Forbes | 6 Apps That Can Simplify Your Money Life

6 Apps That Can Simplify Your Money Life

By Lambeth Hochwald

LearnVest

January 24, 2014

http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2014/01/24/6-apps-that-can-simplify-your-money-life/2/

If you’re the C.F.O. of your household, then you’ve probably wondered if there isn’t a techie solution for managing your finances.

The problem is that there are probably too many options out there. The onslaught of offerings that you’ll find when you visit the app store can be overwhelming—but we’re here to help!

best money apps

1. Manilla

Best for: Organizing bills

How it works: Get rid of that accordion file busting at the seams in favor of Manilla, a digital filing cabinet for your bills that keeps track of due dates and statements for accounts ranging from credit cards to your Netflix subscription. You can even create custom accounts for things that you might not be able to link to online, like your rent or dog-walking services. Added perk: The app organizes loyalty rewards and online coupons.

What the pro thinks: “Manilla is organized so simply that it’s easy to go paperless,” Jolly says. “It’s super simple to sign up, it lets you consolidate every single bill and you can use one password for everything.” Added plus: Document storage, so you can look up your old statements. “This means that you can forget about keeping paper copies for your records and just access them via the app,” Jolly adds.

2. Google Wallet

Best for: Streamlining shopping

How it works: We all knew it was coming soon—the day that you could go shopping and leave your wallet behind … or at least the physical one. With Google Wallet, you store your debit card, credit card and loyalty card information in one place, and then use your smartphone to tap-and-pay at any merchant who accepts such payments. And if you don’t have a phone with the necessary NFC technology, you can get a Google Wallet Card that acts as a debit card that’s linked to your wallet balance. You can also use the money in your Google Wallet account to pay for online purchases, and Gmail users can send money to people as an attachment.

What the pro thinks: “This app offers lots when it comes to simple convenience,” Jolly says, adding that there are some caveats. “You have to sign up for a Gmail account first. You’ll also pay for each and every debit and credit card transaction (Google charges a 2.9% fee per transaction), and you currently can only send money in the U.S.”

RelatedHow Your Phone Will Become Your Wallet and Credit Card

3. Square Cash

 Best for: Transferring money

How it works: Square Cash is an easy way to send money to friends and family sans fees. Let’s say that you left your cash at home, your friend covers your share at dinner and you want to pay her back right away. Simply draft an email, write the amount that you’re transferring in the subject line and CC: cash@square.com. Next, you’ll receive a reply from Square asking you to link to a debit card. The recipient will then be emailed a link that lets the person deposit the amount into her bank account.

What the pro thinks: “I like that there’s no need to install software, nor do you need to link to social networks or keep track of a new username and password,” Jolly says. The only downside? “There’s no support for credit card accounts,” she says. “And the weekly limit is $250, unless you link a mobile phone number or verify your name, part of your Social Security number and date of birth. Then [the limit is] raised to $2,500.”

4. Slice

Best for: Online shopping

How it works: Slice is essentially a personal online shopping assistant that tracks packages, manages receipts and even provides customer service numbers for retailers where you purchased items. It’s also like that friend who knows when all of the sales happen: Slice alerts you when those shoes you just bought suddenly get a price cut, in case you can ask for a price adjustment. It also tracks your online spending, showing which categories you spend the most money on, and it alerts you when a delivery is waiting on your doorstep.

What the pro thinks: “I like that Slice includes an image of the product I purchased,” says Jolly. “This way, I know [if a package contains] a book or a hardware accessory from Amazon or iTunes.” Jolly says that there is one main downside: only receipts received via email are ‘Sliceable’ because that’s where the app gets its data. “The app scans your incoming emails, finds your receipts and parses relevant information about the items that you bought,” she says.

5. Tricount

Best for: Tabulating shared costs

How it works: How many times have you tried to figure out the best way to split costs for a meal or a trip when several people are involved? What usually ensues is a drawn out discussion to determine who owes what to whom. With Tricount, you can create a group expense report on your phone that tracks spending by person, and then splits up how much each individual owes or is owed from the total balance. When you’re ready to share the final breakdown, the app sends each person a link to Tricount’s site to review the data.

What the pro thinks: “Letting technology do the job of divvying up costs, and making sure people pay their part, is nothing but a positive,” Jolly says. She also sees other ways the app could be used, like when you expect to have a laundry list of expenses to track. “When there are several teacher and classroom gifts to tally every year, this app would be super helpful,” she says. “It’s also great for office gifts.”

