There are plenty of fun and interesting apps that are practical for private investigators which I will list in a future article but for this article I wanted to share the apps that I use on a daily basis. These apps are the ones that I use every day in some capacity for work, entertainment, education, and managing my days. Are there much cooler or more interesting apps private investigators use? Yes there are. I just don’t use those apps as frequently as I use the ones listed below.
MileIQ is an app that tracks the miles that you drive each day. It also tracks the time it takes to get from one destination to another. Since it tracks all the traveling you do each day it gives you the option to categorize a drive as either work or personal. The work travel mileage is then converted into how much you can possibly write off for business expenses. No more having to write down my mileage for my business because this app takes care of it all. I pay $5.99 a month (which I can also write off according to my tax advisor) for the service. Check with your tax advisor to see if you can write off the app as well. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
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I have an android phone and there are only a handful of podcast apps worth using. Pocket Casts is an app I almost use every day. With Pocket Casts I can listen to and watch video podcasts. Many podcast apps don’t offer this capability.
You can stream the audio or video or you can download it to your device to consume content when you don’t have an internet connection. This app is $3.99. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
I just wrote about this app in a previous blog post. Basically this app can reverse search addresses, phone number and also search names and businesses. My favorite part of the app is that it tracks your incoming calls. Once you click on the number the app will tell you if the number was spam or not.
I use Gmail for all my business and personal emailing. I have several different emails that can all be accessed from Gmail itself as well as the Gmail app. Google in general connects to many of the services that you will read about. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
Google Calendar app
I never had a reason to use a calendar until I became a private investigator. It’s one of those jobs where you have to plan your schedule in advance. Google Calendar on the desktop connects to and syncs to the Google Calendar app. You can basically do everything on the app that you can do from the Google Calendar desktop program. You can also set up alerts for reminders for different appointments. I get these everyday to remind me of different appointments I have scheduled. Such a great app. I love it. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
Google Voice App
Sign up to get you own phone number that connects to your existing phone number. Once you get the phone number download the Google Voice app. The app allows you to send text messages, make calls with the Google Voice number and read transcribed voicemails. I use Google Voice for my business and this app is great for receiving phone calls on my business line. I highly recommend this app. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
Google Maps App
Map apps have come a long way since I first started using them and writing about them. Google Maps has become better over the years and has become my go to app when traveling with family and traveling to assignments.
The Google Maps app now provides travel time not just by how many miles is associated to your trip but by traffic conditions. Every now and then it will provide alternate routes of travel if there is a faster route available. The Google Maps app also shows a street view of the address you enter which can come in handy when you are close to your location. This app is a superior maps app that everyone should be using. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
The Audible app allows you to listen to books right from your phone or other device. I don’t have time to read books as much as I would like to, so when I want to learn about a topic or read a book from my favorite author I pick a book from audible and listen to it on my drives to work or listen to books while on surveillance. Listening to books allows me to stay focused on what I am doing.
If you are new to Audible and want a 30 day free trial and a credit towards one free book, go to http://www.audibletrial.com/PIA. I trust that you will like Audible as much as I do. Let me know what booked you picked out in the comment section.
I am currently listening to Delivering Happiness (written by the creator of the Zappos company). The last book I finished Onward (written by Howard Shultz, the Starbucks CEO) and I loved it. It talks about how Starbucks made it through tough times around the recent financial crash. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
I use the Amazon app frequently to not only make purchases but to track my purchases. Having access to the Amazon app allows me reference prices of products on Amazon when I compare prices from stores.
I make most of my private investigator purchases through Amazon and that is why I always refer my readers to it when making their purchases. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
The Zillow app is a great app for investigators on the go looking for property information on a home. I wrote about a tip for private investigators regarding a way to find property records quickly which can also be done on this app. I use this app for work and for personal use as I am always taking a look at the housing market. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
The Feedly app is an app that aggregates various online websites, podcasts, and Youtube videos for you so you can go to one location to see if anything new has been posted. I typically just follow technology, marketing, SEO and blogging sites. It really is a great app for scanning multiple sites quickly to see if you are interested in any of the articles. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
Amazon Kindle App
The Amazon Kindle app is an app that lets you access all you digital books and magazine you purchase from Amazon. Many times you can get a book for much cheaper by purchasing the digital version of the book (which is just as good as the physical book). Also there are many books that are only digital books and the Amazon Kindle App gives you access to those books. I personally have a kindle but can access all my books from my phone or different tablets through the app. I also have magazine subscriptions that allow me to have a digital copy as well (or sometimes only a digital copy) which can be accessed through the app. You don’t have to have an Amazon Kindle to have the Amazon Kindle App. But if you want a Kindle Fire tablet here is the link to the type that I use. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
I think they are on sale right now.
The Amazon Music app allows you to access Amazon’s collection of music. Much like iTunes you can purchase music from the app. But if you are a Amazon Prime Member you can access and stream music from their library for free. Admittedly I typically only use this app when I want to share an old song (70’s, 80’s, 90’s) with my family that I think they will like. My daughter takes advantage of this app all the time to stream music for free since we have a prime membership.
If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Prime Membership let me briefly tell you about it. Basically you get the music that I just spoke about, you get Amazon Prime Movies (basically like Netflix), you get free 2 days shipping on items that are listed as Prime items, free photo storage, and a ton more benefits. I have been a Prime user for many years. In fact Amazon is offering a free 30 day trial to see if you like it. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
Facebook/Facebook Pages app
I use Facebook to search for Facebook profiles for people I am looking for and people associated to the people I am looking for. I will use the time while I am on surveillance to do additional information digging on Facebook if I need it.
With Facebook pages I mostly respond to messages and comments sent to the PI Advice Facebook page. The Facebook Pages app is a way to monitor your company Facebook page as well receive/send messages from potential clients. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
The Udemy website is a site with numerous instructors teaching many different skills that people want to learn but might not want to spend a great deal of money to learn those skills. I have picked up several courses over the years that have interested me. One of the big reasons I have purchased courses through Udemy is because of the Udemy app. I can watch all of my courses through the app without having to sit in front of a computer. I spend a great deal of time of the app when I purchase a new course and then I take breaks from it. I am currently on a break but I want to make sure you knew about it because I think you would like it. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store.
The Fitbit App is something I use every day. To be even more specific I use it every few hours because I am constantly keeping track of how active I am each day and you should to, especially in the investigation industry.
The Fitbit app (you must have a Fitbit)tracks how many steps I take, floors I climb, miles walked, active minutes, calories burned, weight loss, how many hours of sleep I had and more.
One of the biggest motivators for me is I can have friendly competitions with others to see who can get the most amount of steps in a week, weekend or a day. I typically participate in challenges during the week.
Being an investigator is a very sedentary job most of the time (generally speaking). Either we are making phone calls, driving, sitting while interviewing someone, sitting while conducting surveillance or sitting while writing reports. There is a heck of a lot of sitting. The Fitbit app reminds me to get off my butt and take some time to be active. And it has really helped me recently as I lose weight this year and get healthier for myself, my wife and my kids.
By the way, if you get a Fitbit or if you have one I am considering having friendly workweek challenges with blog readers. If you are interested in this be sure to let me know in the contact page, in the comments or on Facebook. This app is in the iTunes app store as well as the Google Play store. Here is a link to the older type of Fitbit I use.
There are other apps that I use as a Private Investigator but I don’t use them consistently. I will share them in another article in the future.
Meanwhile what apps do you use every day? Share in the comment section so I can check them out.