What Apps/Software Do You Like and Why?

I’ve been thinking a lot about design recently, and I know the guys have as well.

Anthony (@anthonyslai) came back from An Event Apart in San Diego with some interesting information, and I’m looking forward to hearing what Rich (@rmanalan) learned at Future of Web Design earlier this week.

I’m digging into design and psychology books (facilitated by my new iPad), hoping to get some insight. However, I’m thinking the best resource is all you people.

So, help me, if you would, by dropping a comment with a list of what apps (on smartphones) or standard packaged software you like, and more importantly, why you like it. I’m fine with games too, but they might not be as helpful. So, mix in a few with utility beyond entertainment, if you don’t mind.

If nothing else, this will help me identify some new apps/software based on your wise recommendations.

Find the comments. Do it now.




  1. Two apps I have to now live without. 1) Franklin Planner. The absolute king of all planners, IMHO. I had this on four different Palm Pilots after having the physical planner for a number of years. When I got my Treo, there was no option to add this planner – Franklin Covey had really integrated with Outlook and I didn’t want to. I’ve yet to find a planner even close to this in terms of usefulness, especially for a smartphone. Had some ideas on how to improve it but they were very minor. 2) HandyShopper. This was a freeware app for Palm and Windows Mobile. I’m now on a Blackberry and stuck without. It seems HanDBase could be used to make something similar, but HandyShopper was awesome. I still have my old Treo just for HandyShopper use when I go shopping, it let you have a one-hand mode so you could tick off the items as you added them to the cart. I ended up using this for tons of lists.

    So, my votes would be a super powerful planner and a flexible shopping list device. Oh, and both would have to have a tool that facilitated exporting the data into at least a text file if nothing else. I had to scramble to get my data when I switched devices.


  2. Interesting. I’ll have to take a look at those. Sounds like utility in design, wrt the one-hand operation of HandyShopper. I haven’t even thought about a planner since I had one in the mid-90s; Palm replaced that for me. Will check out Franklin’s software.

    Thanks for the tips.

  3. In terms of integration across platforms Dropbox and Evernote are Apps that I have on all of my devices. I’d be lost without them. On the iPad my most used Apps apart from the 2 mentioned above are GoodReader for reading documents, Reeder for RSS Feeds, and The Twitter App – although I’ve noticed Hootsuite has arrived on the iPad today, so going to check that out.

    On my Android phone i’m using mostly the Facebook App, Hootsuite and the Gmail app. Of course there is Dropbox and Evernote, and Google Maps which get used all the time.

    I’m a big fan of Mindmaps, and I use Mindmanager on my laptop as Oracle pay the license. I’ve just stumped up €7.99 for iThoughts on the iPad, and used it for the first time last night. Crucially it can integrate with Mindmanager.

    I’m learning about GTD at the moment, and currently run a paper based system. My plan is to eventually bring this system online. Omnifocus seems to be the premium GTD app on the iPad, however it is not available on the PC or on Android. I’m therefore looking at Toodledo which is available on the iPad and PC and which syncs with Got To Do on Android.

  4. Sounds like you need to go Mac and dump that PC. That would eliminate some of your transfer issues. I’ve heard good things about OmniGraffle on Mac and iPad, but the price tag is pretty steep.

    Anyway, Dropbox rules. We’ve been their cheerleader for years. The 1Password+Dropbox integrations are fantastic too.

    I’ll check out the ones on your list that I haven’t used. Thanks.

  5. Funnily enough since i’ve got the iPad i’ve been thinking of switching to Mac. However times are tough, so unless I get a big pay rise, or Oracle start letting us get Macs via procurement, i’ll be waiting.

  6. This is an old post but I am STILL looking for a replacement for Handy Shopper from the Palm.  All the shopping apps, and I’ve bought most of them, are overkill.  Handy Shopper was simple and reliable.  

  7. Time to build one yourself, a quick search says you’re not alone. Replicating Palm apps for iOS and Android seems like a lucrative business, given how many hardcore Palm followers are out there.

  8.  I stopped using my Franklin Planner around 1988.  It still sits on my stacked in/out boxes in my home office, collecting the random business card, much lower on the clean-and-purge queue than reorganizing my email lol.  But when I had a need for it, I shared Chris’ opinion.  It still has the picture I took in Hawaii, for staring at as motivation.  Nowadays I’ve gone back to sticky notes (outside of work-provided Outlook, which I don’t sync anywhere).  Several apps have thrown themselves at me, to no avail.

  9. I never liked the bulk of a planner. Sticky notes will always be my go-to method for reminders though, regardless of all the sexy options.

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