RelatedThe Great Allowance App Test Drive: Which One Did We Like?

6. LearnVest

Best for: Budgeting

How it works: Okay, maybe we’re a little biased, but we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our own app. The LearnVest iPhone and iPad apps let you take a big picture view of your finances, wherever and whenever. Once you consolidate all of your financial accounts, you can folder expenses by category to track your spending, as well as set up special folders for specific goals, like building up an emergency fund or saving for a trip. And if you’ve signed up to work with a LearnVest Planning expert, you’ll also get challenges to help keep you accountable for your personal money goals.

What the pro thinks: “The fact that this app is free blows my mind,” Jolly says. “As a small business owner, I usually pay $60 per hour for this sort of advice, and it’s easy to spend way more. Anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed by the thought of creating and managing a budget should consider this app.”

LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the people interviewed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.

 

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CNBC | 7 tech tools to make tax prep less frustrating

7 tech tools to make tax prep less frustrating

by Kelli B. Grant

January 24, 2014

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101343315

Just as e-filing has taken over mailed-in tax returns, other tech tools are making tax prep faster and easier. Translation: There’s just no excuse for handing your preparer an unsorted box of receipts and other documents.

“There’s a lot of opportunity now with consumer tools that your average taxpayer could use to get themselves more organized,” said certified public accountant Brian Tankersley, tech editor for CPA Practice Advisor.

Some of the most useful tax-related technologies employ apps. “A smartphone is easy for snapping a picture of a receipt and filing that away,” said Brad Spirrison, managing editor of app-review site Appolicious. But the information won’t live on your phone: Once users digitize their receipts and other papers, most programs let them track expenses across platforms and sync them with other productivity or tax-specific software.

(Read moreThe hub of American financial literacy is… Utah?)

Possible organization benefits are threefold. Missing fewer deductible expenses may reduce tax liabilities. A pulled-together tax file requires less of your time sorting and tracking. Plus, less time on a preparer’s end, which could reduce fees. According to the National Society of Accountants, the average tab for an itemized 2013 federal and state return will be $261; $152 for non-itemized.

But even with newer technologies, taxpayers still face some work scanning, monitoring and tracking. “It’s like home exercise equipment,” said Tankersley. “If you don’t use it, it doesn’t matter what you bought.”

MileBug

Miles driven for medical appointments, charitable endeavors and business meetings (if unreimbursed) may be deductible–assuming you remember to write down the details. Apps such as MileBug, for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, make it easier to track qualifying trips as you take them. Users can opt to have their trip tracked via GPS, or manually enter odometer readings to conserve battery life, said Spirrison. The $2.99 version of MileBug uses more detailed GPS tracking than the free, lite version. Estimated reimbursement is based on current IRS per-mile rates–and don’t forget tolls and parking.

IRS2Go

The Internal Revenue Service’s free app for iOS and Android offers news updates and tax tips from the agency, but the real draw is its refund tracker, said Tankersley. Last year’s government shutdown has prompted the IRS to push back the opening of filing season from Jan. 21 to Jan. 31, delaying some refunds. “Tracking your refund online is going to be important,” he said.

(Read moreWhat same-sex couples need to know about taxes)

Shoeboxed

Instead of handing over a box of papers to your preparer, hoarders of receipts can send them all to Shoeboxed. “You actually sent the company your receipts, and they scan the documents for you and upload them,” said Danielle Cassagnol, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Electronics Association. (Users can also email documents, or send pics from their phone or tablet using the free iOS or Android app.) From there, add docs to accounting software or forward to your tax preparer. Prices range from $9.95 to $99.95 per month depending on the volume of documents and turnaround speed.

Thomas J. Peterson | Photographer’s Choice RF | Getty Images

Slice Shopping

At its heart, this free iOS, Android and web app is meant to monitor your online purchases, monitoring your email for receipts to help you budget and to track the status of orders. But Slice is also a stealth tax tool–“It aggregates emailed receipts that might otherwise be forgotten,” said Spirrison. For example, charitable donations made online, or Amazon orders that included deductible items.

FileThis

Receiving electronic statements may save paper, but the tax pitfall is that many financial institutions make only the last few months’ worth available–making it tougher to track back over the early part of the year for deductible expenses and other notable transactions, said Tankersley. Free cloud service FileThis, currently in beta, calls itself a “digital filing cabinet” for statements, bills and other documents. “It goes out and checks to see if there are statements available,” he said. Users can access those PDFs through Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive or other avenues.

