My Favourite Daily Apps (2018)

By Aneesah, 22 May 18

So here’s the thing about apps — one can make so many excuses for not needing them! For me they went something like this…

  1. I can just use manual pen & paper/notebook: ha. You think? Only to be misplaced, or have papers flying everywhere, or inevitably have the baby chew on them? o_O
  2. Apps keep me glued to my phone: I used to have the intention of not being reliant on my phone, because I have small kids and I don’t want them to see me using it so much — well that thought is no more. :nod: Smartphones are part and parcel of modern life and is probably the one thing I have within reach most of the time.
  3. My phone doesn’t have enough space: there is a solution to this — get a new phone. I used a hand-me-down Android for a couple of years, then discovered that new phones come with a bajillion more space and doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The mental freedom of “Oh hey I can afford to download this app because my phone has space now!” is totally worth it.

And here is my argument for how apps can help to improve your life:

  • It gets stuff out of your brain: in productivity lingo they have this activity called the “brain dump” or “mind dump”, meaning you don’t keep thoughts and to-do’s in your head but in some reliable, external system LIKE AN APP.
  • It helps with life/family management: things like sharing and sending lists, information, recipes, photos… all help with efficiency and productivity and sanity.
  • It makes you happier: by “you”, I mean “me”, or people like me, who need to have some semblance of organisation in life.

These are the apps we use:

1. Wunderlist

I believe that checklists are the secret to success. Or at least one of the secrets. :B I never used to have a proper app for lists, but my husband dragged me into this.

Wunderlist on mobile

At first we used it for our grocery shopping only, but soon discovered it’s also useful for other tasks, like setting a packing list, planning a rough budget, or selecting options for daycare. The lists can be managed by more than one person and auto-syncs from the cloud. You can even send lists via WhatsApp to people who don’t have Wunderlist.

Example packing list

The best thing about it: having something like a packing list or shopping list that you can use over and over again makes it part of an SOP and helps you avoid the classic gut feeling of “I must have forgotten something…” every time. :nod:

2. Trello

I use Trello more like a long-term to-do list. I think there’s a name for this format of lists (originally with physical sticky notes, arranged in columns on a vertical board) which… you can look up if you’re interested. ^^;

Trello on Desktop

My lists are divided into columns:

  • Completed
  • Currently
  • Upcoming
  • Someday

(And I also happen to have columns for a Legend and a book wishlist.)

Within each column are cards to represent an item or project. Cards can then have labels, deadlines, checklists, members, attachments/photos, links, etc.

The best thing about it: dragging and dropping cards into the relevant column as things progress. The fact that everything is movable and visual helps you to edit as you go — in fact I’ve just deleted a few cards under Someday that I’ve decided not to work on after all. It’s such freedom, having a to-do list like this!

3. Pepperplate

This is basically a recipe organiser! Now I suppose some people may not need one at all, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll discover over time that you cook the same handful of meals over and over, but can never remember the recipe details.  -_-; These recipes can come from all sorts of places: books, blogs, and/or people. Some of our cookbooks have awful-looking pages from them being on the kitchen counter while I cook!

One of the quickest meals ever.

The best thing about it: adding recipes from a computer is a snap — especially when importing from popular food websites because there’s an automatic online tool. Otherwise, even manual adding is pretty easy because the app formats the instructions into numbered lists, bolds the ingredient amounts, etc. Admittedly, I still have many recipes to add into our collection but once they’re in, I’m hoping I won’t need to break out another cookbook into the kitchen anymore.  =/ And I’m hoping the collection will help us in the future when our grown children ask us how to cook their childhood meals! :boogie:

Honourable mentions

  • MEGA for backing up photos into the cloud
  • Unified Remote to control the laptop cursor while we watch on the projector (we don’t have a TV)
  • Messaging apps: WhatsApp, Slack, Telegram
  • Pinterest for ideas for all the projects I want to do
  • Goodreads for keeping track of my read books
  • Maybank for super-quick fund transfers!

That is all. Good day!

What do you think?

I think...