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Have you ever been having a casual chat with a friend and they tell you about an app they love? So you check it out and it’s awesome and you wonder to yourself, how have been living my life without this for so long?! What else don’t I know about?

Well…me too.

So I’ve put together a little cheat sheet of word-of-mouth great apps that I absolutely love. My hope is you’ll add to the list in a sort of app exchange. (Of course I’m no expert or affiliate!)

Here are a few apps that’ve saved me time or frustration, have made life easier or are just fun.

Perk: While a few have a paid upgrade version, they’re all FREE!

1. Pomodoro Focus Booster

Have you heard of this time management and productivity technique? There’s a 25 minute timer and during this time you focus on shutterstock_211294972one task only with no distractions- no email, no phone, no social media, etc. Once the 25 minutes are up, the app’s alarm rings reminding you to take a 5 minute break. You do this 5 times. For someone easily distracted like me, this is super helpful.

2. MapMyFitness

I use this app all the time. If you’re in a new city, taking run in your ‘hood or exploring a new trail, this app maps your run, walk, hike, etc. It tracks your time and distance, as well as your route to keep you from getting lost. Especially good if you’re in a new city and need to find your way back to your hotel. Not that I’ve ever done that…

3. Headspace

My brother turned me onto this mediation app. It’s especially good for newbies but is helpful for anyone looking to gain some mindfulness and wants a bit of guidance on exactly how to do it. Each session is just 10 minutes! Headspace has a free and subscribe option.

4. Full

I’m all about goal setting and this app allows you to set goals for whatever is important to you. You add your goals and specify how many times you want to meet the goal during the month. For example, you could add “yoga” or “cook dinner” or “ride my bike” and the number of times you want to do it. Then you just swipe to keep track of when you’ve done it- it’s pretty simple. You can set it to remind you as well.

5. Inspirational and Motivational Quotes

Every day I check this app to get a quick inspirational quote. If I like it, I’ll share it or take a screen shot of it. It’s a nice little pick me up!

6. Pocket

Ok, so I have a problem with having too many tabs open on my computer…right now I have 21 open on my laptop and I’ll admit, it’s ridiculous. I’m constantly bookmarking articles and sites on my phone and computer. Before this app, I would keep dozens of tabs open or would email myself articles that would later get lost in the shuffle. This app helps me minimize this and allows me to save articles, videos and images in one place so I can read them later.

7. Pocket Yoga

I travel a lot and sometimes only have time for a quick stretch or yoga in the hotel room. Not ideal but better than nothing. This app is free and easy to use with voice prompts, 3 practice options and the ability to choose beginner, intermediate or advanced. This would also be really helpful if you’re new to yoga and are putting off going to an in-person class; you can learn the poses without fear.

image8. A Beautiful Mess

This free app allows you to pretty up your pictures by adding text, icons and borders. I use it for blog images but also for pictures I Instagram or tweet. If you’ve ever wondered how some people add cute text to their photos before posting, this may be their secret. It’s super easy! (This photo is made with ABM.)

9. Evernote

This app does more than I can tell you. I use it for keeping notes, journaling, making lists, keeping track of articles I want to read and more. And it has a voice option in case you’re on the run and want to make audio notes.

10. Uber

This is a life saver. When you land at an airport or need a ride somewhere, you log in and it shows you all the cars near you (taxis or town cars) and how long it’ll take for them to reach you. You can request a car instantly. Once you’ve uploaded your credit card, Uber automatically charges your card for the ride, tip included, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have cash. It’s super easy and reliable.

And one extra…


The app will not improve your life but it could save your sanity if your plane gets stuck on a runway or you’re waiting in the doctor’s office for hours. Warning: it’s really addicting. You slide the number tiles, trying to get them to double until you can’t move them anymore and reach a high score. Sounds exciting, I know but I love it!

Ok, so now I have to know: what are your favorite apps? Share in the comments below!


