tech-section

Category : Apps

How to Use a Subscription Box Swap

Do you subscribe to a subscription box? From skincare to snacks, makeup to meals, candles to cocktails to even… ahem, bedroom toys, monthly subscription boxes have continued to explode in popularity. According to one study there are nearly 10,000 different subscription boxes available. Crazy! And really, what’s not to love? It saves you shopping time by arriving right on your doorstep, helps you keep it fresh by trying new things, and lifts your spirit by balancing out the bills in the mail with some fun new products to try.

But what happens when a bunch of the items in your subscription box are a bust? While some jewelry and clothing subscription boxes allow you to return undesired items, many other subscription services can leave you stuck with products that don’t work for you.

Not surprisingly, there’s an app for that. SWAP by reKindness is an app that lets subscription box shoppers swap their “meh” pile for a “marvelous” pile. All you have to do is snap a pic, upload “swap” items available, request a swap and seal the deal from your phone.

How to use a subscription box swap app

 

How a subscription box swap works
  1. Upload an image of an unused item(s) from Glossybox, Stitch Fix, Owlcrate, etc. (or a high-quality fashion item) and a brief description to add an item.
  2. Browse your news feed or search for items you want in exchange. You can search by location to avoid shipping costs or search by similar priced items.
  3. Make swap offers by tapping on items you like and offering items of your own in return.
  4. Members have 48 hours to accept or counter the swap offers they receive.
  5. To finalize your swaps, either schedule a time and place to meet or share shipment tracking information in the app.

swap app2

 

One thing that sets the SWAP app apart? It’s fast. Offers only last 48 hours so you’ll know within days, instead of weeks (I’m looking at you Craigslist), if your item has an offer or counteroffer.

Did you know that 85-percent of clothes and textiles end up in landfills, even though 95-percent can be reused or recycled? And that over 25-percent of what subscription box customers receive is unloved? That makes the SWAP app good for the earth, good for your closet and good for your wallet. A triple win!

Visit the SWAP website to learn more or download the app on iTunes.

Which subscription boxes do you use?
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4 Self-Care Apps Moms Will Love

Back-to-school craziness have anyone feeling a little… crazy? We’re sharing a few of our favorite apps to help you find and make use of those few moments of “me time” in the midst of your money-making-carpool-driving-dinner-making-homework-helping-permission-slip-signing busyness. Even if it’s just a few minutes, you’ll be glad you took a moment for yourself.

If you have one minute to spare: Make self-care a habit

Apps to Use When You Have One Spare Minute

When’s the last time you did something for you? Whether it’s meditating or working out, calling a good friend or taking that probiotic everyday, building these good, self-care habits can be hard when your day is filled with “Mom mom mom mom mom mom”s. With a habit-building app like Balanced or Productive, you can set self-care goals big (get a massage once a month) or small (drink three glasses of water today), and the app will remind you of your goals, celebrate your progress and keep yourself accountable for taking time for you.

If you have five minutes to spare: Zen out

Apps to try if you have 5 minutes to spare

Mediation doesn’t have to be twenty minutes of ommm-ing or nothing at all. The benefits of taking just five minutes to breathe deeply and focus inward can decrease your stress, lower your blood pressure and help you make it through the afternoon. Finding a meditation app you connect with can take a try or two since you’ll want to find one with a voice that won’t make you want to scream (not very zen). Personally, I’ve enjoyed Stop, Breathe, Think (free), Buddify ($5) and the new OMG I Can Meditate (free). You can also just set your phone timer for five minutes, close your eyes and focus on taking longer and deeper breaths — until the kids pile into the car asking for a snack.

If you have 15 minutes to spare: Work out

Workout Apps for Moms

Don’t have 30 or 60 minutes to exercise? No worries. High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) has been shown to be a quick and effective way to fit in your exercise in small doses with benefits that continue throughout the day. Try Keelo, which tailors its HIIT workout suggestions based on your age, gender, fitness level and available equipment. The workouts average 15 minutes with options as quick as eight minutes. The app also has instructional videos to show you how to do each exercise correctly and a built-in timer to show you when you move on to the next exercise. Did we mention the app is free? #noexcuses

If you have 26 minutes to spare: Nap

How to nap in just 26 minutes

Raise your hand if you’re tired. While you may not be able to score a few extra hours at night, you might be able to feel a whole lot more rested with just 26 minutes. I know, I know. It sounds a bit crazy. A 26-minute nap? I wouldn’t believe if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes. But I have a dear friend who takes a 26-minute nap most days. She falls asleep in just minutes and wakes up seconds before the 26-minute alarm goes off. It’s crazy, but it’s also crazy effective. Using Nap26, you’ll “learn” to get to sleep fast, get restful sleep and wake up refreshed, un-groggy and ready to rock the rest of your day — all in just 26 minutes.

