When it comes to digital living, I am a house divided. I belong to that generation who had an analog childhood, but became an adult in the digital age. I consider myself balanced when it comes to living digitally vs. living analog, straddling the divide based on what works best for me. I stream music, but I use a paper planner. I take and store digital photos, but I journal in a real notebook. I love recipe websites, but I print paper copies of my keepers. You get the idea.
Today I am sharing some of my top-tier digital products that I feel really hit the mark of enhancing my life in ways that analog solutions never could. These are the digital tools I could not live without.
ANTHROPOLOGIE APP + REWARD PROGRAM.
There are very few store apps that I think are worth the trouble. However, Anthropologie’s app delivers a seamless online shopping experience, and makes it easy to access your account details (such as birthday discount and member benefits). If you are a frequent Anthro shopper and live in Texas, I highly suggest looking into Anthro Up which is a rewards program. You purchase a membership, but then receive fifteen percent off of every purchase (on top of sale prices). I’m not sure what the math is on the program paying for itself, but I have saved lots of money this way.
Do I love a paper book? I do. But do I have time and space for all the paper books? I do not. I am an avid reader, but in the past couple of years I noticed my reading was declining simply because I did not have time to sit for hours and read a physical book. Audible to the rescue! Listening to audiobooks on Audible allows me to maximize my available time. I can’t always hold a book, but I can often listen to a book. I use Audible when I am driving in the car, drying my hair, taking a walk, doing laundry, needlepointing, or traveling (motion sickness does not allow for reading while moving). It is not the same as reading a book in person, but it allows me to enjoy so many more books per year than I did before.
When it comes to fitness apps, Barre 3 hits the right balance for me. Aside from having a fantastic philosophy when it comes to movement and bodies, I love how convenient the app makes it to add a short workout to my day from anywhere.
My thoughts on restaurant apps are a lot like my thoughts on shopping apps. Generally, no thank you. But I make an exception for Chick-Fil-A simply for the time it saves. The line at Chick-Fil-A is never not wrapped around the building at least once, creating a twenty minute wait for fast food. However, with the app, I can place my order and have it delivered to my car in less time that it takes to inch through the drive through. I wish this app had existed when my children were little.
I have never been more committed to a program as I am to learning French on DuoLingo. I highly recommend this app’s fun approach to learning a language. I literally do one tiny lesson a day, and 1,000 days later, I am no where near fluent, but I understand words and grammar and am proud of myself for taking consistent steps toward my goal.
One of my life mottos could be, “Put it in a Google Sheet!” Seriously, I live and die by spreadsheets inside my business, and the ability to access them on any device and share them with team members is so valuable. In my personal life I use Google Sheets for our family’s address list, keeping track of household inventories, planning projects, and during the pandemic, keeping up with all of my kids’ online school log-ins.
Meditation has become one of the tools I use to manage my mental health. I didn’t understand how it worked or why it would matter before I found the Headspace app, and now I don’t want to go back. Training the muscle of your mind has massive impacts for dealing with anxiety, and this app has taught me how to sustain a practice.
If Emily Post lived in 2023, she would use High Note. High Note is an app that allows you to create darling digital messages and send them via text. You can customize the “stationary” with your initials, choose a template, and make a text feel like analog communication with the convenience being digital.
I cannot remember the last time I stepped foot in a Costco or Sam’s, and I am fine if that never changes. Instacart delivers from a lot of different stores, but I use it mostly for Costco and Sam’s, and it is worth every penny. The time it saves me is insane, and the same-day turnaround means I can get what I need without having to plan ahead.
You’ve heard me say it a hundred times, but the New York Times cooking app is the best money you can spend if you are a home cook. It provides access to a trove of tested recipes that perform every time. I love the weekly emails with suggestions on what to cook.
Very similar to Instacart, but with the added nuance of delivering from Central Market, Shipt is a life-saver. I find their shoppers to be top-notch, willing to go above and beyond.
Never wait in line again! Similar to Chick-fil-A, the Starbucks app is too smart not to use. I also like how I can load my gift cards into my app, add funds when needed, and save past orders.