Five Apps We Can’t Live Without

FF_FiveAppsArt.jpeg

The people who design apps focus on delighting the user. That's us! So when apps make us smile by streamlining our tasks or making it easier to access valuable news and culture, we get excited. The phones in our pockets have more computing power than entire Apollo 11 moon mission, so why not use them to make the day a bit more stellar or to blast off from our desks for a while?

We’re profiling our five favorite apps for keeping connected, getting around, and staying in shape. In business and life, time is money. Considering all of these timesaving apps are free, think of them like money in your pocket.

 
FF_SlackAppIcon.jpeg

1.     SLACK

You’ll love Slack if you hate endless emails and thrive on connectivity. This simple yet multifaceted chat tool is currently the fastest-growing B2B app, used by over 4 million people a day. You can message in real time with multiple teams across the globe or across the office. And Slack keeps conversation threads neatly categorized and archived while letting you jump between channels and teams effortlessly. We set up teams to communicate with coworkers, family, friends, and even the neighborhood group. You can upload and transfer files up to 1 GB at a time, and Slack stores 5 GB worth of files on its free plan all the way up to 1 TB on the primo plan. And let’s not forget Slack’s built-in GIPHY feature for sharing GIFs.

 

feedly_icon.png

2.     FEEDLY

Understanding the latest news and industry trends is how leaders stay ahead of the game. But you can only devote so much time to perusing even your favorite publications for important info. That’s why RSS readers are still the key. Feedly is the most popular free RSS reader app for a reason. It does it all and does so simply. Blast through news and insights from all your trusted sources and set up keyword alerts to keep tabs on mentions of your company, your industry, and your competitors. One of the reasons Feedly excels is because all its quick integrations. You can couple it with other frequently used apps like Facebook, Evernote, Twitter, OneNote, Pinterest, and Slack, and you can even use it follow podcasts and YouTube channels.  We like its minimal design and intuitive features to organize stories that matter.

 

FF_Waze_AppIcon.jpeg

3.     WAZE

Has someone ever given you a tip about a really great shortcut or a super cheap gas station? What about when an oncoming driver flicks their brights to warn you of a speed trap ahead? Pretty cool, huh? Well, Waze does all of those things and more in the form of an app. If you spend any part of your day behind the wheel, you’ve got to try Waze, which bills itself as the world's largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Get alerts before you approach police, accidents, road hazards or traffic jams. Or Navigate to the cheapest gas station nearby. You can even input an appointment or meeting later in the day and Waze will tell you exactly when you need to leave based on traffic. Waze’s info is sourced from other drivers in real-time, so it’s like making a few million friends out on the road. Maps even show other so-called Wazers around you so you can give em the old thumbs up.

 

FF_LoseIt_AppIcon.jpeg

4.     LOSE IT!

If there was an app that made losing weight and staying in shape easy, we’d all be buff right now. In reality, everyone’s body works differently and there’s no single magic bullet solution. Lose It! is the next best thing. A sure fire starting point for weight management is getting real about calorie consumption. The idea of counting calories seemed terrible at first. But calorie management is proven to be the most effective way to drop fat (along with exercise). Plus, understanding just how hard the body works to deal with certain popular meals is very educational. We love how many food items are already built into the app and how easy it is to use the barcode scanner to enter them. You begin by inputing your height and weight stats, setting a goal, and then you get tracking on meals, steps, and exercise. The app does the rest and gives you handy notes and encouragement along the way. Next stop, beach bod!

 

FF_SoundTap_AppIcon.jpeg

5.     SOUNDTAP

For us, music is a key ingredient to a productive workday. We’ve all got our favorite jams but sometimes it’s nice to let a real DJ pick the playlist.  When it comes to getting lost in fascinating music or finding out about the best new bands and the latest releases from the ones we love, independent radio is the place to be. Independent radio includes college and community stations scattered all around the world. Soundtap is an incredible app that puts broadcasts from hundreds of incredible stations in the palm of your hand. Live shows are conveniently labeled by musical genre and station location or you can browse the app's array of stations. Our top favorites are San Francisco’s BFF.fm, MIT student radio station WMBR, Wynwood Radio from Miami, and Jersey City, NJ’s legendary WFMU.