Happy May and welcome to Day 1 of my #AtoZChallenge. First up: A is for Apps.
No, not appetizers. Although my favorite appetizers include (but are not limited to) wings, spinach and artichoke dip with bread, chips and salsa, and fried calamari. Mmmm.
Anyway, the apps I’m actually talking about here are smartphone applications, which, maybe if at least 75% of your brain is not thinking about food all the time, you assumed outright. These will not likely be revolutionary for you, as I use pretty standard/few apps, so if you have suggestions for apps I should try out, leave a comment below. Here are the apps I’ve tested and used, and recommend every book lover test and use themselves. I use an Android, so if these are not available in the App Store I apologize (I’m pretty sure they all are).
If you catch me on my phone in the library or a bookstore, chances are I’m scrolling through my Goodreads shelves to review my TBR lists and add new titles I see on the actual shelves in front of me. If you don’t already use Goodreads (for free), you will need an account, and if you have never heard of it, it’s basically the social media platform that revolves around books. AKA the best social media platform. Add me!
There are a few apps I’ve tested for cataloging my own books, but I like this one the most. It allows me to add books manually, through an ISBN search, or by scanning the bar code (my preferred method). An image of the book will almost always appear too, although when it doesn’t the app will let you take your own photo of the book. You can also customize how the books are ordered once they are listed; you get a choice of eighteen different ways to order them. Additionally, you can send and import books to and from Goodreads, as well as export your book catalog to a backup file. It’s easy to use and extremely functional, and you don’t have to write out the list of books you have in notebooks scattered around your apartment/home (although like me, you probably still will).
Because I have not invested in a professional camera and cannot find the charger to the digital camera I have, all the photos for #bookstagram and my blog are taken on my phone. While my Samsung Galaxy has an excellent camera, photo editing is a must. For this purpose, I use Snapseed, another free app. There are so many tools that it can be easy to get carried away with editing, filtering, and transforming, but it’s so worth it.
Yes, the app that comes standard on every phone (I believe). I’m giving this app a specific shout out because I’ve been using the voice memo feature a lot lately, for brainstorming and writing ideas, and it’s been a lifesaver when I misplace or forget to bring along one of the thousands of literal notebooks and memo pads I have.
To be honest, I’ve hardly used this app because I don’t frequently listen to audio books, BUT I do like the design and organization potential of Audible, so that’s why I’ve listed it here.
My favorite place to shop for bookish gifts, literary home accents, and handmade collectibles. I like the bookmarks from kraze4paper, monogrammed pieces from NeedmoreHeart, miscellaneous items from GenuineDesignCo, and various candle makers, just to name a few.
I learned about this app from a Book Riot article: “5 Helpful Apps for Organizing Your Reading Life.” It’s an app designed to keep you off your phone and focused on your tasks. You choose a plant to grow, set a timer, and if you go onto your phone during that time, your plant will die. If you stay off your phone, the plant will flourish and you will start growing a beautiful forest. I’m going to keep my thoughts about dependence on an app like this to myself and instead say I like that the app is a partner with Trees for the Future, and when virtual coins are spent in the app (to upgrade your plant selection and such), real trees are planted in countries like India and Zambia. So focus up, and help plant some trees!