I don't have as many demands on my time as others, but I still work a full-time job, run a thriving online blogging business, have to take care of myself, and try to make time to socialize. I hate glorifying “busy,” but no matter what our situation (kids, family, career, whatever..) we could all use a little extra time back in our day because modern life is hectic, and I don't see it slowing down any time soon.
Read on for more on my favorite time saving apps and services and how they can work for you.
8 Time Saving Apps that I Use to Put More Time in My Day
Holy cow, am I a Trello convert. I recommend it to everyone I know. It's basically just a simple, collaborative to do list, but the UX is amazing. I use it to create MASSIVE to- do lists; being able to organize them onto boards and upload documents, pics, whatever directly to the boards makes staying organized SUPER SIMPLE.
I'm using a lot of caps. Wow. Trello gets my heart rate up in a good way.
I have Trello boards for my business, my finances, and even for personal tasks like what I need to order/when. Before it was just an array of post-it notes everywhere. This system is much, much better.
- Price: FREE
- Time Savings: Trello helps me track everything – deadlines, appointments, must-do's, and so nothing falls through the cracks. I used to consolidate all my notes at the end of each week (and month) into one place, so it saves me about an hour each week from not having to run after the stray ends of my life.
- Click here to give Trello a try.
I shop online some, but I (mostly) hate going into a store. I find it tiring and if I get too into shopping in a store I can overspend and my shopping problem comes back in a big way. This is why I like styling services because you get to try on in your own home and take days (not hours or minutes) to decide if a piece is worth the investment. You keep what you like, send back what you don't (and you're not obligated to keep anything.)
It gets shipped to your house, you have five days to try it on. Keep what you like or return it all. It's Nordstrom, so the price point on these items is higher than what you'll find anywhere else, so I use them to find high-quality basics I'll wear again and again. This is in line with my mission to buy fewer, better quality pieces of clothing this year.
Front Door Fashion also stocks some higher-end brands, but they mix it with affordable pieces as well. I've been able to wear everything my FDF stylist sent me multiple times.
- Price: Front Door Fashion is no cost to request a box, but you will have to pay $100 deposit. If you return it all, your money is refunded. If you end up making a purchase, that $100 goes to the items. Trunk Club now has a $25 styling fee.
- Time Savings: Perhaps 2-3 hours a month. That's time both shopping and pulling together polished looks for my more important outings – like business meetings, networking, and awards dinners. Many times if I'm going somewhere (like a conference) I will order a box from FDF, have it styled and put the outfits directly from their box into my bag so it's ready to go. Like when I traveled here, or here.
- Click here to try out Trunk Club for high quality basics, or here to try Front Door Fashion for fully-styled looks.
P2P Payment Apps
I've been an avid Paypal user since it came out, thanks to my first side hustle as an Ebay seller. And I'll admit, I was a little late to the Venmo party. As a freelancer/online entrepreneur, I have a lot of people pay me via Paypal, so I was pretty stuck on using that platform. I still use Paypal for business, but friends prefer to send money via the Venmo app, which makes it ridiculously easy (and fun to pay someone if you can actually believe it.)
I also thought this article on how Venmo might be making our culture petty was great food for thought, too. You can also loan money to people now through P2P lending apps, like Lending Club, but I'm not savvy enough for that yet.
- Price: Both are free for use. Paypal only charges a small fee on business payments.
- Time Savings: I would image I save at least a half hour each week using these P2P payment apps. It makes it so easy to send money in the moment after splitting a check with friends, or to pay my fiance´ his portion of the rent. .5 X 52 weeks in a year = 26 extra hours each year from not bickering over money with loved ones.
- Click here to download Venmo.
Grocery Delivery Services
In addition to these other money beliefs, I firmly feel that time is money, and since time is our most valuable asset, it's important to outsource where we can. I don't care if you think I'm lazy for not going to the grocery store on my own. It's actually more economical.
I pay $14.00 a month for a subscription to the grocery delivery service, but I earn around $75 an hour as a freelance writer (more if you factor in blog earnings.) So if skipping the grocery stores gives me extra hours each week to work, I can spend that time earning money instead of doing a chore (that I hate) that also earns me nothing.
- Price: Varies, but I pay $14.00 each month for Shipt, plus tips for the shoppers, so maybe $34 (if I tip $10 for a bi-monthly grocery haul.)
- Time Savings: 2 hours each week.
- Click here to try Shipt. If you use my link, you'll get $20 in free groceries (not available in all areas.)
Meal Delivery Services
I know, I know. You're probably thinking – “Don't you have groceries delivered? Why do you need groceries and meals.” And the answer is – I LIKE FOOD, OKAY?
But really – it's one thing to have groceries on hand to whip up a quick breakfast, pack lunch for work, or satisfy a snack craving. Meal planning is another time suck altogether, so that's why I pay to have both. I'm not ashamed.
- Price: Varies. But I was paying $59.99 every other week to have three dinners delivered. Click here to read our full review of three popular meal kit services.
- Time Savings: I love to cook, but hate meal planning. I hate taking the time to write out a list of what I need to make the thing and then make sure I pull it out of the freezer/cabinet in time to make it. It's just not something I want to waste brain space on, but if I did methodically meal plan, I imagine I'd save around an hour each week.
- Try my favorite meal delivery service, Hello Fresh, here. Folks who use my links get $60 off their first purchase.
Think “on demand” delivery only exists in New York and L.A.? Guess again. Many areas are now eligible for Prime Now – a FREE 2-hour delivery service of many items you can find on Amazon.com.
- Price: FREE for 2-hour delivery. If you want one-hour delivery, it's $7.99, so not cheap but hey – emergencies are emergencies.
- Time Savings: I recently used this at FinCon in Orlando to have water and other supplies delivered to my hotel. In the end, it saved me SO MUCH money on not having to fork over for pricey water in the hotel shops. Throwing a party and forgot cups or napkins? Prime Now saves you the hassle of leaving the house when you've still got tons to do. Need emergency groceries? Covered. The time savings are invaluable, especially in those “emergency” situations.
- See if your area has Prime Now
Cozy.co is a property management app and I'm OBSESSED with this. It's 100% free and it's made renting out my house a snap. It handles the money management, the screening of applicants, and you can adjust the amount if your tenants handle a repair and you need to reimburse. I love it, love it, love it.
- Price: If you have a real estate investment or want to get started, I highly recommend. Did I mention that it's free? They only make money when your potential tenants pay for screenings (like credit reports and background checks), otherwise ,it's free for you and your renters.
- Time Savings: 2 hours each month. Back when I owned a rental, I was really worried landlord-ing was going to take over my life. This app has put HOURS back in my day at the end of the month. I simply request the rent payment and tenants can pay me automatically.
- Click here to try out Cozy
I know everyone has a different way of keeping up with their schedule, but for me if it isn't in my Google Calendar – it just doesn't get done. I just have too much to keep up with to allocate any more room in my brain to trying to keep up with my schedule too. This is why I love my Google calendar – because you can now add everything in – from workouts to times you need to work.
- Price: FREE
- Time Savings: An hour a week, and that's being conservative. I mean, how can you quantify not running around like a chicken-with-your-head-cut-off? Sometimes I get so busy I'll forget I have a meeting coming up until I get a notification – so in that sense, Google calendar saves me time writing an apology email and rescheduling for a later date.
- Try out Google Calendar
Doing a quick calculation, using these apps saves me about 24.75 hours each month. Now, you see how I'm able to carve out time to hustle and run a blog on top of a full-time job.
What apps do you really feel keep your own life in order? I'd really love some suggestions of new ones to try!
*this piece originally appeared on October 18th, 2016. It was lovingly updated in October 2018.