My Top 50 Mostly Free Mobile Apps I Use To Manage My Digital Life

November 4, 2013

Do you have a Smartphone?

Are you using it to its fullest potential?

What apps are you using to help you accomplish your personal and professional goals?

In this post, I'm going to be sharing my top 50 Apps that I use on my mobile devices.

Mobile Devices Are Everywhere

Top50AppsLook to your left, right or in your pocket/purse. I bet you there's a mobile device right there in one of those places (let me know if I'm right in the comments).

They are a part of our lives, for better or worse. We have more power in our pockets today than entire corporations had in years past.

I've grown to love my mobile device, and as a result have tested HUNDREDS of apps, so I thought I'd share the top 5 apps that I like for 10 different categories of my life. Yes, I'm somewhat of an app junkie. In some cases, I had to really fight to narrow it down to 5 so that you can get the best of the best.

Fortunately, most of the apps I use are available for iOS and Android, so 40 of the 50 will be cross-platform. Then I list 5 that are Android only and 5 that are iOS only. If there are awesome apps that I may not have mentioned, feel free to mention them in the comments. Enjoy . . .

Blogging

Evernote

Evernote

I'm in love with Evernote. I use it for almost everything I write. Most of my blog posts and podcast episodes start as notes in Evernote. The best thing about it is that it's available on every device – computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, android device – whatever you can think of.

WordPress

If you're using WordPress for your blog (and you should be), then this app is pretty cool for managing your blog. It allows you to add posts and pages (but I don't use it for that), reply to comments and even check your stats if you're using the Jetpack plugin.

Godaddy Mobile

I use this for checking for available domain names. Every so often, I get an interesting idea for a URL or I get an idea for someone else and want to check to see if it's available. To do this, I use Godaddy Mobile. I don't get my domains from Godaddy, but they sure do make it easy to search for them.

Feedly News Reader

If you like to keep up with multiple blogs and be able to see what new content your favorite bloggers are posting, this is a good tool for doing so. It's technically an RSS Reader (like what Google reader used to be) and it does a great job at making the content look really good.

Gmail

This probably doesn't seem like an app related to blogging, but for me it is. Whenever there's a new blog comment, I get notified via email, and I use Gmail (of course). I honestly don't see any reason to use any other email service besides the best.

Business

Square Register

Square Register

It always amazes me when businesses don't accept credit card payments. Every once in a while I run into a business that doesn't and it literally blows my mind. I have a little card reader from Square that I can plug into my mobile device. I swipe your card and you give me money. It's then deposited into my bank account the next business day. So easy a Leslie could do it 🙂

Paypal Mobile

If you're a Paypal user, this allows you to keep track of your account. You can send payments, request payments, check your account history and much more. Well worth having!

Paypal Here

Remember the square card reader I spoke about 2 apps ago? This does the same thing but your funds get immediately deposited into Paypal. This comes in handy if you have a Paypal debit card because then you have INSTANT access to that money. It's a beautiful thing.

Mint Personal Finance

This is just a great app for managing your finances. It allows you to manage all your bank accounts in one place, create budgets, track your finances and a bunch of other stuff. I haven't found a better one yet.

Xoom Money Transfer

Because I have a virtual assistant in the Philippines, I need to have a way to send her money. I use Xoom.com, which makes it easy to transfer money either to her bank account or to a location where she can go and pick it up. You can Send up to $2,999 for only $4.99.

Social Media

Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is my social media channel of choice. Why? Because everybody's there. You know it's true. You're there aren't you? Then I don't need to explain to you why I have this app.

Facebook Pages Manager

If you manage Facebook pages, this app allows you to do so better than the regular Facebook App.

Twitter

Twitter is also pretty up there when it comes to social media. If you're on there, you might as well have the app 🙂

Google+

In my opinion, Google+ is the best social network in terms of features. However, they don't have as many active people on there as Facebook and Twitter. I still love Google+ and I think they have THE best app of all the social media sites.

