Smartphones, tablets, laptops – devices like these are meant to make everyone’s life better. So why not equip them with actual applications that allow for an easier, more efficient, more enjoyable lifestyle? Of course, there are apps that are already a given, like those of social media networks and the ubiquitous Google services. Then there are those that are slightly less famous but just as useful – and even more helpful – for daily living.

Here, the 12 apps everyone needs for almost every aspect of their lives:

Work and Productivity

  • Things (Paid) – This is possibly the best to-do list app for busy bees of the 21st century. It not only allows users to list and check off to-do items, it also reminds them every day of these items. Plus, it can break down large tasks into less daunting chunks. Users can set time limits, group tasks into projects, and enjoy the syncing of their lists across devices. (Available on OSX 10.6.8+ and iOS 5+)
  • Evernote (Free) – When a stroke of genius hits, one better be prepared to write it down. Evernote takes note-taking to the more efficient level by allowing the organizing of notes into “notebooks” and sharing them with other users. Even better, its Web Clipper lets users “clip” snapshots of webpages and save them into their devices. Very handy for articles and tutorials worth revisiting – even offline. (Available on the majority of devices)

Social Life

  • Viber (Free) – Free calls and text messaging – these alone may be enough reason 200 million people consider Viber as one of the apps everyone needs. This app also allows the free exchange of photo and video messages, and it has now added stickers to its messaging. For getting in touch with non-Viber users, it has the affordable Viber Out calling feature. (Available on the majority of devices)
  • Close (Free) – A private social media service? A great secret to share with one’s closest loved ones. It’s just like the usual social media sites, where media, interests, messages, and events are shared – except with Close, they’re on a private network so creepy strangers won’t join in. Plus, it archives shared memories with every connected user for personal reminiscing. (Available on iOS 5+ and Android 2.3.3+)

Food & Diet

  • Fooducate (Free) – This is one of the most practical apps everyone needs for healthy eating. It’s a diet tracker, personal food planner, and food education service rolled into one free app. As if those aren’t enough, its premium features include allergy education and weight coaching. (Available on iOS 6.1+ and Android 2.2+).
  • Urbanspoon (Free) – This app answers the eternal gastronomic question “Where do we eat?” With its mapping and user-review service of restaurants, bars, and just about any food place in numerous cities, users will have no problem deciding dinner even in a city that’s not their own. Or, as an easier route, one can just find a restaurant’s contact info to get food delivered pronto. (Available on iOS 6+, Android 2.3.3+ and Windows Phone 8+)


  • Netflix (Free) – Movies and TV shows – anytime, anywhere. The Netflix app is available not just for personal computers but also for mobile devices. With an affordable subscription, users get unlimited access and no more boring commutes or lonely lunch breaks. (Available on the majority of devices)
  • 8tracks (Free) – Forget online radio – user-curated playlists are making waves as a better alternative. Thanks to 8tracks’ tags, users can find playlists in every genre, generation, taste, or mood. Looking for new songs to cry to? Try searching for “sad 2014”. Or maybe a road-trip playlist for the summer? There are literally hundreds here. Better yet, users can play DJ and share their own mixes with the world. (Available on iOS 5.1+, Android 2.2+, and Windows 8+)


  • TripAdvisor (Free) – Travel isn’t complete without a tour guide, and TripAdvisor is just that. In fact, it’s one of the most trusted travel sites online, so it makes sense to carry it around in an app. Pinpoint places to go, check hotel reviews and rates (and even score deals), and gather tips from fellow travelers, all in one handy-dandy app. (Available on the majority of devices)
  • Uber (Free) – If and when the times get desperate and there’s no way out but in a taxi cab, no worries. Uber is the rising star in local city services, as it allows users to call on a taxi to any part of a serviced city, get a ride within minutes, and pay through their device. Perfect for a late night-out or a Monday morning rush. (Available on iOS 6+ and Android 2.1+)

Personal Growth

  • Gratitude Journal (Paid) – Touted as “The Life-Changing App”, the Gratitude Journal is a feel-good diary to write on everyday. Yes, users will be inspired to write constructive entries because of the app’s pleasant design, daily uplifting quotes, and grateful mood icons. Based on reviews, many users have already gained a more positive disposition in their lives with the help of this app. (Available on iOS 4.3+)
  • Simply Being (Paid) – Whether one practices meditation or not, this app is a helpful tool to a calmer, more present living. It is a guided meditation and relaxation app that features various background sounds, durations, and inspirational quotes. This app works nicely for people who are stressed, worried, trying to sleep better, or just plain relaxing. (Available on iOS 4.3+ and Android 3.0+)

Twelve apps everyone needs – thank heavens they exist! But the more important thing to remember is that it still depends on how one uses them to make life so much better.

That’s one essential tidbit to note down in that virtual diary.