October 2014: Big data isn’t just for big companies anymore. You can use the same concept to capture, store and analyze your own information – and put it to good use answering questions that we’ve pondered through the ages … like where’s my kid? Where did my time go? Will tonight be good for romance?
Stop wondering. Start tracking! These eight popular apps not only help you stay on top of things, they help you make better decisions too.
Q: Where’s my kid?
A: Phone Tracker for iOS and GPS Phone Tracker Lite for Android
Like LoJack for smartphones, GPS tracker apps locate a smartphone’s movements on a map. The app operates in the background so it doesn’t have to be on and each location pin that’s dropped includes the date and time. Want to track employees? App upgrades track up to 100 phones with accuracy within 20 feet. Want to track a spouse? Yikes, but it’ll work for that. Want to track something other than a smartphone? Take a look at Tile for iOS ($20).
Q: How much time did I spend on that?
A: Hours Keeper for Android and iOS.
Great for freelancers and people who work out in the field. This lets you clock in and clock out of different projects as you move through your day. It also creates timesheets, reports and invoices you can email directly from the app, and includes a calendar that shows where your time went all month. Exporting the data as CSV lets you add the data to your accounting software. And while this app is technically for business, it also works great for tracking activities like studying and volunteer hours. ATracker for iOS and Toggl for Android are other good time-tracking options.
Q: Should I or shouldn’t I?
A: Period Calendar/Tracker for Android and Monthly Cycles for iOS
These extremely popular apps make planning your month and figuring out what’s up with your body super easy and convenient for women and the men who love them. They track your period and all kinds of other things like symptoms, moods, test results and temperature — data that’s helpful for you and your healthcare providers. Both apps also include an ovulation predictor. Almost a million people have given Period Calendar a five-star rating.
Q: How’s my blood sugar?
A: Glucose Buddy on iOS and Android
Keeping track of your glucose numbers, carbohydrates and insulin dosages isn’t always easy but it is always important when you’re managing diabetes. So is testing your blood sugar. This app records this data and more and reminds you to test yourself. It also syncs with your free online account at www.glucosebuddy.com so you can share it with your doctor, and creates colorful graphs so your data is easier to interpret at a glance.
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