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If you’re like me, you probably have several screens full of apps on your iPhone and use maybe 10% of them. I might not even use that many.

I often find myself downloading an app for a singular use because in that moment, it’s needed. But six months later, I’ve never used it again.

So what apps are the essentials? The ones used daily—some even hourly.

  • Email – I use the standard mail app on my iPhone. I know that’s not en vogue, but it’s email. I typically read it on my phone and (unless it’s time sensitive) reply on my laptop later on. Because of the nature of my work, I’m on my MacBook Air about 10-12 hours a day, so I know I’ll be back in my email soon and therefore haven’t switched a high-functioning email app like Mailbox or the Gmail app.
  • Maps – On the other hand, I have upgraded from the native maps app that Apple provides. I’m a Google Maps person. The user interface and search functions are both familiar and easy to use.
  • Dining – I do some travel for work and typically find myself in a new city about once a month. That’s where Yelp and OpenTable come in. Yelp helps me find a restaurant, and OpenTable allows me to book a reservation. OpenTable also serves as a clearinghouse for the level of restaurants I like to eat at—not overly nice ones, but ones that are of good quality.
  • ProductivityEvernote is a must. If you’re not using it right now, you need to stop reading this and go download it right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I’ve also learned to love Passbook. If you travel at all, this app is a dream. I didn’t understand its usefulness until I started traveling for work more and more. It’s so handy and I use it so much that I moved it to my home screen a few months ago.
  • Social Media – Sure, you can use the native apps for the different social media accounts you may have. And in some cases, like Instagram, that’s your only choice. But if you’re on Twitter and have an iPhone, I can’t recommend Tweetbot strongly enough. It is by far the best Twitter app available—and it should be for the $4.99 price tag.
  • Reference – I’m even surprised by how much I use the Wikipedia and IMDB apps. But then again, they have the info I need without having to go through google and search. I know I can go directly to the source.
  • Bible – I have so many of these because of school and work, but I typically resort to the YouVersion app (for daily reading) and the ESV Study Bible app (my pastor preaches from ESV, so I follow along there).
  • Weather – Again, I haven’t invested too much time and effort in the weather apps. I know there are some really cool ones out there, but I’m inside all day and have a big window in my office. I can see that it’s raining or snowing. So I just use the Weather Channel app. However, I really like the look and functions of the Dark Sky app (HT to Aaron Earls for showing me this one).
  • Others – I also use a few apps for very specific purposes that others may not be interested in. Those are Confide, ESPNFC, Key Ring, and Sleep Meister.

So that’s my list, what about you?

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