The Mobile Apps Every Woman Needs to Download
There are 2.2 million apps on the Apple's App Store and 2.8 million more available on Google Play. I love using apps, reading about new apps on TechCrunch, and trying some that catch my attention. Though I have my weak spot for viral app games— do y'all remember Flappy Bird? haha— as my career grows and my life becomes more demanding, I am gravitating more towards apps that will help me achieve my goals: fitness, health, productivity, etc.
Many of my conversations may lead to the latest apps that I love using to help me accomplish much throughout the work day and juggle my life outside of work. In talking with other career women, I’m surprised at the number of women who do not seem to be aware of apps that will make their lives easier, even popular ones. Therefore, I was inspired to compile a list of my favorite apps for women. Each of the apps highlighted I’ve been using regularly for at least 3 months; several I’ve been using for 2 or more years!
Whenever I get very busy and stressed, I tend to forget to drink water. I still vividly remember the afternoon when I was thisclose to passing out during a hospital tour with the high-level staffer of a state representative. That moment was embarrassing! I still find it challenging to hydrate well, especially on days when I have back-to-back meetings—seriously, busy days are the easiest days to forget to drink water. I know that without proper hydration, I don’t feel my best, can’t think the clearest, and I won't feel energized.
My biggest strategy to make sure that I drink enough water throughout my busy days is Plant Nanny. Plant Nanny is awesome because it reminds you to drink water at any frequency that you like (e.g. 30 minutes, 2 hours, 4 hours). If you're a sucker for games where you have to keep things alive— I admit it's nostalgic for me—then this app will be perfect for you! You plant these really cute, yet strange plants that kind of shout at you when it's thirsty. You keep your plant alive by drinking enough water and if you don’t then it will die. Basically, Plant Nanny is a gamified water reminder app. Honestly, I just need reminders, but Plant Nanny makes drinking water fun!
Related Post: Ways to Stay Hydrated Even If You Don't Like Water
I've written previously about my motivation to start using Headspace for meditation. I admit I don’t meditate daily, but I find that Headspace is great for people who are learning how to meditate. When you first start your Headspace journey, you will begin a three-part series where you meditate for 10 minutes over 30 days. Each series teaches you the basics of meditation and various meditative strategies you can use to enhance your meditation. Meditation is something that I keep as part of my self-care routine. I believe that women, especially women of color, could really benefit from meditation. As women, we deal with so many different stressors: balancing work and life, pressures from society to look a certain way, working against gender and racial stereotypes. Long story short, I think that Headspace is a really great app for women to use to make time for our mental health.
Click Here: To Start Your Headspace Journey
Inbox by Gmail
Inbox by Gmail is a game changer for how I manage my emails. Though the majority of my friends use Gmail, I think I'm the one of the few who uses Inbox by Gmail. One of the features that I like about the app is that you can schedule emails to pop back to the top of my inbox so that you can take action later with the snooze function. You can snooze emails to alert you 30 minutes from now, at a random time in the future, or even at a location. There is also a bulletin board-like feature where you can virtually pin emails with reminder notes to a separate area of Inbox by Gmail. As a busy woman, you can use this feature to set reminders such as registering for a conference, responding back to a potential client, or confirming a doctor appointment. Overall, Inbox by Gmail is very user-friendly with a clean interface and intuitive features for any woman who wants to stay on top of her email inbox.
One of my pet peeves about most period trackers is the immature and unsophisticated user interfaces. Honestly, most interfaces seemed to cater to prepubescent girls, not grown women who use apps to keep track of her reproductive health. Also, period app names are often not discreet PERIOD!
Then Clue app entered the scene. Clue has a sleek, chic, minimalistic interface that makes tracking your womanhood more engaging, informing and classy. You can view your reproductive cycle, including fertility window, not only in calendar view but also a circle marked by various color squares representing symptoms ranging from bloating to inability to concentrate. Between these two views, you can easily decipher trends in your reproductive health that allows you to better manage your life and also have effective conversations with your ob-gyn. Lastly, Clue is the first period tracker that I’ve used that is very accurate when predicting my next menstrual cycle. Plus, you can keep track of lifestyle factors such as vacationing, partying, exercising, and even sex.
Dark Sky is an app that has saved me from the rain on many occasions. I started using Dark Sky during my graduate studies: tracking when it is going to rain, for how long, and the intensity. This app literally was a lifesaver when I had to travel back and forth from Rice University’s campus to the Texas Medical Center by bike, shuttle, or walking. Dark Sky is so crazy accurate that it predicts rain out for an hour, even showing small breaks of dryness between storm clouds. Houston is notorious for random, intense bouts of rain that comes and goes in a blink of an eye. Whenever this happens, I use the app to check if I should just wait out these random storms for a few minutes while I’m running errands— because in Houston even a few seconds in a downpour can result in you being drenched!
