Seven Quick Takes

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Useful Free iPhone Apps Edition

I still feel like a neophyte with my iPhone since I only upgraded from a flip phone last summer. I love my phone and use it most heavily for social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads are used multiple times daily. Aside from social media and email, these are my best-loved apps. (You may also want to check out this list of top free apps for 2016.)



Feedly is my go-to source for keeping up with blogs, websites, and news I track. When our local daily newspaper switched to publishing only three times a week, I eventually lost interest. I don’t watch local news or TV. (Typing that actually makes me cringe being that I studied broadcast journalism, but it’s the truth.) That leaves the Internet as my main news source. (Yikes!) With Feedly, I can follow the feeds of national or local publications, magazines and blogs. I can easily see the latest news sorted by category, scroll through headlines, save for later reading, or share.



Laudate is my handy reference for daily Mass readings, prayers, and the Bible. I can’t for the life of me remember the words to my favorite morning offering, and Laudate is always there to help. I have barely tapped the usefulness of this app, which also includes The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Liturgy of the Hours, and much, much more.


Animal Sounds

Animal Sounds is the only kid app on my phone. I let the little kids use it when I need to occupy them in a pinch, like when the toddler is squirrelly at his brother’s basketball game or I need to keep a small child out of the bio-hazard container during my physical exam. The sounds are fascinating to the older kids and me as well. I finally know what the fox really says. In addition to the sounds of a slew of land, sea, and sky animals, it includes dinosaur sounds as well – all accompanied by thumbnail photos.



Scanner Pro

Scanner Pro turns your documents into .pdfs. Rather than making copies on our printer or simply snapping a picture, this app isolates the text on the page and converts it to .pdf. It’s a simple app, but I’ve found it extremely useful for converting documents on the fly.



I’ve lumped these three graphic apps together. I don’t use them frequently, but when I need to create a visual collage, edit a photo, or add some text or stickers to a photo, these are the apps I use, respectively.



The number of retail rewards cards dangling from my key chain had become embarrassing. My husband urged me to use CardStar and even downloaded it and added cards for me. I persisted in using my physical cards anyway, reasoning that it was faster. It is quicker, in most cases, for me to grab my keys from my purse or pocket and hand them to a cashier. However, once I realized the sheer mass of cards was going to split a seam on my new purse, I relented. I left a handful of cards on my key chain – the ones I use most frequently, such as grocery store rewards cards and a library card. For the ones I use less often, I rely on the app. You can also add shopping lists to the app, although I still rely on scraps of paper and text messages for that.



Repost allows you to repost Instagram pictures. That’s it, but it’s enough.

What’s your favorite app? What am I missing?


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

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10 thoughts on “Seven Quick Takes

  1. Gas Buddy (find the best prices no matter where you are, and it’s crowd-sourced), Packer Pro (never leave your husband’s pants behind again), Gas Cubby (the electronic gas book and repair journal – though it’s due for a HUGE makeover soon and I’ll review it on, and for turn-by-turn directions I use Waze.

    • Thanks, Christine. I have to look these up – especially Waze. I have to admit because we use SCRIP from our kids’ school for gas, I don’t shop around a whole lot, especially since prices have gone so low.

  2. Those are great, Carolyn. I am addicted to finding good apps. They can make your life so much easier! I’m going to check out CardStar and ScannerPro. I LOVE Laudate. I also use MyFitnessPal when I need to get my diet/nutrition back on track. I also love Wunderlist for keeping track of everything in my life. It makes a great little sound when you check stuff off your list 😉

    • I use the Reminders on the Apple products for my to-do list, but that little bell sounds really appealing. It’s the little things, right? I’m going to check that one out!

  3. Testing 1-2-3

    Seconding recommendation of Wunderlist. I use it for random lists of things (like stuff I need from a particular store) and it’s easy and has that satisfying little chime when you check off a task. Yes, I write in things just to check them off.

    • Yay! It came through. Thanks for trying again. I’m definitely going to download Wanderlust. I’m craving that chime. And I’ve been known to write completed tasks on lists just to check them off, too!

    • It worked! It’s Repost App for Instagram by Red Cactus LLC. The logo has a pair of arrows in the shape of a square with a blue background behind.

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