19/08/2015 9:47 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:50 PM AEST

6 Apps That Will Make Your Life Easier

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez via Getty Images
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: A customer holds his new iPhone at Puerta del Sol Apple Store as Apple launches iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus on September 26, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Customers started to queue 20 hours prior to the opening of the store for the launch of Apple's new smartphones. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

We all lead hectic lives. Between work and home, finding time for business meetings and dinner with friends - let alone enough sleep - is a daily challenge.

Technology is here to help. With our smartphones virtually glued to one hand during waking hours, it stands to reason that we should use them in the smartest way possible.

We've come up with six apps that can make the daily grind a lot smoother, whether you need to book a plumber at the last minute or need to keep track of all your reservations for an upcoming work trip without the hassle of trawling through your inbox.

Let's start with the most important one - getting your schedule in order.

Sunrise (4.5 stars)

Keeping track of birthdays, appointments and meetings can be a nightmare. But Sunrise pulls all of your calendars - from Facebook events to personal Google diary alerts and Outlook schedules at the office - into one place. So if it’s your sister’s birthday, you’ve got coffee with the boss and dinner with the in-laws all crammed in on the same day, Sunrise will keep you on track. In addition to its hugely popular smartphone app, you can load an extension on your browser that will automatically sync across platforms - and send meeting requests straight from your iMessage keyboard. It will also remind you of upcoming appointments with push notifications and email alerts - so you can never tell your trainer that your 7am gym session just "slipped your mind". They’ve got Sunrise too. They’re onto you.

Your trainer knows what you're really up to.

EatNow (5 stars)

Remember that dinner with the in-laws? You skipped it. Good call. But now you’ll need to organise a feed at short notice so you don’t go hungry while watching The Voice. Punch in your postcode on EatNow and it’ll show you up to 100 restaurants and take-away joints near your place. Then you just need to make that impossible call between Thai and dumplings and your dinner of choice will be delivered to the front door - generally within 45 minutes. And it's not just pizza and burgers - in some areas you can ever order Brazilian, Russian and Ethiopian. Mmmmm. Your commute home never sounded so delicious.

OneFlare (3 stars)

It was your turn to hire a cleaner and fix the unexpected leak in the shower. You forgot. Oops. But don’t fret - this is where OneFlare can bail you out at short notice. Servicing five major Australian cities, OneFlare allows you to find anything service-based that you need - from gardeners to tax accountants - and registered businesses will quickly provide you competitive quotes. Pick one that works for you and book the job. Job done.

TripIt (4 stars)

Business trips and holidays can be a logistical hellscape - what with keeping track of all your flight numbers, hotel bookings and dinner plans. But TripIt makes life easy by building a personalised itinerary based on all your email confirmations - keeping everything in one spot. And the best part? It tracks second-to-second flight information so you’ll be the first one to know if your dawn trip to Sydney’s been delayed. Close the push notification and sneak in a few more zzz’s before heading for the airport. You’ve earned it.

FoodSwitch (4.5 stars)

The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is pick up the groceries - let alone read all the labels to know you're getting the right stuff. FoodSwitch takes all the brain power out of making healthy food decisions with a simple app that gives you everything you need to know on your screen. It works like this: Scan the barcode of an item on the shelf and FoodSwitch will tell you its nutritional informational - including a reference to an adult's recommended daily intake - a health star rating and a list of alternative products. And the handiest feature is the filters: You can activate 'SaltSwitch', 'FatSwitch', 'SugarSwitch', 'EnergySwitch' and 'GlutenSwitch' so that you can tailor your shopping list to your dietary requirements.


OK. So DapShare isn’t actually an app, but its desktop platform will restore peace and calm to your household when it comes to splitting bills. If you’re paying for cable and the cleaner and your housemate’s taking care of broadband and the rent, dapShare creates a simple log of your expenditure and allows you to make bank transfers directly. It’s also particularly useful for planning group holidays where several different people are picking up the tab for rent, groceries, beer and petrol - and it will generate as few transactions as possible so everyone gets paid. Its hidden secret? Relationship management. Remove the need for resentment and point-scoring with your partner by tracking dinners, bottles of wine and taxi rides - so you can spend less time arguing over whose turn it is to pay for pizza and more time snuggling on the couch watching Suits.