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As you review 2015 and begin setting goals and resolutions for 2016, take a moment to check out our list of our favourite apps that have helped us work wonders in our lives and in our work. These apps will help you get organised, become more productive, get fit, get smarter or take control of your finances.  

Manage your Finances 

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22Seven (South Africa only)

You can’t manage what you don’t know, and if you want to be able to manage your finances, the first step is creating an overview of all of your expenditures. 22Seven does just that and more by giving you an overview of all of your household spend, your debt and worth in Rands.

22Seven, an Old Mutual app, links to over 60 South African institutions to gather and track all of your transactions across all of your cheque, savings, credit and store cards, as well as investments, loans and rewards. 22Seven displays all of your transactions, balances and credits in one interface to show you your total worth and debt in one beautiful and colourful dashboard. All expenditure is automatically categorised for you based on the type of transaction or retailer, such as groceries, rent, pets, eating out, transport and fuel, clothing, and health and medical expenses. There is much more the app can do, such as budgeting and setting goals, but just know it is super secure and user-friendly, so why not try it out?

Read more and download for Apple and Android 

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Moneywise Pro

If you would rather not have an app logging into your accounts like 22Seven does, Moneywise Pro is a great alternative to helping you manage your finances. It’s a more manual process, however, requiring you to export your transactions from your accounts, import them into the app and then categorise them yourself. The app gives you some nice charts to show you a clear breakdown of your expenses. It also lets you capture your expenses on your smartphone as you incur them.

Read more and download for Android 

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The Entertainer

Just because you're trying to save money doesn't mean you have to stop having fun. With the South African version of the Entertainer app, you can enjoy going out at half the price! The Entertainer app is full of incredible special offers (two for one!) from some of your favourite restaurants, bars, cafes, spas and resorts. There's a Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban version of the app. Although it's not a free app, you'll get a great return on your investment by your second use! You can view all the offers available before purchasing the app.

Read more and download for Apple and Android 

Make your life easier

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SnapScan (South Africa only)

We are moving towards a cashless society, but credit card facilities aren’t always available for smaller payments or out-of-store purchases, such as food markets and street parking. That’s where SnapScan comes in handy. Just download the app on your smartphone and link it to your bank. Next time you visit a food market or restaurant, just look for the SnapScan display, make your purchase and scan the merchant’s QR code with your smartphone, and enter the amount to pay. Once the transaction goes through, the merchant receives payment confirmation from SnapScan. Super easy, super convenient and it even helps minimise the risk of fraud, because you no longer need to handover your credit card!

Learn more and download for Android, Apple or Windows

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mSecure

Here's a great app for storing all of your account numbers, PIN codes, login details and passwords for the many sites and apps you use each day. Acting as your digital wallet, mSecure stores credit card numbers, account numbers, PIN codes, login details, etc. So, even if you leave your wallet at home, you have all of your numbers and PIN codes still on your phone - making it easy to supply your details to login or make a purchase. mSecure uses encryption that has never been cracked and also offers a password generator to make your login details extra secure.

Learn more and download for Android, Apple or Windows

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CardStar

Leave your loyalty and membership cards at home! With CardStar you can scan your loyalty and membership card bar codes and save them on your phone. So, next time you are at the till or airline check-in counter and need to supply your loyalty or membership card to be scanned, simply have them scan the barcode stored in CardStar on your phone. 

Learn more and download for Android, Apple and Windows

Get Healthy

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MyFitness Pal

A fitness app with a massive food database that allows you to track your calories as you consume them, and gives you personalised goals to work towards.  It has a barcode scanner, so seeing how many calories are in an item can be as easy as pointing your phone’s camera at the barcode on the packaging.

Learn more and download for Android, Apple and Windows 

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Yoga Studio

Whether you're a beginner or a pro, Yoga Studio is your own personal yoga instructor. 65 HD video classes are available via a great user interface. You'll have access to over 280 poses with detailed info and advice. The instructor's voice is soothing and the pace is easy to follow. Just choose your level, your duration (15, 30 or 60 min) and focus (strength, flexibility, relaxation, balance, or combination and you're ready to go! Get started!

Learn more and download for Apple or Windows

Be more Productive

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Google Keep

This app is great for taking quick notes and creating to-do lists. You can add pictures to a note or a voice message. This helped a lot when one of our colleagues was shopping around for a new bathroom, they could easily compare prices and pictures. It also has a time and location based reminder which syncs with your Google Maps, so if you near a grocery store it reminds you to buy groceries. You can also share your notes and lists with others and watch as items get checked off in real-time. Colour code, search and archive old notes and synch across all your devices.

Learn more and download for Apple or Android

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Swype

Tired of trying to keep up on WhatsApp conversations because your smartphone typing skills are not up to scratch? Improve your typing speed and impress your friends with Swype! Swype is an app that makes typing so much quicker by allowing you to drag your finger through the letters of the word, rather than tapping out each one individually.  It’s incredible how much faster you’ll end up typing using the Swype method. Once you’re used to it (which typically takes less than half an hour), you’ll never want to go back to a traditional touchscreen keyboard.

Learn more and download for Android, Apple and Windows

Train your Brain

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Elevate

Elevate is a cool new type of cognitive training tool designed to build communication and analytical skills. You'll be provided with a personalised game-based training program that adjusts over time based on performance. See it as your brain's personal trainer. Use it whenever you have some downtime to exercise your brain and improve your ability to focus, your reading comprehension and memory with a series of quick exercises. Track progress over time to see whether the program is paying off.

Learn more and download for Android and Apple

 

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Peak

Another brain trainer with a great user experience. Peak is full of fun games focused on improving problem solving, memory, language, mental agility and focus. Once you've played a few times, you are presented with a dashboard showing you your strengths and areas you can improve on, and then enables you to track your progress. It even shows you how you compare with other people around the world by age, profession, country and education level.

Learn more and download for Android and Apple

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QuizUp

Once you've trained your brain, see how well you do at trivia. QuizUp is a great app for anyone who enjoys trivia and pub quizes. There are endless topics to choose from (general knowledge, logos, spelling, Friends, name the food, finish the saying, Breaking Bad, British history, medicine, grammer, Movies, etc). No matter how obscure, you'll find the topic! You can either challenge a friend or challenge a complete stranger half-way around the world. As soon as you're ready to play a round, QuizUp will find a challenger for you who's ready and waiting. It's a fun way to test your knowledge and speed. Once you start, you'll get hooked for sure!

Learn more and download for Android, Apple and Windows

Do-It-Yourself

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Houzz

Thinking of re-designing your kitchen or improving your garden this year? How about building a wine cellar or just making the most of your living space?Houzz will provide you with all the inspiration and ideas you need to do so. Houzz lets you connect with over 800,000 home improvement professionals for free advice and is full of millions of user contributed photos categorised by style, living space or even city. You'll find great renovation ideas to make your living space the best possible home for you. But be forwarned, once you start browsing, you'll lose hours - it's highly addictive!

Learn more and download for Android and Apple 

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Pintrest

Pinterest is a photo sharing service that has been categorised as a catalog of ideas and inspiration for anything from home decor to food, office design and weddings. So, whatever you're planning - whether it's a renovation, a wedding or a dinner party - you'll find plenty of inspiration on Pinterest. Just download the app, start browsing and creating your own mood board for your project. 

Learn more and download for Android and Apple

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Makita Tools

Now it's time to turn your smartphone into a DIY tool.  Download the Makita Tools app to turn your smartphone into a Spirit Level, Levelling Instrument, Sound Level Meter, Flash Light and even use it to measure distance.

Learn more and download for Android and Apple