Written by Rebecca GrahamRebecca Graham is BestCompany's expert on home loans and cell phones, empowering readers to make the best financial decisions based on data and research. Rebecca unplugs from consumer culture on occasion to hike with her family.
With global connectivity at our fingertips through mobile apps, we can accomplish so much individually and collectively. And progress is happening across nearly every industry.
This list of apps and tools can make your life better in small or significant ways.
How will apps improve your day-to-day? How will you change the world?
- Business and Entrepreneurship
- Health and Wellness
- Home and Family
- Job Search
Business and Entrepreneurship
Contributor: Matt Mong, Marketing and Communications with iTrustPRO
Our app is having a big impact in the lives of local, service-based small business owners. iTrustPRO is the only small business app that is truly all-in-one, helping businesses grow and manage their business from one place. Every account comes with a free, search engine optimized website. In the app you can share your work, upload photos, and manage your customer reviews.
The app also comes with digital tools to make to make it easy to manage your back office, such as professional branded quotes and invoices, a mini-CRM, as well as the ability to manage jobs, employees and accept electronic payments from customers.
Contributor: Ollie Smith, CEO of Energy Seek
As an entrepreneur, this is one app which has made a significant impact on my business. This fantastic tool enables me to remain in contact with my geographically dispersed team through encouraging collaboration. Slack eliminates many of the barriers that traditionally have been obstacles to transparency and collaboration.
As the CEO, it gives me an insight into what my team thinks while not interfering with their respective roles. Secondly, it has cut web traffic in half as it eliminates most of the back and forth that used to fill my email inbox. Last but not least, it has allowed me to easily set-up one-to-one meetings and acts as a historical record of any conversation with any team member.
Contributor: The Brian Hamilton Foundation
There are lots of apps for wanna-be entrepreneurs with Silicon Valley and Shark Tank dreams, but few apps for the average person who just wants to start a business to support themselves and their families. Starter U, a free video course on the basics of how to start and run a business, launched this spring on the Brian Hamilton Foundation app.
The engaging, practical videos provide the essentials needed to start a business. Helpful regardless of education level, it is particularly useful for people for whom a traditional job is not a good fit and for people who are not currently employed but who need an income.
Contributor: V. Michael Santoro, Co-founder of Vaetas
Vaetas, LLC, is a SaaS company that provides a patented call-to-action video communication system for business development professionals. The product, Video Connect, allows users to record and connect with prospects and customers through the use of personalized video.
The videos can be sent as emails, text messages and direct social messaging. The call-to-action videos can also be shared via social media. No web pages are required to embed the videos. The videos play full-screen in a browser window and viewers can take the next action step directly from the video. The cloud-based app provides users with a Web app and fully-integrated mobile app for video on the go.
Allset saves you up to 30 minutes every day during your lunch break. It's a free dine-in pre-ordering app that allows you to make reservations, place orders, pick up food, and pay the check in advance in 2000+ restaurants in 11 major cities. This means that food can be ready on the client’s arrival in the restaurant and they can leave without waiting for a bill. Also with Allset app, you can pre-order pickup your food within 10 minutes.
It is the only service that allows you to make reservations at restaurants that don't take reservations otherwise, even via phone call (counter service restaurants, fast food joints, food court spots). Reservation is possible with Allset because restaurants get paid and tipped in advance and know the exact time a client arrives.
Contributor: Hannah K. Oh, Digital Fashion Marketing Student
Think about the last time you doubted the way you looked. Maybe it was a date gone wrong? Or did the glance of a passerby make you uncomfortable? Put those fears to bed with Fashion Buddy, an app that gives you immediate outfit feedback when your friends decide to leave the chat. Post two pictures, set the timer and get anonymous, positive feedback from the Fashion Buddy community.
Contributor: Derrick Denicola, CEO of Findaspot
Findaspot calculates the quickest route between two points and gives users a list of locations in between them.
For example: Ben lives Downtown. Mary lives near the beach. They want to meet. Using Findaspot,
1. Ben Enters his location
2. He enters Mary's location
3. He enters any one of Yelp's 30k+ categories (in this case, Restaurant)
Ben gets up to 20 listings for restaurants in between himself and Mary. This makes picking a place easier, more diplomatic, and more important saves time, stress and fuel costs with both parties. Other common use cases for Findaspot include arranging a date and finding places to stop along the way on road trips.