What are you favorite apps that help you find “me time?”
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If you are anything like me, then you take way too many pictures of your kids. I believe that you can’t possibly take enough because they change so fast. Even though we swear we are going to remember every special moment forever, I promise your memory will fail you once or twice as the years go by. While you probably don’t have your camera on you every second of the day, you most definitely have your phone… and I’ve found the perfect app to go with those pictures you take on the go!

Baby Pics is an app designed for new parents and parents-to-be to document all of the exciting milestones that they’ll never want to forget by adding the cutest artwork to your photos. While I am creative in some ways, I am not in others. (Thank goodness for friends who have Photoshop and put up with my incessant messaging and picture sending to make my photos just right!) The Baby Pics app is completely foolproof and has become my go-to for editing pictures of my kids. And, at less than $5, it’s such a steal!

How to Create Cute Baby Pics in an App

Getting started

Start by downloading the app via iTunes or Google Play.

From there, it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Take your photo with the in-app camera or import a photo you have already taken.
  2. Choose the artwork you want to add and/or add text to personalize.
  3. Save and share!
Let your creativity go wild

The artwork is divided into groups to make your selection easy:

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DATES: Months (1-24), days of the week, due in, birthdays, weeks (1-42), weeks of pregnancy by fruit (Love this!), weeks of pregnancy by junk food (Even better!)

FIRSTS: All the firsts you can imagine from pregnancy firsts to big kid firsts, including first holidays

ON THE DAILY: Cute descriptions of your little ones such as Chubby Cheeks, Bath Time, and Messy Hair Don’t Care… to name a few

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PREGNANCY: The cute sayings and pictures in this section will have you taking pics of your belly just so you can use them!

HUMOR: These are exactly what it says… humorous! Poop Explosion, Party At My Crib, and Daddy’s Drinking Partner are just the beginning of these goodies.

BIG KIDS: This section covers milestones such as moving into a big kid bed, potty training, and the first day of Kindergarten.

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DOODLES: Add a variety of cute art to your photos when there isn’t any other more specific category to fit.

FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and besties are all taken care of!

Not sure what you are looking for? Browse through all of the options in the “All Artwork” section to find something you love or to get inspired.

More to love

Not only can you save the photos, but you can also print them directly from the app. Choose from two styles — square prints or retro-style prints — and two sizes. You can also print stickers and magnets, which I definitely see in my future!

I have so much fun with Baby Pics and find myself using it on a daily basis. The best part is going back through my pictures and putting artwork on old photos!

Here are a few of my Baby Pics favorites:

Wanna have some fun? Take the Baby Pics Challenge! When you join, you will receive a daily prompt with a new theme for seven days. Create your best pic to match the theme, share it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag #BabyPicsChallenge #BabyPicsApp @babypicsapp

Have fun with this app! I certainly do!

What’s your favorite way to take pictures of your baby?
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What is Flipboard?

Flipboard is the latest and {greatest!} way for you to see and organize online content that you actually want to read. Because let’s face it, there is just too much content in our faces every day and it’s impossible to see it all. In order for you to filter out all the junk and items that you’d rather not ever see you really have to create your own carefully curated online magazine and Flipboard is helping you do just that! Flipboard is the one place where you can bring all of your interests and the topics you care about together into an online space you want to read.

Getting started and using Flipboard

Getting started with Flipboard is easy. The first step is signing up for an account and selecting categories that interest you — fashion, food, cooking, travel, lifestyle, entrepreneurship, social media, productivity, parenting, and photography. Then, when you open the app, only those types of articles show up in your feed.

This has been life changing for me. Every morning, I wake up and open the Flipboard app and I only see content that I want to see! Before Flipboard,  I would open Facebook first and go down that deep dark rabbit hole of scrolling and scrolling…. seeing things that I wasn’t really interested in, that annoy me, or news I wasn’t really ready to hear before I’d even had my first cup of coffee!

