My favorite free apps: Stuff I actually use almost daily

Did you know that statistically at least 1/4 of all apps downloaded are opened only once and then never used again? I can totally relate to that. A whole bunch of apps has a catchy description, nice layout and if on top of that they are free you think “why not?” and press the “get” button… only to delete it shortly after, or just let it hang in your smartphone if space allows.

Today I would like to share some of the free apps that I actually not only downloaded but also use on a regular basis. A small disclaimer – I have an iPhone, so I will be talking AppStore stuff here. However, nowadays most of the developers make apps for Apple and Android devices at the same time, so I assume that you will be able to find the same things in Google store.

Thus, here we go – in the order of remembering, not significance:

  1. a bunch of convenient shopping apps: (BE, NL),  Jumbo (NL), Collect&Go (BE) and AliExpress,
  2. Genius Scan – very convenient app to turn your smartphone or tablet into a portable scanner.
  3. Google Translate – self-explanatory
  4. for communication with my family in Latvia – Skype and with my close friends – Whatsapp. What I like about Whatsapp is that also for sending photos you don’t need to be both online.
  5. Instagram and Layout for Instagram – first one is also self-explanatory, but the latter is a simple app to make collages with your photos.
  6. Other social network apps: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest.
  7. Coursera – this is a very handy app to have, it gives you access to the numerous courses they have in all domains imaginable. For example, currently I am following a course on “Positive Psychology” via Coursera.
  8. Apps from Fisher Price like Animals, or Shapes & Colors or Let’s count – they come in different language version and are very handy in case you urgently need to distract your little one. It saved us already couple of times, like for example yesterday, when our 2 year old wanted to chase a big dog and we wanted to enjoy our coffee on the terrace. I switched on “Let’s count” and it saved the poor dog’s life and our nerves.
  9. Houzz – for design inspiration. They have a fantastic collection of various interior and exterior design images. If I am searching for inspiration of how I want my terrace to look, that is the app I am going to.
  10. Duolingo – probably the best app I have recently downloaded. I am using it for the last 112 days to polish my Dutch and to learn Spanish.I opted for (as they call it) the “insane goal” of 50 XP a day, so I do at least 5 language exercises on a daily basis. It is not enough of course to learn the language, however it pushes you to do at least something on a regular basis.
  11. WordPress – because this blog is a WordPress blog, it is obvious to have a WordPress app. I don’t write my posts there, but I do look at my stats and if I have an idea for a new post, that’s where I usually make a draft.

I don’t have neither time, nor particular wish to play games on my phone. However, I still have Yatzy and Dots for those rare moments that I need to literally “kill” 5-10 minutes.

I used to have some apps from certain websites (like the news – from or, but I deleted them shortly after downloading, because they consume a lot of space and mobile versions of these websites are more convenient to use than apps. I also tried Evernote, but somehow didn’t like it. Nonetheless, I kept it because I heard a lot of good comments about the app and it is still on my list to give it a second try.

So, I guess that’s about it for me. Are there any other free apps for yourself or kids you find particularly useful and worth having?


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