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21 Apps To Get You Through The Holidays

Life Balance

Posted by Mary Beth Erskine on Nov 18, 2014 8:29:00 AM

If you're a working adult enrolled in an online degree program, this time of year is crazy busy. Here are some apps that can help you finish the academic term strong and prepare for the holidays.

Saint-Leo-University-OnlineIf you love apps, you know you’re not alone.

But you probably have no idea how “not alone” you really are.

Last year, more than 1.2 billion mobile app users worldwide downloaded more than 82 billion apps.

Currently, there are more than 2.5 million apps available from the Apple App Store and Google Play alone.

That’s a lot to choose from.

If you find that number a bit overwhelming, then here’s just a handful that may help you, a busy working adult enrolled in an online degree program, get through the frenzied weeks ahead. These apps can help you:

  • Focus on final papers and exams
  • Stay organized and on top of your family’s jam-packed schedule
  • Enjoy preparing for the holidays

If you have any ideas of your own, please share in the comments below!


1. Help with research

Evernote (iOS, Android, Windows, Web): If you haven’t discovered this powerful tool already, it’s worth the time to check it out. You can write notes of any length, clip web articles, capture handwritten notes, save photos and keep all of your research in one place. You can share resources if you’re collaborating on a group project as well as access your information from any device, including your phone or your desktop, anywhere. (Free)


2. Help formatting papers

EasyBib (iOS, Android): This popular app can be your best friend as you’re cranking out final papers at the end of the term. It generates citations for your bibliography in MLA, APA and Chicago formats. Its intuitive and simple to use. (Free)


3. Help studying

Quizlet (iOS, Android): Use this app to help study for exams or for quick reference when you have a lot or vocabulary-heavy reading. Create your own flashcards or use any of the millions in the Quizlet database. In test mode, you can select what types of questions you would like generated: written, multiple choice, true/false and matching. (Free)


4. Help budgeting your time

30/30 (iOS): Need to finish reading a few chapters for psych and start on a research paper for crim law? Decide how long you want to spend on each task and leave the timekeeping to this app. It will help you stick to your schedule so you’re on time for the winter concert at your child’s school. (Free)


5. Help managing family life

Cozi (iOS, Android): With to-do lists, shopping lists and a centralized calendar everyone can access, this app helps you manage your family’s schedule. It also offers a family journal feature so you can share holiday memories and photos easily by email, Facebook, or a private family website. (Free)


6. Help with list-making

Wunderlist: (iOS, Android): Santa might be making lists of who’s naughty and nice, but you’ve undoubtedly got a few of your own. Lists of tasks, errands and appointments seem to grow ever longer this time of year. With this app, you can color code items into different categories such as school, work and family and share your lists with everyone who needs to see them. That includes classmates when you’re working on a group project or family members when you’re making vacation plans. (Free)


7. Help concentrating

SimplyNoise (iOS, Android): Trying to study and you can’t get “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” out of your head? Use this white, pink and brown noise-generator app to block out distractions, help increase your focus and lower stress. ($0.99)


8. Help relaxing

The Quiet Place (iOS, Android): Sometimes all you need when life is overwhelming is just a few moments of quiet to help refresh you, and this tool can help you find those moments. Gentle music and humorous instructions encourage you to disconnect from all the chatter around you and connect with your quiet place. (Free)


9. Help finding what you’re looking for at the store

Aisle411 (iOS, Android) Do you avoid sending your spouse to the grocery store because you get a phone call for every item on the listing asking where to find it? Then this app is for you. It features searchable store maps to help navigate unfamiliar territory more easily and find what you need. (Free)


10. Help getting the best deals on gifts

ShopSavvy (iOS, Android): You’re wandering around a store and find what you think is a great deal on a coffee maker for your sister. While it may be a great deal, is it the best deal? This app enables you to scan the barcode and check local and online retailers to be sure. It also reads those QR codes you find in magazines, newspapers and ads.


11. Help earning rewards for shopping

Shopkick (iOS, Android): There are at least a zillion shopping apps out there, but Shopkick bills itself as the most-used shopping app and the first mobile app that gives you rewards and offers for walking into stores. You’ve got to shop this time of year, so you might as well reap some benefits. (Free)


12. Help tracking your cash flow

LevelMoney (iOS, Android): What’s in your wallet? Find out with a glance how much money you have left in your budget. This app takes an intentionally simplified approach to cash management acting as a spending meter or a gas gauge.  It fills up with your estimated income at the beginning of the month and updates the spendable cash each time you complete a transaction.


13. Help tracking holiday calories

MyFitnessPal (iOS, Android, Windows): This app boasts the world’s largest nutrition and calorie database. While it’s probably futile to try and lose weight during this time of year, focusing on maintaining is probably more realistic. Logging food and exercise can help keep you focused on not gaining weight, and then in January you can kickstart those New Year’s resolutions and weight loss goals. (Free)


14.
Help getting dinner on the table

Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (iOS, Android, Windows, Amazon): Whether you’re looking for some inspiration for a holiday meal or you’re just trying to get a quick dinner on the table, this app can help. Search among more than 40,000 recipes or use the ‘spin’ feature to find recipes based on ingredients you on hand or how quickly you need to feed your family. Includes photos, ratings and reviews from a community of more than 30 million home cooks. (Free)


15. Help gift wrapping

Gift Wrapping Instant Expert (iOS): Now that you’ve finished all your shopping, you have to wrap everything. If you’re all thumbs when it comes to ribbons and bows – and hopeless when it comes to odd shape packages – check out this app’s videos and guides. ($0.99)


16. Help finding Christmas music

Christmas Radio (iOS, Android) You’re ready to dig into your holiday pot luck at work and you realize there’s no music. No worries. With Christmas Radio you can provide appropriate festive music from over 50 unique stations around the world. (Free)


17. Help making travel plans

Kayak (iOS, Android, Windows, Web, Kindle Fire): PC Magazine rated Kayak its favorite among travel search sites. It will find the best deal on flights, hotels and car rentals and then take you directly to the site where you can book it.


18. Help navigating holiday traffic

Waze (iOS, Android, Windows): While Google Maps may be considered the gold standard of map apps, check out Waze. It features voice-guided GPS navigation, in addition to real-time traffic and road information provided through its community of users. It also helps you navigate to the cheapest gas station on your route and can teleport you and your family to grandma’s house. (Kidding.) (Free)


19. Help when you’re out on the town

Localmind (iOS, Android): This real-time Q&A app lets you learn what’s happening anywhere in the world – or around the corner – from someone who is checked in to that location. Is the line long at the movie theater? Is your favorite restaurant crowded? Use Localmind to find out.


20. Help connecting with family

Skype (iOS, Android, Windows): Can’t be with the ones you love? You probably know about free Skype-to-Skype video and voice calls. But did you know that you can make free group video calls on your mobile over a 3G, 4G or WiFi connection? (Free)


21. Help tracking Santa

NORAD Tracks Santa (Windows, Web) What started in 1955 as a misdirected phone call has become a holiday tradition for 9 million visitors from more than 200 countries This visually enhanced mobile app is available exclusively on Windows 8.1, Windows Phone, or via a browser.

What apps would you add to this list of tools to get you through the holidays?

Image Credit: ndphoto on Shutterstock

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