Your phone is what you make of it. With the right apps installed, it can be a trusted colleague and collaborator, a tool for boosting your productivity, enhancing your creativity, and making your life more interesting.
It’s a good idea to, every so often, go through your apps, delete the ones that don’t spark curiosity, creativity, or productivity and replace them with new ones that help you crush your commute and get more juice from your screen time.
As our Valentine’s Day gift to you, here’s a bouquet of apps that focus us at work, help us relax at home, and generally delight us. Try a new one and let us know what you think!
The right note-taking app helps you to, in the words of business guru Tiago Forte, “build a second brain.” We love Zoho’s Notebook for its attractive interface and intuitive card-based system of organization.
For those of us who love to think out loud, Otter’s well-organized voice recorder is essential for catching elusive ideas, immortalizing snippets of rambling conversations, or launching when you wake up to make sure you remember that breakthrough idea you had in a dream last night.
Travel indubitably broadens the mind, and its logistics can take their toll on one’s patience. With this brilliant flight-booking app, you can save your extra heartbeats for all the new vistas you’ll explore.
There’s a gold rush in meditation and mindfulness apps. This one stands out by virtue of its grounding in Rohan Gunatillake’s mindful design principles. Buddhify is flat-out beautiful, with a rich and playful UX that makes it ideal for beginners or anyone who feels a bit lost in establishing a practice.
VSCO is for anyone who loves the creative side of photography and image manipulation, especially those who want to take their Instagram feeds to the next level. Its filtering tools can help almost anyone post high-quality digital images. Professional designers and photogs swear by it.
Here’s another essential image-editing tool for anyone who wants to keep alive the aesthetic principles of great photography in the era of social media. If you wonder how your favorite influencers always make their lemon wedges look so juicy and crisp, this might be your answer.
Chess – Play and Learn [iOS | Android]
Make a playdate with your inner strategist. Whether you’re a beginner or a master, the sleek design of this app makes it easy to love this timeless game of intellect.
From long reads to listicles, Pocket makes it easy to stay caught up with all the great written content you may find around the web. Robust tagging enables you to organize your library, and the vastly improved text-to-speech capabilities mean you can catch up on your “reading” while you commute, work out, or do the dishes.
Email newsletter subscriptions are a wonderful way to immerse yourself in niche subjects or to get informed on a broad range of current events. With Stoop, you can now organize and keep up with all your favorite newsletters without overwhelming your inbox.
Zoom is one of the most innovative video meeting and conference-room apps. It gets a special mention here for its addition of “driving mode,” which may actually save on car repair bills.
Podcasting keeps getting better. Take advantage of the booming audio renaissance with this robust platform for podcasts. It has one of the most user-friendly interfaces for an app of its kind, allowing for better discovery and a more engaging listening experience.
If you use music as a tool to relax, to focus, or to get things done, this unusual audio app may be the one you’ve been waiting for. With settings for “deep work,” meditation, sleep, and more, it lets you choose the state of mind you want and selects music tracks to match. It began as a cult favorite among coders, and now the secret is out.
In a time of increasing awareness of the tolls of depression, anxiety, and mental illness, not everyone has easy access to therapy. This revolutionary self-help app connects users with trained “listeners,” along with motivational exercises and a supportive community. 7 Cups may be a big clue to what the future of therapy may look like.
If you’re worried you may be spending too much time on your phone, or you want to encourage your kids to learn to better manage their screen time, the “gentle and compassionate” Moment app can help regain some digital agency. It gives you an inventory of how you engage with your device throughout the day and, if you don’t like the results, provides coaching to help you take more mindful charge of your eyeballs.
At Artisan Creative, we believe life and work are interrelated and we take a holistic approach to help teams and careers exceed expectations. Contact us today to start the conversation.