20 best iPhone apps to get you started

Here's a selection of some essential and not-so-essential apps that will help you get by in a world increasingly dependent on digital interaction. 

11. Tripit

Planning a vacation is stressful. Each step to get to and from that equatorial paradise or northern snow retreat requires juggling ticket receipts, flight confirmation numbers, and directions to the hotel. Have you looked up from your travel documents since you entered the airport? While you double-checked your boarding time, did you realize Terminal C veered to the left one walking escalator ago?

It’s not your fault. Well, it is. You could have prevented all the trouble with an app called Tripit.

Tripit syncs with your inbox and scrapes data off incoming travel confirmation e-mails. The app can tell if that car rental is for your summer vacation to Ireland and will combine it with your morning flight time to Dublin and your hotel check-in time later that afternoon in Cork. Already booked a dinner reservation at Fenns Quay?

And all this information is scraped from your inbox and displayed in chronological order on a single, easy to read list.

Certain travel vendors, like Avis car rental, can even import your itinerary data and use it to tailor their service for your schedule.

Each step of your trip is listed and interactive. With one click, Tripit displays all the information on your boarding pass. Lost in the airport? A terminal and gate number map is one click away.

Tripit can share this information with your calendar app as well to allow for better planning weeks before t-day (travel day).

Tripit’s only downside is the data-scraping algorithm can be fussy. Certain e-mail formats, like the format you’ll receive if a friend e-mails their trip to you through Priceline.com, aren’t entirely readable.

But Tripit allows users to manually add travel info in the rare event that the program leaves information out. 

For the price of free, Tripit gives its users a way to make travel enjoyable. 

11 of 20

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.