Tips for the App-Happy Millennial

After graduating this past spring and being immediately (and luckily!) launched into the real world, I’ve realized that a lot of my habits have changed. Most of them have to do with money, and others are just about keeping my life easy and organized so I have more time for the fun stuff.


With that, I’ve noticed that aside from my usual social media, music, and gaming apps taking up space in my phone, there are a number of apps that can and have made my day-to-day life a heck of a lot easier.

Since Gen Y is after all the largest group of smartphone owners, it’s not surprising that app developers are jumping on the opportunity to create products that will appeal to them. There has been a surge in apps that are geared toward making our tech-savvy generation’s lives better (because the easier life is, the happier we are), and they do! So, these are the apps I recommend every early 20-something should download right now:

Mint Personal Finance
Now that I’m essentially cut off from my parents except for my cellphone bill (thanks mom and dad!), it’s become a lot more important to me to know where my money is going and to make sure I have enough to pay my rent and other bills each month. My friend showed me Mint about a month ago and I’ve just started to get into it. The jist of it is that you can connect your bank account to the app, and it shows you how much you’ve spent in various categories like Restaurants, Groceries, Clothing, Coffee, Gas, Movies, etc., over the course of a month. You can also set budget amounts per month for each category to keep yourself on track. So whether you’ve got money coming in or not, this app is great for budgeting what you have and showing where your money goes once it’s gone.

Uber
I know a lot of Torontonians hate on Uber’s taxi service, but now that Hailo is gone it’s one of the only options. Either way, I’ve started using Uber quite a bit to get around the city mainly because I never have cash on me and it takes a lifetime for the credit card machine to start up in a regular cab. Not only can you pay quickly because your credit card is connected to the app, but it also makes me feel 100% safer when I’m taking a cab alone knowing that the ride is documented. Also, since my friends and I are fresh out of school and are still fairly money-conscious, being able to split the fare easily and equally is super convenient.

Sleep Cycle
I found this app when I had just started working full-time at the start of the summer and it is to put it simply: so freakin’ cool. Getting out of my university lifestyle and into a routine of waking up early every day was a bit of a struggle, but luckily this app got me into a sleep cycle that puts me on par with regular people. All you do is turn the app on right before you go to sleep, set the alarm, and have it rest on the bed beside you. It then tracks your sleeping pattern and your alarm will go off any time in the half an hour leading up to when you set it for, based on when you’re in your lightest sleep. Why I love this app is because it makes me feel 99% better when I wake up every day. Seriously. It’s also wicked to see how your sleep patterns are tracked and charted!

Venmo
Before you get all excited about this app, I’ll tell you now that it’s only available in the US. However, we NEED it to come to Canada. As I’ve already mentioned, I feel like people my age are still really money-conscious so it’s basically expected that any money lent will be paid back. I’m always really good about paying people back, mainly because I hate having the weight on my shoulders (even if it’s $10), but some people are not. That’s why this is so perfect, because you can transfer any denomination to your friends on the spot. There’s even room to leave a short message as to why the money is being transferred to keep all your expenses in check.

On a side note, this week Erin sent me an article outlining how people in their 30s couldn’t believe something like this would be appealing to people due to their opinions on oversharing, privacy, and money. Can you say… GENERATION GAP?!

Other honourable mentions:

Word Lens
For the travelling 20-somethings, Word Lens will be your new best friend. I didn’t go the post-graduation travelling route, but a lot of people I know did, and hopefully they’ll read this while in the depths of Europe or South America and get this app. The concept is simple and will literally blow your mind. All you have to do is hold your phone up to a foreign sign and it will translate it for you – give or take some terrible grammar). How 21st century is that?

Waze
This app has changed the face of traffic jams, commuting, and just driving in general. People on the road can update other drivers on what’s ahead, whether that’s an accident, a police trap, construction, road closures, etc. It’s essentially a map that lays out your driving route and all the bumps you might hit along the way. I’m pretty sure this is a lifesaver for any generation on the road, but the more technologically savvy of the bunch might be more comfortable using it while driving. Just sayin’.

Claire is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at 88 Creative. You can follow her tweets at @clairenowens.