Spoiled: 6 Apps that make Your Life Great

wacom-intuos-3When I first got a Wacom tablet for working on design, I was in love.  After just a few hours of getting used to using it I was working so much faster and easier.  When I started Apt Design I knew I didn’t want one for my new office, I needed it.  The price tag is up around $400, but the tablet helps me work almost twice as fast sometimes, so it was definitely worth it.  I couldn’t work without it – I was spoiled.

mint-logoRecently I’ve been spoiled again by an online application called Mint.  Mint allows you to track and analyze your personal finances, and it does almost everything for you. After inputing some data about your bank accounts Mint automatically pulls in updated information about those accounts everytime you log in.  It instantly gives you a snapshot of your current worth, how you are doing on your monthly budget, and alerts you to any strange or big movements in your accounts.  When you are ready you can drill down for reports on all your transactions, including comparing your spending in certain categories to others in your area.  The interface is remarkably easy to use and every part of the Mint website is beautifully designed.

I’ve been spoiled, and now going back to QuickBooks, which I use for my business finances, is like using an old DOS machine.  Now that I know how simple, intuitive and beautiful finance software can be (even when its totally free!) it makes it harder to accept anything less.  (Has anyone tried LessAccounting?)

As more and more applications move to the cloud and User Interface becomes increasingly important I expect I’m about to get spoiled more and more.  Here’s what comedian Louis C.K. has to say about it:

Here are the 6 applications or websites which have spoiled me:

Mint

Super easy personal finance software.  All-online, all-free.  Intuitive and beautiful it takes the workload off of keeping track of your expenses and makes personal accounting fun!

Gmail

The best thing to happen to email since…anything.  Threaded conversations, chatting inside Gmail, integration with Google’s Tasks and Calendar, 7+ GBs of free storage, and hundreds of more features.  Once you make the switch to Gmail you’ll never go back.  Plus now you can set it up via Google Apps or MailFetcher to be your full-time email client no matter who you have email with!

BaseCamp

The online Project Management System that keeps my business flowing.  BaseCamp set new standards in ease-of-use and simplyfing online interfaces.  I run everything through BaseCamp to set deadlines, track time, communicate with clients and more.

Awaken

An alarm clock for Macs, Awaken lets me wake up to any song or playlist on my computer.  Much better than an annoying beeper.  Awaken can also launch apps for you, be a countdown timer during the day, and put you to sleep to music.

Spaces

Mac’s brilliant innovation lets you have multiple workspaces on your computer.  Keep all of your music applications on one Space, your work files on another, and 60 open web pages on another.  Sure beats minimizing things to try and find what you’re looking for.  Check out the demo here.

Pandora

How about an online application that creates personalized radio stations based on the music you like?  Free (with ads), you should try out Pandora to hear old favorites and let Pandora introduce you to new artists based on your ratings.  Its on all day in the Apt Design office.

Ok.  How about you?  What website or application has spoiled you – made your life incredibly easier and that you couldn’t imagine not having?