We brought you our productivity app recommendations not once, but twice in 2013. (Hint: read here and here for a refresher).

So what’s new in 2014? Glad you asked. I will preface this with: I still wouldn’t be able to take on as much as I do without my Cozi, SwiftKey and GTask apps.

Drumroll please—here’s what apps will rock in 2014:

instagram1. By no means is Instagram new, but it is amazing when it comes to telling a story through pictures (I like to think Instagram brought life back to the meaning “a picture tells 1,000 words”). Go get it. It’s awesome. Case in point—search #Madison on Instagram and you’ll see the city like never before. It’s much more than food photos.

hotel tonight2. Are you making an impromptu weekend getaway? Or are you away on a last minute business trip? Hotel Tonight is your ticket to last minute, discounted lodging in the chicest of hotels. Hotel Tonight works with hotels that have empty rooms and posts availability on the app at discounted prices of up to 70%. Oh, and here’s a tip—check the app at noon every day. This is when the new (and best) deals are posted!

around me3. Whether you travel a lot for work or just want to try a new restaurant in your neighborhood, AroundMe is a must download. AroundMe uses your phone’s GPS system to find what’s closest to you. Whether you’re looking for a restaurant, gas station, a coffee, or even a place to park, this app will point you to the most convenient establishments. My favorite feature on this app is its Deals section where you will find places that are having Groupon deals in your area to help you save a buck or two.

cloze4. Cloze is the simple, yet genius idea we all wish we had thought of. Cloze integrates all of your social media accounts into one – Facebook, Twitter, Email, and even LinkedIn. Gone are the days of checking 4 different websites for messages and comments. Download Cloze and it’s all in one place. I particularly like Cloze because it organizes your contacts by who you speak with most, not who you spoke to last. This means your significant other, family members, and best friends are a single click away… not that mom from the PTA asking you to bake 2 dozen cookies for the class party.

What apps do you recommend to others?

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