My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

Like any smart phone user, I love apps. There are so many nifty little things that make my life easier on a daily basis.

But something I don’t like? Searching for them.

Scrolling through pages and pages of apps is SO annoying. Delete one, and they all move around. Pick up your spouse’s phone to do a google search, and you can’t find anything because it’s a hot mess.

About a year ago, I started really taking advantage of iPhone’s folders (honestly, I have no idea if Android devices do this or not, I’ve never had one). Instead of having several pages of apps, I made it my goal to have all of my apps on just ONE page, organized into folders by type.

This is what my home screen looks like:

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

The emojis make it fun and easy to distinguish. And I find that the extra click to open certain folders is much easier than swiping and looking.

My Favorite Apps

Let’s start by the ones I keep nice and big on my home screen, and not in a folder.

Across the top: 

  • Maps – top left, for easy reaching while navigating
  • Gas Buddy – also easy to find while navigating — if you are not familiar with this app, it finds cheap gas near you, and even tells you if prices are expected to rise or fall. HUGE money-saver!! 
  • Reminders – I use this app mostly for ‘brain dump’ — less of a to-do list, and more of a ‘things to remember’
  • Clock – I literally have alarms going off all day long. This is my #1 tip for getting stuff done. Set. Alarms.

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

  • Safari – General web browsing
  • Settings – Easy access for connecting to wifi — save $$!

At the bottom: 

  • Phone – Yes, I still make phone calls like an old fogey.
  • Messages – I love texting! My 11-year-old has his own phone now and he sends me the sweetest messages.
  • Messenger – My main source of communication with people.
  • Groups – My lifeline to my core groups: Bible study, homeschool group, homeschool co-op, prayer circle, mom friends from a previous hometown, etc.

My Folders

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

🎤 LISTEN 🎧 iTunes, Amazon Music (free with your Prime membership!), Podcasts (I am new to venturing into the world of Podcasts — so far I like the Trim Healthy Mama one, but I’m looking for some others!), iTunes store (don’t use this much, but it’s here when needed), and Pandora (my husband prefers this — we often have Amazon Music vs. Pandora feuds! 😂)

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

🎉 PLAY 🎪 Entertainment for the kiddos — every mom’s secret weapon! I have 2 Charades games in here, one more geared for adults and one for kids. They are both restaurant favorites, and we often play them while waiting for food to arrive. We have a ton of family fun playing these group games together. Minecraft is my kids’ favorite, and a surefire way to make my 5-year-old sit for an extended period without complaint. (For example, my husband graduated from seminary and the ceremony was nearly 2 hours long. Finn didn’t look up from the phone even once, as he was lost in Minecraft world.) Bible Trivia is my way of sneaking a little Jesus into their entertainment — my older kids like the questions and know many of the answers. I sometimes have other games in here that I play myself (Tetris, Trivia Crack, etc.) — but I’m doing my best to NOT waste time on these pursuits anymore, so they are deleted for now.

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

🔭 LEARN 🔬 I do my best to never quit learning! I have 2 language apps in here to keep me brushed up on the languages I speak and to pick up new ones (mostly before mission trips and other foreign travel). Dictionary & Atlas are homeschool aids. Google & Swagbucks are search engines (you can earn $$ by searching the internet if you use Swagbucks — so easy!)

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

🙌 FAITH 📖 This is where I keep my favorite God-centered tools. First 5 is the first app I open every morning. It contains a daily devotional and prayer prompt. The Holy Bible app is where I pull up Bible verses whenever I need to reference/find one. StudyGateway is a Bible Study video streaming service, like Netflix for small groups. I use many of the video studies in here with various small groups. It’s a much better thing to binge!!

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

💵 MONEY 💵 Here, you’ll find my favorite money-saving and money-managing apps:

  • USAA and CapitalOne 360 are my two banks {Click here for a whole post on Capital One 360 and why it rocks!!}
  • KidsBankFree is the app I recently started using to track my kids’ allowances
  • Ebates gets me cash back whenever I shop online (I’ve gotten over $250 so far!)
  • the Walmart app has a handy Savings Catcher feature, which gets me cash back on my groceries
  • Amazon because –well– I just love Amazon.
  • Retale shows the store fliers for many of your local stores. You can search by item (“eggs” or “Dr Pepper”) and see where it’s on sale. It’s also handy for price matching!
  • Hip2Save — if you are prone to impulse buying, beware! But this handy app has a roundup of deals from all over the internet and in stores as well.

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

📺 WATCH 📺 My guilty pleasure… I do try to watch StudyGateway as much as possible (see ‘Faith’ folder, above), but I love Netflix, Amazon, & Hulu too.

  • TV is the iTunes app where it stores videos I have purchased on iTunes (or, more often, gotten free downloads).
  • YouTube is mostly used for school lesson supplements.
  • JustWatch is an app that searches all streaming services for a specific show or movie, so you don’t have to search them all one at a time. (Time saver!)
  • Plugged In is what I use for checking the content of shows & movies before I let my kids see it.
  • Next Episode is an app that is useful for tracking which episodes of a show you have watched or not, so you know where you left off.

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}

🗺 PLACES 🗺 I think it’s no secret we love to travel (25 countries so far, adding 4-5 more this fall!) Traveling with kids is not always easy, so some parenting travel hacks are necessary! Here are some of my favorite on-the-go apps:

  • PlayPlaces – this app tells you where to find restaurants with play areas — mostly McDonald’s, Chuck E Cheese, Chick Fil A, and Burger King — but a few others as well. It is a LIFESAVER for road trips. We generally stop for food and let the kids play while the grown ups eat. Then we get the kids’ food to go when it’s time to hit the road again.
  • GeoCaching – if you don’t know what geocaching is, here’s a quick rundown: people all over the world place treasures at hidden locations, then put the GPS coordinates on this app for treasure-seekers to find. Sometimes the treasure is a box full of trinkets (take one if you leave one), sometimes it is a logbook to sign, and sometimes it’s just a beautiful vista or point of interest. My 11-year-old especially loves GeoCaching, and it’s a great way to entertain older kids while you take younger ones to a playground!
  • Passionate Penny Pincher’s Kids Eat Free List – this one is just a website shortcut that I placed as an icon for easy reference. It helps me to find thrifty dining options on the go, organized by Day of the Week!
  • OHGO – Ohio Department of Transportation’s navigation app — it shows construction, traffic delays, weather, and even live feeds of various traffic cameras. It’s a time-saver when you’ll be navigating through congested areas!
  • NextDoor – this is a social media app for local neighborhoods — you can join and see if any of your neighbors are signed up! It’s great for posting yard sales, lost cats, or planning a block party!
  • Rest Stops – this app shows all rest stops, along with their amenities. I have little kids who sometimes NEED TO GO, so this is very important!
  • Waze – this is another maps app/navigation. My friend asked me to try it out. It does have the nifty feature of telling you when & where policemen are patrolling speed. I usually just choose to use the regular Maps app and not speed, but I can see its value.

Tell me!

Which of my favorite apps are you downloading today? And what are YOUR favorite apps? Do you have a mom-hack-app that saves you time, money, or sanity? I want to know about it!!! Tell me in the comments below, so I can glean wisdom from you!

Also, did you know you can save the Our Cozy Den to your phone as a shortcut (we have our own icon!) so you can easily check back for more!

My Favorite Apps 📱 {& how I organize them!}
Go to the Our Cozy Den home page, click the SAVE icon, then click “Add to Home Screen”! Easy Peasy!

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