I admit, I am a sucker for the New Year’s resolution push at the beginning of each year.
And while I may not stick to every goal or resolution, I do know that the extra boost of motivation – even if it’s just temporary – feels good. It helps me to stop, reevaluate the areas of my life that need extra attention, and put systems in place to make everything run more smoothly.
This is where apps can be hugely beneficial. Magical, really. They can clear everyday stumbling blocks and help streamline our lives so we have more time – and sanity – to enjoy them.
Here are a few that I thought were particularly noteworthy for 2015.
Stay on Top of Your Money
BillGuard (iPhone, Android)
Credit card fraud is running rampant these days and, unfortunately, it can hit when we least expect it. This app will help you stay on top of your purchases, alert you when it detects fraud or when your cards are used away from you, and let you look up merchant information if you don’t recall a specific purchase.
Level Money (iPhone, Android)
If you want to track every penny you spend, this app might not be for you. I, on the other hand, really just want to know how much I’ve spent and how much I have left to spend for the month. This app will link to your accounts and offers a simple picture of your current financial picture with cash flow and savings in mind.
Looking to save on car insurance? The idea behind this app is that you should only pay for the miles that you drive – fill in your miles and zip code and you’ll quickly be able to compare the rates based on that mileage for large carriers in your area. I haven’t personally used this app yet, but it seems to have gotten plenty of positive press since its release.
Venmo (iPhone, Android)
In an increasingly cashless society, it can be hard to split bills evenly whether you’re out to eat with friends or dealing with a roommate situation. This app cuts down the hassle by allowing you to pay what you owe virtually between accounts.
Key Ring Reward Cards (iPhone, Android)
Loyalty cards can save a bundle but who wants to carry them all around? Luckily, the KeyRing app can do the carrying for you – all while offering up coupons to the retailers that you are already planning on making a purchase at. You can also take advantage of the share feature to share cards with family members and the store locator to get to where you need to go.
Get in Control and Get Organized
While not exactly an app you’d download to your phone, Unroll.me just had to make the list. Why? Because it has the ability to detect all of the email subscriptions you are currently subscribed to and unsubscribe you from the ones you don’t want in one click. Not only that, but it will send you a nicely compiled roundup of updates from subscriptions you want to keep daily, if you wish. No more cluttered inboxes!
FastCustomer (iPhone, Android)
Sick of waiting on hold? Then FastCustomer is your answer to making those pesky customer service calls. All you have to do is select the company you wish to call (they even let you pick the department) and they will have a customer service representative from that company call you back. The customer reviews are glowing, so apparently this one works like a charm.
My strategy for remembering things is setting an alarm which will (hopefully) jog my memory when said thing needs to be remembered. Needless to say, it doesn’t always work. Enter MeMail. This app lets you email yourself reminders, notes and to-do’s, keeping them organized and accessible for when you actually need them. Problem solved.
Trello (iPhone, Android, Windows)
Say goodbye to normal to-do lists -- Trello offers so much more. Basically a set of boards that can be color coordinated and organized according to your preferences, it also allows you to upload attachments and photos to certain line items or projects, and gives you the ability to share boards with others. So whether it’s your spouse or coworkers, it makes working together incredibly easy.
Pocket (iPhone, Android)
In this day and age we are inundated with articles and blog posts from different sources all the time. Unfortunately we can’t always read what we want when we want. This is where Pocket comes in handy. Simply save the articles you want to read to Pocket and you can view them in one simplified interface anytime you want – even when you don’t have internet.