Contributor: Dane Kolbaba, Watchdog Pest Control
Ever heard a song that you liked but didn't know the title of? What if it was just a snippet of a melody, no lyrics to search for to help you find out? We've all been there, and that is where Shazam comes in. It's a music recognition application that looks up the song for you. All you have to do is turn the app on so it can listen to what's playing, and, well, Shazam! You can also play songs and add them to your Spotify playlist or integrate with Google Play Music and Facebook.
Contributor: Adi Raval, VP of Communications at Academia.edu
Academia.edu, the world's largest EdTech start-up, is devoted to providing open access and free academic research to its over 80 million users. It has over 23 million unique uploads of academic papers across tens of thousands of research interests.
Imagine if you could access all of these papers all for free from your smartphone? You can now do so because we recently introduced a brand new mobile app. The app allows anyone in the world to access papers for free. There are users in sub-Saharan Africa who can now read research papers on maternal health and farming all for free, just from their phones.
Contributor: Jen Jordan, Executive Producer of Content for Babbel's Multilinguish podcast
Babbel is the world's first language-learning app offering the shortest path to real-life conversations. Babbel's language experts are dedicated to bringing users the best quality in modern language-learning, covering 8,500 hours of content in 14 languages, from Spanish to Indonesian.
Babbel is the only product to offer courses tailored to users' native languages, building on grammar and vocabulary they will already know. Babbel is the perfect platform for those wanting to not only learn a new language but also develop their understanding of other cultures' customs and traditions, so we can all understand one another a little bit better, one day at a time.
Contributor: Robyn Kerkhof, Book Curator at Blinkist
Blinkist is a micro-learning app and platform that condenses top-line insights from popular nonfiction books into 15-minute audio recordings and reads for 9 million users worldwide. With over 3,000 books-in-blinks available, Blinkist users can get through multiple books a day if desired, even when they have extremely limited free time.
Books can be read or listened to during morning workouts, commutes to work, or lunch breaks to provide motivational insights. By offering highlighted advice readers found most helpful, users are able to quickly understand concepts and see things from new perspectives and clear up time for additional pursuits.
Contributor: Dr. Roxanne Russell, Digital Learning Expert and Creator of Read Ahead
Read Ahead is an AI-driven application that, in minutes, takes any piece of digital text and turns it into a fully customized, Kindle-like, interactive reading assignment for tweens and teens that can be completed on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
With Read Ahead, kids are encouraged and supported to read what they want on the media that they prefer and they’re able to do so distraction-free. Even better, Read Ahead’s functionality helps readers expand their vocabulary and critical thinking in a way that traditional classroom reading assignments don’t.
Contributor: Daniel Ornstein, Co-founder and CEO of Bundler, Inc.
Bundler's free Cord-Cutting Quiz looks at your location (and the cable/internet providers available in your area) and your interests (sports, news, kids' content, movies, etc.) and provides a few concrete recommended adjustments that would save you money. In addition to providing a few recommendations, this tool walks you through the process of adding and canceling services. We've found that most users can save $30+ per month without sacrificing much if anything.
Contributor: Jacqueline Devereux, Financial Expert with SproutCents
The Digit app helps you save money without even thinking about it. This app is perfect for people who aren't great savers but have financial goals like paying off credit card debt, going on a vacation, or saving up for a rainy day fund. The app analyzes your spending and automatically transfers money towards your savings goals.
It takes a little amount out every couple of days, based on your checking account balance. You don't even notice the money is missing and the best part is you are earning interest. Once you've reached your goal, you can keep saving or withdraw the money back into your checking account. I've saved thousands of dollars since I signed up a few months ago and been able to invest the money in traveling.
Contributor: Brianne Bell, Frugal Minimalist Kitchen
Field Agent is a mystery shopping app. Field Agent works with businesses to have mystery shoppers go to their business and review their service or product anonymously. As the mystery shopper, you find tasks on the app and follow the instructions. You get paid for each one you do, usually between $4–$8 per task. Tasks usually take between 2–20 minutes.
Typical tasks include finding a product display and taking some photos of it, asking certain questions to the customer service staff, or reviewing a product at a fast food restaurant. I’ve earned about $400 last year only doing a few per month, but you could earn a lot more if you did all the ones available.
Contributor: Maurice Harary, Founder and CEO of Fluz
Fluz is a passive income cash back application that gives you rewards for everyday purchases, and unlike other cash back rewards, Fluz offers a lifetime benefit from its inviting system. Members earn money when they shop and keep earning whenever their friends shop, and even when their friends’ friends shop.
