They say the best things in life are free, but try telling the gorg pair of boots you just splurged on that. This week I’m serving up a slew of free apps but a couple recent upgrades worth dropping some dough on a yearly subscription to really enjoy. Get ready to download some life improvers and a few apps that just might inspire you to make all-new 2015 resolutions.


1. Clyp: As a J School grad who ran her way through multiple recorders (oh, and as a child whose favorite toy growing up was a Talkboy, let the record state), Clyp seems like a shoulda coulda woulda that I’m at least psyched exists now. The app encourages you to quote, “record, discover and share the sounds in your life,” so while you may see its surface value in noting your notes to self, Clyp wants you to use it for more than that. Capture a jam session, a podcast pilot or a soundbite worth sharing then do so through the built-in community or on Facebook.

DL It: Free on Android and iOS


2. Blinkist: If the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was set in 2015, this is the reading app J. Pierrepont would have in his back pocket instead of that pamphlet. Like an Oyster for the Leaning In crew, this monthly online service offers up succinct but satisfying summaries of nonfiction books in the business, self-help, psychology + more fields that could transform your commute into a whole new learning experience.

DL It: The app is free to DL on Android and iOS, but a monthly membership rings in at $50/year


3. HeartThis: What if you could shop Pinterest — no, reeeeally shop Pinterest? This app brings that experience to your smartphone with the ability to build a board of dream duds that you can bring into your real-life closet in a couple taps. Follow brands and stores and sift through millions of their products to “Heart” your favorites and then get notified when they go on sale.

DL It: Free on iOS


4. Detour: We were pretty pumped about this app when it was in mega beta and now that it’s DL-able we’re basically jumping for joy — which we’re then channelling into carefully plotted out steps around the beautiful city we call Brit + Co Home. Detour takes you on one with hour+ audio walking adventures that you can embark on solo or synced up with friends. Narrated by local celebs and experts, the location-aware app guides you through neighborhoods and experiences, uncovering secrets and stories you didn’t know about the streets you walk down daily.

DL It: Free on iOS, coming soon on Android; only available right now in San Francisco, for $19.99/year


5. Reserve: We love OpenTable like the next diner but if your already-elevated palate needs an app to match it, this is the download best suited for you. Like a mobile dining concierge, you tell it where you want to dine and it does the dirty work of trying to squeeze you in. Oh, and no splitting the check five ways here, folks — Reserve charges your card on file and you’re good to go.

DL It: Free on Android and iOS

What was your favorite app download of the week? Tweet us about it!