Hootsuite

I've just been getting into Hootsuite and I'm starting to love it. It allows you to manage multiple social media accounts in one place. You can't manage Google+ profiles but you can manage Google+ pages. This app works best on iPad because you are able to see more on one screen, but it works OK on other devices.

Productivity

Wunderlist

Wunderlist

If you are a to-do list person, then Wunderlist is great. I love it because it's available on just about every platform and syncs between all your devices. Add things to your todo list on your computer and they are also on your smartphone.

LastPass

I have a bunch of accounts all over the place and I don't know most of my passwords. Why not? Because I use Lastpass to create, save and encrypt my passwords so that some mean person (yes they do exist) doesn't get access to my accounts. Yes, it's still possible, but much more difficult because I use last pass. Also, I'm able to share passwords with my virtual assistant in a safe way.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of those services that backs up your files via the cloud and allows you to access it from anywhere. It runs in the background so that you don't have to think about it. The one inconvenience is that you can only sync files and folders that are in the dropbox folder. It also allows you to easily share files and folders with anyone with great control of what they have access to.

Google Drive

This does the same thing as dropbox, but it's from Google. I prefer Dropbox because it allows you to manage everything without having to go to the website, but Google drive is great in that it is fully integrated with Google services like Gmail.

Gotomeeting

I have a weekly mastermind meeting with 4 awesome guys. We get together via gotomeeting. Once in a while, I'm not able to be at my laptop. Fortunately, there's an app for that. I can join the meeting on my phone and we can meet.

Continuing Education

Audiobooks from Audible

Audible

I LOVE to read, but I don't have much time to do it. Fortunately, I can get professionals to read to me at anytime of the day or night. Yep, I'm so cool that I can call professional actors to read to me. Ok, not quite, but audible is kind of like that. I can take my books with me anytime and listen to them at my own leisure, even while I'm on a long trip.

Amazon Kindle

For those time when I am able to spend some time reading, I have the Amazon Kindle app. All of the books that I purchase in the Kindle store are available for me to read, annotate and enjoy.

TED

I just recently started watching a bunch of TED videos and they are great for expanding the mind. So many great ideas from the world's best innovators. I love it.

Pocket Casts

Another way I learn is by listening to Podcasts. You can find a podcast on almost ANY topic. Pocket Casts is my favorite app for listening to podcasts.

Duolingo

If you're into learning foreign languages, then this is THE APP for you. Really! I found it earlier this year when I had to take a trip to Colombia. My Spanish isn't great, but this really helped me to learn a lot. I can only imagine how fluent I would be if I did this every day. It's like Rosetta Stone, but FREE – such a beautiful word!

Communication

Skype

Skype

I Love me some Skype. It's how I keep in touch with my family in St. Maarten. They are able to get on Skype with me and see little Noah do all kinds of cool things. Skype really allows us to feel like we're right in the room with each other – the beauty of technology.

Google Voice

Google voice ROCKS – especially if you don't want to spend a bunch of money on minutes. It's like a second phone line. It's even more awesome because if someone leaves you a message, it can transcribe that message very well (unless your friends have strong accents like some of mine – if it's you, you know that I'm talking about you, lol) and email it to you. You even get a free phone number. A great way to save some cashy cashy.

Line 2

This is similar to Google Voice, but has more advanced features. You can have that fancy “Press 1 to speak to mr. Awesome himself . . .” feature that big corporations use. It also gives you the option of having a Toll free number. This is the service I use for my voicemail hotline at (888) 835 – 2414.

Hangouts

I already said that I love Google+, and I think that Google Hangouts are the BEST feature that Google+ has. Not only can you get on a video call (like Skype), but you can also have 10 people on one call. It's a beautiful thing.

Facebook Messenger

At first, I saw no use for Facebook Messenger, because there's a messenger feature in the Facebook app. Then I switched to Android and fell in love with it because it allows you to use the Facebook Chat Bubbles from any screen on your phone. It doesn't matter if you're in the Google+ app, you can still have those chat bubbles. It also can manage your text messages, although I've been having some issues with the text message notifications, so I stopped using it for that.

