The Friday Five: 5 Apps Worth Checking Out

I thought I’d try something new here.

I’m calling it The Friday Five, and on the first Friday of every month I’ll list 5 apps that I think are worth some of your time and attention. At first, the focus will be on iOS, Mac, and web apps, but as time goes by I’ll hopefully wrap my head around some other platforms as well (namely Android) and feature them in the mix.

Here we go…

1. Mynd Calendar

Michael Schechter introduced me to Mynd Calendar, and I’m glad he did. I really like the layout and the integrations (Evernote, for one) that it features. There is so much visible on the screen (weather, distance traveled, etc.) and yet it is displayed so well in the layout that it doesn’t seem overwhelming to me. I’ve only started using Mynd Calendar, and since I’ve tried a ton of iOS calendar options in my day, I’ll be giving this one some serious testing before sticking with it for the long haul. (iOS – Free)

2. Yelling Mom

If you’re not already using a task manager/to-do list app and are looking for one, then this is one of the more full-featured apps I’ve seen come out as of late. Yelling Mom recently added Evernote integration, which only adds to its appeal. The UI on this app is very clean on the surface, and even when you dive deeper into a task the interface doesn’t appear as cluttered as some other apps I’ve seen. If you’re looking for something that has a little more to offer than a simple list of tasks and are a fan of the swipe-based UI that is prominent in apps like Clear, Dispatch, and Mailbox, then take a look at Yelling Mom. (Unless you have mommy issues, that is.) (iOS – $1.99)

3. Grid

I’ve only started playing with Grid. It’s a very unique project planning/brainstorming app (at least that’s how I’ve been using it). I tend to use Evernote for most of this stuff (and Drafts to get it into Evernote in most cases), so while I’m not sure Grid will have a long stay on my iPhone, if you’re not invested in anything for this kind of use case, it’s definitely worth a try. (iOS – Free)

4. You Need A Budget

After trying nearly every Mac budgeting program out there (Moneywell, Money, iBank, etc.), I finally settled on YNAB. And I’m glad I did.

You’ll get a 34 day free trial (perfect so that you can get more than a month’s worth of perspective on your finances) and it’s available on a variety of mobile platforms — including the Kindle Fire(!) — and also for both Mac and Windows desktop systems. As someone who hates dealing with finances, YNAB makes it more enjoyable and after using it since March we are finally (we as in “me” — my wife has always been great with money) dealing with finances in a far more proactive manner. Give it a try if you’ve been searching for a solution…because it’s a very good one. (Free trial, Mobile platforms – Free, Mac/Windows – $60)

5. Fish: a tap essay

Patrick Rhone has mentioned this one in the past, but I’m recommending it for you as an excellent weekend read. It won’t even take a weekend to get through Fish, but I think that if you carve out a few minutes to read this piece by Robin Sloan sometime over the weekend, you’ll find it was a task worth spending time on. (iOS – Free)