Dark Sky is a must have app for women on the go because why should we allow the rain to literally dampen our polished looks. Let’s not forget the fact that no one wants to sit on a date or in a meeting wet and cold. Dark Sky is the best $4 women can spend in the app store.
Nike+ Training Club
Nike+ Training Club is the perfect app for women who are workout addicts and for those of us who are trying to get fit. I faithfully use the Nike+ Running app, which has a cult following consisting of serious runners to people who want to track their time walking their dogs. However, holding its own weight is the Nike+ Training Club. The Nike+ Training Club app is amazing because it has a workout for everyone: you are trying to tone your abs and arms, you only have 10-minutes, you thrive on completing high interval circuits, you’re into yoga. Nike+ Training Club has it all! The exercises range from needing only your bodyweight to accommodating light gym equipment (e.g. dumbbells). The app is basically a personal trainer in your pocket, especially because each program has very clear videos for each movement.
I use Nike+ Training Club when I don't feel like going to the gym or as a post-running booster. Also, Nike+ Training Club is great because it's so women-centric— it started as an app exclusively catering towards women. The representation of strong, diverse women is prominent, which makes me happy because I think women should not shy away from gaining strength!
Waze is absolutely my go to app when it comes to driving and arriving on time. I am directionally challenged #igetitfrommygodmomma. Plus, it does not help that I'm not the most patient driver. I don't like traffic; I don't like when people cut me off; I don't like when people are not doing the speed limit; etc. Most of all, I don't like to be late. I feel like all of those annoying driver behaviors slow me down! lol Waze helps me navigate traffic by providing near real-time user feedback to alert me about accidents, slow downs, avoid speed traps, construction and even debris on the road. Though Google owns Waze, Google Maps does not provide the nearly the same amount of near real-time information and shortcuts that Waze does. Seriously, Waze is like your one uncle who knows all the shortcuts.
I use Later to help plan my Instagram posts for my blog. Though I post on the fly too, I don’t have a photographer’s eye to keep my feed looking polished. I’m a sucker for pretty Insta-feeds lol. I’m also trying to practice mindfulness throughout my day, and posting on the fly pulls me away from what I’m doing at the moment. Women of color are starting more businesses than ever, and this includes blog bizs. If you have any type of social media presence for your blog and/or business, you should use Later (or another planning app) because it is easier to take an hour to plan ahead for a week than to post on the go. Planning for me is so important because between juggling my busy schedule, spending time with my husband, and sometimes just being too tired to do anything after work, posting on the go is simply not the most feasible option. Therefore, Later allows me to consistently engage with my Insta-tribe. Also, by using Later you can preview how your Insta-feed will look from adding your newest pics. Once again, I have pretty Insta-feed goals.
Earn 10 additional posts for signing up for Later and posting to Instagram through my referral link. Because of your kindness, I will also earn 10 additional posts.
LastPass is amazing because it allows you to generate and store secure passwords for all your online accounts. These passwords are stored behind a master password. When you are on your personal computer, LastPass will automatically pre-fill your login information— it’s very accurate too. If I’m on a public computer or my cell phone, using LastPass is a tad annoying because I just want instant access. Instead, I have to log in and copy my password. Honestly, it's kind of like the two-factor authentication process. I just want to be logged in, but I like the extra layer of security and knowing that my accounts are safe from hackers. So, I try to keep in mind that the extra 5-10 seconds when I’m not on my own computer is worth it! Plus, resetting my passwords just to log in is 100x more frustrating and time consuming to me— especially when I cannot use a recent password lol.
Okay, I know Apple Watch is technically not an app! I had to add it to the list anyway. Over the years, Apple has slowly converted me from #TeamPC and #TeamAndroid to #TeamApple because of the attention to design, consistency, and integration. However, I remained very skeptical of purchasing an Apple Watch. Truthfully, the only reason I took the plunge was that I had won a BestBuy gift card at a tech conference which covered the majority of its cost. Apple Watch was one of the best smart accessory purchases I could have made. I'm in love with my watch! I use my Apple Watch every day to track my health and wellness activity, check my agenda, and also quickly respond to texts or calls when my phone is buried in my work tote. If you have an iPhone and you have been thinking about diving into the wearable device movement, I encourage you to keep the Apple Watch high on your options list.