(Read moreThe best financial apps of 2014)

ItsDeductible

What’s the going rate for a bag of gently used clothes, an old vacuum cleaner and a handful of hardcover books? Preparers say people tend to underestimate. Intuit’s free web and iOS app uses IRS guidelines to assign a fair-market value for noncash donations, as well as track cash donations and deductible mileage, said Cassagnol. Upload data to TurboTax, or export the data to send to a preparer.

Fujitsu ScanSnap

Scanning receipts and other tax documents as you accumulate them can lessen the load in your filing cabinet and make it easier at tax time for a preparer (or you) to sort through, Tankersley said. ScanSnap models start at $199; there’s a $495 version that syncs with productivity app Evernote, and includes a year of premium access and storage. Another selling point: “The ScanSnap jams less than any other scanner I’ve used,” he said.

Yahoo! Shine [Daily Shot] | How to Get the Best Online Deals

Yahoo! Shine [Daily Shot]

How to Get the Best Online Deals

By Ali Wentworth

January 16, 2014

http://shine.yahoo.com/dailyshot/how-to-get-the-best-online-deals-152307286.html

Online shopping is supposed to make things easier, but that’s not enough — we want everything to be cheaper, too! Katie Finnegan and Erica Bell are the founders of the shopping resource Hukkster, and they’re helping online shoppers make the most of the Internet to score great deals.

WATCHFour Words That Will Get You A Discount

On Hukkster.com, shoppers can install a special toolbar that allows them to pin certain items they want to buy. “We’ll track the product for you and notify you when the price drops,” Erica explains. Forget time spent comparison shopping; Hukkster will do the work for you.

Want to get stuff for free? Services such as PinchMe will send you free products in exchange for reviews. “You just have to give a little feedback on what you thought about it,” Katie says.

Katie and Erica are fans of subscription services like Birchbox, which sends subscribers a box of sample-sized new beauty products every month for $10 a month. “It’s a great opportunity to try things,” Katie says.

WATCHThrift Shopping 101

They also recommend the app Slice to ease shopping anxiety. “It will comb through your emails and store all of your receipts in one place.” Erica says. If you’re a parent, Slice will tell you about product recalls. “So if you bought something that’s being pulled off the shelf, you’ll get a notification.”

What’s the best season for online shopping? Check out this episode of “Daily Shot” to find out.

Daily Candy | The Download Sixteen Ways To Make Your Boss Mad

The Download Sixteen Ways To Make Your Boss Mad

By The Daily Candy Staff

January 9, 2014

http://dailycandy.com/everywhere/flipbook/164039/Best-New-Music-Apps-and-Videos-for-the-Week-of-January-6-2014#slide=9

SLICE

We wish we had discovered Slice, an app that documents online shopping from tracking orders to organizing receipts, two weeks ago. It would have saved us hours of listening to lame on-hold tunes and the inevitable migraine that results from locating gifts that don’t fit in our carry-on.

Fox Houston | Apps for Returns

Apps for Returns

by Fox Houston

December 26, 2013

http://partner.criticalmention.com/playerpage/player?shareid=172958&partnerToken=8a8083bd42b4b332014354e9dd7c5f14&clientId=0

Market: Houston, TX (10)
Video screenshot
…your full seven day forecast. all right. thanks for tracking that. it’s not over at the malls just yet after the busy holiday shopping season comes the holiday return rush. and many retailers have adopted stricter return policies or changed the policies you may be used to. you can find that information at your fingertips now thanks to technology. our tech expert ashley small is here with how your smartphone can help with your gift returns today. i’ve got mine. you’ve got yours. i’ve got mine. the first ap we’l talk about is slice . it allows you to store all of your receipts while shopping. you’l never lose a receipt agai. this is what we’re looking at? yes. it allows you to review the return policy for hundreds of stores and allows you to know when you’re about to miss your deadline and gives you a notification so you don’t miss those. is it easy to navigate? it’s very simple. it’s free. i love the word free. after all the holiday shopping. all right. next app what i love about this you can set notifications. you’re always reminded before your deadline is up. if you have 30 days, you’ll get a notification 15 days. even the day before. you have one more day. you better return this item and get your money back. that’s what’s great about this. it keeps you in the know of your store policies. we have a lot of stuf going on. we’re talking about a lot of things mentally. it’s good to have an app to remind us. the last one is a usps, a post office app . what i love about this, while you can shop online, returning is not always free. this allows you to estimate a weight for your items and it will give you a cost of how much it will cost if you have to send that back. very nice. anything else you want for tell us about these apps, for somebody who may not know how to navigate? what will be the easiest? slice . it’s a little more sophisticated and beautifully designed. they’re all easy to use. the slice has hundreds of stores in it. i would go with slice . are there any other apps we should know about? these are the top ones, especially the ones that are free. they’re the most comprehensive. this is it. slice , return guru and the usps office. the easiest, free and anyone can download them. yes. iphone, android, ipad. we’ll send it back to michelle in the studio. >>>…