Now my mornings have changed for the better. I get up, make my coffee and open Flipboard to scan topics and read articles that help me start my day. My Flipboard is filled with positive content that matters to me.

How to Add Flipboard to your Toolbar

Install the Flip It Web Bookmarker

Not only can you create a custom magazine for your own interests, but you can create your very own magazines dedicated to the things you love! It’s a bit like curating your very own digital magazine pile or clipping articles from all around the internet into on magazine and not just from magazines, but your favorite blogs, too!

Once you’ve added the Flipboard app to your phone or tablet, you should install the “Flip It” toolbar bookmarker next. This will allow you to “flip” articles into your own magazines on Flipboard. So when you are reading that awesome article on how to make baby food over on the BabyCenter Blog, you can “flip it” into your magazine for Baby, Kids or Parenting. Simply grab, drag, and drop the Flip it Web Bookmarklet into your toolbar.

Flipboard for bloggers and content creators

If you are a writer, blogger or content creator then you’ll definitely want to take note! Flipboard is a great way to get your articles and content seen and shared on another platform! You can flip all your articles onto Flipboard and they will link directly back to your website, getting fresh eyes on your posts and content, all within the Flipboard platform.

Since this is a social sharing platform as well, you will also want to follow other content creators that have similar interests to you… or you can simply just follow one of their specific created Flipboard magazines. For example, i just followed Skimbaco Lifestyle’s Christmas Around the World Flipboard magazine, which is such a fun new way to learn about how other countries celebrate Christmas!

Follow me and see my magazines here!

Give the Gift of Flipboard This Holiday Season

Give the gift of Flipboard

Now is the perfect time to give the gift of Flipboard!

The gift of Flipboard gives your friends a way to get started on Flipboard with a curated set of stories about a specific interest. Flipboard’s editorial team has preconfigured 21 special packages, for everyone from travelers to tech enthusiasts. Anyone can “gift” these packages to friends or family to get them started on Flipboard with pre­loaded sections that make Flipboard instantly more useful. Each preconfigured package has about 25 sources to get people started with content that fits their interests.

The holiday season is a popular time to start dreaming about travel for the year ahead, so why not share some holiday wanderlust by sending them a gift of a beautifully curated magazine that will inspire their next big adventure!

You can follow Flipboard on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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findery-platforms
On Findery, one person’s local is another person’s travel. The social network for travelers that invites users to share stories and explore places near and far, announced today the availability of its latest mobile app: Findery for Windows.

Findery users can discover and share local knowledge about their current location through personal travel stories, hidden histories and local tips left by the extensive and active community. Findery users can also share their experiences and leave notes and photos about meaningful places they’ve found and love, both where they live and where they travel.

I have been using Findery for almost a year now and have left 89 notes about the places I’ve been. Adding notes is easy and can be a bit addicting!  As a frequent traveler and travel blogger, I like to be able to share little secrets or tips for other travelers in my notes. I hope that when a family is visiting Madrid they will look at my Madrid Notemap to see where we went and the places I recommend.

Findery Madirid Notemap Savvy Sassy Moms

The new Windows application opens up a bright new world for Windows users, allowing them to connect with other travel minded individuals, whether they’re planning trips or just dreaming of exploration.

“We’re the social network for travelers,” said Caterina Fake, founder and CEO of Findery. “We offer a location travel discovery solution that appeals to arm chair travelers and world explorers alike.”

Since the app was formally launched for iOS back in March 2014, Findery users have posted notes to share travel stories from each of the 196 countries across the globe. The platform makes it a snap for users to discover treasures in countless places – from those they have been to those they dream of visiting.

windows available now

With Findery for Windows, you can plot all of your travel stories and travel dreams on a map and explore the world from New York to New Delhi. Pin a Findery note or notemap to your Start Menu or ask Cortana to “Explore nearby” to see interesting notes around your location.

Findery is about uncovering hidden secrets and local knowledge, all of which is entirely sourced from Findery users themselves. Members follow each other and receive notifications when those new notes or comments are posted. Notes can all be shared to Facebook, Messaging, OneNote, Mail or NFC.

Findery for Windows is available for free from the Windows App Store.

Findery Travel AppAbout Findery 


Findery, on the Web, iOS, Android, and now Windows, strives to create meaningful products for people who want to experience the world and connect with a global community. Founded by serial entrepreneur Caterina Fake, Findery is the place for people passionate about discovery, travel, personal stories and technology.

