I was asked earlier this week to share some of my favorite apps that I can’t live without.  I thought this would be a great place to share them with you.

I am a total Google Fan Girl through and through. I access all my business and personal email through Gmail.  I use Google Cal to create different calendars for the different areas of my life (personal, teaching and business) that I can share with those I need to share it with (like my husband).  And I use Google Docs quite a bit (more for my teaching and less for my business).  I use Google Chat to chat with my husband throughout the day.  I use Google Talk as my business phone number (which then forwards the call to both my cell and my home phone lines AND transcribes all my voicemails). And of course, I can access everything from my iPhone.

evernote-postitI don’t know about your, but I am a note writer taker.  The kind that gets an idea and writes it only available sticky note or scrap of paper.  Which means that I often have a pile of un-sticky, fallen notes stacked here, there and everywhere.  So recently, I’ve started using Evernote to keep track of these random (or sometimes not quite so random) thoughts and notes. I can organize things in notebooks, use tags, clip directly from a website or email, add in notes, you name it.

I think my favorite Evernote feature is the audio transcriber.  I’ve “written” entire blog posts using this cool tool.  I also use it all the time while I’m commuting to and from work (you hear something on the radio, which triggers a great idea for a blog post, I open Evernote, leave a voice memo.  It gets transcribed and I’m good to go).  An over the last month or so, they’ve also worked with the Post-It people and together they’ve created a tool that let’s you take a photo of your note and it will get filed away in your Evernote.  How cool is that?!?!?

I also use DropBox throughout the day. I love that I can access my documents from my laptop and my desktop both at home and when I’m away (like now, at the local library).  I also love how easy it is to share files and folders with others.  And I love how I can back up all the photos and videos from my phone directly into my Dropbox.  Which means I don’t have to keep these space hogs on the phone and can instead focus on the few I like best.

Expensify is a great tool for keeping track of your expenses and creating those expense reports.  And their iPhone app let’s you take photos of your receipts so you no longer have to keep track of all those small pieces of paper.  And it integrates nicely with so may other applications like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, Evernote and more.

For creating travel itineraries (both business and personal), you can’t beat TripIt.  I love having a printout with directions, weather, confirmation numbers and anything else you might need in one handy packet…or on my phone.

And for music on the go, I use MOG both on my computer and on my phone.  My students love that I have their favorite music at my finger tips (and I love that I don’t have to buy it).  Their phone app is great as well because you can stream full albums or create your own playlists to bring with you when you’re on the go.  We don’t take a trip without first setting up a MOG playlist or two.

Our house (and our extended family) also uses LastPass as our password tool.  It allows you to organize all your websites and their passwords without having to remember everything.  Instead, you remember one longer and stronger password that manages the entire account.  As they put it, it’s the last password you’ll ever have to remember (and it’s smart phone compatible).

As for my iPhone specifically, I’m a pretty social gal, so I love the more social apps like Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook (surprise!).  I enjoy taking pictures so I really like Camera+ and PaperCamera.  And of course I must have my Groupon and Living Social apps on hand so I can always catch that deal!

What are your favorite productivity or fun apps?


Photo: Evernote