Jun 10, 2019

13 apps to organize your campaign life

Lee Pedinoff

Campaign season is here.

If you plan to join a campaign — or already work for one — take a few moments this summer to set yourself up for a sustainable cycle.

We love these 13 mobile apps because they help us feel organized, secure, and well-rested. Of course, we haven’t been paid to promote any of these tools.

Up your security

1. Lock down your passwords with 1Password

You know that online security is important. And you know that you need strong, unique passwords that you change regularly.

Easier said than done. Thankfully, 1Password makes it easier.

1Password remembers your passwords so you don’t have to. It also helps you log in to sites with a single tap (or click), and helps you come up with new passwords.

With 1Password, you only ever need to memorize one password (hence the name). All your other passwords and important information are protected by your master password, which only you know. 1Password also supports one-time passwords used by many two-factor authentication systems.

Best feature: Auto account login and form filling

Cost: Free for 30 days, then $2.99 per month

Available on: iOS, macOS, Windows, Android, Chrome OS. Download on the App Store

2. Speed up your data traffic with 1.1.1.1 from CloudFlare

Every campaign staffer must take steps to protect their personal data privacy.

Your internet service provider can see every site and every app you use. Sometimes this is your cell phone carrier, and sometimes this is your cable / WiFi provider. Either way, they can see everything, they can sell this data to third parties, and they can use it to target you with ads.

1.1.1.1 prevents this. It encrypts more of the traffic leaving your device, preventing your ISP from snooping on you.

1.1.1.1 also makes your phone feel speedier. Unlike your ISP, they don’t harvest your data - which means your connection gets faster. Your connection between your phone and the internet is optimized for security and speed, not data collection.

Best feature: Faster internet speeds

Cost: Free

Available on: iOS, Android. Download on the App Store

3. Block ads with 1Blocker

Have you been targeted with an ad for shoes on Instagram after you recently bought a pair? Us too. It’s creepy.

Install 1Blocker, and these types of ads won’t follow you around as much. Like 1.1.1.1, 1Blocker protects your data and speeds up your internet experience.

1Blocker can hide ads and prevent trackers from running in your browser. It also gives you an easy way to turn the blocking off when you want to support sites you know are secure.

Best feature: Hiding ads and blocking trackers

Cost: $4.99

Available on: iOS, macOS. Download on the App Store.

Be more organized

4. Take control of your calendar with Fantastical

In a few months, it will be tough to find any blank space on your calendar. Fantastical will help you take control of your time.

Our favorite feature is the ability to add events and reminders using natural language. Type “Call Senator Warren tomorrow at 9am ET,” and the app will interpret the details. Fantastical recognizes holidays, days of the week, the location of your event, repeating events, and more.

We’ve tried lots of calendar apps, and Fantastical is our clear favorite. It’s the easiest to use for creating new events, viewing your agenda, calculating travel time, and scheduling events across multiple calendars and time zones. It connects with your existing calendars on Google, iCloud, Office 365, Exchange, and more.

Best feature: Natural language parsing

Cost: $4.99

Available on: iOS, macOS. Download on the App Store.

5. Manage your to-do list with Things

Looking for a better way to tackle your endless campaign to-do list? Try Things, a beautifully-designed task manager and to-do list.

The app helps you focus on what matters by surfacing what’s most important. The “Today” view automatically pulls tasks from any list you’ve created, showing only items due today. The “Upcoming” list organizes your scheduled to-dos, calendar events, repeating tasks, and deadlines into a daily agenda. And the “Anytime” view shows you the top tasks across all your lists.

Things does not have built-in team collaboration tools. Instead, it’s designed to be used by you to manage your projects and tasks and improve your personal productivity.

Best feature: Beautiful, thoughtful interface

Cost: $9.99 for iPhone

Available on: iOS, macOS. Download on the App Store.

6. Track packages with Deliveries

Stocking up your field offices? Need to know exactly when your next shipment of yard signs will be delivered?

Deliveries helps you keep track of all your packages, so you always know when they’re going to arrive. It supports dozens of shipping services, including UPS, FedEx, USPS, Amazon, Apple, and more.

Tap to view your full tracking details and see your package’s location on a map. You can share your shipment via email, iMessage, or AirDrop. Deliveries can also add estimated delivery dates to your calendar.

Best feature: Delivery notifications

Cost: $4.99

Available on: iOS, macOS. Download on the App Store.

7. Prepare for the weather with Dark Sky

Wondering if it’s about to start raining, and you should move your campaign rally indoors?

Dark Sky is our favorite weather app. It’s the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather information. It can even send you a notification when it’s about to start raining. With down-to-the-minute forecasts, you’ll know exactly when the rain will start or stop, right where you're standing.

