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Organize (almost) every aspect of your life with these seven apps

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | March 28, 2014
Generic calendar apps are mostly useful for two things: Meetings--including appointments and conference calls--and birthday or holiday reminders. But have you ever tried to use a basic calendar app to create a workout plan or organize your travel itinerary?

JEFIT also offers other useful workout features, such as logging and tracking, lifting stats, and cardio tracking (in its $5 Pro version).

Travel: TripIt and TripCase

Good news: Planning travel today is cheaper than ever, thanks to the Internet. Bad news: Planning travel two decades ago was a lot easier, thanks to travel agents, who narrowed down your options and booked everything for you. Coordinating flights, hotels, and car rentals from separate booking sites is difficult enough — keeping track of all your reservations while you're in another country can be downright frustrating. Luckily, apps like TripIt and TripCase make planning Internet-booked travel a breeze.

TripIt (Free; Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry) and TripCase (Free; Android and iOS) are similar apps. Although TripIt is more popular, TripCase offers more functionality (such as free flight alerts) in its free version. Both apps work the same way: They take your various travel confirmation emails, process them, and translate them into one cohesive itinerary. When you book a flight, hotel, car, or even restaurant reservation, simply forward your confirmation email to a special email address, and TripIt and TripCase will take care of the rest. Both apps offer streamlined itineraries, so you have all your travel information in one place.

Taxes: TaxCaster

Tax season is upon us, and if you're not self-employed (like me), you're probably looking forward to a sweet tax refund. In fact, you may even be making plans to spend it. But before you start searching for all-inclusive vacation prices, you have to know how much you'll get back. To do this, you can always, well, file your taxes, but if you're looking for a quick, easy way to figure out your refund, TurboTax has you covered with its TaxCaster app (Free; Android and iOS).

TaxCaster is basically what it sounds like: An income tax refund forecaster. (Again, I must stress that it's not the same as doing your taxes, but it will help you figure out roughly how much you'll get back from the government, in case you're trying to plan bills, rent, or vacations around your refund.) The app asks a series of simple questions about you, your income, and your tax breaks, before spitting out an estimate of your refund.

Questions are relatively simple, and don't require digging into any real numbers (though you will want to know your income, taxes withheld, and any numbers related to tax breaks before you get started). Of course, if your taxes are complicated — for example, if you're self-employed or you own several businesses — TaxCaster won't be of much use, as there's nowhere to indicate self-employment.

 

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