Having a long commute is one thing, but taking that commute by public transportation is a whole other beast, and it has its fair share of perks. 1. You’re doing your thing for mama nature. 2. You don’t have to deal with all that frazzled bumper-to-bumper traffic and parking drama. 3. You just get to sit down, kick back and let those wheels go round and round.
And if you haven’t noticed by now, all that sitting is prime time to get stuff done. And that’s why we’re sharing our favorite apps for the transit commute. Some are perfect for productivity and others for preoccupation.
1. Pocket (Free): With so many great things to read online, we easily fall victim to browser-tab hoarding, but Pocket is the cure. Formerly called Read It Later, you can save articles (from your desktop and your phone) and skim them all in an easy-to-read format whenever you get around to it. You can even access the articles offline too so it’s perfect for subway commutes.
2. Google Keep (Free): This is everything we look for in a list-making/reminder app: Extremely simple interface, easy to use and automatically syncs to your phone and desktop.
3. IFTTT (Free): You’re about to become more productive without having to do much of anything. IFTTT puts the Internet to work for you by creating recipes with popular online services to perform automated functions like saving all of your Instagram photos to Dropbox or sending all of the receipts in your Gmail to a spreadsheet. It’s basically like a personal assistant that you don’t have to pay.
4. Flipboard (Free): Curate the news you care about into a magazine-like format so you can cut through the headlines and get right to what you want to read. It’s fun to flip through, beautiful to look at and best of all? You can sync it to your Pocket app and save articles to read later.
5. Mint (Free): Take the headache out of organizing your money and make it easy (and dare we say, fun) to categorize transactions, make and track goals and even get notifications as to when bills are due. You can even see your spending as a pie chart, and who doesn’t love a good pie chart?
6. This American Life ($3): Here, you get every episode of the award-winning story-based radio show that has ever aired. You can even download one episode at a time to listen to offline for subway rides without service. The episodes are about an hour long and leave you feeling inspired.
7. Dots (Free): Dots may not be the flashiest game out there (hey, Candy Crush) or the most difficult, but it’s perfect for a commute because it’s simple: You connect dots of the same color to make them disappear and get points. With beautifully designed, simple graphics, it’s the perfect solution to keeping your brain occupied even in the midst of exhaustion.
8. Jelly (Free): This is a search engine for asking and answering picture-based questions. For example, if someone sees a pair of shoes on Pinterest that they love but don’t know where to get them, they can post it on Jelly and get answers from someone in their social network. Magic!
9. TED Talks (Free): TED Talks run between 5-10 minutes, and they’re perfect little pick-me-ups of insight and inspiration to get your brain waves flowing. There’s even a tab called “Inspire Me!”
Transit commuters unite! Let us know what apps keep you busy on your commute in the comments below.