Mobile Apps That Simplify My Life

Working as a Locums doctor for the past 3 years I have come to appreciate the need for portability. As Murphy’s Law would have it, when I am away from home that’s usually when someone wants me to send them a copy of my xyz, or sign a form and send it back same day. Luckily, I have learned from my trials and tribulations that modern technology has created ways for me to get work done whether I am waiting at the airport for my next flight or am stuck in traffic.  Below are a few of my favorite apps that I have used for several years. Most are available on Android and iOS platform.

MintMint.com– A free all-in-one online and mobile app took that pulls your financial information into one place. You can’t transfer or move money but you can pay bills via mint.com. It’s not an accounting system, but rather a platform designed to show you how and where you spend your money.

I use Mint.com to review my recent purchases, verifying that transactions are accurate.  Two years ago, I noticed large amount was transferred from my savings account which prompted me to log in directly via my bank website and indeed the error was present. The transaction appeared in line with similar automatic transfers so my bank was not alerted.

The lesson here for the busy Maven, while you may not the time to sit down weekly or monthly to balance your checkbook and accounts, it’s highly important that you set up a consistent system of reviewing your financial information on a regular basis.

Mint.com has a triple layer security system using bank grade security. On your mobile, you can set mobile app to have 4 Number passcode. I am a bit paranoid so I only log in from my secured home network.

 

Paperless.pngPaperless- This is the app for those who love making To-Do lists and own an iPhone. It’s very user friendly.  When a task in your list is done, you uncheck it and it simply fades it to grey and moves it to the bottom of the list. if needed it can be added back to your active list by unchecking it. You can backup saved information to Dropbox.

I tried this on my laptop, only to find it’s not available for Android phones. So my use ended there.

EvernoteEvernote–  In my opinion, this app requires some getting use to. When I first downloaded it last year, I did not find it particularly user friendly plus I felt I did not have a lot of information to put into it. I was using it as just a task keeper and for that purpose the app was a bit of an overkill. However, Evernote is actually meant for much more than making a task list. This is a repository for everything going around you.  It’s a very portable way to organize and have easy access to a wide array of information at your fingertips.
You can record audio, take pic, add web clippings and save files. All these can be easily searched up and you can tag these contents as well. There is a also a chat feature so if you have a information stored that you want to share with colleagues/friends or social media. The app can be synced with desktop computer device. To fully backup your information, you will need to do so with your desktop.
There are 3 account types: Free, Plus, and Premium

I recently started using the free version again, trying to integrate it more on a larger scale.

 

WunderlistcurrentWunderlist– This is fave task/list maker. It is a very user friendly way of streamlining things I need to do. That’s the main attraction. I am operating on the free version. This is my current screen shot.  The app is pre-populated with Inbox and a few other categories. Inbox can be used for “generic” items you haven’t assigned to a category yet. Also, emails from your gmail can be sent to your Wunderlist and those will show up under Inbox.  Inside “Travel” I have 2 subcategories: Africa and Europe. Each subcategory has it’s own ToDo check lists (Book flight, get hotel, book car rental, tours…etc).  Similarly, inside “Recommendations” I have 3 subcategories Books, Movies, Restaurants..etc.

If you choose not to create list inside a category, there is a note section for free text. Alarms or due date/time can be assigned to tasks that are time sensitive. Once all the component of a task is checked off as completed, the task leaves the screen but it can be retrieved again and unchecked, making once again an active task.

Any list can be shared. So a family shopping list can be shared with household members. I would not use it for work related lists however. Evernote is a better platform for collaboration.

 

CamScan
CamScanner– This is a free pdf scanner. Using your mobile phone, you take a picture of the document, crop it and then send/share it as pdf file. The image enhancement feature is really nifty.
There was a time when I did not own a fax machine nor a scanner. This was when I was just creating my consulting company and I would have multiple documents that I needed to sign and send/fax. Often I did this at work but on days when I was not working, I dreaded having to go to Kinkos or Staples just to fax or scan. A cowoker introduced me to this app and it has been immensely useful. Hands down, everyone needs this.

 

DropboxDropbox– This is a cloud-based file storage app. Evernote and Paperless are more information storage apps. You can upload your files/photos straight from your desktop device.  Free accounts are available with limited storage but you can upgrade your account to increase storage size. Dropbox allows you to also share or make folders public. Your files are automatically synced between devices where you have Dropbox available. So a file you saved at work will automatically appear on your home computer. Same with deleted files.

The con is that it’s not a fully integrative app/service (like Evernote).  And it’s not collaborative in terms of 2 people using Dropbox to work on the same file.

I was overseas for 3months last year, and while away I needed access to my medical portfolio (Med licenses, malpractice information, copies of residency papers..etc) for upcoming work applications. I was never one to upkeep a USB storage device; I end up forgetting it at home or just losing it. I simply uploaded my documents into my Dropbox this way I have access no matter where I am in the world. If my latest PPD/Flu vaccine records or a copy of medical license is needed for a credentialing process, I can pull it up and send it.  I have been using it for several years now and I still maintain the free account storage capacity.

PTrackerP Tracker– This may be the last thing on your mind but with a busy schedule sometimes we forget about our bodily functions. Paying attention to our body is imperative to our overall health. There are a few menstrual cycle trackers out there. This is a free app that also allow you to record your mood, ovulation days, intimacy days..etc.
You can view your expected period days, +/- 3 days, months in advance. I find this particularly useful especially if I am planning my vacation and I want it to occur un-interrupted. There is a back up system so if you switch phones, you can restore your prior information onto your new device.  I often encourage my patients, especially teenagers and young adults to get this on their mobile phone.

 

There are a few other apps that I use for specific purposes: Motivational quotes app, White Noise app,…etc.

Which mobile apps help you streamline and organize your day?

~Citrine