The Verge | Best apps for your new Android phone or tablet

Best apps for your new Android phone or tablet

The Verge Staff

December 25, 2013

http://www.theverge.com/2013/12/25/5231254/best-android-apps

If you haven’t been paying attention, you might not know that Android apps have radically improved in 2013. This year, Google finally started offering “Find my phone” services services, but the third party apps have also gotten better. From design to performance to simple availability, the grass is looking greener and greener. After you’ve picked up the usual suspects — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and obviously Dots — the harder choices come in. Will you use Google Keep for your notes or go with Evernote or Simplenote? What’s the best app to wring the most out of the pictures you take on your phone? Will you be reading books on Kindle, articles in Pocket, or news in Flipboard or Press? With Android, you’re not longer left in the lurch looking for options, but that means you need help choosing between them. Fortunately, we’ve collected our favorites here, so get ready to click some links and fill up your home screen.

This year we’ve picked out some of the very best apps, games, books, and downloads for your new devices. Dig into our top selections for Android apps, Android games, iPhone apps, iPad apps, iOS games, Windows Phone apps, Kindle books, console games, and for your Mac and PC.

Dashclock

Dashclock

Now that Android allows you to put widgets on your lock screen, you could spend hours hunting down the one that shows exactly the information you want. Don’t. Just install DashClock, which gives you the time, weather, and customizable notifications.

Pocketcasts

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts makes automatically downloading and organizing podcasts remarkably easy. It’s also that rare Android app that doesn’t feel like it plays second fiddle to its iOS counterpart. With sync, you can even keep the same data on iOS devices if you switch.

Swypeandswiftkey

Swype & Swiftkey

Android’s keyboard has gotten better over the years, but the vagaries of custom manufacturer skins can still make typing a pain. Both Swype and Swiftkey make great replacements, which improved correction, prediction, and gesture-typing.

Anydo

Any.do

Any.do makes keeping track of your to-do list a little less painful by giving it a beautiful design and easy, quick entry options. The best feature is called “Moment,” a daily triage of your tasks that actually manages to feel empowering.

Googlekeep

Google Keep

Google Keep is designed for quick, short notes — everything looks like a little Post-it, but you can do a lot in those little boxes. To-do lists, location reminders, and fast searching make it feel full-featured without bogging you down.

Pocket

Pocket

There are two big, popular “read it later” apps: Instapaper and Pocket. On Android, at least, Pocket gets the nod for more frequent updates and support for video. Articles are synced automatically and saved offline, with options to adjust the layout to your liking.

Snapseed

Snapseed

As a photo editor, Snapseed moves well beyond basic filters into the kinds of changes usually reserved for the desktop. With a set of simple tools the app makes even complex photo adjustments understandable and accessible.

Dropbox

Dropbox

Dropbox makes it easy to access your files from your phone. But there’s another use that might interest you even if you don’t think you need it: the service is great for simply getting files from your computer to your phone without a cable.

Slice

Slice

Slice is a super-clever service that automatically watches your inbox for emails from big-name merchants and shipping companies. Why would you risk giving that access? To get automated package tracking, deal alerts, and price-drop notices. So useful, it’s creepy.

Novaapex

Nova and Apex Launcher

All too often the stock home screens on Android phones are terrible. Nova Launcher and Apex Launcher both make it better, with cleaner designs and plenty of customization and theming options. You can pony up for premium versions that offer more features, too.

Googleplaymusic

Google Play Music

Google Play Music is probably already preloaded on your phone, but if you haven’t tapped in and looked around recently, you really should. In the past year Google has added free and paid streaming options and improved the interface dramatically. The result is probably the best music app for Android users.

Netflic

Netflix

Netflix is another app that you probably don’t give a second thought to, but it’s made great strides on Android in the past year. Support for Chromecast means that even if you don’t watch TV on your phone, it’s worth the install.

