10 Best Apps for Busy Young Professionals
Need a little extra help sticking to a schedule? Confronting your inbox? Managing your money? There’s no need to look any farther than that constant companion of all busy professionals of the modern age – your smartphone – for help. Pick and choose from the 10 apps below based on your needs and goals, or just use them as a springboard; for each of these apps, there are at least 3-4 similar apps that you can try out if you don’t like the specific features or interfaces of the ones listed here.
This free password manager can save you from the personal hell of trying to decide whether you want to just “remember” all of your 8,000 different passwords (ha!), write them down somewhere that you’ll eventually forget or misplace, or just make it easy for hackers by using the same password on every site. LastPass not only stores all of your passwords for you, it also offers options like pre-filling your username/passwords for you so you don’t even have to look them up, syncing across all your devices, helping you generate strong passwords, and sharing your passwords easily and safely when necessary.
This free task manager gives you more control over your to-do list. It works simply but effectively: You enter the tasks you have to get done and how much time you can spend on each one. You’d be surprised how motivating it is to see the seconds ticking by on the app’s timer and to know that it’s going to announce when you should be done – in fact, many reviewers have even praised 30/30 for helping them with their ADHD!
This award-winning free app is a solution to one of life’s biggest problems for the busy professional: the dreaded inbox build-up. Spark compiles all of your email accounts into one app and batches them in categories like personal, newsletter, or notification. You can pin emails that you need to respond to that day, or snooze the ones that you need to respond to later. You can save attachments, set up a calendar, and even customize your experience so that you only get notifications about emails you care about.
This free progress tracker (free for up to 3 habits, that is) encourages you to turn wish-they-were-habits into actual habits. You customize the app with the activities or behaviors that you want to turn into habits, along with information about how often you want to do them. Momentum reminds you to do them, tracks your progress, and gives you updates on how well you’re doing.
- The Skimm
This news app, which goes for $2.99/mo or $29/yr (with a free 30-day trial), is really more than a news app. It does condense all of the biggest news highlights you need in a compact, fun-to-read update each Monday-Friday morning, but it also features recommendations for books, movies, tv shows, and music. It even syncs with your calendar and sends you reminders ranging from “Game of Thrones season premiere tonight!” to “Buy Dad’s birthday present!”
Anyone who’s ever gone through the hassle of trying to coordinate a whole group’s impossibly complicated schedules to find a meeting time that works for everyone (read: absolutely everyone who’s ever worked in a group) will breathe a sigh of relief that Doodle exists. Once all group members have the app, each member inputs their personal schedule and the app figures out when everyone can meet. No more agonizing over spreadsheets or making lists on scrap papers in your office – genius!
This free money-managing app lets you do basically everything you could want to do with your personal finances in one place. You can see all of your bank accounts, set budgets for yourself in categories you customize, track how you’re doing in each category to see where you might need to scale down, get reminders for upcoming bills and pay them, and even see your credit score and net worth!
- Sleep Cycle
Ever had your alarm go off after a solid 7-8 hours of sleep yet still felt bizarrely, inexplicably tired? That’s because you sleep in cycles, with some sleep phases being light and others heavy, and being woken up in the middle of a heavy phase can leave you feeling like you got hit by a bus, no matter how much sleep you actually got. This $0.99 app, though, tracks your sleep cycles for you and “finds the optimal time to wake you up during a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time.” As long as it’s positioned near your bed, you can kiss inexplicably groggy mornings goodbye.
This is the only significantly costly app on this list, but it’s actually a bargain for what it offers. This app, which runs at $48 monthly or quarterly at $120 every 3 months, sets you up with your own personal nutritionist. Simply take photos of your meals and your coach will give you tips every day, including suggestions and identifications of problem areas, based on your goals. You’re not just trying a one-size-fits-all diet; you’re getting suggestions about what will work for you based on your body’s unique chemistry. Compared to other professional nutritionist fees, this app is a good deal, and a well-reviewed one at that.
Finally, there’s even a free app for when you want to spend less time on apps. As handy as our phones can be, they can also eat up hours of our days that we end up wishing we had back. For some of us, just the dependence we’ve developed on our phones, relying on them to fill every spare moment we have, leaves us feeling uncomfortable. If that sounds like you, then use Moment to track your behavior. Moment will show you how many times you pick up your phone each day, how much time you spend on it, and which apps take up the most of that time. You can leave it at that if you choose, but the app also offers coaching on how to reduce time spent on your smartphone. (I know – it seems counterintuitive that an app would help you spend less time on apps, but it’s recommended by author Manoush Zomorodi, who’s studied dependence on cell phones.)
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