Top 11 Apps You Should Download Now

Top 11 Apps You Should Download Now - Anna Kochetkova

I was reading one of the Gary Vee’s rants about how no one is doing anything right and how to do it better as I bumped into a screenshot of presumably his smartphone and some of his apps. Exciting, right!

The blog was about ‘cold social media’ (yes, referring to ‘cold calling’ on social media), or how to approach different businesses in your local area using Instagram DM, or basically stalking businesses you think you could work with, approaching them with a few compliments and offers. No hard selling but selling. It’s a curious strategy. Have you tried it? I certainly have. But today, it’s not about Gary Vee or cold calling but awesome smartphone apps making your life just a little bit more efficient.

Are there any apps below you recognise, have or don’t like? Share away!  I’d love to see what you think and what you use.

Phone apps - Gary's shit

I didn’t know many of the Vee’s apps so went on researching them. And now I am learning Italian and Spanish {yep, at the same time} with Duolingo app. Thanks Gary!

My research inspired me to ask my social media followers and friends what smartphone apps they use, why and how.

OMG what a treat it was!

Let’s have a look. You’re going to be downloading apps all night tonight.

I asked on Facebook:

Your top 5 favourite apps in your smartphone? 🤓

I am going to drop Facebook, Instagram and other mainstream social media apps as I am going to assume these are the top choices of most people {and they were} and you got them too.

I am going to share the lessen known gems with you.

Slack

Slack app image - content queen

Okay,  Slack is pretty known but apparently not to everyone who should know it, hence I am including it.

Slack is pretty amazing. At its heart, Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration system on steroids.

You can have chat rooms based on topics or teams, for example, if you are an agency, you can have your design team in one place, your finance team in another and have them all in your pocket.

Within each chat room, or channel, you can share files, discussion, change privacy settings, invite and remove members.

For example, I participated in the NASA Space Apps Hackathon in Sydney in April. The event attracted almost 200 people working their arses off {for free, by the way, for passion only} for the entire weekend hacking Space related ideas.

Slack united everyone.

The Hackathon’s leader organised channels, or chat rooms, dedicated to different purposes: we had a general stream where all the participants joined the conversation, we had a news board where we announced particularly important stuff so everyone knew to check this channel regularly,  we had another channel for those who didn’t have a team member yet and those who were seeking more team members. Win. Win.

It worked like a Swiss clock. Or a knife. Whichever you prefer.

Headspace

Headspace meditation app - content queen

If you are also a busy human being with extremely fast mind, you are probably a little envious of those people who are able to just stare at a TV screen and think about nothing. My father, for example, can star into the distance or a wall and literally have nothing {thoughts-wise} happening between his ears.

A working day or a day off can sometimes be equally tiring for me. I have zero ability to shut my thinking down. So, I turned to meditation, of course. Easy said than done, as you can imagine.

I am currently using Headspace which was a peer recommendation. I really enjoy it not only because it is a super simple guided meditation but also because they made this app look super awesome. They share tips, hacks and stories as you move on from one day of meditation to another.

It’s also a community, of course, so like you share your steps for the day or cycling kilometres you can now show off your meditation hours.

Buddhify was your recommendation on Facebook. I understand this app suggests a suitable mediation time based on your current emotional state. And it looks like you can hook your Buddhify to your Soundcloud. If you love it, share it – would love to learn more.

Shazam

Shazam app screenshot - content queen

This has become a household verb.

If you are hearing a song you like {or don’t} on the radio, laptop, whatever – you press the button and your phone tells you everything you need to know about the song including it’s name, singer, album, etc. It’s insane!

Snapseed

Snapseed app screenshot - content queen

Here’s something I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t know about – Snapseed.

It is a complete and professional photo editor developed by Google. Or so they say, at least.

This little app has a few winning features Instagram and VSCO don’t have: you can use Snapseed in landscape mode, you get manual editing options {filters are for fun, not photo editing}, you also get your filters organised by general categories which enables to have and maintain a specific effect and a whole bunch of other things.

I’ve been using AirBrush but have now added Snapceed to my photo and video collection {yep, I am hording content editing apps}.

Expensify

expensify-collage-image-content queen

Here’s something I don’t have and definitely should get soon.