Vscocam

VSCOcam

A longtime favorite on the iPhone, VSCO Cam is finally available on Android and it works really well. You’ll get photo filters that aren’t as heavy-handed as Instagram’s along with the ability to quickly revert the image if you don’t like how it turned out.

Press

Press

RSS may not be as popular as it once was, but if you’re still addicted to your news feeds, Press is the best option on Android. Instead of Flipboard’s image-heavy layout, you just get a well-designed list of headlines and articles. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Simplenote

Simplenote

After years of using third-party apps for syncing notes, an official Simplenote app finally came out on Android this year. It has a barebones design that lets you focus on what Simplenote does best: rapidly entering in and searching for your own words.

Business Insider | 18 Apps We Couldn’t Live Without in 2013

18 Apps We Couldn’t Live Without In 2013

December 25, 2013
Maybe you woke up this morning with a shiny new smartphone under the tree.Maybe you love the phone you’ve got, but are looking for a few new good apps.Maybe you’re just curious as to what other people have on their phones.The editors at Business Insider are here to help. We’ve got our annual lists of the first apps to download for your new iPhone, and your new Android.

But we’re also sharing the apps we couldn’t live without in 2013.

OpenTable for easy reservations

OpenTable for easy reservations

Julie Zeveloff, Lifestyle Deputy Editor

App I can’t live without: OpenTable

Why I love it: It’s an oldie but one I use all the time – makes it so easy to make and find (and cancel) restaurant reservations. The locator is great for finding availability in any neighborhood at any time. Plus you earn points that go towards gift certificates to OT restaurants.

Free. iPhone, Android, Windows, BlackBerry

Fantastical for a great calendar

Fantastical for a great calendar

Screenshot

Paul Szoldra, West Coast Editor

App I can’t live without: Fantastical

Why I love it: Great calendar app, super intuitive, and works seamlessly with Google calendar.

For iPhone/iOS. $1.99 on iTunes.

Venmo to manage money and split checks

Venmo to manage money and split checks

Steve Kovach, BI Tech Senior Editor

App I can’t live without: Venmo

Why I love it: It makes it easy to send money to friends. I like using it when I need to split a check at dinners.

Free. iPhone and Android.

Easy Voice Recorder to turn your phone into a recorder

Jillian D’Onfro, BI Tech Writer

App I can’t live without: Easy Voice Recorder for Android

Why I love it: Makes it easy for me to record interviews and send them directly to my Dropbox. I no longer have to carry around a traditional recorder when going on interviews.

Free. Android.

YPlan for last minute fun in the city

YPlan for last minute fun in the city

Screenshot / YPlan

Jillian D’Onfro, BI Tech Writer

App I can’t live without: YPlan

Why I love it: An app that lets you see a curated list of events going on each night in New York and lets you book tickets super easily (often with discounts or deals!).

I love it because I’m able to plan fun nights for visiting friends last minute. Great way to diversify from my usual bars.

Free for iPhone and Android.

Duolingo to give you another language in a hurry

Duolingo to give you another language in a hurry

Duolingo

Melissa Stanger, Associate Editor

App I can’t live without: Duolingo

Why I love it: It helps you learn a language through interactive exercises and response memory so that it can work with you to strengthen in the areas you struggle with.

I downloaded it three months before my trip to Europe in December, and I learned enough French to get around Paris and Brussels. I was amazed at how quickly and efficiently I was able to learn a language just with an app.

It was particularly helpful in Paris. I was even complimented by a Parisian (in French) on speaking “pretty good French for an American.”

Free. iOS and Android

CheckPlease to calculate the tip

CheckPlease to calculate the tip

Catamount Software

Melissa Stanger, Associate Editor

App I can’t live without: CheckPlease

Why I love it: It’s a tip calculator. You can adjust the percentage of the tip, and how many people are splitting the check.

For iPhone/iOS. 99 cents.

Pic Stitch to organize those Instagrams

Pic Stitch to organize those Instagrams

Big Blue Clip

Melissa Stanger, Associate Editor

App I can’t live without: Pic Stitch

Why I love it: It lets you choose layouts to design a collage of your iPhone pictures. I love it because, rather than seeing five Instagrams documenting my best friend’s dinner, I can get the synopsis in a PicStitch. I think it was a pretty big year for the app — it was just overshadowed by Instagram.

Free. iPhone/iOS

Candy Crush Saga to make the commute more fun

Candy Crush Saga to make the commute more fun

Screenshot

Jim Edwards, BI Tech Deputy Editor

App I can’t live without: Candy Crush Saga

Why I love it:  This “dumb” phone game is incredibly clever, much more clever than people give it credit for. It’s almost made my commute a pleasure.

