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My Five Favourite Apps

black iphone 7 plus on brown wooden table

I am a bit app obsessed and I have over two hundred  apps on my phone to cover just about every area of my life. Whether it’s banking, checking the weather, listening to the radio, shopping  for vintage clothes, tracking my exercise or growing plants I have an app for it.  I have some apps that I will probably never use (but think I might), some apps that I use every day for social media, emails and the news and others that make my life easier, happier or simply more interesting. Here are five apps that I could live without but would really rather not.

To Do (free)

As a compulsive list maker, To Do, ticks all the boxes.  It creates lists, reminders and lets you share them with family and friends who also have the app.  I use it for shopping, holidays (remember those?), Christmas presents, books I want to buy and tasks I need to do. As you cross an item off it is sent to a ‘completed’ list and can be added again by a simple tick . It makes shopping, creating lists for Christmas and packing and for holidays a doddle.

Phonto (free but with a in app purchases available such as filter packs and text style kits)

This is a simple app for adding text to pictures.  There are heaps of fonts, colours and themes available  as well as caption bubbles. I use it for making memes for social media and adding names and details to photos.  It’s super easy to use and the results are pretty impressive.

Ted Talks (free)

Need inspiration? Entertaining? Or just want to improve your knowledge?  TED Talks are short powerful talks which last between two and twenty minutes. They cover just about every topic you can think of and new ones appear on the App every day.  My current recommendations are:

Lisa Mosconi: How menopause affects the brain | TED Talk

Paul Tasner: How I became an entrepreneur at 66 | TED Talk

Ashton Applewhite: Let’s end ageism | TED Talk

Amy Adkins: 3 tips to boost your confidence | TED Talk

Isabel Allende: How to live passionately—no matter your age | TED Talk

Spotify (free or £10.99 to go ad free)

Here you will find millions of songs of every genre from all over the world.  You can find absolutely anything.  I keep trying to catch it out but it must have every song ever recorded. You can make playlists (a must for my fitness classes), get personal recommendations and stream radio stations featuring hundreds of artists both established and up-and-coming. It also has thousands of podcasts about news, comedy, true crime, lifestyle and  health, celebrities, history…whatever floats your boat there is a podcast for it. The free version is brilliant in many ways but there are adverts and you can’t listen to an album or artist via the songs you like, they are played on a shuffle and it does seem to be the lesser known songs which come up.  I have the premium version and feel it’s well worth the money.

BBC Sounds (free)

This has audio books, dramas , podcasts, radio programmes and so much more. I think out of all my apps this is my favourite.  I’m a total Archers addict (but sadly I don’t know anyone else who listens to it), and as well as listening to the omnibus every week I’m always hooked on a serial or two.  I don’t use it much for music because I think Spotify has everything I need but if you don’t have Spotify or iTunes, Sounds lets you listen to Blues, Classical, Folk, Jazz, RnB and much more.  I have recently revisited Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre via audio books  as well as binge-listening to serials and podcasts. I have also been enthralled by documentaries about science, crime and history. There are so many serials and books I could recommend but the latest one that that had me totally engrossed is Blackwater a drama set in Northern Ireland about a bruised and bleeding woman who turns up in the Irish Border town of Blackwater claiming to have woken up in a forest with only a hazy memory of what has happened to her.  The last thing she remembers is being at party with her teenage friend but when she arrives at her house she finds it empty. Searching for answers she finds out that ten years have passed since that party and the person she claims to be was murdered and buried.  Is she who she claims to be and if she isn’t who is she?  Totally  gripping.

My other apps include meditation, breathing exercises, photo editing, video editing and I even have an app called ‘Trolleywise’ which where I can report abandoned supermarket trolleys to reunite them with their store!


person using black smartphone with gray and pink case
I love my apps, they make me so ‘appy.


Carole Ludlow

I was terrified of going through the menopause and whilst I glided through relatively unscathed, I didn't entirely escape its attempts to knock me down I firmly believe there is a positive side the menopause and to being an older woman in the 21st century. In my fifties I trained as a fitness instructor, which I did as a side hustle to my regular job of a college librarian. I also took up belly dancing and danced on stage in a city theatre and created my own fitness classes with hula hoops. Last year at the age of 61 I ditched the library job and now buy and sell vintage jewellery, run fitness classes and work part time from home in a customer services role. It ain't over till its over.

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