Apps.

They make our lives easier…and they also waste a heckuva lot of time. I polled a group of gym owners to find out what apps they couldn’t live without. Of all of the hundreds of thousands of Apps now available on Apple, Android, Microsoft, and others, this seems like a pretty solid list of must-have apps for your smartphone.

Evernote – My favorite tool in the whole world. I’ve been using Evernote for probably 4 years and I will likely never stop.  For people with ADD (guilty!) or people who need a place to brain dump, welcome to Evernote. It’s like a junk drawer for your brain. You never have to remember anything again. For example, in my evernote app I have notes ranging from Christmas presents I think of throughout the year for friends/family, books I want to read, new business ideas, favorite quotes, songs to download, my dress shirt size (I always forget!), the key code to override my Harley’s alarm system, the best happy hours I’ve found in San Diego, my Skymiles number…and hundreds of other things I don’t want to use my memory for. Best…App…Ever…

Around Me – Though the Yelp App does a good job of finding things I’m looking for in my vicinity, Around me was the original App I used for this and I still use it a few times a week. If I want to find the nearest sushi spot or gas station or hospital or parking garage, this is the App I go to. It’s quick and it syncs seamlessly with Google Maps.

Dropbox – I can’t say enough good things about Dropbox. We use it every day in our businesses. Though I use it 90% of the time on my computer, the fact that I can have all of my information sync with my iPad and iPhone when I’m on the go is amazing. In a nutshell, dropbox is a folder that looks like any other folder on your computer, but it syncs in the clouds so that whatever you put in that folder syncs with your other devices. AND syncs with the computer or smartphone or tablet of specific staff members. I have certain subfolders in my dropbox folder that are shared with my assistant, others that are shared with business coaches, others shared with affiliates, and some shared with friends as an easy way to exchange pictures from events. (By the way, If you don’t already have Dropbox, get it at this link. http://db.tt/siTI23il  They’re doing a promotion where YOU get an extra 500mb of bonus space when using that link, and so do I !)

Google Voice – Too many people have my primary mobile number. So when I post an ad on Craigslist or I sign up for a new service, I use my Google Voice number. It is impossible for me to part with my Mizzou phone number, so I have a Google voice number that is local to San Diego that works exactly the same and I can answer on the same device. Not to mention when I travel, I can call back to the U.S. for less than 10 cents per minute from most countries using my Google Voice account.

Priority Matrix – I was pleasantly surprised by this app. Instead of simply listing what you have to do, this app can separate it by project. Not only that, the app separates your tasks into quadrants such as: Do NOW, Start planning, High distraction tasks, and Uncategorized. Or: Critical and Immediate, Critical but not immediate, Not critical but immediate, and Not critical and not immediate. Instead of one giant list, this further separates so you know what deserves your attention. Currently I’m using the built in “Reminders” App on the iPhone, but I might have to switch to this app once I get the hang of it.

Workout Muse – This App was developed by my buddy BJ Gaddour. Hundreds, and probably even thousands of fit pros use this App to build custom interval training workout mixes. This is PERFECT for your bootcamps.

Yelp – Though you may hate Yelp for causing Groupon to reject your Deal of the Day bid, it is still a really useful App for finding things in your city. And more importantly, read a few reviews before you make a mistake. I’m still hurting from that Mexican restaurant from this weekend. Should have checked with Yelp.

Facebook – Duh.

LastPass or 1Password – Instead of trying to remember all of your passwords to all of the websites you visit, these apps remember them for you and keep your information safe from would be hackers. I’ve had 1password on my computer for a couple years and I can’t live without it. I haven’t picked it up yet on my phone since most of the websites I log into I don’t visit on my phone but Frank Emanuel said he can’t live without it.

MassText – Instead of having to select your boot campers record in your phone one by one or contact a certain group of friends, etc, add them all to a group in this simple app and text them all at the same time. I know the iPhone has the ability to program contacts into a particular group, but it’s tedious and this app simplifies it.

Kindle – I got tired of transporting a dozen boxes of books every time I move, so a couple years ago I consolidated almost all of my books onto Kindle. But I end up reading most books from my iPhone or my iPad instead of the Kindle device. The app keeps all devices synced to the last spot you stopped reading, regardless of device.

My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter – Cal Shoemake let me know about this one. It is mind boggling how many foods they have listed in this calorie tracking app. Mung beans…check. McRib…check. Monster Low Cal Energy Drink…check. (What the heck is a Mung bean?) If you’re looking for a solid app for your clients to track what they eat when they’re away from you, this looks like a good one.

Postcard on the Run – What a fun little app! Pat Rigsby showed me this one. You can take a pic while you’re on vacation, type in an address you want to send it to and a message you want to add for the recipient, and for less than two dollars, the makers of this app will take that photo, turn it into a postcard, and will send it to your specified recipient with the message on it. Very very cool.

Astrid – I’m always testing different productivity apps (there are hundreds), but Shane Mouton shared this one with me and it’s already among my favorites. I haven’t been able to test all of the features, but it appears this app goes well beyond your basic to-do list apps.

Qrafter – Craig Galloway and I agree on this one. This is the easiest and most intuitive QR Code reader in the App Market. I still prefer to create my QR Codes at the website www.youscan.me, but Qrafter can create simple ones for you on the fly as well.

