12 comms people and their top five apps

Research showed that most people only use five apps regularly. So, we asked some members of our community to name five apps they most use.

by Dan Slee

We rely on mobile apps to a huge degree to get things done - but which are people's favourites?

The answers can be personal and give an insight into what makes people tick.

Recently, we read that on average people may have a phone full of apps but only tend to use five. So, which five do you use most?

We asked some people we admire to list what's on their phone and there's some gems on the list. 

Sarah Gill, digital communications manager at Newcross Healthcare Solutions:

"My preferred productivity app is Todoist. It’s offers project-specific task lists and it’s great for prioritising the day’s activities. Other apps I use for work are Dropbox and LinkedIn which has recently been updated and seems to be much improved.

My most used social media app is Hootsuite as it’s great for sorting different topics of interest. I also use WhatsApp for instant messaging. My favourite app for visual media at the moment is Pinterest.

Mark Templeton, senior communications oifficer Medway Council, said: Twitter, the new Apple News app, Instagram."

Tim Clark, senior press and publicity officer at Wolverhampton City Council:

"Weightwatchers: I’ve lost 5st and completely transformed my eating habits all by following Weightwatchers online plan. The app is always with me and has been essential for tracking everything that I eat and ensuring that I stick to the plan and make healthier food choices.

"BBC News: As a self-confessed news junkie, I couldn’t survive without my regular peeks throughout the day (and night if insomnia strikes) from what I consider to be the best news organisation in the world. The alerts are a nice feature too.

"Wunderlist: I’ve always been a ‘lists person’ and Wunderlist allows me to indulge my habit without surrounding myself with dog-eared scraps of paper. I love that it syncs across my PC at work, my iPhone, my iPad and my calendar – so there’s never an excuse to forget to get things done (whether it be work, shopping, tasking my team, things to pack for holiday etc).

"Amazon: Say no more. Spotify: I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD. Spotify has transformed my music listening habits and thanks to Bluetooth, I can stream things at home and in my car. Working hand in hand with another app - Shazam -  if I hear a song when out and about or on a TV programme/advert and I can find out what it is and add it to my playlist within seconds. Magic!

"It was hard enough to pick these five, so having to select a favourite feels impossible. If you were to force me, I would have to go for Weightwatchers purely because I use it constantly and it has had such a transformational effect on my life – enabling me to lose a hell of a lot of weight in a safe and sustainable way."

Andy Mabbett, freelance creator of content and communities and eminent wikipedian, said:

Expensify: Scan receipts, or enter details; log mileage, to generate spreadsheets, one per project. Cyclestreets: Satnav, for cyclists. Based on OpenStreetMap. Choose fast or quiet routes. Maps. Me- OpenStreetMap based maps; for offline use. Marine Traffic: At the seaside? Identify passing ships. See where they're from & headed. Wikipedia: Over 37 million articles (5 million+ English) about every subject imaginable. Use "nearby" to shows pins on a map for every geotagged article around your location."

Helen Reynolds, director of Social For The People, said:

"I like Timehop, not just for navel-gazing but often it reminds me of seasonal content and ideas I shared in years passed which are worth revisiting, re-sharing or prompt fresh perspectives. Also, I'd literally be lost without my Google Maps app. May I also take the opportunity to moan? My most used and loved app was Zite, but Flipboard bought and killed it and that makes me sad."

Dave Musson, senior online communications officer at Warwick University, said: 

"Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, BuzzfeedGuinea Pig noise generator."

Martin Deller, PR and media relations specialist, said: 

"Twitter, YouTubeBBC News, Spotify and myfitnesspal. Mix of work and lifestyle stuff."

Victoria Turner is PR co-ordinator at Bettys & Taylors:

"I’m a comms professional at Bettys but when I’m not writing about cake I’m writing my blog, The Harrogate Girl. Apps are my world, without them I couldn’t survive. Whether it’s scheduling social posts throughHootsuite and Facebook Pages Manager or getting geeky with Google Analytics it means I am constantly sharing content and capturing results without even having to switch on my laptop.  Other favourite Apps arePhotoshopDropboxBloglovin’ and of course Instagram."

Steph Gray is MD of Helpful Technology:

"Slack to check in with the team, Pocket to read stuff on busy trains I've saved earlier, Instagram for a bit of respite from words, Tumblr for a bit of escapism and Train Times and Bus Checker for London commuting spidey-sense."

Joe Hill, social media manager Get Into Teaching:

"Instagram, Netflix, Eurosport Player, Pocket and gReader. I dislike Hootsuite because it can't let you look at or edit (or delete!) your scheduled posts. Instagram is great, pretty much the gold standard for mobile social apps (probably because it isn't a port of a desktop service). LinkedIn is much improved, though a bit confusing still. gReader is clunky but useful. Eurosport player is nice, as it Netflix. Pocket too. Finally Fairphone have their Peace Of Mind app, which is good."

Eddie Coates-Madden, head of communications, Sheffield City Council:

"No particular order, but first National Rail – without it, my commute would be a terrible, ‘last-second’ mess, because of Northern Rail. Second Twitter – s’obvious, innit? Third Kindle – Mary Beard’s ‘SPQR’ currently, since you ask. Fourth Facebook (I’d almost stopped using it but find I go back more and more. Weirdly). And (joint) fifth BBC News, Apple’s Music app and (the only ‘paid-for’ in the five) The Guardian."

Jemima Monteith-Thomas, Digital Services Delivery Manager at Suffolk County Council:

"WhatsApp for chats, Facebook for nosiness, Rightmove for property porn, Pinterest for time wasting and Calm for when it all gets too much."

Clare Parker, Assistant Head of Research, Insight and Evaluation, Directorate of Defence Communications at UK Ministry of Defence: 

"Google Inbox, Flipboard (for good-looking randomness), Headspace, Cloudspotter and the brilliant Night Sky for star gazing."

Dan Slee is co-creator of comms2point0.

Picture credit.