Things I Love Thursday: Phone Apps that Make Life Easier

When planning well in advance (yesterday) for this post, I asked a friend for topic ideas and "beach games" was thrown into the mix. Not sure about you guys but The Honeymoon Phase of Summer ended about seven hundred pantry restocks ago, and Beach Game Mom ended her reign during Week 1.

We're over here in survival mode just trying to balance that difficult dynamic between  being bored with another pool day and if you tell me one more time that you're BORED going to the the pool I'll have to tell you one more time about my childhood "pool days" being spent running through the sprinkler.
Can I get a witness?

Needless to say, I landed on Phone Apps that help me survive the day to day.

Most of you have probably heard about all of these as I am usually late to the 
technological party, but...perhaps one of these can decrease a tish of stress in your day to day.

Click the PINK LINKS to go to iTunes and claim some sanity for yourself.


1. Nat Geo TV

Next time you're in a doctor's office with all the kids and the little one forgets all of their training and keeps interrupting the doctor as they're explaining that nothing is actually wrong and you've wasted a copay, just toss some Nat Geo in little one's direction and receive only a portion of the judgement you typically get when pacifying the youths with screen time.

But foreal. It's pretty cool. Secrets of the Zoo is a good one to start with.

2. TurboScan

If apps had a neck to hug, you'd have reached out a time or two to embrace this one in a moment of gratitude.

It's kind of like the 2019 version of needing a paper notarized and realizing a random lady in your presence just so happens to be a notary.

Basically you take photos of important papers (pretty much just immunization records), and it turns it into a pdf that you can email to yourself or to summer camp when you're two weeks past the due date.

3. Tasty

Gone are the days of waiting to scroll Facebook in hopes that someone posted another fun food video.

Just pull up ol' Tasty any time you want and calculate how quickly you can absolutely ruin your workout.

4. Chick Fil A

Our small town is growing in leaps and bounds but has not yet reached the two Chick Fil A logarithm yet. Needless to say, our CFA drive thru can take a minute.

But...No more!

Order online.

Choose in store pick up.
Five minutes before you arrive, click "I've arrived".
Walk In. 
Pick It Up. 
Double check that there's enough Polynesian for the hungry wolves you're feeding.
Receive your "My Pleasure"

But you're like NAW, BOO.

MY Pleasure.

Throw a peace sign at car #15 in the drive thru.

5. Poshmark

This is basically an online yard sale.

Like any yard sale, there is garbage.
But also hidden treasures.

Like some Size 9 Retro Jordans that have never been worn and don't cost the same as a kid dentist visit (including x rays).

Hint: Search NWT (new with tag) and program your favorite brands, and they'll alert you when people post.

6. Jane

If yard sales aren't for you, and Poshmark is too much searching, then Jane might be your thing.

Daily deals of mostly ladies' clothing, but other stuff for kids and your home as well.

It's a good thing to scroll through every morning instead of the news if you're looking to start the day with something light instead of horrifying.

Jane won't notify me about shark attacks, but she might just show me a heathered t shirt in just the right shade of blue for $7.

7. Cozi

If you've been a WhimsyTown frequenter for a while, you've heard about Cozi.

If you're looking to keep your stuff in one place, this is a good one. 
Every family member gets a different color, and for some reason my brain just receives information better this way.

You can also add your To-Do List, and there's family sharing so if you need someone to have access to your whereabouts on any given day, they can see that you're at the orthodontist with the red and green children.

8. Venmo

This has been around a while, so I'm not Columbusing here. I'm just hoping all of you will download this ASAP and become the person who never forgets to pay a friend back because you never have cash.

Also, this was me before Venmo.

And it's also me after Venmo, but at least my friends can send a nice little invoice to me that pops up on my phone.

Simple. User friendly and you can search your contacts (if they don't chose the private exchange) to see what people are spending money on these days.

It's not weird. I promise.

9. Voxer

It's a Walkie-Talkie for your phone.

Thanks to this my college roommates and I have (almost) daily group dialogue about important things and also inside jokes that I hope no one is secretly listening to.

And yes, I know about Marco Polo.

It's Voxer gone video with a lot more fun and a beautiful rainbow logo.

But I live with a bunch of little boys who don't like to wear their clothes sometimes. And it's Summer so my skin is dry on the regular and there's often that weird space of "is it a booger" or "is it dry skin".

I'm sparing you all by only using Marco Polo with those who can handle video Erin.
So, pretty much military wives.

10. Weather Bug

There are plenty of apps that will alert me to weather warnings, but not until this app did any of them answer the real question:

Do we need to get out of the pool?

And while I still don't know the answer, this app does at least have a map that shows the closest lightening strike. Then you can rely on your friend who used to be a life guard to tell you all of the lightening rules.

11. SworkIt Fitness

I'll sing the praises of the gym I go to until I die or it kills me, but sometimes you're in a pinch, and you gotta get a good sweat out.

SworkIt is a great substigym.

You can customize the workout however you like it, but I suggest picking what you're really good at so that your fellow SworkIters will think you're in great shape.

12. Waze

This app is responsible for getting me to baseball tournaments in the middle of nowhere more times than I can count.

Perhaps not any different than other road travel apps, but Waze will suggest rerouting when there's traffic ahead.

I also use it to search for nearby places to eat.

13. Plan To Eat

This is an online recipe book. You can add recipes by copying and pasting a link, manually insert grandma's coconut cake, and add friends so that you can see their recipes as well.

Oh, and you can schedule different meals for the week and hit the grocery shopping list, and it inserts it all into a form divided into sections of the grocery store.

It's like a professional organizer + recipe book + Facebook.

This is a great app for the first few weeks of school and the first few weeks of the new year when we get all hype about being awesome. After that, I go back to Plan To Eat's sister app, Open Table.

There is an annual fee, but it's 50% off every Black Friday, FYI

14. White Noise

Everyone has their sleep preferences. I prefer pitch black darkness and no sounds at all.

But sometimes you travel, and your optimal sleeping conditions cannot be met.

In lieu of hauling a sound machine through TSA checkpoints, just download this app and sleep to the sounds of white noise, brown noise, mountain stream or for you serial killers out there, wind chimes.

15. LaLaLab

Okay, so I have yet to order from this, but I do have fun making photo gifts and putting them in my shopping cart.

Check out the box of photos gift. It's my fave to put together and never order.

16. WordSwag

My sister in law, Margaret, told me about this hidden gem. It's an awesome little app that allows you to add words to images.

Sometimes you'll get so crafty you'll think you should have been a graphic designer, but then you see actual graphic design work, and you'll understand that this is just an app to get you out of a design pickle in a pinch.

I've used it to make things like this:


Again, not a miracle worker, but it gets the job done, and it's fun to play around with!

Alright. That's my list. What's yours?

If your phone was falling into a fiery pit and you could only save a few apps, what would they be?

1 comment

  • Hi Erin! Great article! I too have made it to parts unknown with Waze…. baseball games, oh yeah!! Apps I love are Think Dirty to see what is really in products I buy, Canva, and Merlin Bird IQ.


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