GPS Drive – I’ve tried three GPS apps and this one has been the best. It’s only $10 for the year and it works better and more consistently than my Garmin. And it’s always in my pocket which gives it a clear advantage as well. If I ride the motorcycle and happen to get lost, I can pull over and within a minute will know how to get to my destination.

And some fun Apps (aka…time suckers) 

Some of my favorite games include Scrabble and Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Fling, Fragger, Cover Orange, Euchre, Draw Some, and Word Warp.

Pandora – The best music app. Period.

Fat Booth, Bald Booth, and Aging Booth – Seriously…download these and you’ll be the life of the party. Many tears have been shed from laughing so hard at seeing my mother fat and bald.

Cell Tracker – This App is great. You tell someone you downloaded an app that can locate exactly where anyone is based on only their phone number. They don’t believe you so you prove it to them. You type in their phone number and the “satellite” goes to work identifying their location. The look on their face is priceless when the app shows them exactly where they are. It takes some people just a minute to realize that it’s actually YOUR phone that it has found. Some people never catch on. A great app to show your kids so they don’t think of sneaking off to do something they shouldn’t be doing.

ESPN – I knew that when I cancelled the cable service a while back that I would miss ESPN. The ESPN news app helps me stay on top of the most important stories. That way I don’t get surprised when my friends tell me Peyton Manning is a Bronco or that Tiger Woods choked again.

SIRI – I saved the best for last. SIRI is quite literally my new best friend. In fact I have her programmed to call me “Super Awesome Handsome Man”. I can get her to do anything for me. It was totally worth the upgrade from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4s. Eat your hearts out Android users.

Do you have some favorite Apps that I left out.  Please let everyone know below!  

    19 replies to "The Best Mobile Apps for Gym Owners"

    • Don’t forget Sitewise. Fantastic info for understanding the demographics of the area around your club(s).

    • I find myself using the WordPress app to start blog ideas. Helps with my workflow, if I have a blog idea, I start a draft and when I sit down at my computer the draft is ready to go.

      Mint to keep a watch on my $$.

      Square if I need to charge a credit card and I’m away from my POS system.

      Seconds Pro for the ipad is am awesome timer app, I use it for productivity and during bootcamps!

      Paper for the ipad is an amazing drawing app that you can take notes sketch up ideas, drawings, etc…

    • Want to know fitness marketing

    • I like the Square app. You download it and send off for a free attachment for your phone, then it allows you to swipe credit cards on your phone.

    • Jackie

      Seconds Pro is great. Thanks for the other suggestions-I’ll be checking them out

    • Mobile boxing coach – great for giving structured boxing workouts to your clients- Boxing is becoming a more and more popular way for the mainstream to workout and using this app you simply follow the round by round drills to train your client like a pro. Best of all for the beginner workout and the first week of the 6week program its free

    • Great post – ill be checking ou a few of these!

      One cool app that I’m excited about since I just recently found it is: Pic Stitch

      It allows you to make different types of photo collages. For us in the industry, it’s very useful to make a before-and-after picture from our clients results!

    • Great stuff, just used Evernote to clip this page!

    • I like all these and swear by Priority Matrix. It makes me think about what is rally important and sort, even if it’s just at the end of the day.

      Nice Job Curtis, I mean “Super Awesome Handsome Man”

    • Hey, thanks so much for mentioning Priority Matrix! I’m a cofounder at appfluence and a product developer of PM. I’d love to learn how PM could help gym owners, and if we’re able to help in anyway (like providing free apps in a contest, etc), please let me know.

    • Aaron Stewart

      Wow Curtis. Mr. Bigstuff. The app developer contacted you on YOUR blog. That’s pretty cool man. Is it your dad? lol

      My favorite App is Calengoo. It syncs up perfectly with my google calendar and is so much better than the default iphone calendar app. I too use the new Reminder app a lot. I can put a task into my list. Tell it to remind me to do the task when I get to a destination.

      For example I can set a task for “Remind Stacy to write a check for the cable bill today” Then I can have my phone remind me to do it when I arrive at the gym. It’s amazing how it works, but I pull up to the gym and my alarm goes off reminding me to tell Stacy about the electric bill. Apple is ubersmart!

      Good blog post today.

    • Super Fitness

      Instapaper hands down is my favorite app. I’m actually surprised you didn’t mention it!

    • Great Post Curtis. Many of these are new to me and I can’t wait to try them. I haven’t used “My Fitness Pal Calorie Counter” and it sounds great. I’ve been using “LOSE IT” with my clients. Two great features are that you can add friends and see each others daily food logs. It also takes advantage of the iPhones camera and works like a scanner on food package labels. This is a great time saver.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Curtis,
      Just a simple sincere thank you for the info, inspiration and for your ability to recognize the struggles and rewards ! Good job, E.Myers

    • Evernote is magic. Dropbox is magic as well. We couldn’t live without them.

      A time wasting app is Visible Body for iPhone. If you are a fitness pro wasting time, this one is interesting. Peel human anatomy apart in 3D.

    • Lauren

      Thanks for the great app info!

      I’m looking for an app which I can use as a group training sign in. Does anyone use an app for this?

      Thanks!

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