Anne Omland is a Leadership Mentor for ambitious women. She’s dedicated to helping women find success without sacrificing who they are. Her in-demand offering Discover Your Signature Style, is a leadership assessment tool helping you to create a career that fits like a glove: think Buzzfeed survey meets personality test meets career advice. Using her insider knowledge and years of leadership development experience as VP for a Fortune 500 company, she can help you identify what comes naturally to you so you can use it to design your own success. Click here to get started.
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  • Cary October 8, 2014, 6:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this compilation Anne! I just did my first Headspace 10 minute — it was amazing. Now I’m ready for my first Pomodoro:)

    • Anne Omland October 9, 2014, 1:49 pm

      We’ve got Mikey to thank for Headspace- it’s awesome! x

  • Stacey October 8, 2014, 6:48 pm

    Anne – I have used about 50% of the apps you have listed, and of those I’ve used, I agree that they are great…I’ve also heard glowing recommendations of some of the other apps (mainly Evernote and Pomodoro) but don’t want to develop any new addictions! The two apps I’ve used most frequently, personally and professionally, are calm (calm.com) and myfitnesspal (myfitnesspal.com). Maybe those will make your next list? :)

    • Anne Omland October 9, 2014, 1:48 pm

      I love myfitnesspal! The only reason I didn’t add it was because I’m conflicted about the idea of a calorie counter which that app really does. It’s great to journal what you eat but calorie counters can be tricky because it’s not considering how you’re getting those calories. What do you think about it? Still love it though. I’ll have to check out Calm. Thanks for the recommendation, Stacey!

  • Lily October 8, 2014, 7:30 pm

    Maybe I should pay more attention to my App store! I’ve heard of some of these, but the only one I regularly use is Evernote.

    I’m also a fan of Flipboard for browsing the latest blogs and news + Epicurious for finding gourmet recipes!

    • Anne Omland October 9, 2014, 1:46 pm

      Ooo, I’ve heard of Epicurious but will have to download it. Thanks Lily!

  • Liane October 8, 2014, 8:04 pm

    Great list! I am downloading Pomodoro now. I really need a tool to help focus and stay on track – this could be it! Evernote is a life saver for me as well – I love that I can capture my thoughts any time, any where, on any device. I am also a big fan of EWG’s Skin Deep App to help see safety ratings for beauty products. Thanks for a great list!

    • Anne Omland October 9, 2014, 1:45 pm

      I think you’ll like Pomodoro- it’s really simple. I’ll have to check out Skin Deep. I use Beauty Counter products and am super interested in all natural products free of toxins. Thanks for the recommendation, Liane!

  • Susie October 9, 2014, 8:54 am

    Amazing list! I’ve never heard of n.1 – love it! thanks for sharing :)

    • Anne Omland October 9, 2014, 1:44 pm

      Thanks, Susie!

  • nichole October 9, 2014, 1:46 pm

    I love apps and I use most of the ones on your list. I am also a huge pomodoro fan and I’ve recently downloaded WorkBurst, for Mac. Now I don’t even have to schedule my timer anymore.

  • Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin October 9, 2014, 3:31 pm

    I was literally just looking for an article like this earlier today. Thank you Anne! So helpful. And Headspace is right up my alley!

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:42 am

      Headspace is sooo good. Let me know what you think of it!

  • Julie Marah October 9, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Great list Anne! I’m not very ‘up’ on apps and have only used two from your list – Headspace and MapMyFitness but I will definitely be checking out some of your other recommendations – Thank You!

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:42 am

      Thanks Julie! I hope you like them!

  • Jennifer Kennedy October 9, 2014, 6:24 pm

    Love this list, Anne!!

    I use the Pomodoro technique all of the time. I find that it has been the best way I’ve been able to stay productive. Most of the other apps are new to me, so I’m excited to play around — especially with MapMyFitness, Headspace, and Pocket (I might have you beat on the number of tabs open!) :)

    I like the Momentum Chrome Extension — when you open a new tab on your browser, it serves as a reminder of all of your daily To Dos.

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:41 am

      Yes! We’re both addicted to having too many tabs open…I’m not alone!

      Chrome Extension sounds cool- I’ll have to look it up. Thank you for the recommendation!

  • victoria m. October 9, 2014, 7:30 pm

    What a fun list!! Thank you for sharing this.. another addicting game app is Drop7, check it out.

