The Apps I Use

Photo by JD Hancock

When this blog first started, many eons ago, it was Palm-centered. About two years ago I switched over to an iPod Touch, and while I do miss some of the functionality of my Palm, I find myself happy with the trade offs.

Recently a reader asked me what I was still using on my iPod Touch, She had watched me make the switch, then go on an app diet. The truth is that apps are creeping back in since I went on the app diet. While it was a good exercise, I use more than 10 apps. So today I am going to tell you what I actually use.

The Basics

The whole point to having these devices is that they replace the bulky Franklin planner I used to lug around. While I love the flexibility of planning on paper, I find that electronic offers the ability to do some of the work for me. These are the things that are fundamental to any software I use:

  • Repeats. The electronic versions has to be able to handle repeats, such as repeating events, repeating tasks, repeating reminders.
  • Ease of movement. Any software has to have the ability to either move things on its own (such as after a due date has passed) or at least be able to copy and paste (yes, in this day and age there is software that doesn’t!)
  • Multiple access points. After having worked with the Palm desktop, I am used to accessing my data both through the device and also through my desktop computer. I dislike having to do major data entry on a little screens but I do need the ability to do minor edits.

Productivity

These apps form the basics of my system.

  • Calendar. I have hooked up the built-in calendar so that it links up to Google calendars. Since my Google calendar has links to my husband’s calendar and the separate calendar I maintain for my elementary-aged daughter, everything for the family appears on the schedule.
  • Remember the Milk. I like the task functionality and the fact that I can get this both on my computer and iPod. There are applications that also bring it to my desktop level. It handles everything I do, plus it has the cute little cow.
  • Gmail. I don’t use the built-in app for email, preferring to use the Gmail application. I like being able to access all of my folders from within the application.
  • Contacts. I use the built-in contacts application that pulls my contacts down from Gmail.
  • Use Your Handwriting Gold. I hate using the little keyboard on the screen for quick data entry. This app allows me to write with my finger, then email myself the resulting picture. It is great for noting down quick things.
  • Awesome Note. This little notebook syncs with Google Docs and took the place of the memos I stored on my Palm. The same lists are there, just different application.

Utilities

These applications are the ones that I use to make my life a bit easier.

  • Weatherbug. I have used the application for years and use it now more for the sake of consistency than for any real advantage of features.
  • Flashlight. This free app turns my iPod into a bright little light, good enough for me to make my way around in the dark.
  • 15c Calc. I grew used to RPN calculators in college, and prefer them over algebraic ones. This app was expensive, but its interface is just like the calculator I have on my desk at home.
  • KyPass. This Keepass client syncs through Dropbox and allows me to have my passwords wherever – without having to remember to sync. This is a big step up from what I was using on the Palm.

Home Apps

  • Home Routine. I am back to doing a weekly rotation through the housework, and I like this application. Besides having a customizable rotation, you can enter your information on the web. It also features a built-in timer.
  • Wonderful Days. This journaling app lets me attach pictures to the entries and exports both to PDF and Evernote.
  • Handy Cookbook. This application takes data from my desktop program, Mastercook, and allows me to have my recipes with me wherever I go.
  • Timer+. I can have multiple timers set up and I use this for doing the (10+2)*5 method.
  • Mission Alarm. This crazy app request me to do something other than hit a button in order to shut off the obnoxious music. It gets me conscious better than just about any other thing I have tried.

Sounds/Relaxation

It seems odd to have specific apps to generate sounds on an MP3 player, but I do use them to block out distractions.

  • iChakra. Purchased originally for the singing bowls, I love listening to the vocal chant. I find it very calming.
  • Ambience. This application allows me to download nature sounds and play them in a loop.
  • Koi Pond. I get to relax by feeding the fish in a pond. Very nice!

Blogging and Writing

I don’t do much primary writing on the iPod, but I can check things and make small adjustments if I need to.

  • WordPress. All of my blogs run on WordPress and I can make adjustments to all three using this app.
  • HTML Writer. When I am composing for the blog, I do a modified version of HTML. HTMLWriter makes it easy to get the tags in the right place.
  • myMind. I love this little app for brainstorming. It syncs with a free desktop application and I can write down ideas wherever I go,
  • Twitter. I use the now-native Twitter application to post non-scheduled updates.

Reading

I do a lot of reading, and while I prefer my Kindle, it is nice to have reading material available to me everywhere.

  • Kindle. This application gives me most of the functionality of my Kindle, and it keeps track of where I am in the book, regardless of what device I was reading on last.
  • Overdrive. Our local library uses Overdrive to check out electronic media.
  • Book Crawler. My abysmal memory means having a book list around is essential. This one can be edited through a desktop web browser, or pulled into a database. It is great at looking up books and pulling down information from the Internet.

Games

While I did purchase many of the same games I used on the Palm, I don’t have as many games in the iPod anymore.

  • Cribbage. I love playing cribbage, and this game allows me to play other real people, instead of just the device.
  • Tiny Wings. This simple little game has a little bird flying over hills. It is joyous and makes me smile.

That is the list of applications I use on my iPod Touch. Are there any apps that you rely on? Share below!


Photo by JD Hancock

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