For the New Year I thought it would be fun to share what apps are my favorite that I plan on using to make this year my best year ever! Of course I am assuming you have the usual apps already for the weather, Facebook, MyFitnessPal and Youtube. These apps I am listing below will help you find real food from local farmers, get the best deals at your local grocery stores, study the gospel, find commentary on the scriptures from General Authorities, answer some of your gospel questions, solve breastfeeding problems, keep track of your budget, do your family history research, keep your brain fit, and much more. I have found all of these apps in the app store for the iPhone. I can’t vouch that they are all available in Android form. Do a search in the Apple app store to find them for the iPhone or Google Play for android.
First is the Glow app, featured above in the video. It was designed to track your fertility signals so you can achieve pregnancy, but you could also use it to avoid pregnancy. Either way you can track your natural fertility signs. I’ve looked at a lot of fertility tracking apps, even the Creighton one, and so far I like this one the best. You can also try Ovagraph.
2. Next is an app to answer all of your breastfeeding questions. The author of the app, Nancy Mohrbacher, is an IBCLC and author of the Breastfeeding Answer Book. Using an app at 2 AM to get help with a crying baby and sore nipples sure sounds a lot easier than searching through a book or using your desktop.
3. Now for the Gospel Library app from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Does anyone not have this yet? If you don’t, you are missing out, so go get it today. It’s free, and It is truly amazing to have! You can have all the scriptures, all the Church manuals, all of General Conference, all the Church magazines, and all the current publications of the Church in one place! Do we truly appreciate this gem of a resource? I read my scriptures from my app first thing in the morning, using the Gospel Doctrine study guide, answering the questions at the end of each chapter, in my journal. Then I listen to a General Conference talk and two chapters from a Teaching of the Presidents manual while I get breakfast going and get ready for the day. It totally turns on the brightness of hope in the atonement of Jesus Christ for me.
I also play a story or two from the Friend, the LDS magazine for children, every morning for my kids at breakfast. I used to read aloud a story or two from the print edition. Problem is, I would run out of stories by the end of the month, and have to get out my archived back issues. No more! Now I can have all 40+ years of back issues in the palm of my hand. I can also do a search to find stories from the Friend, and all of the Gospel Library (articles from ALL the church magazines, scriptures, Bible Videos, Mormon Messages, etc.) for a certain topic and play them for my kids. Each month we are doing a different kind of character trait. For instance, for this month of January 2016 we are doing “forgiveness, penitence, and humility,” so I can find a boatload of stories to go with that in just a few minutes. This is so cool!
Back when I was teaching Primary, before I moved, I would read the upcoming Primary lesson on Monday to apprise me of what I needed to get ready during the week (I’m not kidding, one week it suggested I bring boiled eggs, another week it was homemade play-doh). It’s nice to have a week to prepare and refer to it when I am on the go with my phone. Then on Sunday morning I would review as I got ready for church services by listening while I dressed and curled my hair. When I would remember, I would listen to the Gospel Doctrine lesson teacher’s chapter, and the upcoming lesson from the Teachings of the Presidents manual.
4. LDS Tools, also from the LDS Church. Imagine being away from your house, and you suddenly have to contact your son’s Cub Scout den leader. You don’t have the phone number as part of your “Contacts” list. What to do? This happened to me once and I was so grateful I was able to look it up on the LDS Tools app. I love having my ward directory in the palm of my hand, wherever I go! I can look up ward members’ callings and numbers whenever I need to know. When we moved to our new ward here in AZ, we were able to quickly find out who the new elder quorum’s president is using LDS Tools. Then we could call him up and ask for some strong male help to move the heavy furniture. This was a lifesaver as the clock was ticking to get the truck back before we got charged a late fee.
5. LDS Music Here’s a link from the lds.org page that describes the LDS Music app. It even shows the notes for the music, which is so great since the notes are not available in the music on LDS Gospel Library. You can even find some of the newer children’s music that has appeared in the Friend since the Children’s Songbook was published over 25 years ago, like “Scripture Power” and “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.”
7. The Mormon Channel App. Watch the video above to learn all about it! You can have a 24 hour talk stream of LDS content, a 24 music stream of the MoTabs or contemporary LDS music (like Michael McLean) or listen to different series created by the LDS Church, like Mormon Channel Daily, Extreme Genes, etc.
8. Find Real Food App by the Weston A. Price foundation. It allows you to find real food in your area. So cool! Just don’t get discouraged if you can’t find anything in your area on the app. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not available. Don’t assume that means there isn’t any raw milk or farm fresh eggs around you. Start asking around to your friends, ward members, neighbors, and at the health food store and you will mostly likely find some local farmers who just haven’t bothered to register with the people who made the app.
9. Your bank’s mobile app. You all probably have yours installed, but it took me to move over 800 miles away from my bank to appreciate the convenience of this. My husband had to point it out to me. You can take a picture of a check with your phone and then deposit it through your phone. Wow! Google your bank’s name with the phrase “mobile app” to see if it’s available.
10. Familysearch’s Family Tree app. Now you can look at your family tree, do research, and add names on the go! Impress your relatives at your next reunion by pulling up stories so you can correct disputes about details. Watch the above tutorial to get in the know.
