I love trying out new apps, it provides me with this feeling of excitement, that I don’t actually know how to explain.
With there being so many options available for both iOS and Android, it can be difficult to select the right app to match your needs and preferences. It took me a year of trying various To-Do list apps to manage my daily life after moving to a multiplatform ecosystem.
The truth of the matter is that you’ll always find me trying out a new app of some variation. With that in mind, there are 6 apps that never leave my phone and I decided to share them with you!
So without any further ado, here are 6 awesome apps that never leave my phone…
I wanted to start this blog post by talking about Any.do, an app that I use to manage my daily life.
After moving from my iPhone 12 to the Pixel 6 Pro last year, I found myself looking for a new To-Do list app. My all-time favourite To-Do list app happens to be Things 3, not only does it have a beautiful interface, but it also worked really well for me. Unfortunately, Things 3 is not available for Android, which is a real shame, but that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, after trying several apps and moving back and forward between them, I ended up sticking with Any.do. Not only does the product agree with me price-wise, the app also has a beautiful interface and it works well on all my devices. I will be writing an up-to-date review soon!
One of my favourite features on the app is Any.do Moment, which provides me with a moment to plan my day. It will go through my tasks and allows me to select whether I do them today or some other day.
I like the way the app motivates me with motivational quotes and if we combine that with the clean interface as well as some of the other features, the app is actually very impressive!
My only complaint is that the WearOS app only allows me to add tasks and not view them. I think it would be so good if the Moment feature was built-in into it as well as the ability to view tasks.
Creating secure and unique passwords is critical in this day and age, but how are you going to remember them all, especially when they’re unique?
That’s why I use a password manager, NordPass to be more specific. I switched to NordPass at the beginning of the year and so far I like what I see! Not only is the interface great, it also has a dedicated desktop app, it supports Passkeys and your account password differs from your vault password, which I think is a great idea.
NordPass also supports the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm which is believed to be one of the strongest encryption algorithms available in password managers today.
Like many password managers, NordPass has a zero-knowledge architecture which means that staff won’t be able to access your vault. The premium version also has dark web monitoring which alerts you if your email has been found in any data breaches.
But one of my favourite features of this app is Passkey support, not only does it speed up the whole logging-in process, but it also secures it.
In terms of price, NordPass always tends to have some really good deals on the yearly premium licence, which I just couldn’t resist. At the time of writing this article, you can save up to 48% of the first 2 years making the total cost only £30.96! Bargain! You can check current offers using my affiliate link.
3. Google Keep
My go-to app for taking quick notes happens to be Google Keep. I love the simple approach to the app as well as the way in which it just works as it should with no lag.
I use Google Keep for a number of things including my shopping list because I always forget what I’m meant to buy when I visit a shop.
I also use it to note down content ideas throughout the day. I don’t know about you but sometimes ideas come to mind during some of the most inconvenient times, so I note them down whenever I can in Google Keep.
It’s essentially the first step of the CODE framework featured in Tiago Forte’s book; Building a Second Brain, which I highly think is worth the read, especially if you are a content creator! In case you’re wondering, CODE stands for Capture, Organise, Distil, Express and it’s the framework I use to capture ideas and notes for content.
I tend to mainly capture ideas using the mobile app on my phone, but I also use the WearOS app which allows me to look at notes as well as capture ideas using my voice. This can be particularly useful during other activities.
For example, if I’m doing housework and an idea comes to mind, I would record it using my voice using my watch. It will then sync through to the main app which I can access from most platforms.
4. Google Calendar
When it comes to calendar apps, my all-time favourite app is Fantastical, but once again the app is only available on Apple devices, which I think is a real shame as it’s a brilliant app!
But even with Fantastical, the main calendar service I’ve been using for many years is Google Calendar. When it comes to Android, I have yet to find an Android equivalent for Fantastical. That’s why I’ve been using the main Google Calendar app on Android since switching.
I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the app, I think it needs an overhaul, especially the iPad version. But the thing is, it’s actually one of the best calendar apps available on the market at present. I’ve tried many apps and as of yet, I haven’t found a better alternative for Android.
I also think that Google should make it available on WearOS, especially now that they’ve released the Google Pixel Watch, it doesn’t have to be complicated, I just want it to be better than the built-in Agenda app.
I mainly tend to use Google Calendar in the web interface on my computer as that’s where the app actually makes sense.
At present, I use two email apps. I use Spark for managing my personal email accounts and I use Outlook for my side hustle account, just to keep things separate.
With that in mind, Spark is one of my favourite email apps. It turned a lengthy task into one that only takes a few minutes to complete.
I have Spark configured to the Smart Inbox as I don’t really like the idea of their latest inbox, Smart 2.0, especially since they charge for many of the features such as Gate Keeper which allows you to easily block unknown senders.
This brings me to my next point and it’s breaking my heart! With the introduction of Smart 2.0, Readdle, the creators of Spark also introduced the paid subscription model, and it’s not cheap!
At the time of writing this article, the app costs $59.99 annually for the individual plan and $83.88 annually per user in the Teams plan. What makes it worse is that they don’t even seem to be offering a pay monthly option on their website.
That’s very expensive for an email app! However, I will continue using the app to manage my private email accounts until I find something different.
6. Home Assistant
This one is for the more advanced users, but the final app I wanted to talk about in this article is Home Assistant.
Home Assistant is not just an app, it’s so much more! For starters, in order to make any use of the app, I had to install it onto a Raspberry Pi, which is a small single-board computer and connect it to my network.
The trouble with using a Raspberry Pi for this sort of thing is that they’re very difficult to get. I was lucky enough to have a spare Raspberry Pi 3+b lying around, but at present the best place to buy them in the UK seems to be CEX, which is where I picked up my last one from.
I use Home Assistant as a centre for managing my smart home as well as home automation. It can do some very clever things such as set NFC tags to trigger certain events. For example, I have an NFC tag near my front door and if I scan my phone, it will turn off all the lights and devices I don’t need to be powered on in my house.
I’ve also programmed an NFC tag near my desk that announces to the entire house that I’m in a meeting and it turns the bulb outside of my office to red, so that everybody in my house knows not to disturb me and to be quiet around the office.
But these are just small things, Home Assistant can do so much more, for instance, you can create an automation that opens your curtains when you dismiss your alarm in the morning, and you can install add-ons such as AdGuard onto your home network which will allow you to block ads and make your network more secure. The possibilities are endless! There will be more content coming on Home Assistant very soon!
The app which is also available on WearOS is well-built and actually works pretty well, if you install it on an old iPad or an old tablet, it will provide you with a great dashboard for your smart home. Something I may do when the Google Pixel tablet is released.
Wrapping Things Up
That was 6 apps that never leave my phone. I will aim to write an updated version of this article in around a year to see how things have changed. But if they change drastically before then, I might write an updated version sooner!
And now it’s your turn, what are 6 apps that never leave your phone?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for Amazon Associates, Any.do and NordPass. I would only ever partner with brands I trust or use myself. In this case, I paid for my own NordPass and Any.do subscriptions as I use and believe in the products.