There are a few applications in particular that I really really like. I love getting direct recommendations for apps so here are my favorites in no particular order:
Shopping Lists- This app is great because I can put all my grocery and shopping lists into the app. While I'm shopping I can check them off and also input the price. As you can see it also catagorizes the items by section or type. It totals the price for me and even calculates tax. It's more than a fancy calculator because it has a built in memory so the next time I go to input groceries it'll remember the specifics I entered before. I think the app was around $2.00. It's been a lifesaver for sticking to our grocery budget and even saving a little money. Plus, it eliminates the paper list. The only downside is it takes a little time to use and I need to be relatively un-distracted at the store to use it properly. I have shopped with the kids in tow now, because I'm used to using the app, but the first few times I used Shopping Lists I had to go out solo in order to make sure I was using everything correctly.
Balance- This application is basically an electronic check register. You can input transactions as they happen and it will give you a running balance. I will actually use it similarly to my budget spreadsheet on my home computer. I will input every transaction/bill that I know we will have over a specified amount of time and then while I'm out if I need to reference anything (read want to spend extra $) I have it ready. It's password protected too which I like. Additionally, the basic app is free but you can upgrade to Balance pro for a fee. A downside is that the basic version is as the name implies, basic, it meets my needs but if you want something more like an actual spreadsheet then you should hunt around more.
Collage- This is a really fun photography app. My sister has something very similar and I got the idea from her. If you scroll down to my previous two posts you will see that I uploaded photos to the app and made a collage. My phone, with its 8mp camera, has literally replaced any point and shoot that I would ever carry. I like that you can combine themed pictures into one quickly and easily. You can add up to 4 pictures to a collage. I literally just uploaded the app a month ago so I am still learning all it can do. It's really fun to use in conjunction with pinterest! Because you can pin photos that have visual step-by-step directions in a collage and it helps the viewer understand your idea more thoroughly at first glance. It was free too so if you are wanting a fun way to combine, present and then upload some of your phone photo's I suggest it.
Instagram- It's not really all that shocking that I love this app. For the past several months I have only used Intagram as basically a photo editing software on my phone. I didn't upload/stream the pictures I took directly to facebook and I also didn't use it as a social media app either, following friends etc. Now that summer has arrived and I've had more time to use this app to its full capacity I am really enjoying it. The filters and easy editing tools are a breeze once you know what you are doing. It's also free and I believe has consistently been the most popular app for a few years now. If you don't already have it you should definitely give it a try.
I also have a few games for my kids. I have downloaded some electronic coloring books, Angry Birds and a few princess dress up games for the littles to play when we're in a tight situation and I need them to be still and not wander. This has proved to be a lifesaver at the DMV, dentist office, school district office, and really anywhere else I need them to sit and be still for more than 5 minutes.
Til next time, remember to find beauty in your midst!
**Note- The above apps I have found through the ITUNES app store I know Instagram is available for Android users but I am not aware of duplicates for the others.