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Life at the Library

Posted on: August 15, 2018

WashCoLib Staff Picks: Apps to Simplify Your Life

smart phone in hand

WashCoLib staff compiled a list of apps they recommend to help you make your life simpler. These apps are used regularly by our staff, and have been put through their paces to make sure they do what the promise, so you don't have to worry about wasting time on a new method that doesn't work for you.

From food tracking, to parking, to managing your second screen -- we've got you covered. 

1 Second EverydayAmy from Library Administration

Makes it easier to: create a video diary using your photos and videos

How it works: 1 Second Everyday is an app that makes it easy to create a video diary of your life. I love it because as a mom of two young kids, it’s easy for me to capture a second a day and then mash all my snippets together into a video my family loves to watch. It automatically pulls videos and photos from the camera roll on your phone. It can also send you creative reminders (if you want). The interface is so easy to use that you can edit your video clips quickly.

Cost: $4.99

ParkWhizTina from Library Administration

Makes it easier to: find parking

How it works: By working with companies offering public parking, the ParkWhiz app allows the user to book parking spaces nationwide at a much lower rate than standard pricing. Using the app, you can find parking spaces, compare prices, and book the space for now or later. You prepay for your parking space and when you arrive, enter with a mobile parking pass. It’s really that simple, and I find that parking is often cheaper than two all-day metro passes!

Cost: Free

MyFitnessPalLeah from Oakdale Library

Makes it easier to: track eating and activity

How it works: MyFitnessPal is a food-intake and exercise tracker. Recording what I’ve eaten and my exercise activities daily allows me to be more mindful of what I’ve eaten, and helps me to make wise decisions when it comes to food. As it is also a physical activity tracker, I’m able to see whether I’m behind on my weekly exercise goals.

Cost: Free, with the option to upgrade


Todoist - Kim from Library Administration 

Makes it easier to: organize your to do lists

How it works: Todoist is an app for organizing your to do lists. There are many task list apps out there, but I like Todoist for several reasons: it’s simple to add tasks and reminders, you can organize/prioritize tasks in many different ways, and it’s easy to set up smart recurring tasks for ongoing projects or habits. Todoist also has a range of apps and plugins so you can access Todoist everywhere and sync your task list wherever you need it. Cost: Free, with the option to upgrade.

iNaturalistKatelyn from Oakdale Library

Makes it easier to: identify flora and fauna

How it works: iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. You can connect with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. A friend who is a science teacher showed me this app. She loves using it with her middle school students and I love using it while I'm on a walk or at the lake. It's a fun, easy way to identify the flora and fauna around me.

Cost: Free

Success Wiz - Nancy from R.H. Stafford Library 

Makes it easier to: manage your goals

How it works: Success Wizard, from Success Coach, is a powerful life management system that will help you plan, focus and achieve real and lasting results. It includes a unique set of effective tools that will boost your productivity and help you accomplish your most meaningful goals and dreams. The design and user-friendly interface makes it easy and simple to be effective, make progress and get results.

  • Complete life productivity and goal achievement system
  • Smart goal setting process ensures you focus on your most important goals 
  • Effective action plan and time/task management system keeps you in control Morning
  • Routine gets you focused, ready and prepared for a productive day
  • Daily and weekly routine scheduler for a structured and balanced lifestyle
  • Daily inquiries and end-of-day reflections keeps you focused and proactive
  • Share your goals and action plan with your friends or colleagues
  • Sync your data across your iPhone, iPad and the Success Wizard Web Program

Cost: Free, with the option to upgrade (only available for Apple iOS)

FeedlyJessi from Park Grove Library

Makes it easier to: read information from websites you frequently visit

How it works: Feedly is an RSS feed aggregator that pulls information and content from websites you frequently visit. You can see a digest of new information without getting distracted by other apps on your phone or table, and you can categorize your feeds based on interest or topic.  

Cost: Free

Google KeepCate from Park Grove Library

Makes it easier to: take notes and create reminders

How it works: Google Keep is a free note-taking app available for Android and iOS. Users can set up location-based reminders, add collaborators to view and edit lists, and record voice memos that will automatically be transcribed. I use Keep to create shopping lists that my husband can add to and that will automatically show up when I get to the grocery store.

Cost: Free (but you’ll need a Google account)

IMDBNate from Lake Elmo Library

Makes it easier to: manage your ‘second screen’ while watching TV or movies

How it works: If you’ve ever been watching a show and wondered where you’ve seen that actor/actress before, the IMDB app will help solve your mystery. In addition to providing great background information about your TV shows or movies, the IMDB app also allows you to provide your own reviews of shows to share with others. You can watch trailers, create a watchlist to remind yourself of shows you were interested in, and immerse yourself in media details so you can ace your next trivia game.  

Cost: Free, with an option to upgrade

This list is part of the library's Spotlight On... series, which aims to provide patrons with an overview of resources, tools, and collection materials available to them through Washington County Library.

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