I spent some time this week streamlining my computer and other devices–weeding out what I don’t use and brushing up on the latest updates for the programs and applications that I do use. I thought it might be interesting and fun to write a post about my favorite apps and programs, and what I use them for.
I’ve tried all sorts of calendar options….and have finally settled on Cozi. I resisted Cozi for a long time because it seems so “soccer mom-ish”, but then I realized I am a soccer mom. 🙂 Cozi has all the features I need. I now have the ability to create calendars for each of my children and integrate them into one master schedule. Cozi supports text messaging, so I can send the entire family, or just one child, a text reminding them of upcoming appointments or games. I can seamlessly move between my computer and phone application, so I always have my calendar with me.
While Cozi does have a To-do list, and I do use it to assign tasks to the kids, for my own personal To-do tasks I prefer to use OmniFocus. This is a program that I did pay for, but it has been well-worth it. Based on the “Getting Things Done” methods, OmniFocus provides its users with multiple ways to set up their to-do lists. Each item can be classified in one of two ways: either by Project or by Context. I especially appreciate the Context set-up—for example, when I sit down at my desk, all I have to do is look up “Desk Work” and knock out the things that can be done while sitting at my desk.
Bible Study: Logos
By far the best money investment I have made in computer software or applications and my most important computer software. Logos has become an integral part of my daily life, particularly, a part of my spiritual disciplines routine. I use it for prayer, for journaling, and for thorough Bible Study. Even the most basic package in Logos is worth the money spent. Easy to use, but with enough features for in-depth study, Logos far outpaces other Bible Study software programs. It also comes with Apps for both the iPhone and iPad so that I can take my Bible study and notes with me everywhere I go.
File and Notekeeping: Evernote
While I’d like to think my brain is still young and sharp, I’m finding it harder and harder to remember things. Evernote helps to solve that problem. Their Logo is aptly stated: Remember Everything. I am just now starting to grasp the value of Evernote as I begin to do some more serious writing and research, so I am still learning the program. But essentially, I can drop anything I want to “keep” in Evernote, and organize it in such a way that I can easily get my hands on it when I need it and can use it. I bought a book titled My Evernote by Katherine Murray that is helping me to really learn how to make the most of Evernote. Another good investment that I’ve been pleased by.
Fitness-My Fitness Pal
When I am disciplined enough to use it, My Fitness Pal has been the best program I have found for calorie counting and exercise monitoring. Very simple and easy to use, this application is an encouragement to anyone wanting to “get back in shape”, or, in other words, lose weight. Hmmm. The only problem I have with this application is not the application itself, but my own willpower that falls short. Ugh.
Reader- Google Reader
There are several blogs and websites that I like to “keep up” with, and the best method I have found is still “old-fashioned” Google Reader. I’ve tried other programs, the most recent one being Zite, but I always come back to Google Reader. I think that is because of it’s simplicity. I can quickly scan and pull up the websites and blogs that most capture my attention and read them in detail, or I can skim the basics in Reader. Often I use Google Reader and Evernote in tandem, depositing in Evernote the articles, information and research that I may need for a project later on.
I still don’t know where I fall on the printed book vs. ebook argument. I like them both, so I guess I fall right in the middle. I do find myself using Kindle more often than printed books because ebooks have simply been cheaper. Kindle is the best ebook reading program that I have used. You don’t have to own a Kindle to use Kindle. Kindle can be downloaded for free for both PC and Macs, and there is a free iPhone Kindle reader as well. The iPhone Kindle app has been a great tool as I sit and wait to pick up my kids from different places, or sit and wait at a doctor’s office. Kindle affords me the ability to highlight (which I do frequently) as well as share what I am reading via Facebook and Twitter.
Other apps that I use: