Happy, happy Monday everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the weekend, I did. But, that time is done and its back to work. And since its back to work, its time for another top 10 list. This time, its all about cell phone apps. Now, I am not tech savvy whatsoever. I prefer, a more traditional way, filled with books and pens and handwritten letter. Hell, even scratch and sniff stickers are my things. But when I moved to Japan in 2004, I purchased my very first mobile phone in order to communicate with my family in America. Its been a close friend ever since. And although the models and carriers have changed over the years, the idea behind it has become a lifesaver for me, more so since having a child. And yes, apps are distracting and sometimes addictive (Candy Crush anyone???), yet other times, they are so efficient, timesaving and other wise a digital personal assistant that I have to give it praise. So here are my favorite applications. Maybe some of yours are on here too. And don't worry, the kids version is coming next week!
1. FACEBOOK - I have a love/hate relationship with this application and website in general. I love that I can connect with family and friends. Old co-workers and all my loved ones in different countries. It's a great way to communicate with my family in Japan and I see what old high school classmates have been up to since graduation. The people they have married, the beautiful children they created. On the other hand, it can be a bit much and when I get too much information, I run. The political/ social views can many times be a hot button and cause people who were friends, to quickly unfriend each other on this virtual playground and sometime in real life. But all in all, you gotta love it!
2. PINTEREST - Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE and am pretty much obsessed with this app. This virtual vision board has actually been a godsend to me and I have been inspired to do more DIY projects then any other time in my life. And it doesn't stop there, beauty tips, fitness guides, home decor inspiration. The list goes on and on and on. Oh Pinterest, how I love thee, let me count the way...Oh, a new recipe for tequila lime and garlic shrimp!
3. INSTAGRAM - Now, I'm still pretty new to this one, but its one I use a lot, with Masaya, food and entertaining. This photo app is another good one for getting inspired, connecting with friends or even just escaping through some beautiful pictures. The filters are fun and being bale to connect to Twitter, Facebook and tumblr. is easy as cherry pie. Not to mention that now you can make short videos. Time to take it to the next level!!!
4. MY FITNESS PAL - Like most people, I am trying my best to make everyday fitness a part of life. Not, the vanity of looking good, but actually being healthy, knowing that I am moving my body and eating things that will make me stronger, keep me sustained and make me beautiful from the inside out. This application is great for not only keep a food journal, but also for logging in your physical activities as well, showing you just how many calories you have burned. Whither your looking to lose weight, gain muscle or just stay fit, this is the app for you.
5. YouTube - There's no need for me to even explain this one as my 3 year old uses this to watch Japanese shows and episode of Adventure Time when we're in the car. But, really that's just my point. This application is all about convenience. Being able to access videos any place any time, my friend, that is just a luxury.
6. VOXER - I have to thank one of my best friends in the world, Olivia, for this one. Its basically a walkie talkie and it is awesome! She and I have had crazy conversations with this thing. Oh, did I tell you that Olivia lives in Tokyo. Yes, I can leave her 15 min messages and she leaves them right back and its free!!!! Sure, this application can be a little spotty from time to time, but I love the fact that I can catch up with my girl and I don't have to wait til; both of us are up and looking at the screen like Skype. I've gotten my girl Kelsey on it too now...did I tell you she's in Yokohama???
7. TWITTER - Good old Twitter. Its like a tried and true friend that doesn't judge you when you have to release your inner most thoughts or just random thoughts. But really, its more then that. Because I don't have cable, I actually get a lot of my national and world news from this source. I find very informative articles on business, working women and being self-employed. And of course the latest celebrity gossip and connecting with some of my favorite celebrities. And unlike Facebook, you have better a better filtering system on this app. Oh look, Kanye West is going off again. Love that new album though.
8. AWESOME CALENDAR LITE - Even though I'm one of the few people who still use a day planner, this is one of my favorite apps. Acal is basically my digital back-up if I do forget to bring my handwritten agenda. I have everything here from meeting dates, birthday, local weather, Japanese and American Holidays. Hell, I even keep track of my cycle on this thing (sorry fellas, but a lady has got to do, what a lady has got to do). If you don't have this one, check it out.
9. THE WEATHER CHANNEL - My grandfather is a little...well...boring. His favorite channels are National Geographic, CNN, The History and Discovery Channel and The Weather Channel. I mean, he can literally watch hours of the weather channel. And apparently some of his squareness has rubbed off on me because this application is a go to for my cell phone. Funny, it was actually a go to app when I was working at Travelers insurance. Being able to forecast storms coming helped to prepare for the never ending stream of callers with homeowners claim. Now, I just use it to confirm its its and outside day or an inside day...and that's pretty cool too.
10. EBAY & AMAZON - I had to put these two on the list because well, I love to shop and I love a deal. Both websites revolutionized the Internet medium and having access to them by phone is just another way for these giants of industry to stay on top. I have won more eBay auctions from my phone then on the computer and Amazon has the best selection of used book and hard to find in store products then I can name. Bravo!
*All applications are available for both iPhone and Android cellular devices.