Expensify is a software company that develops a travel and expense web and mobile apps for personal and business use.

Its namesake application allows users to manage expense transactions, upload receipts, generate receipts from online sales and automatically create expense reports as well as allows finance teams to approve and export reports.

Do you travel much? Are you using the app? What do you think?

Flipboard

Flipbaord screenshot image - content queen

When I posted a shout out on Facebook seeking my friends’ apps recommendations, one of the beloved apps was Vice. I love content and news apps because I don’t watch local news or listen to the radio. I believe content must be selected by the user not shouted at. I also write on Medium and read that platform regularly.

Discovering another news platform didn’t seem like a great idea. Too many sources can get overwhelming indeed. Yet I decided to give it a go. First thing that disappointed me straight away was daily horoscope which was the first thing that came up. No, thank you!

Then I scrolled down reviewing a few more articles. Second title came up with a category tag ‘Death’ followed by a title ‘Nancy Pelosi Is Not a Cocaine Trafficker’ then a few nude images … and that’s when I hit ‘delete’. Sorry, guys, Vice and I… we just don’t work together.

I didn’t like the app but I wanted to share it with you to keep it fair. Not everything is for everyone.

I also want to give you an alternative. It’s called Flipboard. If you are an Android user, your device most likely already comes with it.

It’s a lot similar to Medium but it gathers major news sources instead of individual writers like you and I. And, as the name would suggest, you can flip this platform, almost like a book. It’s really cool.

Sleep cycle

Sleep Cycle app screenshot - content queen

This is something I am uber curious about. Sleep Cycle alarm clock tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep.

Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally rested without an alarm clock.

So, the app, allegedly, will monitor signals from your body to wake you softly, when you are in the lightest possible sleep state.

But what if I need to be up by a certain hour in the morning?

Blinkist

Blinkist app screenshot - content queen

Back in Russia, when I was a pupal and then a student, it was compulsory to read at least 200 books a year. We are talking War and Piece, Odyssey and many other sophisticated reads. With the hindsight, I wish I was a nerd back then and read them all but as you start entering your teenagehood  you often get side tracked.

Later, right before I got into my first University, Russian book stores were flooded with books’ summaries. I finished the 4 War and Piece books in the short 20 pages. It was enough for my literature exam. Yes, it was no good for my overall education. Hindsight is a priceless thing, isn’t it.

Then you, my dear social media friends, recommended Blinkist  – their team reads books, pulls out the key insights, and explains them in an easy-to-digest, 15 minute book summary. Lazy? Crazy? For thinking human, priceless.

Often I find small blurbs being too small to make a decision on a book. If I could go through a small summery I’d have a better idea whether I want the book or not. However, after a summery with key insights, would you actually get and read the book?

I must admit, as a big fan of audiobooks, I love that they have an option of either reading or listening to their articles and books. You guessed it, I got the app.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist app screenshot - content queen

I use Evernote, old good hard copy notebooks and a Google calendar for most of my to-do lists. And I have never thought of sharing my grocery list with … well, anyone, really.

Wunderlist is another app I started getting my head around. My partner often forgets about our joined events and absolutely ignores Google alerts usually. This might the thing for us.

What do you think?

Medium

Medium app screenshot - content queen

Earlier mentioned Medium is one of my favourite platforms at the moment. This is a collection of news, articles and blogs online. You can also write on the platform.

This is not your usual Business Review or New York Times digital collection, it is a network of thinkers who care about the world and making it better – through their craft, their stories, and their ideas, as per their own spiel. This is very true though. Just like I often post controversial and thought provoking content and questions on my Facebook wall {usually getting some of my friends reacting} fishing for deep conversations and debates, Medium is a community of people wishing to challenge concepts and ideas. This is my kind of crowd!

Every day, thousands of people turn to Medium to publish their ideas and perspectives. Leaders. Artists. Thinkers. And ordinary citizens who have a story to tell, like myself.

Hashtagger

Just a little tool which is a giant time saver. Hashtagger is an app that allows you to discover more hashtags for your Instagram posts.

You type in one and it gives you up to 30 similar options, you select which ones you want, copy and paste them into your Instagram posts. Boom. Done.

What are your favourite smartphone apps? I’d love to discover more useful tools so share away.

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