoy the convenience of having packages delivered right to your doorstep but may have some difficulty keeping track of what you’ve ordered and when your products are due to arrive. That’s where Slice comes in. The free app, available for both iOS and Android devices, not only aggregates and tracks your deliveries in real time, but also notifies you when the prices of items you’ve ordered changes or when the products you’ve purchased are recalled. Additionally, the app lets you scan barcodes for items that you’re shipping out to track their delivery progress, and if you link the app to your Amazon account, it will allow you to view detailed stats about the categories you spend money in and how your spending habits change over time.

Live in a city and interested in taking advantage of more public transit options? Citymapper may be the app for you. Available for both major smartphone operating systems, Citymapper integrates all major forms of urban public transport, including walking, cycling, and driving services, to help you determine the best way to get from point A to point B. The free app includes information about subway, bus, and taxi services, including prices and schedules, and combines routes from different modes of transportation to provide the most efficient navigation option. Additionally, Citymapper can send you notifications to let you know of things like changes in prices or schedules, service outages, and traffic information. By taking advantage of Citymapper, you can save time and money and reduce the stress of moving throughout a complex urban environment.

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Finally, potentially the most important lifestyle app on the list is Mint, which helps you track and plan your finances by connecting to your bank account, credit card, and other services. The app keeps a running list of all of your purchases and earnings, and breaks them down into categories to let you know when you’re over or under your monthly budget. Mint automatically checks and updates your credit score at regular intervals, and gives you advice on how to adjust your spending habits to maximize your score. The app also provides offers and recommendations for different credit cards, and helps with making decisions about loans and investments. While some users may be skeptical about sharing their financial data with a third-party, the app, developed by Intuit, who also develops Turbotax, promises to be very secure, and the potential to save money and improve your credit score is likely worth the perceived risk.

It’s impossible to create a fully comprehensive list of useful lifestyle apps in the space of a single article, and as such, there are a countless number of high-quality apps not listed here that are likely worth your time. As such, you should do your own research to determine which apps are best for you. Good resources include the “lifestyle” category of the app store on your smartphone of choice, and be sure to check the user reviews before downloading an app. Additionally, it’s a good idea to use a search engine to look up more detailed and objective information about apps before you download them, as some less-popular apps have potential security risks, particularly when they access sensitive data. Nevertheless, the app ecosystem has never been larger and more diverse, and taking advantage of the resources available to you can improve your life in surprising and unique ways.