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Safety apps ease parents’ minds while traveling

5 Travel Apps to Keep Kids Safe

Traveling with kids comes with its own sort of magic. Their little eyes find magic in unexpected places, and they’ll never turn down ice cream for dinner. Parents, though, need to think about the practical side of travel — packing, sleeping arrangements and safety. Safety apps can make some of the uncertainties of traveling with kids a little easier.

An app to help you pack smarter, not heavier

Traipsing through the airport with kids in tow is tough. Doing it with overpacked bags is even tougher. Even if you had packing down to a science before having kids, it’s tempting to pack more than you need once you start bringing little ones with you on your travels. Use the PackPoint Packing List Travel Companion to pare your list down to your essentials (iTunes, free). With lighter bags, you can keep one hand free for holding your child’s — and it will be easier to catch up when he starts running to see the planes through the window.

travel apps

Keep kids’ sleep schedules on track while traveling

Well-rested kids make better travelers. Keeping kids on a nap or sleep schedule isn’t impossible when on vacation. Entrain can help travelers better understand their sleep and awake rhythms and help come up with a sleep plan that works with a new location and time zone (iTunes, free). A bit of planning to adjust sleep rhythms can mean less wobbly legs and overtired stumbles for little ones.

travel apps

Peace of mind for parents avoiding food allergens

Traveling with a child with food allergies is harrowing for parents. Finding allergy-friendly restaurants is key to enjoying vacations without packing all of your own meals. AllergyEats.com helps parents find safe places for their little ones to eat, and the Allergy Eats app will be invaluable on your next vacation (iTunes, free). Users can search restaurants based on specific allergens and read reviews from other users to make a choice about whether or not a restaurant will have the necessary dining options to accommodate a child with food allergies.

travel apps

An app to help parents if the unthinkable happens

A disappearing child is every parent’s nightmare. Finding missing children depends on quick responses, and the FBI Child ID app can help (iTunes, free). In addition to giving parents a place to store vital information like height and weight, along with a current photo, the app has a checklist for parents and the ability to instantly email or call authorities. There are tips about keeping your children safe, which can be especially important for families to review together before traveling to a new place.

safety apps

 

Stay safe and organized while traveling

Traveling with a sheaf of reservation confirmations and identification cards means shuffling through papers and emails whenever you need a crucial document. Travelers — especially frequent travelers — will be obsessed with the Docady Paperwork and Document Organizer (iTunes, free). Scan documents into the app with your camera, upload from files or import from Google Drive or Dropbox. Not only does Docady store and organize documents, from passports to insurance cards, it can alert users to expiration and renewal dates, so travelers are never blindsided by an expired travel document days before leaving for a vacation. Keep all of your family information in one place — you won’t believe you traveled without it!

travel appsWhat’s your favorite travel or safety app?

 

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Whether you’re a first time mom, a mom who is still expecting or a veteran nursing mom, you’re going to want to add this new app to your list of must-haves for surviving the first few months of your baby’s arrival. Released earlier this month from everyone’s go-to brand for all things breastfeeding, Medela, the MyMedela app is your new go-to spot for everything you’ll need to nurse your baby. From nursing tips that are easy to scroll through as you’re up for that late-night feeding to a spot where you can track each time your little one nurses, this all-in-one app is amazing… and it’s free!

Why you should try the MyMedela app

Did you know that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that while 79 percent of moms initiate breastfeeding, only 41 percent are breastfeeding exclusively at three months? We all know that an app probably isn’t going to solve every breastfeeding issue you may encounter, but it can certainly enhance your experience, especially with the features built into the MyMedela app.

MyMedela Free Breastfeeding App for Moms

Some of our favorite features include that you can include track your pumping in the app alongside your baby’s feedings to give you a full picture of her daily feeding routine, the goal setting feature that delivers customized feedback to help you reach your breastfeeding goals (and, they’re actually encouraging, not demeaning!) and the built-in reminders that you can set to pop up on your phone.

Win a Medela Freestyle Breastpump

Medela Freestyle Breastpump Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of the new MyMedela app, we’re giving away a Medela Freestyle Breastpump to one lucky Savvy Sassy Moms reader! The Medela Freestyle Breastpump ($400 value) is a compact, lightweight double electric breastpump with a rechargeable battery for on-the-go pumping.

Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
Must be at least 18-years-old to enter and win.
US residents only.
No PO boxes.
Giveaway ends August 12, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I take way too many pictures on my phone. You probably have the same problem. Snap a few here. Snap a few there and then forget about them. Them there they sit on your phone for weeks (or more), until one day you scroll through and find a keeper. It’s then that you realize it’s pretty much the best photo you’ll ever get of your kids, and you want to print it. That in itself is a big endeavor, one that moms who are crazy busy like me can forget about as quickly as the original idea came. And getting said printed photo into a frame? Forget about it!

In comes Pictli, a new app that does all the work for you. It’s totally simple and absolutely foolproof, which is exactly what we all need.

Getting starting with Pictli

Start by downloading the app. It’s free and available for on iTunes or you can do it online via the Pictli website.

How to use the Pictli app

But let’s be realistic. You’re gonna do it on your phone, because your phone is basically attached to your arm already, right? From the app, click on the “Let’s Go” button to get started. Next, pick an image that you want to print. You can choose it from your phone’s camera roll, Facebook, or Instagram. Then you choose the size you want. Right now they just offer 7×5 vertically or horizontally, but really a larger picture might be too big.

After that you choose a frame. Right now they have 15 frames and most are very simple – think unfinished wood, different metals, and standard black and white. Like I said, simple, but it allows for your photo to really pop.

I ended up choosing a photo of my boys that was taken on Mother’s Day at Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA. I had it on my phone for weeks, and was waiting (er, procrastinating) on when to get it printed. I knew I wanted it framed for the mantel, but again, when would I have time to do that (never)!

Pictli Picture Printing and Framing App

So much to love

Pictli made it easy for me to get the job done. I could even edit the photo inside the app to make sure the lighting and color was just right. You also have the option of cropping and changing the print style (black and white, sepia, etc.) but I decided to let the bright colors speak for themselves.

The end result was great and it cost me no more than $25, which when you think about it is pretty great for convenience and the quality of the pic and frame.

Pictli app for printing and framing picturesIt came in the cutest box, wrapped and ready to go. In fact the wrapping was so perfect, that I immediately ordered another for my mother. It makes the perfect gift for grandparents. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see those smiling faces every day!

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Health apps for teens make hard conversations easier

Talking to your preteen or teen daughter about her first period doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. The Clue app offers a way for girls to track the physical and emotional changes involved with tracking their monthly cycles. Learn tips about talking to your daughter about her first period and check out the ways the health app for teens can make the transition easier for girls.

health app for teens

The Clue app helps you and your teen understand your monthly cycles

Designed to be informative and user-friendly, the Clue app announces immediately: Confident. Scientific. Not pink. We don’t have a problem with pink around here, but the idea that Clue is based on science and data will help moms and daughters talk about their monthly cycles in a way that helps everyone. Your menstrual cycle is about so much more than your actual period, and tracking your physical state and emotions throughout the month can help your teen make sense of the fluctuations happening throughout the month.

health app for teens

Increased app use makes Clue more accurate — and more helpful

Clue reminds women, “Get to know your body. It’s not a clock.” The more you use the Clue app, the more accurately the app can make predictions about your next cycle. This increased accuracy is helpful for teens who are just learning about the way their bodies feel during different parts of their menstrual cycle. Women will find Clue to be an amazing app for tracking fertility, as well as their monthly cycle. Accurate tracking helps Clue predict your window of fertility each month, which is crucial when you’re trying to get pregnant.

How to talk to your teen or preteen about her first period

Ida Tin, the Founder and CEO of the Clue app, has helpful, practical information to help moms talk to their daughters about their first periods. Her advice can be helpful even if you’re talking to a family friend or a niece.

  • Leave euphemisms out of it. There’s no need to be vague or mysterious about periods. Half the world’s population experiences a menstrual cycle at some point, after all. Talk plainly to your kids about what’s happening – or if you’re not comfortable, give them some accurate but accessible reading material (like the info in Clue!)
  • Share your experience. Do you remember your first period? Whether your story was casual or embarrassing, funny or mundane, it can be helpful to your daughter to know that you went through the same things that she’s experiencing.
  • Atypical is typical. Menstrual cycles for teens can range from 21-45 days — and that’s totally normal in early menstruators, because the hormonal system/circuitry that regulates their cycles is still maturing. For most women it takes about six years for their cycle to settle into a personal “normal.”
  • Play and pamper. From period underwear to mail-order period care packages, there’s tons of ways to make your teen feel special and celebrated leading up to and during her first cycle.
Have you had to have the period talk with a daughter, niece or family friend? How did it go?
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Raise your hand if you have too much time in your day? No one? Me neither. Luckily, I rely on some helpful apps to help me get stuff done. Here are four of my favorite time saving apps apps that I use every single day to keep me organized and to help me save time.

