Technology
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The MONSTER post (a.k.a. “Blame” it on the LWW)

One of the many blogs I follow is Gloria’s ‘Little White Whale’ and it’s on it that I’ll “blame” today’s post. You see, Gloria has come up with a great idea for when you are in a rut re: what to blog about. You just visit the random blog ideas generator and… shazam – you’ve got yourself a post of the day!

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Being the kind of girl that uses her tech for virtually everything, I always enjoy discovering new (or older) apps that will make my life easier/ more interesting -so I thought this would actually make for a great post. I can only hope that, after reading (all of) this, you will agree…

So here’s my current loves, app- wise:

Productivity/ Connectivity

imageGmail: Up until recently I was using my phone’s built-in mail app to manage my accounts. Having three of them, however, I found that to be counter-intuitive and slightly frustrating at times. Enter Gmail’s, relatively recent, android app. Featuring a minimal and modern design, this works like a charm and has made handling my e-mail a breeze and a pleasure. I would never go back now and highly recommend this to any of you trying to keep tabs on multiple e-mail accounts.

imageCamScanner/ Phone PDF Creator: I use this on my tablet and it has literally saved my life. You can scan anything ( i.e. receipts, business cards, notes, documents, old photos), crop and optimize their scan quality, edit them, turn them into PDF (or JPEG) and e-mail/fax or share them on social media. There’s also an auto upload feature (for Google Drive, Box, Evernote, Dropbox & OneDrive) which instantly makes your scans available across platforms, should you need them. An overall brilliant app, I had no qualms about upgrading to the paid version and haven’t regretted it for a single minute.

Health and FitnessimageWeight Tracker- BMI/ BMR: I switched to this recently, after having used Simple Weight Recorder Pro for a while. I generally like Zen Labs’ applications and this was no exception. Compared to the absolute (basic) simplicity of my previous weight tracking app, this shined like a sparkly diamond. It’s simple to use and features a clean- cut, yet eye- pleasing, user interface. You can set this to measure in imperial or metric units, set goals, keep a progress calendar (with notes and/or a photo log), check your analytics and track your weight- loss via the integrated progress graph, export stats to a CSV file and share progress on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (should you be so inclined). If you are looking to lose weight/ get healthy, I’d definitely recommend this.

imageWomanLog Pro Calendar: There’s both a free and a paid version of this but it’s become so vital to me that I’ve purchased the latter. What it does is track your monthly cycle, predict period and ovulation days and remind you to take your BC pill (should you be on one). There’s a multitude of other parameters you can record too (BMT, blood pressure, mood, symptoms, weight etc.) and two app views (a calendar and a cycle graph one) depending on what suits you more. All your data is backed up regularly and e-mailed to you, so you can rest assured you’ll never lose them (plus you can easily sync across platforms). If you are a woman, trust me, this is one of the best apps of its kind out there – and it will certainly come in handy.

Photography

imageSnapseed: A classic photo app, but one that does exactly what it says on the tin – and it does it extremely well. All your basic editing needs (automatic/ selective adjust, tuning, straightening, cropping, sharpening) are covered and you get an array of effects to play around with (B&W, Vintage, Drama, HDR, Grunge, Center Focus, Tilt-Shift). You can add frames and save your photos on your device, e-mail or share them on Google+, Pinterest, Instagram & Twitter (to name but a few). If you are looking for a straight to the point image manipulation app, this might just be the one for you.

imageAutodesk Pixlr- Photo Editor: Out of all the apps mentioned here, this is my latest find (& the one I just can’t help raving about). If you, like me, tend to often use your phone for blogging, then you are absolutely gonna love this! You can use it as a “regular” photo editor – brightening, blurring, sharpening, healing, rotating, cropping and stylizing your pics in seconds, you can add effects and overlays (there’s literally dozens to choose from, one of my favs is ‘Helena’), add boarders & stickers or type (in about a hundred different styles, from Retro to Handwritten to Novelty) to create a personalized image. And, as if that wasn’t enough you can use your creations (or other pics from your gallery) to make collages of up to 10 images -with adjustable layout (there’s 70! to choose from), background, spacing, roundness and proportions. Words cannot explain how useful this has proved and how head over heels I am with it… Most definitely recommended!

Books & Reference

imageAudible: I’m fully aware of the fact that these next few apps are nowhere near groundbreaking news territory but I do use them all the time (practically every day) and couldn’t live without them – so they had to make the cut. Audible is simply fantastic for book lovers like me. It can, however, be a bit of a money drain (especially if you opt for the ‘new in’ e-mail delivery option -which, more often than not, will lead to a couple of impromptu purchases!). My TBHeard list is currently at 19 books and growing (but I’d still recommend this app in a heartbeat).

News & Magazines

imageZinio: It just so happens that, apart from books, I also love leisurely browsing through glossies, cup of coffee (or glass of white wine, as the case may be) in hand. Thing is, I prefer reading the UK or US version of most publications in order to stay abreast of the latest launches/ trends. Unfortunately, these are imported and therefore ridiculously expensive where I live (I’m talking 10-12 euro a pop, best case scenario). Enter Zinio and my first (& quite possibly only) eternal love affair. I now have instant access to practically any beauty/ fashion/ photography/ music/ film edition which might take my fancy for a fraction of the price I’d need to pay here (provided I could find the magazines I was looking for). No need to pop to the kiosk, no need to worry about getting the latest issues before it runs out. My subscriptions take care of all the work for me – I just need to check my e-mail and download the latest issue when the app notifies me it’s available. Perfect! The app does have an issue with crashing when storage space is low, but otherwise works like a charm.

Music & Audio

imageimageSoundHound & Spotify Music: These frequently go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned, so I’ll mention them together. We’re talking two widely recognized and used apps for the self-declared music buff. If you are always trying to figure out what “that tune” you heard while out for coffee/ drinks was or if you just cannot begin to imagine living your life to no soundtrack – then you need these. I’m not gonna say anymore, since I’m pretty sure most of you already know what these are all about (in the off case that you don’t, head over to the Apple/ Play Store immediately & check them out. I guarantee you will be hooked).

So there you have it. A, pretty decent, round-up of the apps I could probably not even spend a day without right now (I know I probably shouldn’t be ‘fessing up to being that addicted on technology/ the internet, but it is what it is so I guess there’s no point denying it). Any of you out there suffering from a similar affliction? I’m always on the lookout for new favorites so, if you have any, do drop me a line below…

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