Contributor: Dave Fanger, CEO of Swell
Swell is an impact investing platform on a mission to make sure that every dollar invested has a positive impact on the world. Strategically designed to drive a revolution in investing transparency and access, Swell’s app allows conscious consumers — at the touch of their fingertips — to easily invest in companies solving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGS). Also called “the world’s to-do list,” these global goals are the most pressing challenges facing our world from now until 2030.
Swell’s iOS app makes it easier than ever for empathetic and mission-driven investors to move more of their money into companies who stand for the world they want to see.
Contributor: Justin Bailey, Founder of Vimvest
Vimvest makes saving fun, effortless, and free. Whether you're saving for your dream wedding, an extravagant get-a-way with your friends, or just saving to become financially stable, Vimvest helps you every step of the way and acts as your own personal financial advisor.
After selecting the first goal with your Vimvest app, it allows you to set a target amount and date in order to track your needed daily, weekly, or monthly financial goals.
Contributor: Colin Ristic, COO of Waldo
Waldo is a newly released web app that makes you money — automatically. Whenever you make a purchase, Waldo tracks the price of your purchase, and if it detects the price has dropped, it will automatically reach out to the retailer and get you a refund.
Imagine you buy a new jacket for $150, but two days later it goes on sale for $75. Waldo gets you $75 back, all automatically. Entirely effortless on the user, Waldo can save you hundreds of dollars a year on day-to-day purchases. It supports over 100 different merchants, including stores like Amazon, Walmart, JCPenney, and Target, as well as more niche stores such as REI, Patagonia, Topshop, Gap, Revolve and dozens of others.
Health and Wellness
Make home-cooked meals with assistance from Innit. Innit helps users prepare the food with step-by-step cooking videos, guided instructions, and can even connect with their smart appliances (like LG smart ovens) to cook automatically and give real-time updates so the meal comes out perfect every time.
Beginning when users create personalized meals to fit their exact diet (vegan, Keto, gluten-free, etc.), Innit automatically creates a grocery list of all the necessary items that can be easily purchased through the platform and delivers them right to your front doorstep, thus removing the most painstaking aspects of the food preparation process making meal planning easier and more efficient.
Not only does the app offer custom workout plans with over a thousand hand-picked exercises guided by Jillian based on your specific fitness level and goals, but it also includes customizable meal plans to follow throughout the training period regardless of dietary restrictions (which is especially nice for a vegetarian). You do not need to have any equipment and you can work out from the comfort of your own home. You no longer need expensive gym memberships or sitters to watch the kids while you go to a workout class!
Contributor: Mitch Collier, VP of Product Development at StayWell
StayWell reinvents the category of digital health, combining participants' daily life habits with lifestyle elements to track and create a holistic view of health. From daily steps tracked to fruits and vegetables consumed to better sleep and health education modules, the StayWell App puts health knowledge in the palm of users' hands.
It also allows users to get questions answered by licensed doctors, connect with expert health coaches to help achieve specific goals, find ideas for recipes and workouts, and track biometrics. The StayWell App integrates with major wearables and can incorporate into EMR systems to provide healthcare providers with real-time info on health and send updates on immunizations, health appointments, and routine screenings.
Contributor: Gloria Mitchell, Crisis and Performance Coach
Affirmations are a great way to change the mindset, but many people struggle to do them because they feel weird saying them, they don't have the privacy to do them, or they can't figure out how to do them consistently. This app solves those problems.
ThinkUp allows you to record each affirmation in your own voice, automatically sets them to music and even allows you to create affirmation playlists (i.e. you can have a playlist for building your confidence an another for becoming a better parent). And if you have trouble coming up with affirmations, the app even offers some suggestions. I highly recommend it.
Home and Family
Contributor: Joe Wilson, Owner of Volare Systems
I really like using AnyList. The whole family uses it for grocery lists. No more sticky notes or whiteboards. Everyone uses the app to update the list with what they need for the grocery shopper. We also use it when traveling and camping for packing lists. When you've checked off all the items, you can reset the list and you're ready for next time. Of course, on your trip, you can add things you wish you had brought and delete things you don't want to bring next time.
Contributor: Vinay Mahadik, CEO and Co-founder of Securly
SecurlyHub is for families with young children (2–9 years old) who want one tool for an in-home online activity and device management solution that is easy and affordable. Securly's platform is the only one offering the 360-view built and trusted by thousands of schools to keep millions of children safe while they're online.
