Photo Credit: iceviking, www.sxc.hu

For four (loooooong) years, I've used a basic Nokia 1209 phone with functionalities for a cave man: text, call, Jurassic games, and a handy dandy flashlight. It’s a gift from my father, so I’ve promised to myself that I’ll use it for years. Besides, this kind of phone have 10 star score on durability, I’m confident that it can survive the attack of the clones.

Last year, many asked me why I don’t buy myself a smartphone yet. Android phones are in the wild and they are cheap enough for a frugal person like me. I just winked and said my golden objection again and again, “I have a laptop, and the applications in this clamshell machine can also do what apps can do in smartphones.” I can read, watch, listen, and do serious work in it, why bother about smartphones?

But on the opening week of May, I've swallowed my objection and bought a Sony Xperia smartphone. Being a techie guy, I immediately connected it to Play Store and downloaded all the apps I’m interested in. I don’t sleep on the first night to download the ‘Top 10’, ‘Best 20’, ‘100 apps that you can’t live without’ apps.

After months of tinkering with my smartphone and after hundreds of app installing, testing, and uninstalling, here are the apps that still remain in my Android phone, they are now indispensable on my day to day life (I don’t include the basic apps like Bible, Twitter, or Facebook on the list).

  1. Evernote. Having a journal always in my reach is my top reason for buying a smartphone. I became frustrated with paper journal because I've often lost them (and also because of my handwriting that looks like archaic code). This app is the perfect solution for me because it synchronizes with its desktop and web version. Everything note. Everywhere note. Everyday note. Everlasting note.
  2. Remember The Milk. Ever since in my internship days, I've wrote all my task in a To-do list. Even you’re not a melancholy (or a nerd), you must use a To-do list for focus and productivity. I recommend these books: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Getting Things Done, and Eat That Frog. I've written mine in Notepad, Evernote, or even on plain paper. Any.do is my first choice but later switch to Wunderlist. Months after, I became frustrated with Wunderlist because of the lack of tags. I switched to Remember The Milk because it has tags, I’m still waiting for the update of Wunderlist and hoping for the tags feature.
  3. Moon+ Reader. This is my eBook reader, this is more powerful and flexible than Aldiko. I’m a book lover and not willing to go out without a book on my hand. With this app, I can even carry an entire library.
  4. Pocket. I normally read 20 to 30 blog post per day. Before I found this app, I read all the post on my laptop but always felt sorry when I had to leave. This is a savior app for me because it can save the articles for offline reading. I’m also using IFTTT to automatically save to Pocket all the new articles from the blogs I subscribe in.
  5. MortPlayer Audiobooks. Being a teacher and writer in one body will eat almost all of your free time. I’m not willing to lose my reading time. With this app, I can listen to audiobooks while washing clothes (I’m calling it my ‘Laundry University’), walking, running, or commuting. Forget the default music player for Android, they don’t have a bookmark feature.
  6. Cashflow Mobile. I’m a student of Rich Dad. I’m playing Cashflow 202 in my PC and been so lucky to find a mobile version of the game. Though not as powerful as its desktop counterpart, it will still teach how to handle money wisely while you’re on the go.
  7. Toshl Finance. I’m using this app for budgeting, tracking of expenses and cashflow planning. This app (or something like this) is a must for individuals who wants to be a responsible steward of money.
  8. TED. I watch a TED talk every week. Having the option to watch it while I’m not in front of my laptop is a gift. I’m often informed and inspired while sitting on the park because of the great speakers.
  9. HootSuite. I’ve committed myself to post inspirational quotes to twitter every day. But I don’t have an Internet connection wherever I go so I just schedule it using this app. You can also use the web version. Now you know my secret.
  10. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Ever since I’m a child, I love dictionaries. I’m a writer and a writer needs daily intake of new vocabularies. 

Maybe the apps above are just for a kind of person like me, one who loves to learn and write. I’m thankful for the apps that can make this life a little bit better and faster. I’m grateful for the developers, you surely move the human race forward.

What are your recommended apps? Share in the comments.

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