Love it or hate it, technology has changed the way the world works: how we communicate, learn, play, and of course- how we do business. Digital is the #DarbyWay. These days it is rare for anyone on the Darby team to leave their smartphone at home- they're just so darn useful! We carry them to stay in touch, check email, take photos or to navigate directions, but also to monitor, track, research, plan and so much more. More and more, smartphone apps are becoming experiential tools for adventure and discovery, not only indoors but outdoors as well. Check out the simple, FREE apps our team uses to stay connected and enhance the our daily out-of-office experience.
Isaac. I’m pretty old-fashioned and still use actual maps while outdoors, but there is one primary app I use while on the trails called Strava. It’s advertised as a social network for athletes, but I use it’s GPS components primarily for tracking distance, speed and elevation change while biking. It has some cool functionality of allowing it to compare performance to others and can upload images, notes, trail info, etc. Honorable mention: Streetview on GoogleMaps is still super helpful for orienting myself around a new trailhead or somewhere else that I've never been before.
Coral: I enjoy the Fitbit app because it syncs with my Fitbit Surge and gives me real-time updates on my mobility progress. Because I have a desk job it’s really important to me to try and get in at least 10k steps a day. If I can hit this goal, 5, maybe 6 days a week I am winning. Often times I will add in a 5 min round with Daily Ab Workout and I’ve covered my mid and lower half 😊. This is a great app for using when on the road with no access to a fav Y fitness class. Honorable mention: Chimani National Parks. As a huge fan of public lands, I consider this app my tiny guidebook to all 59 of our country’s national parks. Each one is free, and doesn’t require WiFi or data to use, and even provides notifications on park news.
Erin: I am embarrassed to admit that I am one of those people who is always looking at their phone when I am out in nature. But I have an excuse- My husband and I are geocaching nerds (and soon to be "letterboxers") so the Geocaching app helps direct us to the next cache. Honorable mention: For a more rugged adventure I enjoy using AllTrails. It's like Yelp for the outdoors. You can search hiking, running or biking trails wherever you are and read honest reviews from people about their experience. You won't necessarily find the awesome "secret spots", but it's still a great starting point for exploring your location- and new trails are always being added.
Megan: The NPR app is the one I click on most frequently. In the morning I listen to our local Asheville radio station and as the day progresses, I’ll tune to Montana Public Radio to hear how it’s going in my home state. From my NPR app I also listen to music stations around the country like KEXP in Seattle and Jazz WWNO in New Orleans. Honorable mention: Pinochle is my all-time favorite card game. I really only get to play with my family over the holidays so during the off-season, I sharpen my pinochle skills, usually at the airport or in a waiting room, with this handy app.
Suz: The Merlin Bird ID app appeals to the wannabe ornithologist in me– it makes it super easy to identify a bird using a citizen-science database from the Cornell Lab. You just plug in the date and location where you saw the bird, then it walks you through a few questions to narrow down the list of likely suspects, complete with photographs and calls. You can also just browse through the collection and listen to the sounds – very entertaining for my 2-year-old! Honorable mention: I travel a bit for work, so I use the National Science Foundation-funded app called Flyover Country to learn about the world below the path of my flight. Offline geologic maps and interactive points of interest reveal the locations of fossils and georeferenced Wikipedia articles visible from your airplane window seat, vehicle, or hiking trail vista.
Angie: The AccuWeather app is my go-to, because in the Southeast it’s inevitable that your camping trip is going to get rained on! I check it religiously when there’s a chance of rain, so I can assure my camping comrades that it isn’t going to last long and we’ll be able to roast marshmallows that night! Honorable mention: Speaking of weather and camping- there's nothing better than a clear night under the stars. With the SkyView app, the night sky is a mystery no more. Instead of trying to remember all of the constellations, point this app at the sky and it will tell you about each formation.
Carly: I love LeafSnap. I have a pretty big green thumb but since the world of botany is never-ending I like to try and improve plant-ID skills with this app. It drives my fiancee crazy because I always pause on our hikes to test my knowledge of native wildflower and tree ID with just a quick iphone photo and Leafsnap's extensive database. Honorable mention: Venmo is a must for paying back coworkers (or collecting pending I.O.Us) for our weekly office lunches at Greenlife. Gimme my money!
Julie: Spotify on my headphones is my M.O. at work. Give me podcasts and the latest jams to get the creative juices flowing. I have a playlist for every mood, and I rely on their Daily Mixes to hit me with the latest music. Honorable mention: When I am not on the river or catching up on G.O.T, you can find me reading ALL of the books. Goodreads keeps track of my reading list, recommends books based on my interests, allows me to review completed reads, and see what people in my social network are reading too.
Do you have a favorite app to share with us? We want to know!