Through the ParentView app, parents can directly monitor activity on their child's school-owned device to directly get real-time online activity reports. Securly is the perfect solution to help parents block inappropriate content, monitor cyberbullying and harassment, and manage screen time usage.
Contributor: Bryan Stoddard, Director of Homeswares Insider
To put it simply, Sortly will make your home more organized and decluttered. It's a super simple inventory system that uses your phone as a central database of all those things in your home that matter to you. It can be used to reduce clutter and to bring back control in the household. In short, you can create a visual inventory that will help you catalog the important things in your life. With Sortly, you'll be aware of the way you've stored thing from your kid's toys to your purse collection.
Contributor: Alexandra Fung, CEO and Co-founder of Upparent
Upparent.com gathers recommendations from parents about the best things to do, places to go, and products to try as a family. Rather than featuring content created by a single author, Upparent gathers recommendations from the community itself about favorite family activities and products, making it easy for users to weigh in with their own votes, comments, and favorites so that content is dynamic and always improving. Content displayed on Upparent is always tailored to each user’s specific location, with interactive features that make it easy to find recommendations most relevant to each unique family.
Contributor: Lee McMillan, Founder and CEO of PeakSeason
PeakSeason is a talent marketplace that focuses exclusively on seasonal and resort area hiring. Our goal is to help candidates discover job opportunities in incredible destinations, close to the activities they love like hiking, skiing, surfing, biking, beaching and more. We believe that where you live matters and that everyone deserves to live someplace that they find truly inspirational. Thus, we strive to connect people with jobs that allow them to pursue their passions in places that might otherwise seem unattainable.
Contributor: Gene Mal, CTO of Static Jobs
Static Jobs is a job search site for IT professionals in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Our goal is to be fast and simple in the spirit of Google.
There are lots of job seekers who want to apply but just can't physically register on every employer's website or answer a million questions on every employer’s website. That’s what a resume is for; you write it once to use everywhere, but now many employers ask job seekers to duplicate information readily available in their resumes. This is tedious and inefficient. Static Jobs asks only a few basic questions, does not require registration, and allows you to submit your resume to multiple IT jobs at once.
Contributor: Trade Hounds
The mission of Trade Hounds is to empower blue-collar construction and trade workers with a digital community built just for them. The Trade Hounds app is a digital town square and a combination of Instagram and LinkedIn that helps 13 million construction workers, contractors, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. connect with each other to find new work opportunities.
It also allows trades people to discuss their families and their life/work issues and share on-the-job photographs. Users can share their experiences, discuss their projects, showcase their best work, and store, organize and share work photos with fellow trade workers in addition to engaging with brands they use daily.
Contributor: Nicole Royer, Principal Consultant at Innovative Revolution
Evernote can organize your entire life. For your work life, it can keep your research, your client work, your branding, and checklists. For my company, every employee and client has access to the notebooks that they need. You can chat and send notes back and forth, which is easier than email because you stay within one application.
For your personal life, it can keep your grocery list, your budget and expenses, your child's artwork, and your vacation planning. Evernote is my go-to platform when I need to save and find documents. The program can be used in a browser, mobile app, or desktop program, and all sync together so you can access everything at any time!
Contributor: Andrea Loubier, CEO of Mailbird
Mailbird is a desktop email client for Windows that helps users save valuable time managing multiple email accounts so everything is seamless and in one place. We have had a lot of success in studying different methods of organization and productivity with our app.
As a female entrepreneur, it is extremely important to me to make the home/business ratio much more favorable. The key component of this is organization. Therefore, it's imperative to utilize apps that will not only assist you in juggling multiple tasks but will help you save even a half hour of precious time. Mailbird integrates with other time-saving apps like Slack and Asana.
Cheekd sets itself apart from other dating apps because it gives you the option to interact with a match before starting a virtual relationship with the compatible user. After setting up your profile and filters of what you’re looking for, Cheekd will then send you notifications when a potential match is nearby. This app immediately connects singles in a 30-mile radius (via Bluetooth) and works in a subway or a plane.
Instead of encouraging users to continue to hide behind a screen, Cheekd pushes you to engage in social settings while paying attention to potential matches in the area. Our new dating app gives us the power to light the spark face-to-face first and leave the online talking for later. And because Cheekd uses Bluetooth, it doesn’t require an internet connection to function.
