I’ve learned the hard way to outsource outsource outsource whenever possible. While handing off tasks like Ikea runs or figuring out a place to go to dinner with your parents once seemed like an indulgence, what I’ve come to realize is that anything I can do to buy back time into my day for work, for family, for friends, is 100% worth the price tag.
Especially when that price is free, which many apps are.
Feel the same? Then check out these fourteen apps that make my life easier, because being super-stressed, like, all the time? It’s not a good look on anyone.
Below, 14 apps that make life easier:
For saving for later articles I see online that would otherwise distract me during my workday.
I even have a little ritual where, at the end of the week, I take a break in my Friday afternoon to read all the features I’ve saved up on my ancient iPad. This one has been huge for my productivity, and I wish I could kiss the people who made this free app right on the lips for all the hours they’ve saved me from going into a deep, dark well of distraction during the week’s working hours.
Not to be confused with Lemonade, an app for home and renters’ insurance, or Lemonade, the Beyonce visual album event of 2016. Lemonaid serves up same-day, online doctor visits for just $25.
They can’t cure everything, but if you think you’ve got a sinus infection and no time to head into your general practitioner, they can help. Answer a few questions online, and bing boom bam, you’ve got yourself a prescription for what (common, general malady) ails you.
The service can also call in orders for lab tests including blood type tests, cholesterol tests, and even STD testing. What a world, amirite?
This might be the only app on this list that I use every single day. In the mornings, I sit in silent meditation for twenty minutes (the bell that rings at the end is far preferable to the alarm on your phone going off). At the end of the day, I listen to the 8-10 minute guided meditation after I turn the lights out to go to bed.
Some people like Headspace. Personally, I prefer the Calm lady’s voice, but whatever works for you is great. What matters is the help you get in setting aside space in your day for mindful quiet time.
I’m not quite sure what I did before Spotify existed. I’m now on my millionth re-upped cell phone plan with AT&T and this one gives me unlimited data.
The upgrade has been a boon for my music listening because my phone almost qualifies as a relic (iPhone 5S, baby!) with the storage capacity of the size of my cupped hand. Now, though, I can now stream music wherever I am without saving it to my phone. Want to listen to the new Kacey Musgraves album on repeat seventeen times in a row waiting for your delayed flight to take off at the airport? You got it. The new Pod Save America on the subway? Why not.
From the gang over at everyone’s favorite restaurant recommendation site, The Infatuation, Text Rex is an on-demand text service that lets you get real-time drinking and dining recommendations in over nine cities, including Austin, Chicago, Denver, and Seattle.
Okay, okay so we’re not an app, but we are available on-demand! Did you know that you can enlist Team SG to do your shopping for you? We can help you refresh your style for the season, or totally reboot your wardrobe when you’r ready for a closet overhaul.
I’m not going to act like I don’t use Facetune to get rid of a zit, or smooth the back of my upsettingly veiny hand whenever it’s clutching my waist in photos. For just $1.99, you too can photoshop your photos into the best-lit, least-zitty version of you when posting to Instagram, Facebook, or when updating your dating profile pics.
The Pomodoro (Italian for tomato) concept is so simple: work for 25 minutes; take a 5-minute break; work again for 25 minutes; repeat. You wouldn’t think you really even need an app for it. And you probably don’t, but there’s something about the ding of this app that makes you feel way more accomplished – and like you deserve those five minutes of free time – than just setting your phone’s timer.
Access to a concierge who can hook you up with hard-to-get reservations at great restaurants in over 21 cities. I recently used it to book dinner for two at Mission Chinese (who otherwise doesn’t take reservations for a party of that size) the last time a friend was in town. The food’s delicious, but she’s from the Midwest and isn’t really into the whole, “The wait will be two hours, but you can get a drink – or four – at the bar” vibe so many otherwise-reservation-free restaurants are into these days.
An audio fitness app that puts a personal trainer in your Airpods. Hundreds of workouts, from strength training to treadmill runs, combine the instruction of a personal trainer with perfect playlists to create workouts you can do anytime, anywhere.
Helps you cross off your Saturday “honey do” list a lot faster.
I recently fired up the service to find a handyman who could help me arrange my office after a move. I had a ton of stuff to go up on the walls, including picture frames, bulletin boards, and a lighting fixture that I had absolutely no clue where to even get started. He got everything done in less than three hours, logged his exact time spent (as in, he charged me for 2 hours and 45 minutes, not 3 hours), and even spackled the hole I’d left in the bathroom after a shelf install gone wrong.
An online, on-demand interior design service, Havenly also offers one-off design advice for free when you sign up for their app.
Moviepass has turned me into a goddamn movie connoisseur.
You can read up on the incongruously unprofitable business model here, (they just bought Moviefone!) and then go sign up here before they come to their investors come to their senses and make them jack the price up to at least the cost of one freaking movie ticket.
The only drawback is it’s hard to get seats together when seeing a film with another person buying their tickets separately, but honestly, it’s such a good deal you can spring for drinks after the movie to catch up on it together.
Don’t sleep on Pinterest, guys. When you’re scooting around the internet on your phone and find something you like (maybe outfit inspiration on SG?!), instead of taking another screenshot for your increasingly cluttered photo gallery on your phone, save it instead to Pinterest.
Create a few different boards to help maintain order, and you’ll be handsomely rewarded with photos and links of what you want to remember.
And of course, the app all-stars:
Uber for getting around. Venmo and Square Cash for stress-free sending and receiving money easily. Never split a bill ten ways and/or carry ungodly amounts of cash to a group dinner again. We’re living in the future, people!
Note: Some of these may not be in every city, but plenty have spread to cities across the country. As in, when I asked my sister if they have Reserve in Madison, she rolled her eyes so hard they almost fell out of her head. “Ugh of course we have Reserve, Megan. We’re in Wisconsin not, like, the middle of the ocean.” Point taken.