One example of its wit and fiendishness: The way it locks you out for 30 mins – 24 hours if you fail too often. What other game maker would dare do that?

Free. iPhone/iOS and Android.

Canary for never missing appointments

Megan Rose Dickey, BI Tech Reporter

App I can’t live without: Canary

Why I love it: It’s the only calendar app that seamlessly syncs my personal, work, and shared calendars. Canary is also great for scheduling meetings without excessive back-and-forth emails.

Free: iOS

Pandora the best at finding great new music

Pandora the best at finding great new music

Kevin Smith/Business Insider

Jim Edwards, BI Tech Deputy Editor

App I can’t live without: Pandora

Why I love it: It was a big year for Pandora, with challenges from Spotify and iTunes Radio.

I basically put iTunes Radio and Pandora head-to-head on my iPhone when I work out or go running. So far Pandora is winning. There is something about its algorithm that makes it choose music more appropriately.

For instance, I have a fairly elaborate punk channel on both apps, built originally from the song “Godless” by Nausea. Pandora has fed me dozens of similar bands that I now love and never knew existed, who are within the same vein.

But iTunes obsessively feeds me Slayer songs all the time, and as any punk or metalhead knows they are so NOT the same thing.

Free. iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry.

Dark Sky to keep you from getting caught in the rain

Dark Sky to keep you from getting caught in the rain

Josh Barro, BI Politics editor

App I can’t live without: Dark Sky

Why I love it: Dark Sky gives hyper-local short-term weather forecasts and allows you to learn things like that it will start raining in 7 minutes and stop 32 minutes after that.

$3.99. iPhone/iOS.

QuizUp to feed a new addiction

QuizUp to feed a new addiction

Ryan Bushey/Business Insider

Jenna Goudreau, BI Strategy and Careers editor

App I can’t live without: QuizUp

Why I love it: It’s a trivia game with a bunch of different categories and you can test your knowledge against random people or challenge your friends. Totally addictive. Only downside is you have to be connected.

Free. iPhone/iOS.

Trillian to always stay in touch

Jennifer Welsh, BI Science editor

App I can’t live without: Trillian

Why I love it: I use Trillian for everything. Have used it on my iPhone, Android, Mac and PCs. It’s a chat program with every service on it.

It syncs between every machine — literally you can be chatting on the computer and pick up your phone and walk away without having any overlap or missed messages between the two.

Free. iPhone/iOS, Android, Mac and PC.

Slice to watch for packages and bargains

Jennifer Welsh, BI Science editor

App I can’t live without: Slice

Why I love it: Slice scans your email for notifications and tracks packages as they make their way through ordering and sending and arriving.

It will say “arriving today” or “4 days away.” It’s not perfect but it’s an awesome concept. It also tracks everything you’ve ever bought and lets you know if things are recalled or the price drops.

Free. iPhone/iOS and Android.

Ultimate Guitar for access to a huge number of songs

Ultimate Guitar for access to a huge number of songs

Ultimate Guitar

Rob Wile, BI energy and economics reporter

App I can’t live without: Ultimate Guitar Tabs

Why I love it: To my astonishment, UltimateGuitar.com, the Web 1.0 site I milked as a teenager to learn songs, has survived and become a phenomenal app for iOS.

It is totally intuitive, has an autocomplete function to search for songs, and lets you catalogue the songs you’re currently using.

Free. iPad/iOS.

Yahoo! Weather because it makes even ugly weather pretty

Yahoo! Weather because it makes even ugly weather pretty

iTunes

Mike Nudelman, BI editorial graphic designer

App I can’t live without: Yahoo! Weather

Why I love it: With so many (bad) weather apps vying for attention, this one immediately rose to the top, providing me the perfect amt of information in a beautiful package.

As a designer, I know how hard it is to create something so seemingly simple and intuitive.

Free. iPhone/iOS and Android.

Lift.do to change your life

Lift.do to change your life

Lift

Lift.do challenges you to change your life

Julie Bort, BI Enterprise Tech editor

App I can’t live without: Lift.do

Why I love it: Lift.do has given me the motivation to create life-changing habits and take on other accomplishments. You join a challenge with other people also creating the habit (or doing the thing. It might be, say, training for a half marathon, or daily meditation or flossing or journal writing). You check in daily.

Instead of just promising myself I’m going to do something, this gives me just enough support and accountability to actually do it. No excuses.