Fun & Entertainment

Pandora Radio

Pandora

Do you love music as much as I do? Then Pandora is a must have. You can create instant radio stations based on your favorite music. It's a beautiful thing. It's free with ads, or you can upgrade to remove ads. I use the free version.

Spotify

This is another music streaming service (like Pandora) but it's different in that you can create playlist of the music you want to hear. It also has a radio station feature like Pandora, but Pandora does that better. You can also download music directly to your device.

Netflix

Do I need to explain what Netflix is? You remember when you used to go to those antique places called Video rentals like Blockbuster? Well, they came into the 21st century with Netflix. Tons of movies and shows available for instant streaming. It's not free, but it's convenient.

Hulu Plus

WHAT? You're still watching cable TV? What's up with that? Hulu plus is another awesome streaming services that allows you to watch many of your TV shows (even Scandal) on any device. That's the service I use now and it's part of why I can't remember the last time I watched ANYTHING on Cable.

Stitcher Radio for Podcasts

This is also a podcast listening app. It's great in that there are tons of new podcasts that you can discover in their directory.

Miscellaneous Awesomeness

Nike+ Running

Nike+ Running

If you're into running, this is a great app for tracking your activity. You can also compete with your friends regardless of where they are in the world.

Youtube

Do you watch Youtube videos? Then you might as well have the Youtube app. I don't feel like I need to explain what this one does.

Google Maps

I'm starting to fall in love with Google Maps. It has come a long way and has some awesome features. It always freaks me out to be able to be in satellite view and see the actual road I'm on with everything that's in my vicinity while driving. Technology has come so far.

Crashplan

This is another backup service that's a lot more comprehensive. It pretty much backs up your entire computer for $5/month. It doesn't matter how large your hard drive is, Crashplan will back it up and you can access your files from your mobile device. It also has the option to backup your files to an external hard drive. I've had hard drives fail and because I had Crashplan, I didn't have to worry about ANYTHING.

Hotels.com

If you travel a lot, this is a great app to have. You're on the road and need a place to stay at an affordable rate? You pop open this app, it detects where you are and gives you a list of hotels that you can book from right there. Does it get any better than that? I think not!

Android Only

SwiftKey

SwiftKey

This is one of the best apps in the world in my opinion. It allows you to use the swipe feature on android in an awesome way. It makes it SUPER easy for you to be able to type extremely fast using a swipe of your finger. When I try to make a status update on my iPad, I fee like I'm typing like a snail now. Man, I love Android.

MightyText

This is one that I recently discovered and fell in love with. You're checking your email and a text comes in. What do you do? You put your hand ALLL THEE WAYYY DOWWWN in your pockets. Unless you have Mighty text. If you are one of the smart people, you get a popup right there in your browser with the text message, and yes, you can reply right there.

GO SMS Pro

The beauty of Android is that it's extremely customizable. You can use a bunch of different SMS apps to manage your SMS messages. This is the best one I've found and I'm sticking with it. It has nice themes, allows you to schedule SMS messages and you can even keep some messages private (not a feature I use but I can see how that can come in handy)

Light Flow Lite

On my Samsung Galaxy S4, I have an LED light that blinks when there's a notification. This app allows me to specify the color of that light depending on the app that is giving the notification. That way, if I see a light of a certain color, I know what's going on even before waking my phone.

Shush

Ever been in a situation where you put your phone on silent because you're in a very important meeting, forget to turn the ringer on after the meeting and then miss some very important call. That happened to me a few times (and my wife doesn't like it). This app allows me to quickly and easily set the duration of my silent time and it automatically turns the ringer back on for me.

iOS Only

Lift

liftIf you want to get stuff done, you have to set goals. Set them, crush them, rinse and repeat. This is THE BEST app for helping you do that. It gamifies getting stuff done in an awesome way, with support from an awesome community. As of right now, it's only available on iOS, but in a convo with one of the co-founders, he told me that the Android version should be coming out soon. Until then, enjoy the iOS version.

