The Top 20 Apps of 2015

My Favourites from the Past Year

Music

  1. Noon Pacific - I’m a huge fan of Noon Pacific, which is basically a curated playlist accompanied with some cool album art, that is uploaded at Noon Pacific (3PM EST) every week. Specializes in chillstep, soft reggae/jazz, and some weird funky lounge music. Amazing to listen to while working. Great background music for parties. Also can be found at NoonPacific.com.
  2. 8tracks - Simple premise: make a playlist with more than 8 tracks around a topic. Give it an album cover. Let people listen. Really good if you have a particular vibe you’re going for, or if you want to listen to some classic indie faves. Can also be found at 8tracks.com.
  3. Stitcher - I use this one to listen to podcasts. Really easy to use, super simple to find what you need, huge selection, and if you’re sneaky you can skip the ads! Pro tip: stop the podcast before it “finishes” to avoid the ads in the middle of episodes.
  4. Noisely - A simple interface connecting you to a variety of calming sounds. Simple, elegant, super easy to use, very functional, great variety, not too much choice, but a great way to drown out the background noise and get in the zone. Excellent at work. Also available at Noisli.com.

Work

  1. Adobe Fill and Sign - this was a complete gamechanger for me - lets you take scanned pdf documents and sign them right on your smartphone. How cool is that? Also has a form filling in function which works great. Who needs laptops anyways?
  2. CamScanner - another game-changer - lets you scan documents using your smartphone. Some pretty cool tech involved, and works fairly well. For an on-the-go solution, can’t be beat.
  3. WorkFlowy - the bullet-point notepad tool you wish you had in university - amazingly powerful, dead simple to use, would highly recommend it to anyone - I have my entire life in WorkFlowy now, along with my groceries, weekly to-dos, work-out schedule, and all the important things I forget daily. Also available at WorkFlowy.com.
  4. Slack - if you haven’t heard of Slack, you must be hiding under a rock or something. Inter-office communication, made fun, easy, and simple to use. Like MSN Messenger, but not crappy. Highly recommended. Also available at Slack.com.

Social

  1. Giphy for Messenger - What could possibly be more fun?

2. Quora - People ask questions, other people answer. Suprising amount of crappy questions, but some gems in there. Filter through the rough stuff to find the good ones. Can be super addictive, so be careful. Also available at Quora.com.

3. VSCO - Instagram for people who don’t know what the hell they are doing. The Recommended Filters in editing photo saved my life. Continues to be the best part of Social Media for me. Makes me look amazing while having no photography skills whatsoever.

4. Facebook - duh.

5. YouTube - the “cast to screen” thing has changed the way I interact with video. I can throw it from my phone to my PS3 to the TV in no time flat, and control it from anywhere in my apartment. Amazing. Some of the coolest stuff I have seen come out of Youtube yet. Huge upgrade for me. Pro tip: throw it on at parties and only give the people you want controlling the music your wifi password - lets people add to the running queue of music videos, and everyone gets to participate!

Food + Exercise + Sleep

  1. Starbucks - their coffee is garbage - I know, the basic b***h inside you is throwing a hissy fit that I said that, but it’s true - but the scan-your-phone-to-pay thing is pretty outta this world.
  2. Ritual - we use it at the office, and you should all sign up. If you use this link here, you get $10 and I get $10. Ritual is basically pre-ordering food from restaurants in downtown TO so you can go pick it up when it is ready. Beats the line, makes life easy. I love it because I get to enjoy the walk, and not wait in line for stupid people.
  3. Sleep Better - Put your phone next to your pillow, measures your sleep quality and length, gives you feedback on how you’re doing. Pretty simple, no extra gadgets or cost, makes my life better.
  4. 7-Minute Workout - A series of exercises to do a killer workout in 7 minutes. Awesome.
  5. Nike Training Club - Supposedly this is marketed to women, but I don’t believe in that sexist stereotype bullshit, so I downloaded it anyways. Body-weight workouts, quite challenging at times, definitely breaks me out into a sweat, would highly recommend.

Self-Improvement

  1. Headspace - Meditation for the rest of us. Simple, guided, 10 minutes, 10 days, just do it - you’ll thank me. Also available at Headspace.com.
  2. Calm - Competitor to Headspace, same concept, simple interface, excellent guided and unguided meditation options - love that you can pick the length that fits to your schedule. Also available at Calm.com.
  3. Twilight - Unfortunate name in general, but like f.lux but for your phone - dims the light on your phone and tints it orange to help you sleep at night. Studies tend to support this tech, and I have found it is amazingly helpful. Would highly recommend to anyone.
  4. DuoLingo - Learn languages the simple way, AMAZING app - I don’t use it enough, but have a rule for myself that anytime I am in transit I have to be doing DuoLingo. I guess I just need to travel more! Also available at DuoLingo.com.
  5. RescueTime - Tracks what you’re working on and for how long. Really useful tool - runs in the background on both computers and phones. Great data analytics, and a nice thing to have info on. Also available at RescueTime.com.

Games

  1. SpaceTeam - hilarious team-building exercise. Highly recommended. Simple interface, graphics are horrible, but more fun than you ever thought you could have with a group of people. Pro tip: beta version let’s you go up to 8 players.
  2. Tetris - Classic classic. Research on gaming shows this can help with PTSD, amongst other things. Awesome.

And that’s it folks! Make 2016 a beaut, and give some of these fine folks a try!


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