Now that Halloween is officially over, you plan to relax and spend the next few days secretly stealing candy from your kids’ trick-or-treat bags. But don’t kick back too much, because “’tis the season” to start making holiday plans. Yeah, I know it seems like the holidays are starting earlier and earlier every year. Look on the bright side: that just means you have more days to cross everything off your to-do list(s). Or if you’re #TeamPessimist, that just means you now have more days to add more impossible stuff to your list(s).
Either way, the holiday season is imminent, and there is a ton to get accomplished between now and the new year, so it’s probably a good idea to get started sooner than later. If you want to get as much done as possible this year, look no further than your smartphone and a few key holiday apps to make sure you have a more productive holiday season.
13 Holiday Apps to Get You Through the Season 1 of 14Look no further than these key holiday apps to make sure you have a more productive holiday season.
Evernote | For Saving All Your Holiday Inspirations in One Place 2 of 14
If you've decided that this is the year to get all your plans organized, Evernote is the place I would start. With Evernote, you can quickly create notes for all the Thanksgiving dishes you want to prepare, save links to your favorite online shopping sites, and store pictures of gift ideas for friends and family. The cool thing about Evernote is you can organize your content in many ways and share with others. Plus, your content is automatically synced across all your devices and the web, so no matter where you are or what device you're using, you have quick access to your holiday plans.
Wunderlist | For Getting Your To-Do Lists in Order 3 of 14
You probably already know that you will have exceedingly long to-do lists, so might as well start creating them ... with Wunderlist. Organizing your to-do lists should encourage you to cross more items off them. Wunderlist has a whole suite of features including shared lists, recurring to-do's, list notes, due date and reminder notifications, and the ability to convert emails into action items that will make you actually feel like you've accomplished something when your Wunderlist starts to get empty.
Kayak | For Your Holiday Travel Plans 4 of 14
If you're going to be one of the millions of families hitting the airways this holiday season, now is the time to start booking travel. Kayak lets you compare flights and hotels prices, car rentals, and other travel deals from many airlines, lodging properties, and other travel aggregators like Orbitz and Travelocity — all in one place. Kayak makes it super simple to plan, create trips, and book your travel plans once you've found a good deal.
RoadAhead | To Go Through the Woods to Grandma’s 5 of 14
If a family road trip is in your future this holiday season, RoadAhead lets you see the rest areas, restaurants, gas stations, shopping centers, and other businesses (like bathrooms) coming up on every interstate exit. Makes it easier for the entire family to decide where your next stop is going to be, so you can get in, get out, and get back on the road — and beat your personal best travel time. (Yeah, right.)
iCookbook | For Holiday Recipes 6 of 14
It's your turn to play host for this year's Thanksgiving Dinner. Whether it's going to be just immediate family stopping by or legions of hungry family members and friends, now is a good time to start getting ready. iCookbook is the the all-in-one cookbook app that lets you discover new recipes and save family favorites. iCookbook makes it easy to get basic food prep tips, browse your favorite food brands for inspiration, and find step-by-step instructions on creating a Thanksgiving menu even your mother-in-law can't deny.
Thanksgiving Planner | So You Don’t Forget the Turkey 7 of 14
Now that you have an idea of who's coming and what you plan on serving for Turkey Day, the Thanksgiving Planner app gives you full control over your Thanksgiving to-do list. The app comes preloaded with over 160 possible Thanksgiving items you need to prepare for. It also lets you customize, organize, and sort your lists so that you know exactly when each item needs to be completed. You can even mark items "in progress" to see what percentage of each task is complete.
TaskRabbit | For When You Need an Extra Hand 8 of 14
Now that everybody is stuffed, it's time to clean up after Thanksgiving dinner feast. If you're too full to clean one single dish, you can use the TaskRabbit app and find a "Tasker" who is more than willing to clean up after Thanksgiving Dinner. "Taskers" are local people vetted by Task Rabbit, where you set the fee and time frame you are looking for. (This is all outlined in the "job proposal.") Taskers can help you complete holiday tasks, like stand in line at your favorite retail store to get an early jump on Black Friday Shopping, or help wrap the mountain of holiday gifts stuffed in your closet.
Retale | For Holiday Shopping Deals 9 of 14
It's during the holidays that your local Sunday paper is crammed with shopping circulars from local retail stores. If you're looking for a digital way to shop your local circulars, the new Retale app does just that. Based on your location, Retale will serve up weekly retail ads right to your smartphone or tablet. While you can't buy anything directly from the app, you can look up local store hours; search for products, deals, and coupons; and get notifications on new deals for products on your list.
KeyRing | For Reaping the Shopping Benefits 10 of 14
Retail outlets will do anything — like offer "double reward points" — just to get you in the doors during the holidays. But the problem with discount loyalty cards is that you always leave them at home right when you need them the most. KeyRing lets you enter or scan all your loyalty cards and rewards memberships into your smartphone for easy access when you make it to the cashier. It also lets you quickly join membership programs and dishes out coupons and deals when applicable.
Amazon Price Check | For Getting the Best Price 11 of 14
Now that you can buy anything on the web, it's quite appealing to just sit at your computer in your jammies and get all of your holiday shopping done in a matter of hours. But that doesn't mean you will automatically get the best deal. Amazon Price Check lets you do all your "showrooming" at your local retail store. Simply scan the bar code of a product you're interested in to see if Amazon has a better deal. If the price is right online, you can buy it before you can say, "Is A Christmas Carol on TV yet?"
Mosaic | For a Homemade Gift 12 of 14
For those who want to make their gifts more "personal" but don't have to time to go completely arts-and-craftsy, the Mosaic app lets you create beautiful 7"x7" albums from photos in your smartphone camera roll. Simply choose the photos you want to add, arrange them in the order you like, choose a book layout and color, add addresses, pay, and you're done. Mosaic photo books cost $20 to make and can be delivered in less than a week in most cases.
Postagram | For Your Holiday Cards 13 of 14
'Tis the season for uncomfortable-looking kids in stiff holiday outfits beautiful holiday postcards. A quick search through your Instagram feed may reveal a nice photo that could be used as your family holiday picture. The Postagram app makes it easy to create physical postcards from digital Instagram photos, complete with the ability to quickly add a note or greeting, and mail to multiple addresses at one time. All Postagrams cost only 2 bucks each and can be delivered to the US, Canada, and Europe in a couple of days.
Toca Hair Salon Christmas Gift | For Keeping the Kids Busy While You Get Everything Done 14 of 14
Let's face it: your kids are tired of sending Santa wish-list mail ... and there's a chance they know the real deal behind Santa. The Toca Hair Salon Christmas Gift app lets your kids do something nice for Santa for a change — give him a new 'do. The app lets users cut, color, and style Santa's hair and beard. Kids can also snap an image of Santa's new 'do that they can send to the man himself, just in case there's still a slight glimmer of hope that he exists.
What are your favorite, must-have, go-to, miracle holiday apps?