Must have apps that make my life so much easier


Photo credit: Ailbhe O'Donnell, for this M&S collaboration

I'm sad to say that anyone who's spent any time with me at all will know that I spend a lot of time on my phone – so it's safe to say that I've got the skinny on the must have apps to help ease your passage through life.

Okay, that's a bit OTT, but really: these apps save time and therefore money (time is money and so on and so forth), and make doing the things I love to do – spying on ex boyfriends, working out budgets I can then ignore, reading blogs by people I strongly dislike – a walk in the park.

I'm going to exclude the usual suspects, aka, the ones I use all the time, because you already know about those – Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook and Messenger – and stick to more techy or productivity-led apps that may, y'know, genuinely improve your day-to-day.

must have apps to make life easier

I even colour-code my apps because I'm a major nerd

My top 5 must have apps

  • Feedly. The official blurb on Feedly is that it's an app that helps you read all of your news in the one place. Pish tosh, I say – I use Feedly as a more grown-up, user-friendly version of Bloglovin, to read all of the blogs I want to read! You can divide your top sites into different categories – I have Beauty, Fashion, Food, Irish and Personal Blogs – and the desktop version is pretty nice, too. It makes it way easier than having 1,000 different bookmarks saved on your Chrome!
  • Flo. It's a period tracker, which is pretty run-of-the-mill (there are loads out there), but this is one of the nicest I've used. It sends you alerts when your period is due and syncs with your iPhone's health monitoring, so your activity levels are fed into the app. Right now? I'm ovulating, so Flo says I have a "high chance of getting pregnant". Nuh-uh, Flo, cos my coil is keeping me childless (I never did get it removed, so may do a blog update if you've any interest!).
  • iDashboard. This is the app I use for monitoring my blog stats on the go – and honestly, if you're someone who's blogging, or runs a website, you need to keep on top of your stats. How many people are visiting your site? Where are they going when they get there? How long are they hanging around? These are all key to knowing (a) what people want and (b) how to give it to them!
  • Xero. This app is essential if you're someone who is self-employed, or runs their own business, and is (like me) hopeless with money. I can upload receipts, keep an eye on my invoices and bank accounts, clock expenses and send reminders – and I'm sure there are loads more things I can do that I haven't quite figured out yet. The app itself is free, but I pay a monthly subscription to Xero to use the software (the desktop site is great too), of around €29 or so. If you ask me, it's 100% worth it.
  • Touch Retouch. This is the best €1.99 I've ever spent on an app. Sarah from I Come Undone showed it to me and honestly, it is genius. I use it to edit almost all of my photographs, and it's particularly brilliant for removing chewing gum from paths or getting rid of dodgy marks in the background. It's really quick and simple and makes improving your photographs so straightforward! I love it.

And then, my must have apps for fun...

  • Tetris. Because sometimes – just sometimes – you just have to switch off, and for me, Tetris is the kind of mindless fun that totally clears my brain. The only problem is, if I play too much, I end up rotating shapes in my head before trying to fall asleep, which is kind of counterproductive!
  • Pocket Casts. This is just a really easy, clean way to listen to podcasts. I'm currently obsessed with Watching Westworld, but I also love This American Life and The Irish Times' Women's Podcast (and I swear that's not just because I was on it).
  • Pinterest. I don't know about you, but I don't see Pinterest as a hugely worthwhile social media tool any more and I don't really see the value in accruing followers or pins. But for mindless time-wasting, flicking through photograph after photograph of beautiful women and even more beautiful houses, there's nothing like it.

What are your favourite apps? Am I missing any essentials? Let me know in the comments or snap or tweet me @rosemarymaccabe – or get me on Facebook here.