Essentials Apps for Staying Organized in 2016 - Prep Essentials

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Essentials Apps for Staying Organized in 2016

How many times have you rolled your eyes at the annoying little notification that your "storage is almost full" on your iPhone? It seemed like no matter how many photos I delete, old conversations I erase, and apps I continually remove from my phone, this little notification never stopped popping up! I started a new phone contract on my own once I moved to Chicago, so I was able to get an upgrade to my storage space and luckily that has solved my problem, but I resolved when I got this fresh start that I would keep it. 

I've surprisingly managed to uphold this idea, and have kept my phone pretty clutter-free, but there are definitely a few apps that I absolutely cannot live without, and they have been my go-to sources for staying organized this year! If you don't have these, I highly recommend downloading them asap - just click on the app name below and you will be re-directed to the app store in a separate window!

1. Google Calendar - this is for you Gmail people. I know a lot of people are very attached to the mail app that iPhones have, but I personally have never been able to love it. Since I started working, I've attached it to my work email, but I still stick to a separate gmail app for all personal emails, and I somehow only recently discovered the Google Calendar app. It's so much more streamlined, connects to your Gmail and will even automatically input things like flight information and times straight from your travel confirmations in your inbox! (Plus it adds an awesome picture that matches the location you're traveling to...let the Mardi Gras Countdown begin!) This app is just organized in a much simpler way, and so much of it is automated to connect to your Gmail inbox.

2. The Skimm - So, definitely not an app, but let's pretend for a moment that it is. I've never liked reading the news, but officially felt completely ignorant not knowing what was going on when I'd walk into work and people would be discussing the major news of the day. I love the Skimm because it narrates and summarizes the news perfectly (and usually with a hint of sarcasm and sass that feels directed towards younger woman who want to be in-the-know without being bored to tears!) It's a daily email that arrives in your inbox with just the overall summary of major events in every category - with links to full stories if you want to know more! I read it for 5-10 minutes during my commute and I actually love knowing what's going on without having to watch a full depressing or confusing news story.

3. Dropbox - This one has been around for a while, but even I will admit that I didn't fully start embracing it until a few months ago when my computer had an absolute meltdown - bye-bye hard drive! Thankfully, I recovered most of my data, but now that I'm always shifting from my work computer to my phone to my iPad to my personal laptop - it was definitely time to streamline my approach to reaching all of my documents at the drop of a hat. It has come in handy so many times, and they are re-integrating the photos aspect of it (formerly known as Carousel) so it will connect to your phone and store all of the photos in your camera roll! I love this because I never have to worry about mass-deleting pictures in my phone to free up space and avoid that "storage is full" pest.

4. Venmo - This one is definitely a city essential, but I've been trying desperately to get my parents and college friends to embrace it too. It's completely safe, and connects to your bank account so that you can seamlessly transfer money to friends bank accounts for anything from splitting a restaurant tab to paying your roommate for utilities (plus it lets you put a little caption of what the money is for, which people tend to get pretty creative with!) I use this for absolutely everything - especially because most restaurants in the city don't split the check for you and it saves a ton of time. Whenever someone pays you, you just hit "transfer to bank" and it will appear in your bank account within 24 hours!

5. Qapital - This app has already proven its usefulness for me with a couple of fun vacations I have coming up this spring (more on those later!) This app makes saving up for special trips, occasions, or a big item that you just can't quite afford easy and kinda fun! You connect the app to your bank account, and it will create a separate account just for your special "event" you choose - for example, my ski trip in Breckenridge! You create different rules for the app so that it knows when it is allowed to put money in your fund, and there are a ton of rules to choose from! My personal favorites are: the guilty pleasure rule, the round-up rule, and the spend less rule. Trying to eat less chipotle (and possibly avoid e. coli? Yikes!) Every time you spend money there, Qapital will automatically pull money into your special fund. The round-up rule takes any purchase you make that has change leftover and puts the remaining amount of change into your fund (pennies and dimes add up!) The spend less rule is perfect for people like me who know they spend too much on a place like Starbucks...If you can break your habit and spend below a budget of your choosing - Qapital will take the remainder that you didn't spend and put it towards your fund as a reward! I love this app because it subconsciously helps you save up with little actions in your bank account that are hardly noticeable in the short term, but in the long run can make all the difference! (For more details on this app and the rules you can set, go here!)

What are some of your must-have apps for 2016?

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