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Friday Favorites: Apps to Organize

“Friday Favorites” features my favorite great ideas/recipes/etc., from across the giant world wide webs.

I finally upgraded my phone this week, to a Samsung Galaxy S3. I love high-tech gadgetry, but I’m not fond of the high-tech prices. Since the new version of this phone is launching, the S3 just dropped significantly in price, even though it’s not that old, and the new version doesn’t offer much in significant changes–perfect time to make the switch.

Needless to say, I’ve spent the last few nights piddling around on my phone–backing up everything on my old phone, activating the new one, restoring all the contacts, etc. And then there’s the whole process of getting the phone settings to your liking, downloading favorite apps, etc. While I have some set apps that I used regularly on my old phone and knew I had to re-download, I did a little exploring for other new apps I might love. I’d given up looking for new apps on my Droid Incredible, because it was having memory issues.

So here’s the app I think I’m going to get hooked on–Cozi. It’s a “family organizer,” and you set up one account for the whole family, with each person able to log in individually with their email address. There’s a shared calendar, with color codes for the person(s) involved in each given activity/appointment, a shopping list that anyone can add to, a to-do list (as the Guy said, it’s high tech nagging) and a family journal that lets you store pictures and memories from family activities, trips, etc. In other words, it’s awesome.

The app goes hand in hand with the Cozi website, which is a little more feature-rich. There’s a meal planner that integrates with the shopping list, a recipe box (hmmm….this might help with my recipe organization challenge) and additional calendar options, including syncing other internet calendars. This worked perfectly for me, because I could add the Kiddo’s Cub Scout pack calendar automatically (especially nice because they tend to change things up frequently). I may be addicted already.

One of my longtime favorite apps to stay organized is the Checkbook app by Digital Life Solutions. This is a standalone app (no integrated website) and fairly simple, but it works well and does exactly what you need it to do–helps you manage your checking accounts and avoid overdrawing. It’s not synced with your online bank accounts, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you need to go elsewhere. But that’s what I like about it–no security issues created by automatic log ins to financial accounts. It’s basically just an electronic version of the check register that comes with every box of new checkbooks.

My next mission in app organization is to find something that manages my bills. I want something very simple, similar to my Checkbook app, that just lists out the bills, due dates, amounts and paid status. Most of what I’ve found is more than I need, with cash flow analysis, synced log ins to account websites (no thank you!), etc. If you’ve got a great app for managing bills that you love, please feel free to share in the comments!