I use my iPhone differently than most people. I don’t make calls. As a rule I hate the telephone, and often think of the funny outgoing answering machine message I’ve seen floating around here and there:
“Thank you for calling. Please hang up and text me instead.”
That’s me to a tee. But that doesn’t make my iPhone any less useful. In fact, I use it constantly, just not as a phone. Currently, these are my three favorite apps. By the way I have only 2.5 screens of apps on my phone, with the .5 being those Apple doesn’t allow me to remove. I’m very picky, and it takes a lot to rate space on my phone! Without further ado:
1. 2Do – I’m all about lists. I live for them. Back in the early 90s I used an application called Claris Organizer on my Macintosh and it was the best “to do list” I’ve ever used, even better than paper and pencil. I have spent 20 years searching for similar features and I finally found them in 2Do. Here’s what I like about it.
- Categories: I can have to-do items in categories like Home, Work, Shopping, Friends, etc. Each category is assigned a different color. On any given day, all categories are shown on your “today” list. But you can tell the difference because of their color, and access the categories individually as well.
- Excellent recurrence options: Recurrence is simple and available in most organizer programs. Take out the garbage repeats every Friday. Mom’s birthday is January 5 and repeats yearly. But sometimes instead of repeating something on a specific date, I want to repeat it a week after I’ve completed it. For example, let’s say I have a “water the plants” task set each Saturday. But as it happens, this Saturday the plants didn’t need watering, and I don’t do it until Monday. If “water the plants” popped up again on Saturday, that wouldn’t be accurate at all. So I set that to repeat “one week from completion” instead and it repeats one week after I complete the task, not one week from when it was originally due. This was my favorite feature of Claris Organizer and one I’ve not found in any to-do list app until this one.
- Contact integration: As I said, I rarely make a phone call. But, if a task requires one (i.e. Call for Griffin’s vet appointment) you can link that to your iPhone contact so the phone number appears automatically when the task is due.
The interface for the iPad is slightly different than the iPhone, so you don’t have to look at a little square iPhone box when using an iPad. Full syncing capability allows your lists to stay up-to-date between devices. There are so many other features I can’t list them all. This is a very powerful application which works whether you need a simple check-off list, or utilize its many features as I do. 2Do is currently priced at $9.99, making it one of the App Store’s priciest applications. But it’s well worth the price, and I’d be lost without it.
2. Packing Pro – I hesitated before including two list-type things in this article but it’s truly one of my very favorite applications. It’s specifically for making packing lists for a trip. There are hundreds of pre-defined items which you can use to construct your master list, or you can build yours from scratch. Once a master list is built (which would contain anything you could possibly need on any trip, ever) you use that as your starting point and add/remove things to customize for specific trips. Unlimited different lists are allowed (useful if you sometimes travel for business and sometimes travel for pleasure, where different items are needed for different trips) and you can use any list as a template for a new list. I used to keep a master packing list on my computer, adding and deleting as needed for specific trips, but this is much handier! Packing Pro takes full advantage of the iPad’s expanded screen space, though I prefer to use it on my phone (not sure why!) Recent upgrades have included full iCloud support and improvements to the application’s intuitiveness when adding list items. I can’t wait for my next trip! Packing Pro is a bargain at $2.99 in the App Store.
3. Chuzzle – I’d feel like I’m all work/no play if I didn’t include a game. Although I do love time-management games like Sally’s Spa and Farm Frenzy I save those for my iPad. In fact for awhile I had no games on my iPhone. But occasionally I realized I’d like a quick whirl through something and that something is usually Chuzzle. Chuzzle is not a new game, it’s been around for awhile as I remember first finding it for my old Palm Pilot! I lost track of it during my Blackberry days (though a Blackberry version is indeed available) and I was thrilled to find it for the iPhone. It is an iPhone-only application, so if you use it on your iPad you’ll be using it iPhone-sized. It’s a simple matching game. Any three same-colored Chuzzles will disappear when touching. Slide the rows and columns to make the three-Chuzzle groupings. You get bonuses for grouping more than three, and as the levels get higher they also get more difficult with locked Chuzzles (can’t move that row) and Super-Chuzzles (big and fairly static.) It’s an easy game, nothing that will get you too distracted in a waiting room or sitting at a long train. And they’re just so darn cute!!! Chuzzle is available in the App Store for $2.99. I got my money’s worth on the very first day!
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