Contributor: Patricia Gill of Potomac, MD
How often do you hear that someone is sick, or got a promotion, or had a bad day and think, “I should send a card.” How often do you actually do it? Send-Say is for all of us who need help turning thoughtful thoughts into action. Choose a card, customize it, add your personal message and check-out. Send-Say handles the printing, postage, and mailing.
You can store important dates and get reminders so you never miss a birthday again. It's great for thank-you notes too, or even for simple thinking of you cards. How awesome to be able to make someone's day in just a few clicks from your phone? I use it all the time.
Contributor: Frank Oelschlager, Managing Director of Ten Mile Square Technologies
1Password is a secure password vault and digital wallet that integrates seamlessly with web browsers and mobile devices. This app allows you to have one password to remember to unlock the vault, then provides the functionality to fill in login forms. One of the features that is great is that it has a password generator that can conform to any site's password requirements.
Using this app makes keeping all your sensitive information secure and using really secure passwords super easy. You don’t even need to know or remember the passwords in use across the dozens of sites used every day because 1Password does that for you.
Contributor: Carl Hasselskog, CEO and Co-founder of Degoo
Degoo is an experience-driven cloud files and photos storage app on iOS and Android and is an alternative to Google Drive/Photos, Dropbox, and Apple’s iCloud. All users get 100GB of cloud storage for free with paid upgrade options on all features. Once uploaded, every time you visit the app, Degoo uses AI to selectively choose and present your photos in an Instagram-like feed. You may re-experience ones you took but completely forgot about. Degoo also offers standard file-view formats.
For anyone who is concerned about the privacy and security surrounding their data and openly sharing it with technology giants like Google, Degoo offers two degrees of security: standard military-grade encryption found in all services as well as an opt-in zero knowledge encryption service for those who want extra protection.
Contributor: Tomas Zatloukal, Founder of Aite
Aite is an augmented reality social media geo app, a memory book by places. Aite allows users to connect with friends and family — and the general public if they choose — by sharing videos, photos, and audio in real space. Explore the searchable map that contains all geotagged bubbles of users with their posts, and go on the journey. Users can share and preserve photos, videos, and audio by adding them to a specific geographical location within in-app “bubbles” where they are permanently pinned and store.
User content is viewable any time by all or particular users on their iPhones but can be viewed also in Augmented Reality (AR) and this by users physically located at the same geographical coordinates as the given virtual bubble. This AR function allows users a time capsule experience at virtual bubble locations, viewing all past content in conjunction with the physically present reality.
Contributor: Ciara Hautau, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Fueled
When I travel I love to stay active, especially outdoors. This app has been a huge lifesaver for me. It gives you details on all hiking, running, and biking spots in your area. It also acts as a GPS so you don't get lost and has some fitness tracking as well.
Contributor: Lisa Kennelly, CMO at Fishbrain
Fishbrain is a mobile app and social network for people who love the outdoors and enjoy fishing, with 8 million users globally. Fishbrain Premium includes Fishbrain BiteTime, an advanced fishing forecast, designed to help you know exactly when and where is the best time to catch a specific species of fish, as well as the integrated C-MAP Genesis Social Map, providing crowdsourced depth contour data, enabling users to locate densely populated fishing areas that are not found on other maps.
Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Fishbrain provides every outdoors person with the tools necessary to plan the perfect fishing trip by recommending locations, connecting you with other anglers and much more. Fishbrain gently brings fishing into the digital age, helping people regardless of age or geographic location bond through fishing and social networking with their family and friends.
Contributor: Ciara Hautau, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Fueled
I'm in a long distance relationship, so I fly frequently. This app has been a great way to save money when I book flights. Simply put the dates and locations of the trip you'd like to book and the app will start tracking good times to book. If you don't book right away, it will alert you when the price will drop or if you should wait longer. It's a great tool to save money on travel bookings.
Contributor: Ciara Hautau, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Fueled
Going on vacation? Travel often for work? This app has an extensive tipping guide for over 200 countries. Once you land, you'll receive a push notification providing all you need to know in regards to tipping etiquette in that country. Never under or overtip a bartender, tour guide, or bellhop ever again.
App users and company representatives submitted apps to the author for consideration of inclusion in this round-up. Best Company has not tested or reviewed these apps and, per its mission, recommends consulting consumer reviews prior to purchasing a product or service.