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After a brief hiatus of kick-ass at work and life in general, this blog is back in action complete with pun in the headline. So with a fresh face and reinvigorated outlook this season, we’re diving right back in. A hot topic that seems to ‘spring’ up every year is how to balance it all (if you’re keeping count that’s 2 puns on spring). Work, significant other, school, fun – life in the current age is busy, and with every passing year there are more things to explore. This is a good thing! And yet, if you’re like me and every other lady, you find yourself wasting precious minutes on the ever elusive hair tie, trying to remember if you deducted those new running pants from your account, do you need to pick up some feminine items on your next errand run, and a million other things.

While we have yet to find an app that tracks down hair ties, here are apps, free ones, that do help in getting some things off of our minds and into the real world in a practical way. After experimenting with multiple apps, these are the ones I can’t seem to ever even consider getting rid of even for a second.

1. Pocket Expense Lite: The Pros – It is ridiculously easy to use and allows for multiple types of accounts that automatically adjust in the correct way. You can set up credit cards, loans, checking accounts, investments, you name it. The user friendliness is amazing – red means the amount is something you’ve spent or owe, green is an amount you’ve paid toward something, or a payment to you. The categories are nearly limitless – for this reason, your monthly charts can get incredibly specific if there is something in particular you want to track. Reminders are easy to set up as well – mine is set up for the end of the day as a reminder to log whatever I may have forgotten about. The Cons – the ads. It may takes a while to load, and every once in a great while, if there’s been an update, it logs me out. As with any data entry app, it’s only as accurate as the information you give it, so it does take a bit to set up, however it definitely pays off once you’re using it. If there was a way to scan receipts into it, I would be one very happy lady.

2. Free Menstrual Calendar (FMC): The Pros – The calendar literally recalculates and gets more accurate with every day and piece of information you enter. The interface is very user-friendly and the icon, in addition to other markers for the calendar, is blessedly nondescript. You also can thankfully lock it with a passcode. This calendar has a way to enter a ton of stuff, and not just the ‘typical’ things we think about when we are tracking this part of our life, but also has a spot for our moods. If we were feeling ill on any given day how we were feeling exactly (ie: sore throat, headache, etc.). Finally, because I am a nerd, it gives a little info tidbit every day about fertility and the menstrual cycle. While it’s not and never will be 100% accurate (especially if you’ve been through something that upsets your cycle), the calendar does allow for quick, recognizable information at a glance. This is a huge relief when I’m planning travel, a race, you name it, I can quickly get an estimate on when the Monthly Magic will hit so I can prepare for it. The Cons: the most you can view at any given time is a month, which can be cumbersome when you are entering past data, and the calendar needs at least one month to forecast the month you start using it. As a girl who thrives on color coding, the options are limited.



3. Venmo: The Pros – it’s a faster PayPal and makes paying people back or receiving payment ridiculously easy. This is ideal for roommates splitting bills, if a group of people go out together, or anything like that. You set up and verify your accounts, find people you need to pay or vice versa, and send it through Venmo. When you receive payment, you opt to cash out the amount and it transfers to your bank account on the next business day in some cases. I’ve used it for as little as $10 when going out and it makes life so much easier instead of trying to find cash, a check, etc. The Cons – unless you have notifications turned on, you won’t know when someone has paid you so you can cash out. You can see all your friend’s activity in the feed, which makes it a little weird. Yes, everyone in my group puts in notes on why they’re paying so-and-so, but seeing the funds hop between people is a little weird at first.

4. Waze: The Pros – Driving with real time updates from real drivers.Seriously, it sounds trite and maybe a little too simple, but if I ever have a longer drive to make, or to an area of town I’m not 100% familiar with, I Waze it over the other options on my phone. The app notifies you when there is a reported object in the road, stopped car, police, accidents, you name it. If you  are in traffic, and there are multiple reports, you can click on them for additional information and see what other drivers are suggesting or doing. You can also send in reports on your experience. With all of these reports floating around, the app has a self-check when you are approaching a reported incident, whether it’s police or a car stopped in the road. It asks you to confirm or deny the report, and if the report is confirmed, it stays active. If it’s denied, the report is removed. Another nifty feature is the option to send your ETA to someone via a text alert. Every minute counts when you’re busy being Wonder Woman, so this ETA and ETA Notification feature is one of my favorites. Finally, FINALLY – the more you drive and use Waze, the more points you get, which means your little avatar changes. It’s cheesy, I know, but seeing my little Wazer, Knight Level, in my profile is a little bonus. The Cons – It sometimes won’t map the most direct route, and in my own experience it’s not consistent if it’s going for the fastest time or the shortest mileage. The user interface is slightly less intuitive when you want to start and stop navigation, but once you’re driving it’s fine.

Disclaimer: Working Glamour does not have any sponsors, and highlights items based of personal experience. Working Glamour does not promote, condone, or support the use of any item or app listed here for use in an unhealthy or ill-informed manner. Always seek professional advice before making any significant change to your routine, and as always, keep it classy and find what works for you! Now go kick ass!