The 5 Most Useful Apps to Maintain Your Sanity

Happy back to school everyone!

Au revoir, summer. Can't believe it's the start of a new year already! Go kill it, guys 😄🎉

A photo posted by Kristen Graham Brown (@hootdesignco) on

Not. This is my very last semester and I can't wait to finally bust out of here. 

To help all of you heading back to school transition into the semester, I've got a great roundup of my favorite sanity-saving apps for productivity and efficiency. I like to call them sanity-savers.

Even if you're not headed back to school, these are going to come in handy for your business and everyday tasks.

Ready for the roundup?

The 5 best apps for productivity, efficiency, relaxation, and other ways to save your sanity this fall. Perfect apps for bloggers, students, business owners, and normal people who want to stay sane. | Hoot Design Co.

1. Scannable

Use it for: Creating multipage PDFs with your iPhone

Available on: iPhone, iPad

When I first discovered this app, my mind was blown. So easy. So quick. So efficient!

Use Scannable to convert physical pieces of paper to multipage PDFs in seconds. Name, optimize and save or send in seconds – right from your phone. I can't say enough good things about the simplicity of this app. It's totally a must for keeping track of physical documents. Definitely a sanity-saver!

2. inbox

Use it for: Email so organized it will bring tears of joy to your eyes

Available on: iPhone, iPad, Android, and as a web application

I hate the iPhone's native mail app with a passion. It's clunky, inflexible, and, if you operate multiple accounts, way too easy to send from the wrong address. And I have four email accounts I need to use on a daily basis.

On my computer, there is NO WAY I'm going to sign in to FOUR different email services every day. And on my iPhone, there is NO WAY I'm trusting freaking iMail with this shizz.

Let me tell you, Google's Inbox is the bomb.

AKA your new best friend.

AKA your new best friend.

I've had mail forwarding set up to funnel all my email directly into one Gmail account for years, and I'd set each email address as an alias to be able to send mail from a different email address (for example, sending an email to a client from my official Hoot Design Co. address) without signing out of my personal account.

Gmail was the only email service I trusted at all for managing my email. The Gmail app was fine – 1,000,000 times better than Apple's email app – and though there were a few bumps, I was on board. Until...

I scored an invite to Google's new Inbox email system in the spring. Oh my god, I love this email. The organization features are fantastic and so easy –

  • Bundle emails – Inbox automatically bundles groups of emails together – promos, purchases, travel, and more – but you can also set up custom bundles. I have one called School, one called Hoot, and at least four others to automatically sort all incoming mail. SO easy to work with.
  • Pin important emails to the top – Never lose the super-important email you need in the depths of your inbox again!
  • Sweep away completed emails – When you're done with something, just hit the check mark to tell it to go away. All emails marked "done" are moved out of sight to a safe location and are totally openable and searchable if ever you need them again.
  • Snooze for later – If an email won't be relevant until next Friday, set it to snooze until you need it. One less thing to bug you.
  • Preview images and attachments – Inbox automatically shows visual previews of each message's attachments so you don't have to open each email up to find the correct version of that brochure you need to edit.
  • Reminders – Inbox picks out important phrases ("send me that file on Thursday," "your appointment is on Tuesday at 3pm") and offers to set up reminders for them. You can also set custom reminders for yourself, too.

You'll save yourself some stress with the seamless switch. Seriously, I have SO MUCH love for this app and desktop mail service. Go take a look at the official intro sequence and give it a go.

3. Rain, Rain

Use it for: Powernaps and sleeping through the night

Available on: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle

I already told you how much I love Noisli for quiet background noises while I work, but the settings are too much fun to fiddle with to use them for background noises for a nap or sleeping.

Solution: the Rain, Rain app. It's filled with one-click presets like "Outdoor Fountain," "Summer Rain," and "Rain Dripping" that are soooo soothing my eyes start to droop immediately. The app has a great timer built in that gently fades the sounds out if you're using it to help you fall asleep at night – so instead of stopping abruptly, your lovely rain sounds fade out smoothly.

4. Qolor

Use it for: Perfectly capturing the color of anything

Available on: iPhone

I love this app because it lets you quickly sample the color you're actually seeing, not just the color of pixels on a screen.

Qolor names each shade and allows you to send the color specs you snap in the wild to yourself or a friend. You can even save whole color palettes if you're particularly inspired by a scene.

5. Giphy Cam

Use it for: Creating gifs on the spot

Available for: iPhone

My lamp comes alive!

My lamp comes alive!

Part of staying sane is seeing the humor in life every now and then. 

Giphy Cam is a great app released very recently from the folks at Giphy, everyone's favorite searchable gif collection. You can now shoot gifs just as easily as you can shoot video, then add filters and effects before tweeting, posting, messaging, saving or uploading immediately. 

Best of all: Giphy Cam has a super easy upload to Instagram option and converts the .gif file to an Insta-ready video file in seconds.


I hope these apps help save you some time and frustration this fall!

And if you're in school, good luck with the semester 📚

– Avery

We're working hard to show you what five years in business looks like. Comment here or on Facebook with topics or questions you'd like to see us cover. Or maybe just links to your favorite GIFS. You can also tweet us your feedback @hootdesignco or @averyenderle, follow us on Insta, come check out our Pinterest boards, and keep up with us on BlogLovin'!