On our mailing list yet?
- HWP PRESENTS
Format: iOS, Android and web (Astrid.com); free
Keep track of all your tasks with this app (above), which works on Apple and Android phones and tablets. It is a boon to novices of to-do lists as it comes with pre-set lists that you can just fill out.
The user-friendly app makes it easy to develop a task system: Click on the desired list (home, personal, work or shopping) and prioritise or repeat your tasks.
As many hands make light work, Astrid also provides a system for you to invite your friends and assign tasks for a particular shared project. In turn, Astrid sends weekly completion updates to everyone and informs the group once all the tasks on the to-do list have been ticked off.
Astrid can be synced to Google Tasks, so you can take your to-do list to the Web too.
Drawback: The app can be slow in responding, especially if you have numerous lists or tasks recorded on it.
Format: iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone; free
This is for all the couch potatoes who have resolved to take charge of their health this year. Myfitnesspal (below) is a calorie counter and diet planner that charts your daily and weekly calorie intake so you will know if you fall off the wagon. The app also contains nutritional information on more than one million types of food in its database, such as the cholesterol level and percentage of protein and sugar in, say, one serving of eggs Benedict.
Feeling good after a workout? Log your entry in the app to find out how many calories you have burnt from the exercise, based on its duration and intensity.
If you find it tough to stay disciplined for your workout and diet, you can add friends for moral support and to help track one another's progress.
Drawback: In order to find out the number of calories you have consumed, you cannot simply key in the amount of food you ate. You have to do your own calculations by choosing the closest food match from Myfitnesspal's database.
For example, if you ate 400g of steak and the database logs only 500g of steak, you would have to calculate the number of calories you consumed manually. There are also more than 10,000 entries for different cuts of steak alone.
Format: iOS and web (Doodle.com); free
For fuss-free event scheduling, Doodle is the basic app to turn to.
It allows you to organise a get-together and invite your friends to it. With Doodle, you can conduct polls on the when, where and how of an event so that you can finalise the date, time, venue and other details, instead of keeping tabs on endless threads of discussions.
Drawback: Doodle is essentially a basic scheduling app so it only collates votes on the details of get-togethers and does not allow participants to discuss or leave notes.
Format: iOS, Android, Mac, Windows PC and Web (6wunderkinder.com); free
As the name suggests, this is the super list maker and planner that allows you to do everything, from organising a holiday to tracking your progress towards a deadline.
Targeted at advanced planners and to-do list makers, Wunderlist lets you add sub-tasks on your list. The app also sends reminders and notifications - a great help to those looking to boost their productivity in the new year.
Wunderlist 2, which was launched last month, is now synced with Facebook so you can access your task lists via the social networking site. The online synchronisation means you can also access your lists on any other device you own on which Wunderlist is installed.
Drawback: This app would be even better if it allowed users to add images to each task, such as a picture of a moisturiser you are supposed to buy for your mum.
Format: iOS, Android and Web (famjama.com)
Parent-teacher meeting, tuition class, early-morning meeting or Sunday night dinner - never miss any of them again with Famjama.
This app helps to organise your family's schedule and centralise information, such as emergency contacts, each member's contact details, shopping lists and errand lists.
To begin, set up a family page and include your family members so that you can see one other's schedules on the calendar and schedule appointments or gatherings with them.
Additional features include a weather widget that shows the three-day forecast in your area, so that you can plan for, say, a picnic at Marina Barrage. It also offers a family announcement sticky note that appears on the app's homepage of each member who logs on.
Another feature is group creation. Besides grouping your family members together, you can also create groups for your CCA teams, book clubs, mahjong buddies and so on, and organise meet-ups via Famjama.
Famjama can be synced to your Android device for $1.95, while syncing to an iOS device is free.
Drawback: The app acts more like a message board and does not allow you to include helpful details about each family member, such as medical information and birth dates.
Format: iOS and Android; free
Too many loyalty and discount cards clogging up your wallet? Perx can help purge the clutter.
Launched in October 2011, the mobile app works like a digital stamp card and covers more than 100 lifestyle as well as food and beverage outlets, including Spinelli Coffee, Baskin-Robbins, Dunkin' Donuts, Salad Stop and Luv Ur Nails.
This Singapore-based company backed by Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder of Facebook, is a clutter-free alternative to the traditional loyalty stamp cards.
Just download Perx onto your smartphone and turn on your location services settings. The app will automatically locate the participating stores near you.
At checkout, ask the store for the QR (quick response) code, then scan the code with Perx to receive your stamp. On top of your loyalty rewards from the participating stores, you can also spin the Perx wheel and get extra rewards, such as bonus chops at Salad Stop.
Drawback: The app is so convenient and fuss-free it is hard to find fault with it. The only thing we wish is for Perx to expand its list of merchants beyond F&B retailers, which currently make up the bulk of participating outlets.
Format: iOS, Android and BlackBerry; free
In its Jan 1 issue last year, Time magazine reported that one of the 10 most commonly broken New Year resolutions is saving money. So take charge of your finances this year with MoneyWise, which helps you track your expenses and manage your daily, weekly and monthly budgets. You can set your expenses for, say, your daily commute or cuppa, and find out if you have overspent.
When you want to review your transactions or expense history, MoneyWise helps organise all the data you have logged as pie charts and bar graphs, so that you can see your overall financial health at one glance.
Extra features include a built-in currency converter and calculator, so you can total up your daily expenses even when you are overseas.
Drawback: It would be great if the app could send users an alert if they are, say, close to exceeding their overall budget or at risk of overspending for a particular category.
Format: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Windows PC and Mac; free
This note-taking app lets you jot down your ideas wherever you are.
It also lets you save your images, voice recordings and add tags so you can search and retrieve pictures and notes easily with details such as where you were when you took the photo. You can save a note on your phone and access it from your computer, and vice versa. The tagging system even allows you to locate text that appears in an image you saved, which makes searching through your files a breeze.
Drawback: There is really nothing to nitpick on.
This article was first published in The Straits Times Urban on January 4, 2013. Visit sph.straitstimes.com/archive/sunday/premium to read similar stories.
All you need to look gorgeous this festive season
Explore how city life can affect your skin
Drink to stronger, healthier bones – and more beautiful hair and skin
Find a salon and make an instant appointment online with SheShops Salon Finder
Don’t let your busy schedule affect your ability to go further