11. Everydollar. If you want an easy, portable way to keep track of your budget, this is a dream come true. Dave Ramsey’s team created it, and it’s free! You will have no more excuses not to track your expenditures. I can’t tell you how many times I went for years and years where I wouldn’t put an expenditure into Quicken because I would be upstairs at the end of the day, and I would remember that I hadn’t entered it into Quicken yet, and I felt too tired after a long mommy-homeschooler-juggling-balls-all-day to go downstairs to the basement where the desktop PC was to put in. So I would avoid the duty, which caused my CPA-trained husband endless amounts of frustration when he would discover the neglected charge as he was balancing the checkbook. Oops! No longer! Now, wherever my phone is, I usually am within a few footsteps, so I can grab my phone and track the expense. This app is so tremendously helpful to make the budget transparent to both spouses, wherever they are, as long as they have their phone. It’s especially helpful in tandem with all of Dave’s Baby Steps and when completing Financial Peace University,which I am working on. Now spouses can instantly see what is left in the budget without being at home or in verbal touch with each other. Amazing! Get this app today! Sign up at everydollar.com and then get the app at the itunes store or Google Play.
(In case you need help in creating the budget on paper in the first place, then watch this video with Dave’s daughter, Rachel Cruze.)
12. Flipp. This is an app that collects all the flyers for sales from stores in your area (supermarkets, discount stores, dollar stores, and more). You can clip the coupons digitally and bring them on your phone to the store. They are all right there! No more forgetting coupons at home, unless you forget your phone! You can even set up notifications to remind me when the sales and coupons are about to expire. As Jordan Page says below, it’s the grocery store app everyone needs.
13. The Cutegirlshairstyels app. I wish I had more need of this! I have always loved hair and have fond memories of my sisters and me trying out different hairstyles. My older daughter is gone from the nest and long ago started doing her own hair, and my only other daughter isn’t into “cute”. But if I had more girls I would definitely be using this app to give us ideas for hairstyles every day when the crunch is on to get out the door looking presentable.
14. The evernote app. One of my New Year’s goals is to learn how to use evernote to organize my endless amounts of lists. The possibilities are endless: things to tell my kids, the scriptures and hymns I want them to memorize this year for our devotional according to monthly themes, a honey-do list for dh, insights I get as I listen to Gospel Library, the menu plan for the week that I design on Sunday, shopping lists, and I could go on.
15. The LDS Citation Index app. Say you are sitting in Sunday School and someone brings up a question about the Lost Ten Tribes after the class reads a scripture out loud together. You know sometime, somewhere, Bruce R. McConkie said something about it to enlighten your mind but you can’t remember what it is. If you have this app, you can quickly go to the scripture on the app and find not just what Elder McConkie said about it, but what any General Authority ever said about that scripture from the pulpit or in Church-published writings. So cool!
16. The Deseret News app. After I got married I realized I had spent way too much time reading the newspaper during my youth. Some of what I read was good but I grieve all the time I spent wading through all the negative news to get to the uplifting material. So my dh and I decided not to subscribe to the newspaper. Sadly, Deseret News had a policy, and for all I know, still does, that in order to get the LDS Church News, if you live in Utah, you have to subscribe to the daily paper to get the once-weekly-published Church News. I thought that was silly so I went for 20+ years only being able to read the Church News when I visited my parents and picked up their copy. I suppose I could have read it online but I just always forget to look it up when I was at my desktop PC or even on my phone. But now, with this app, I can easily and quickly find and read articles that have been published in the Church News whenever I want, wherever I take my phone. Once you are in the app, you click on the little menu icon (the horizontal parallel lines) and then you look for “Faith” and then “LDS Church News.” This is a great way to read inspiring news and stories of people living their LDS faith. I like doing searches for “Nauvoo,” “church history,” and “Family History Moments.” Mormon Times is also available under the “Faith” tab.
17. The Familysearch Memories App. You can upload photos that you’ve scanned from your phone into Familysearch with this fabulous app. Picture yourself at a family reunion, seeing photos you’ve never seen before and you wish you could take them home with you. Capture those precious images into Familysearch with this handy-dandy app.
18. Lumosity. Now, for some games. I have never been a fan with video games because they are brain candy. But…I am OK with games that actually sharpen your memory and your ability to problem-solve, plan and multitask. So Lumosity fits the bill. Use that time while waiting in the doctor’s office to get smarter.
19. The librivox app gives you quick access to common domain books in audio format. For a while, we were listening to a great audiobook of U.S. History for kids, available through this app, every time I drove my kids to homeschool choir practice. Then we moved and I got out of the habit. Time to create a new habit loop for that audiobook!
20. Then there are photo editing and scrapbooking apps. So you can make collages, add captions, and fancy up your photos all in your palm, away from your craft room. I have sooo many boxes of photos, with my last completely finished scrapbook page from my daughter’s birth in 1995 (ouch!) so this idea of “scrapbooking on the go” really appeals to me so I don’t get any more of a backlog! Also check out Facetune and Rhonna Designs.
21. Gasbuddy. This awesome app allows you to type in the zip code of where you want to buy gas, and it will tell you what the gas prices are at all the gas stations in that zip code. Brilliant!
22. byutv. This app allows you to quickly locate any show that is on the byutv website and watch it wherever your phone goes, as well as stream byutv live. You can watch all the BYU devotionals, American Ride, The Food Nanny, and other exclusive byutv content. I love it! Catch the newest offering from byutv, Joan of Arc, an amazing documentary about the amazing woman!
Whew! That’s enough to keep me busy for a year! And I didn’t even share a new app that I am holding out on, for its own separate post. Stay tuned for that one!
Does anyone out there have any more recommendations? I would love to hear them! How about any on pregnancy or childbirth?