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Patch Picks: Five Apps for an Easy Holiday Season

Find out some of the must have smart phone apps to have handy for the rest of the month.

1. Clear, iOS, $1.99

With the holidays, calendars fill up with seasonal events and tasks. Maintaining a to-do list can be annoying if you have to carry a pen and paper with you. Luckily, there’s an app for that!

Clear is one of the best to-do list apps on the market today. It is designed for easy use with a touch phone. Swipe your finger, an item you marked completed will still show on the list. With another swipe, you can delete an item entirely. Adding an item is as easy as swiping down. Maintaining multiple to do lists is a breeze.

While the $1.99 price tag may seem steep for some, those that use and rely on a to-do list to stay organized will find that it is worth it for the best to-do list app on the market. 

2. RunKeeper, iOS and Android, Free

Another handy app to keep in mind this holiday season is RunKeeper. Whether you want to track your speed and route for next year’s Wharf to Wharf or maintain a solid fat-burning workout regimen leading up to Christmas, RunKeeper is the app for you.

Not only does RunKeeper support a variety of workouts like running, cycling, walking, snowboarding and swimming — to name a few, it also keeps a record of your workouts, which allows you to view your progress over time. RunKeeper also integrates with your music library. It provides you real time audio updates during your workout so you know how you are doing without checking the screen. RunKeeper integrates with Facebook so that you can share the results of your workout with all of your friends.

3. GasBuddy, iOS and Android, Free

It’s inevitable. At some point you’ll be stuck on the road during the holiday season. More time on the road means more money spent on gas. Luckily, there’s an app for that!

GasBuddy uses your current location to help you find the closest gas stations and lists the current price of gas to make the decision where to get gas from a no brainer. Now whether you’re in Capitola, Aptos or Santa Cruz you don't have to worry about giving all your money to the gas station owners. Happy driving and happy holidays!

4. Amazon, iOS and Androis, Free

This holiday season, you can treat yourself to a bit of extra holiday relaxation by skipping the lines at Capitola Mall by using your Amazon app. Avid Amazon users will find no trouble in switching from using the normal website to this mobile app. 

New users will find extremely helpful the variety of items available on Amazon along with product descriptions, pictures and reviews. In addition, Amazon Prime members will have eligible products delivered in two days. Practically every product known to man, no lines AND shipping to your doorstep? Now that’s a Christmas miracle!

5. Instead, iOS, Free

This holiday season give the gift of a microloan to one of many non-profit organizations by using Instead. Instead allows you to pick something to give up (a cup for coffee, for example) and provides you with a list of eligible organizations to donate to.

Can’t find an organization you want to donate to? Suggest they add it. Perhaps you’re going out of town and don’t have time to volunteer at St. Francis Soup Kitchen this Christmas. Instead is the perfect way to give a lot by giving up a little at a time, especially when few things are more rewarding than sharing with those less fortunate. Happy Holidays!

Got any app suggestions? Tell us in the comments!

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