Best feature: It’s-about-to-rain notifications

Cost: $3.99

Available on: iOS, Android. Download on the App Store.

8. Plan your trip with ETA

Need to know how long it will take to get back to your campaign office? ETA can help you arrive on time.

ETA tracks the time it takes to travel to your frequently-visited destinations. It quickly shows you how long the trip will take, your arrival time, and the traffic situation.

Need directions? Tap the travel icon and your favorite maps app will launch with the route ready to go. You can also share your ETA with friends and co-workers.

Best feature: Quickly calculating travel and arrival time

Cost: $2.99

Available on: iOS. Download on the App Store.

9. Scan receipts with Scanbot

Need to scan a receipt to submit a reimbursement request? Or make a pdf of a paper document?

Scanbot makes it easy to capture good-looking scans with your phone. It automatically straightens your scan, and crops everything except your document.

The app can then automatically upload to a cloud service of your choice, like a shared Dropbox or Google Drive folder.

If you upgrade to the pro version, you get optical character recognition (OCR), which automatically converts your scan to text you can copy and paste. We found this feature works better in Scanbot than other similar apps.

And unlike some other apps, Scanbot doesn’t send any of your data to its own servers or perform OCR in the cloud, so it presents a minimal security risk.

Best feature: Open the app, and it’s ready to scan

Cost: Free, or $7 for Scanbot Pro with OCR

Available on: iOS, Android. Download on the App Store.

10. Save stories to read later with Instapaper

A campaign co-worker sends you a message with a link to a news story. You want to read it, but don’t have time in the moment.

Enter Instapaper. Send a link to Instapaper, and it saves a copy for you to read later.

Instapaper syncs the articles and videos you save so that they’re waiting for you on all your devices. You can read anything you save, anywhere and anytime you want, even offline.

Best feature: Elegant, distraction-free reading

Cost: Free

Available on: iOS, Android, Web. Download on the App Store.

Balance work and life

11. Build habits with Streaks

Struggling to drink enough water or exercise regularly on the campaign trail?

Streaks can help you build healthy habits. Create a task for each habit you want to build. Think reading, meditating, exercising, avoiding social media, eating more greens — or anything you’d like.

Every time you complete a task, your streak is extended. Don’t break the chain, or your streak will reset to zero days. You work on it, and eventually, it becomes a habit.

Streaks becomes more powerful when you connect it to the iOS Health app. You can automatically track your sleep, steps, heart rate, blood pressure, and more.

Best feature: Simple, easy-to-use interface

Cost: $4.99

Available on: iOS. Download on the App Store.

12. Listen to podcasts with Overcast

Lots of time in the car while traveling between campaign events? Try listening to podcasts on Overcast. We like it more than Apple’s built-in Podcasts app for discovering and listening to our favorite shows.

Overcast’s smart speed feature helps you pick up extra speed by shortening silences in talk shows. Conversations still sound natural, and you’ll forget it’s on — until you see how much time you saved.

It also has a voice boost feature to normalize volume so every show is loud and clear, and at the same volume. You can listen in more places and still hear what everyone says.

Overcast recently launched a great new feature for sharing episode clips with friends and on social media.

Best feature: Tie between smart speed and voice boost

Cost: Free

Available on: iOS, Web. Download on the App Store.

13. Track your sleep with Sleep Cycle

It’s easy to de-prioritize sleep during a campaign. Sleep Cycle will help you make sure you get enough by tracking it and offering tips on how to improve.

The app measures your sleep with your phone’s microphone and accelerometer.

If you want, it can wake you up at the ideal time when your body isn’t in deep sleep. You set a range of when you want to wake up, and your alarm will go off when you’re in the lightest stage of sleep.

Best feature: Rich sleep data helps you identify trends

Cost: Free, or $2.50 per month for Sleep Cycle Premium

Available on: iOS, Android. Download on the App Store.

Wear an Apple Watch? Check out AutoSleep for richer data and analysis powered by your watch. Download here.

Bonus: How to curb your phone addiction

On a campaign, your phone is one of your most critical tools.

But no matter how much we love apps for improving our personal and professional performance, phones are distraction machines. It’s easy to spend too much time on your phone.

Want to be more efficient and spend less time on your phone? Here are some ideas to try:

  1. Declare notification bankruptcy. Turn them all off. Then, one at a time, turn on the ones you need.
  2. Limit your Instagram time (or any app you spend too much time in) with an app limit in iOS’ Screen Time.
  3. Turn on do not disturb to minimize distractions when you need to focus. Add VIPs (like your candidate) to your favorites so you can be reached if necessary.
  4. Schedule do not disturb to turn on automatically at night.
  5. Delete apps you don’t use. If you change your mind, you can re-download them later.

Caveat: some of these apps are iOS-only. Sorry, Android users. Check out these guides for other ideas.

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