Tori Cole, columnist

Tori Cole, columnist

Candy Crush. Temple Run. Facebook. Angry Birds. Smart phone applications have a reputation for making us less productive. Despite this, thousands of apps also exist to make us more efficient, make our lives easier, and help us to be organized. Here are a few of the best (free) apps I’ve found:

EEBA: I am completely obsessed with this app. It helps you budget your money by allowing you to add money and then divide it into different envelopes. As you spend money, you record how much, which envelope to remove it from, and even where and what you bought. The home page has little bars showing how much of your monthly budget you’ve spent thus far. This app is perfect for someone who is new to budgeting, or anyone seriously trying to follow a budget.

Evernote: Personally, I’ve only just started using Evernote. It intrigued me because I heard it talked about constantly as the pinnacle of notetaking. Besides just writing simple notes down, one can take pictures, record audio clips, link to web pages, and more. And once the notes are written they can be tagged, sorted, exported, and labeled any number of different ways. What makes it truly unique are the other free apps that all connect, such as “Hello,” which records when, where, and how you interact with or meet someone.

SecureSafe: If you are like me and have about 3,000 passwords but can only remember about 7 at any given time, this app is for you. You can securely store all of your passwords in one place – everything from e-mail and Facebook login information to credit card PIN or garage door codes. The only downside is, since the information is so sensitive, there is NO password recovery. You receive a 36 digit ‘recovery code’ upon registration, but that is the only possibility for recovering an account. However, with this app, you only ever need to remember one password again.

Runmeter: Disclaimer – I’m no runner. At all. But recently, through my meager attempts at athleticism, I have become addicted to this app. It tracks your pace, distance, route, etc. You can add routes and track your progress on different paths. For me, I am motivated by trying to beat my last run, and this app helps me do that. Nike has a free running app as well (which is very comparable to this one but with an added emphasis on social media), but I personally am not interested in posting updates, competing with friends who use the app, or sharing all of my runs with people. Both are ultimately solid options, depending on what motivation is desired.

CARROT: This is a to-do list with an attitude. It may or may not insult you, make you feel bad when you don’t complete your task list, and gain more features to reward you the more you use it. If writing lists and checking things off doesn’t work for you, check this app out.