Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mobile Apps I Depend Upon

A few years ago, we didn’t know what they were.  Now, we can’t live without them. Without what?  Apps.  The mobile apps we use on our smart phones and tablet computers.

Here are a few of the apps I’m finding I use a lot…

Planner Plus

One of the greatest handheld tools of all time was the Franklin Covey version of the Palm.   The friggin’ Palm.  That’s practically caveman technology.  And yet, it’s a better organizer than anything available today despite the presence of awesome digital tools like iPads and Androids (I’ve got each). 

Why doesn’t Franklin Covey have an app?  I don’t know.  All I know is I like their system, but don’t want to carry around a paper planner. 

I’ve tried a lot of planning apps.  The best is Planner Plus.  I consider it the best because it’s the closest I’ve found to Franklin Covey.  Tasks can be prioritized A, B, or C, and then a number.  There’s a calendar and daily note function.  There is a free version, but I purchased the paid one.


Dropbox is cloud storage, mirroring designated folders on your computer.  It’s a great real time back up of your data.  It also is accessible by your phone and tablet.  It’s one of the few really simple ways to move files from your computer to an iPad.

Dropbox is great for collaborations.  Share a folder with other people through Dropbox and any change is automatically updated on everyone’s computer.

There are several alternatives to Dropbox.  These include Microsoft’s SkyDrive (currently offering the most free storage), Box, and Google Drive.  All of these have free versions and paid versions.


The best Microsoft Office substitute for a tablet is CloudOn.  It syncs with your cloud storage so you can access any file in, say, Dropbox.  Even better, it opens in a Microsoft Office type environment for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents.  Now, with a tablet, I truly can access the files I need.  Incredibly, CloudOn is free.


The best mileage app I’ve found is MileBug.  It’s got features I don’t use.  I just like being able to record business miles on my phone rather than a paper log.  The free version is limited to just a few entries.  If you like it, it’s worth spending a couple of bucks.

Social Media

Every social media product has an app for phones and tablets.  I use them all, though Facebook is clunky.  I actually prefer Linked In’s app interface or its website.  All are free.


One of the best music apps is Pandora.  Enter a song or album you like and it will play it and select similar music to stream.  It’s great for the gym.  Pandora is free.

I Heart Radio

This is another entertainment app.  It allows you to select radio stations from all over the country and stream them like they are local.  I find it a great way to keep up with sports talk during college football season (Dallas’ leading sports station talks about everything but sports).


My go to app for locating a restaurant is Urbanspoon.  It’s got the most restaurants and generally good recommendations.  It’s a great app for business travel.


iBooks is the Apple ebook reader.  I prefer it over other because of the interface.  Hey, I like turning pages.  I also use the Nook reader, if only because it’s an easy way to grab the free ebooks that Barnes & Noble continually offers.


Another entertainment app is Annoy-a-Teen.  This app plays sounds at a frequency beyond the range of hearing for most people over age 30, but well within the auditory range of teenagers.  It drives them insane, which can be highly amusing if they’re taking up all of the seating at a Starbucks (or they happen to be related to you).

HVAC Marketing Toolbox

Okay, I don’t actually use this app, but that’s because I put the content together that powers it.  Hit the spinner and a marketing idea pops up.  Though it’s oriented toward HVAC, it actually will work for any service business.

What Do You Use?

Of course, there are dozens of other apps I use.  These are my go to apps.  What about you?  What apps do you like?  Email me your list of favorites.

© 2013 Matt Michel