Every February, Punxsatawney Phil forecasts whether spring is coming (this week's verdict: more winter). But for most of us, Groundhog Day is about the movie, with Bill Murray's weatherman suffering the same day over and over again -- 12,403 times by one super-fan's estimate -- because we can relate to the frustration of doing the same things day after day. We have yet to see an app that will free you from a time loop, but these six picks will relieve the tedium of repetitive tasks. And if you can't get "I Got You Babe" out of your head, displace that earworm with Unhearit.
GoTasks is a task manager for iPhone and iPad that enables you to add, edit, rearrange, and check off your most repetitive tasks -- online and offline. Manage tasks and sync them with Google apps for backup and use across devices.
Plenty of apps help you calendar appointments, but Radar helps you manage tasks you do on a regular basis, such as talking to your brother once a week or cleaning your apartment every two weeks. Tasks are sorted by timeliness, and you can swipe aside completed items.
Tasker is an Android-only app that lets you set triggers for your most common tasks. Silence your phone at a certain hour each night, send automatic texts to loved ones on their birthdays, remote-start your car, and more.
Whether you copy-paste or Control-Z, everyone can benefit from time-saving keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard Shortcuts for iOS offers more than 100 flash cards to help you memorize popular shortcuts for Mac, PC, browsers, spreadsheets, and Gmail.
For Android users, Keyboard Shortcuts provides an expansive database of keyboard shortcuts, combos, hotkeys, mnemonics, and more for Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel, Firefox 9, World of Warcraft, and many other apps.
If you find texting and chatting on your Android phone too laborious because it takes too long to type your message, then Siine Shortcut Keyboard is a must-download. Siine works with most chat, social and email apps. It has fully customizable icons for super-fast shortcuts for common greetings, a clock and calendar to input times and dates in messages, stress messages for when you can't engage, and emoticons that you personalize.
Repetition can be a helpful learning mechanism. Before cramming for your next exam, set up a Cram.com account and create flash cards that you can access online and off- via the Flashcards app. It has two flipping modes: Card mode shuffles through an entire set of flash cards, while Memorize buries the ones you know so that can focus on the ones you don't know. Enable the bonus Cram option for highly effective spaced repetition.
Repetition isn't always boring. Some games, like Angry Birds, are prized because players lose themselves in repetitive actions. One of the earliest and still most popular is Tetris, a game where game pieces fall from the sky, and you must shift them to create an even field 10 blocks wide. The latest version for iOS and Android improves on the original experience with multiple stacking modes, a new multilevel mode, and an elite club with perks for power players.