My Favorite Apps in 2017

These are the apps everyone should have on their phone.

Canva

Need to design an invitation to a wedding? A party? A club meeting? Or maybe create a presentation that looks a little more “unique” than a PowerPoint template? Want to create an infographic? Make an already correctly sized Instagram post? Create a flyer or poster? Create a resumè? An infographic? A book cover? For free?

Canva will make it look like you know how to create beautiful, professional graphic designs. You can sign up with an Google, Facebook, or email account. The only thing you’ll be spending money on are premium illustrations or photos, but you can get around that by uploading your own images or using public domain photos and vectors.

Use Canva to impress the pants off teachers, coworkers, friends, and whoever else isn’t already aware of its existence.

Spotify

I’ve used Spotify for a long time, now, but only recently started paying to use it. At first, for $10/mo I downloaded as many songs/playlists onto my phone as I wanted and experienced no commercials or cellular data usage. Then I found out about the family plan, which was a total gamechanger. For $15/mo I and 4 others can listen to all the music and podcasts we like, download them on our phones, and deal with zero ads.

Once you’re used to Spotify, there’s no competition. I connect it to my car’s bluetooth and listen to whatever I want, and don’t have to worry about using up data on my phone plan. I can also listen to Spotify music from a computer or my PS4.

Google Wallet

Gone are the days of “I’ll buy your food this time, if you get mine next time,” and with them the bitterness of watching the person who paid for you last time order a steak dinner when it’s your turn to pay the bill.

With Google Wallet, you can send money to or request money from your dinner partner whether or not they have the app, or even a Google account. And, if you both have an iPhone, you can do so through the Messages app! There’s also a Split function on the iPhone.

It’s a quick, easy, and convenient way to settle up. And, it’s not just for dinner! You can request and pay pretty large sums of money over the app ($9,999 in one transaction or $10,000 every 7 days), so you can use it to simplify rent, bills, etc.

Mint

I downloaded Intuit’s Mint app a while back in my early days of working a job, but stopped using it frequently when my bank released a budgeting tool. However, now that I’ve a car loan and a few credit cards, it’s relevant again! I can connect all these accounts (including my monthly Spotify bills) and track my spending.

When I switched to using a Discover credit card rather than my debit card for almost all transactions, my bank account only showed my credit card payments and payroll deposits. Now, with Mint, everything is back in one convenient place. I changed all Google Wallet debits and credits to represent food, since they usually do, and now I have a good idea again of what I’m spending and where.

Google Maps

I’m kind of a huge Google fangirl. That said, Google Maps makes it to this list as well. It’s so much more than a simple GPS app!

First off, if your family also has the app on their phone, you can all share your location with one another and stalk each other. There are certainly apps that do this better, such as Life 360, but Google Maps is perfect for a family of adults who don’t need to monitor one another as closely. Plus, you can temporarily share your location as well, so if you want to meet a friend in a city, you can keep tabs on each other just for that day and not have to send 800 “where are you now” texts as you make your way toward one another.

On top of that, it can help you pick a place to grab food and drinks, allows you to download “offline maps” (good for places you visit often and to avoid cellular data usage), shows traffic density, and allows you to toggle options such as driving or walking, avoid tolls, and avoid highways. (I love taking the scenic routes!)

Another great feature is the Timeline, which shows where you’ve been for a selected range of time. Google Maps can even show how many steps you’ve taken in that time.

PS Express

Adobe Photoshop Express is photo editing magic. It has a ton more options than Instagram, so I like to run photos through it before I post them there. You can do some pretty cool stuff in the app, but I tend to stick to adjusting vibrance and tint of photos. Some of the filters look a little ‘cheap,’ in my humble opinion.

Many times, I’ve just used the auto adjust feature –it typically makes your photo look just right. You can toggle between the original and the edited version. Often the app makes a world of difference.

I could do a whole post on before/after photos using this app!

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