6 Apps and Services for After College
December 18, 2019
Are you about to graduate and need some help getting your life together? These six apps help you digitally organize your life and give you the tools to help you succeed after college.
Most likely you’re already well-versed in the most popular social media tools and apps. What follows are some you may not have heard of.
Specifically, ones that speak to adults fresh out of college. These tools have reshaped the world, and that’s the world we’re living in.
May they serve you well.
One of adulthood’s biggest brain-drains is managing your money. It starts out not so bad. You get a job, you get paid, you spend the money. Cha-ching.
But soon after you have savings accounts, checking accounts, automated bills, credit cards, car insurance, life insurance, flood insurance, even insurance on your insurance.
This is where Mint comes in. Mint helps you manage all your finances. You can set up multiple accounts to keep track of your money, create budgets to manage what you spend and when, and set up alerts to let you know when your balances are becoming unbalanced.
Mint even tracks your spending, letting you know about trends over time. It offers advice and also has a separate section for investments.
It’s like having your own personal banker in your pocket.
Call to Park
As if finding a place to park in the city isn’t bad enough, you have to pay for it too.
It’s true, most parking lots have automated machines that accept credit cards, but sooner or later you’re going to find yourself parking in one that doesn’t. Those lots still expect you to have cold hard cash.
Or you could use this nifty app.
Call to Park locates your position, lets you choose the proper lot, enter your license plate, and saves your payment information. With half a dozen clicks, you’re good as gold. Parking paid, and you can get on with your day.
In college I wanted to be that up-to-date student who knew what was going on in the world. We had newspapers on campus, a local big city paper and the “New York Times". But the only news I read was the campus paper, which wasn’t exactly known for it’s journalistic brilliance.
When I got out of college, I got an iPhone and immediately downloaded a number of news apps. There were so many, I knew I’d never be out of touch again. After a while, it became a chore punching between the dozen or so apps I’d put on my phone.
And then I found Newsify.
Newsify is a news aggregator. You choose from a list of hundreds of various news websites and personal blogs, and all the stories from those sites are sent directly to Newsify. Every story is collected on a main page. You scroll the page and click on what you want to read.
One of the best ideas I ever had was deciding to track my reading. It doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re a voracious reader you probably know how difficult it is to remember everything you’ve read. An accurate record let me know what I’d read, and how much, and when.
Goodreads is all that and more. Not just a personal tool, Goodreads allows you to connect with others and make reading an interactive experience. It has been a linchpin in the book club I share with my mom, allowing us to communicate daily, track how much we’re reading, rate books, and store ideas for later.
While this is not an app, it may be one of the most important technology services for people just out of college. Imagine you apply for a job. Your employer Googles you. What do they find?
Or perhaps, mug shots of some arsonist with devil horns tattooed on their skull.
But that’s not you!
Doesn’t matter. Is that potential employer likely to keep searching … or just flip your resume into the trash?
Brand Yourself is an online service designed to help you ensure that the “real you" is the one who pops up during Internet searches. You submit profiles and links about yourself, Brand Yourself analyzes them, and works with you to make sure they rank higher. It also tracks those links and updates you about where you stand.
That way, when people search for you, they find you.
Not that arsonist.
I use this primarily for storing news stories I read across the Internet and various news apps, but it works equally well for storing receipts, ticket stubs, reservation numbers, and e-confirmations. Instead of bookmarking all of these and storing them on my laptop, I can have them right at hand.
Pocket allows you to easily organize what you want to store — breaking things out into various categories: articles, videos, images, or “Shared to Me." You can also tag various pieces and mark them as favorites. You can share them with others, and if you simply pile up too much, you can also utilize the search tool to easily find what you’re looking for.