    Pocket? Love it! Great resource to save stuff I don’t want to read just yet without losing it. Best of all, you don’t need internet to access the content!
    Evernote? Can you believe this app sat around on my computer, phone and iPad without being used for the longest time? Then one day I decided to just use it and it’s been my best friend since.

    Thank you for your list :)

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:40 am

      Thanks Victoria! I was the same with Evernote- I had it before using it for ages and ever since I’ve wondered how I’ve lived without it!

      I’m checking out Drop7 now…:)

  • april October 9, 2014, 7:55 pm

    these all sound good, anne, but i think i may have written #6 myself! i can’t believe it. i thought i was the only one who emailed myself articles (and then never read them!), not to mention keeping several tabs open at once (currently at 23!). my sons and my husband are constantly telling me i have too many tabs open when i complain of slow internet speed. i will definitely be checking out pocket – thank you!

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:38 am

      Haha- you’re not alone! My husband is the same- “how can you live like this (with so many tabs open)? It’s why your internet connection is so slow!” but I can’t stop! I hope you like it!

  • Camesha | Mama Motivator October 10, 2014, 4:12 am

    Thank for these. I just downloaded a few of these. Woot! I’m probably addicted to apps at this point!

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:30 am

      I hope you like them!

  • Mike Goncalves October 10, 2014, 5:59 pm

    Wow! What an awesome list here Anne, thanks! I absolutely love Evernote and use it for literally everything, probably more than it’s even intended for. Funny enough, I was resistant to it for a while but when I finally did download it, I was hooked. MapMyFitness looks great as well and someone else mentioned MyFitnessPal which I am a big fan of as well. Thanks again for such great info, you’re awesome. Cheers! :)

    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:29 am

      Thanks Mike!

  • Paul Brennan October 10, 2014, 8:05 pm

    Interesting list. Thanks for sharing.
    Sadly the app I use most is a game but it does all me to keep in contact with some of my family so it’s not all bad.
    Real essentials: Dropbox, twitter, Goodreader.
    Most important skill to learn – off button :-)

    • Paul Brennan October 10, 2014, 8:06 pm

      Amusingly, I just Evernote clipped your article :-)

      • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:27 am


    • Anne Omland October 11, 2014, 12:28 am

      Haha- yes, the games are good for that :)

      I can’t believe I forgot Dropbox! Now to check out this Goodreader of which you speak…

  • Elise October 11, 2014, 11:34 am

    Anne! Awesome list. We are on the same page with many of the apps, but I had never heard of Pomodoro Focus Booster and need it ASAP! My favorite app is Skin Deep by Environmental Working Group. So many of us think about eating healthy, but we forget to think about what our bodies absorb through the skin and all the products we use. With this app, you can actually take the bar code on your product and scan it on your phone. It will then rank it in terms of safety. It takes the guesswork out of understanding all the harmful effects of chemicals and ingredients. (Even products from health food stores might contain ingredients that wreak havoc on your system.) Thanks for this great post!

    • Anne Omland October 14, 2014, 8:15 pm

      Thanks Elise!

      I hadn’t heard of EWG until Liane (commented too) mentioned it. I’ve since used it…it’s awesome! Great advice on using it for products from health food stores- those are the sneakiest ones! Thanks as always for your advice!

  • Sam October 11, 2014, 10:54 pm

    what a fun article!!
    I have about half of them, and it sounds like I NEED pocket!
    You should also check out luminosity brain training. I’ll try 2048 as an alternative for a while 😉

    • Anne Omland October 14, 2014, 8:12 pm

      Luminosity looks great and addicting. Is it a subscription? And yes, you NEED Pocket :)

      Thanks Sammy!

  • April October 14, 2014, 12:49 am

    I love this post Anne!! Useful AND fun!!! My favorite apps are Nozbe which is a project management system, Evernote, and Elevate which is just good, quick brain fun! Thanks for sharing all yours, I will be checking them all out!! :)

    • Anne Omland October 14, 2014, 8:10 pm

      Thanks April! I haven’t heard of Elevate or Nozbe…my list of apps to check out is looking really good! x

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