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15 essential apps for women

The best apps for women
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

What are the best apps for women to have on their smartphones? Honestly, the list is pretty much the same as the one we’d recommend for all people, regardless of gender. But since March is Women’s History Month, we wanted to highlight apps that women today might find particularly helpful in managing their busy lives. 

The most essential mobile apps for women run the gamut — from organizing schedules and finances, tracking health and wellness data, to providing physical and digital security and offering respite and relaxation. 

Here are 15 apps that we recommend for any woman (or person) download to their phone.

Mint

Mint mobile app

(Image credit: Mint)

Available on iOS and Android
Let’s all continue to shake our fists at the fact that schools don’t teach kids personal finance. In the meantime, Mint is one of the best budgeting apps for tracking all your spending. See how much you’re dropping on groceries or gas or streaming services every month. If you’re a freelancer, the ability to categorize your purchases is essential come tax time. And you can set financial goals, like saving up for a trip to Greece or a down payment on a condo.

Todoist

Todoist

(Image credit: Doist)

Available on iOS and Android
Todoist has been around for years and continues to add features to its basic “to do list” functionality. Last year, the app added boards (mimicking Trello) as a new way to organize and visualize projects. Now, it’s easy to not only keep track of what you’re doing today and tomorrow, but to form wishlists and idea logs — think boards for meal planning, holiday gifts or bucket list trips.

LastPass

The Google Play app store page for the LastPass password manager on the screen of an Android phone.

(Image credit: Sharaf Maksumov/Shutterstock)

Available on iOS and Android
A password manager is a must-have app for pretty much everyone. Likely, you have a boatload of passwords to online banking accounts, digital retailers, subscription services, etc. that all hold sensitive and private data. LastPass offers a free tier (though with some limitations) and works across all major platforms and services. It’s extremely secure, which is why it tops our list of the best password managers.

Buffer

Buffer

(Image credit: Buffer)

Available on iOS and Android
These days, social media is so much more than posting a new selfie to the ‘Gram. Most people have multiple accounts to their name (Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin) and Buffer makes it easy to manage all their postings. Buffer offers several pricing options, starting with a free tier for an individual user with three social channels. Influencers aren’t the only ones who should take control over their online presences.

Diaro

Diaro

(Image credit: Diaro)

Available on iOS and Android
No longer is your diary confined to one notebook (or even app). Diaro syncs across platforms, so you can access your journal from your phone, tablet or computer whenever the inspiration strikes. The next best thing about Diaro is the ability to attach images to entries. The app also features a powerful search function, which allows you to find notes by keyword, date, tags or location. 

Pocket

Pocket

(Image credit: Pocket)

Available on iOS and Android
Are you one of those people who has dozens of browser windows and tabs open with articles you totally mean to read later? Yeah, same. With Pocket, it’s easy to transport all those articles (and videos) wherever you go. Just save the page to the app and catch up on the train, waiting in line, before you go to bed or with your morning coffee. Your overloaded browser will thank you.

Splitwise

Splitwise

(Image credit: Splitwise)

Available on iOS and Android
Goodbye, protracted post-dinner discussions about who owes what. Farewell, confusion over how to divvy up household bills. Hello, Splitwise. The app does what its name implies: Splits bills incurred by a group of people. That could be a dinner or a trip, or ongoing expenses (like roommates splitting rent and utilities). While it doesn’t facilitate the actual payments — you’ll need Venmo, PayPal, etc. for that — Splitwise does alleviate the need for awkward IOU conversations.

Nike Training Club

Nike Training Club NTC app

(Image credit: Nike)

Available on iOS and Android
Like its sister app, the Nike Run Club, Training Club is completely free — a budget alternative to the likes of Peloton and other paid workout apps. NTC houses more than 185 on-demand workouts led by Nike’s Master Trainers and famous athletes, including Serena Williams. Workouts span everything from cardio, HIIT, strength training and yoga. Sort through beginner to advanced sessions that range from 15-90 minutes. You can also specify what equipment you have, though plenty of options require none.

Bumble

bumble dating apps

(Image credit: Bumble)

Available on iOS and Android
Of the plethora of dating apps out there, Bumble stands out because it gives women the upper hand. Just like Tinder, you can swipe right on people you are interested in. But after that, it’s up to the woman to initiate the conversation (for same-sex matches, either person can send the first message). And Bumble isn’t just for dating, either. Make friends via Bumble BFF or do some professional networking on Bumble Bizz. 

SleepScore

SleepScore

(Image credit: SleepScore Labs)

Available on iOS and Android
Good health starts with a good night’s sleep and a sleep tracking app can help you get some quality Zzzzs. SleepScore doesn’t require any wearables; instead, it uses your phone’s microphone and speakers to record your sleep movements. Set a sleep goal and the app provides tips on how to reach it. The app’s free version records sleep data for seven days, while the premium tier tracks it for the long term.

Headspace

Headspace

(Image credit: Headspace)

Available on iOS and Android
Meditation is all the rage right now (which is a bit weird to say), particularly for dealing with pandemic-induced anxiety. Headspace does cost money ($13 per month or $70 per year) but it’s worth it for access to a deep library of guided meditation courses and one-off segments focusing on specific situations like stress or anger. The options range in length, from three to 10-minute segments. The app boasts a beautiful, color-coordinated design that makes it easy to navigate.

Noonlight

Noonlight

(Image credit: Noonlight)

Available on iOS and Android
Many women come across situations where they don’t feel safe, such as walking home alone in the dark. Unfortunately, we’ve all read too many tragic headlines where the danger proved all too real. Noonlight seeks to provide a little peace of mind by giving users the ability to call for help. Open the app and press down the button until you’re safe. If you let go, it prompts you to enter a code — and if a code isn’t entered, emergency services are summoned to the phone’s GPS location. 

Clue

clue - period tracker iphone apps ios

(Image credit: Clue)

Available on iOS and Android
If you get a period, you may find yourself surprised by its arrival every month (no matter your age). Clue is recommended by many OB-GYNs to track your period and ovulation cycle. That’s not all: the app also tracks other data about cramps, skin, hair and sleep. The sophisticated software analyzes those patterns to give you insight into your body. And hopefully, that means fewer surprises down the road. 

Seek by iNaturalist

Seek by iNaturalist

(Image credit: iNaturalist)

Available on iOS and Android
Going on more outdoor walks lately? Then Seek by iNaturalist is the perfect companion. The nature app can identify any plants, insects, birds or animals you encounter. Just take a photo, upload it and check out the suggested results. iNaturalist is more than just a database, though; it’s a quasi-social network powered by a community of nature lovers around the world.

Chess

Chess

(Image credit: Chess.com)

Available on iOS and Android
The popular Netflix show Queen’s Gambit made playing chess look cool and thrilling, and a surge of interest in the game followed. Chess.com’s app is the king, great for beginners and more experienced players alike. Play unlimited free games against bots or 40 million users around the world, take lessons from a master and hone tactics with puzzles. You can even enter tournaments and see if you can blitz your way to the top like Beth Harmon.

Kelly Woo

Kelly covers streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.