entertainment

The 10 apps that will change your life.

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I have to admit that I suffer hugely from decision fatigue relating to pretty much everything, which is why I’m really liking all the new technology out there that can make all my decisions for me. Whether it’s what to eat or when to go to sleep, there’s a website or an app out there to help me figure it out – and that’s why I’ve made this list of the sites and apps that are making my life almost too easy.

1. What book to read.

I can’t tell you how many books I’ve bought based on the colour of the cover or other similarly ridiculous reason. Now Whichbook is here to help me. You enter the criteria for what kind of book you’re in the mood for – happy or sad, beautiful or disgusting, easy or hard, lots of sex or none – and it gets back to you with exactly what you should read. It’s a little bit of genius.

2. What to make for dinner.

If I’m having a bit of trouble deciding what to feed my loved ones, I try What The F*** Should I Make For Dinner.  It’s a bit rude – so don’t click if you’re easy offended – but very straightforward in that it will tell you exactly what to make for dinner. No umm’s, no ahh’s, no “do you feel like chicken? What about tacos?”. It’ll even take you straight to the relevant recipe. If you don’t like it, or don’t eat meat, click again and it’ll give you another option. At the very least, it’s not bad for inspiration.

App-wise, try Epicurious (free)- search by ingredients you already have, or categories (my favourite category being “I Can Barely Cook”) to find the best recipe to make for dinner.

3. What to drink with your dinner.

One word: Mixology (free). This app lets you input what alcohols and mixers you already have to figure out what cocktail to shake up for your guests. Excellent for people like myself who get stuck on drink ideas and end up serving endless rounds of vodka raspberries.

The urbanspoon app

4. Where to go for dinner.

Don’t feel like cooking tonight? Urbanspoon (free) is another brilliant food app that I like to use when I head out to dinner with equally indecisive friends to avoid the inevitable “What do you feel like?” “I don’t know, what do YOU feel like?” conversation. The “shake” option will pick a restaurant for you – you can even choose to lock in a particular cuisine, location or price range if you’d like to.

5. What time to go to bed.

I have to admit that I spend more time than I probably should puzzling over the latest possible time I can go to bed so that I’m not completely shattered the next day. Now I just put what time I’m supposed to get up into the online Sleepytime calculator and it tells me what time to go to bed, according to sleep cycles or some other kind of fancy schmancy science stuff. It even works in reverse if you want – you put in when you’re going to bed and it tells you when to get up so that you’re well-rested and prepared for the day ahead.

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6. Where to find that information you’ve lost.

I’m on Facebook. And Twitter. And Gmail. And LinkedIn. And Google Reader. You probably are too. It’s kind of exhausting – and can also cause issues when I’m trying to remember if someone emailed me or Facebooked me or DM’ed me the details for that party on Saturday night. Enter Greplin (free). It consolidates your social media and searches it all at once so that you don’t have to fry your brain trying to keep track of things. If I could marry an app…

7. How to run.

Couch to 5k is a running program that’s adored by pretty much everyone that’s ever used it – including me (even though I have to keep starting again because I am inconsistent and get distracted easily). The app ($2.99) has a full nine-week program which gradually builds you up from jogging for 60 seconds to running for a full 5km. It tells you when to warm up, when to run, when to walk and when to cool down – and uses the music already on your iPhone to help you along. Who needs a personal trainer anyway?

Gift Plan app

8. When to remember a birthday.

The organisation junkie within me loves Gift Plan ($2.99) so much. It imports birthdays from Facebook and contacts and organises them chronologically so you can see what occasions are coming up. You can add shopping lists, ideas for presents as soon as they come to you – and you can even create profiles for your loved ones to jot down their personal tastes and sizes. Perfect for that moment when you’re standing in the shops this Christmas trying to remember Uncle Bob’s shoe size.

9. What adorable animal video to watch.

You’re in the mood for a cute video but you don’t know whether to go for ducklings or kittens – such a common dilemma. Cuteroulette solves this problem for you by selecting a cute video for your viewing pleasure. Great for killing a few minutes or entertaining little ones.

10. And finally, who to date.

Searching for a soul mate? No worries – Find Your FaceMate is here to help you. According to this site, scientists have proven that we are innately drawn to people with features like our own. All you have to do is upload your photo and the site will find people who *kind of* look like you in the hope that you will fall in love with them.

What app or website do you find most useful? And if Mamamia had an app, what would it do?