Bossjock Studio

If you're a podcaster and you have an iOS device, then you definitely want this app. It allows you to do a full production like you're in a professional studio with just your mobile device and a mic. It's a beautiful thing.

Mailbox

This is a great app for managing email if you're one of those people (like myself) who like to be at inbox zero. For managing email, it does a great job, and it helps you take control of your inbox.

Carrot

This is another todo app, but with a twist. It's very insulting and abusive, lol. Seriously, if you don't get stuff done, the app literally gets mad at you and insults you like nobody's business. However, the more you do, it unlocks features and literally becomes a better app. It was so funny though that I had to keep getting stuff done just to see what would happen next. It's an interesting, yet twisted, idea.

Tweetbot

The standard twitter app is great, but this one is AWESOME. It does some of the thing I wish the twitter app would do and does them very well. If you're on an iPhone or iPad, then this is the best app I've found for managing your twitter account.

So there you have it – my top 50 Apps. How about you? Do you have some favorite apps that aren't mentioned in the list? Let me know in the comments below.

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13 Comments

  • brian says:

    Great apps man but I just want to add one to your list. For finance I dont think there is anything that can beat YNAB and the support they give you. Every day they have webinars teaching you how to use their software to get a hold of your money……you should at least check it out…..

  • Glenn says:

    Great list… I use many of these apps. I use Evernote multiple times every day. I would also add the IFTTT app to this list; I use IFTTT a lot and it really make it easy to automate an endless number of actions (I won’t even explain it here because it would take too long but check out IFTTT.com to see what it’s about.)

    One thing I wanted to point out… Your post says that Spotify is free. While you can listen to it on your computer for free (with ads), in order to listen on your mobile app you need to subscribe to their Premium service which is $9.99/month. You might want to point that out in your post so people don’t get mad. 🙂 Thanks Leslie!

    • Ha, thanks for pointing that out. I meant to put that in but I guess I forgot. Updated it now. I have checked out IFTTT and plan on exploring it a bit more. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Great list! LastPass is an absolute favourite of mine 🙂 How about Buffer App? For organizing yourself on social media it’s great – plus, I prefer the layout to Hootsuite.

    • I do have Buffer App on mine, but it didn’t make the top 5 in that category. I use Buffer mostly on my laptop. Same with Hootsuite. They are both great apps though. Love them for what they do. Thanks for your comment Andrea 🙂

  • Natasha Ray says:

    Awesome list Leslie! I totally love GO SMS Pro! I probably change my inbox themes weekly! As I was reading your list I found myself thinking I was looking for an app that did that!! I’m definitely sharing this article with my fellow gadget girlfriends! I’m sure they’ll love it too!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • VJeny says:

    Fantastic post Leslie, thank you so much!! I have a brand new ipad air, my first ipad, and a Samsung Galaxy S phone too, so this post was invaluable for getting me started with the ipad. If you would consider writing a post about working across different platforms with different systems I would be most grateful. I work off a Desktop PC with a 27″ Screen as well and there are not many articles with tips for running an online business by mixing systems. Im keen to have the best of all worlds rather than be all mac or all android/pc. cheers Vanessa.

    • Glad to hear you got value from the post. Congrats on the new devices. That’s always a fun time 🙂

      Mixing systems is important to me too. I hardly ever use any app that’s not cross platform.

  • Pammy says:

    KEYRING is one of my favorites You scan all your loyalty cards from your drug store, grocery store, etc and then show phone at store instead of dragging along all the cards It has other features too can show you sales flyers for the week and more FREE

    Business Calendar syncs with google calendar and your family so everyone can write on same calendar and you can hide family if to much is written FREE

    KITCHEN TIMER is another fav cause i am constatnly forgetting things on stove or in oven so if I walk out of room to do something I turn on timer and put it in my pocket FREE

    Period Daisy Loses its petals as it counts down to your next period so you less surprised and more prepared Great for someone trying to get pregnant tells you most fertile days by changing color center daisy

    Shopular Just got suppose to show you all the coupons and specials for stores near your location works by GPS have not used it yet other than to look at coupons

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