4 Time saving apps to download right now

Time-Saving Apps: Wunderlist

Wunderlist

Like you, I’m managing a mind-boggling list of different types of to-dos. I have interviews to schedule and articles to write for work. There are random errands for the house, returns for too-small clothes and dry cleaning waiting to be picked up. For my kids, there are lessons to pay for, permission slips to sign and next season’s teams to fill out forms for. The number — and variety — of to-dos always amazes me, but I try to keep on top of it all with Wunderlist. This list-making app has a simple interface, lets me categorize my tasks by labels I create, allows me to set due dates and will even let you share lists with others (aka, shopping lists with the husband). Best of all, it has a sweetly satisfying “Ding!” sound when I complete a task and check it off my list.

 

Time-Saving Apps: OurGroceries App

OurGroceries

If you don’t use a shopping list app, stop whatever it is you are doing and download one now. I’ve used Ziplist for years, but since they are no longer supporting the app, I’ve been migrating over to OurGroceries. Here’s the beauty of a shopping list app: When you have a random thought at work or on the treadmill or while you’re waiting for baseball practice to end — I’m out of razor blades/light bulbs/dog food/bananas — you simply add it to a list for the appropriate store and then next time you’re at that store, instead of banging your head trying to remember what you needed, you just calmly check your phone and feel brilliantly awesome and on-top of it all.

There are lots of shopping list apps out there, but one of the reasons I like OurGroceries is because it also have a web-interface, meaning you can access your account, make lists and add to your existing lists from a web browser. I find this particularly useful for meal planning, which I like to do at my computer Saturday mornings with a hot cup of coffee, my Bon Appetit issue, my Recipes to Try Pinterest board and the week’s weather report (can’t be scheduling pot roast for Wednesday if it’s going to be 75 degrees outside!).

 

Time-Saving Apps: Evernote

 

Evernote

As parents, we receive and need to retrieve a ridiculous amount of information on a given day. The name of a fellow mom on your son’s soccer team. Tonight’s dinner menu. The name of a book your BFF recommend to you during a walk that now you’re trying to remember while you’re at the bookstore. Your daughter’s volleyball game schedule for the month. And the list goes on.

With Evernote, you can save any kind of information you need. It’s not just for recipes (though I use it for that). Not just for lists or scanned documents or notes (though I use it for all that too). It’s like an alter-brain. Make notes about anything or everything and when you need to recall that important info, just open up Evernote on the web, your computer, or your phone and type in a keyword or two to pull up the note. Sure, you Type-A moms can create elaborate filing and tagging systems (I tagged a bunch of recipes with “fall” for easy menu planning and “re-read” for those articles I know parenting will require that I read again), but the beauty of Evernote is that you don’t have to. Save a zillion notes on a zillion different topics and with a simple search box you can call up just that thing you were trying to remember.

 

Time-Saving Apps: GoogleCalendar

Google Calendar

I know there are lots of calendar apps out there, but since I’m already pretty Google-integrated with Gmail and Google Docs, I rely heavily on and thoroughly enjoy Google Calendar. I access it through the basic calendar app that comes on the iPhone, but Google also has it’s own brand new app you can download.

The key is in how you use it. I create different calendars for my personal life, our family obligations, the kids’ schedules, my work, and even things like keeping track of workouts. My husband also uses Google Calendar for his work, which allows me to see his day, week and month in a color-coded array of activities. An, most importantly, turn those calendars on or off as needed. Need to see what’s due this week for work? I only click on my work calendar. Trying to schedule dinner with friends? No need for 50 back-and-forth texts/emails with my husband. I can check his schedule, my schedule and add something to our family schedule without a conversation.

It may sound heartless that one of the benefits of using this app is that it cuts down on communication between me and my husband, but in parenting, there is so much managing that goes on — Who’s picking up Merric from practice? Can you watch the kids during my haircut? Do we have a free Friday in May to have dinner with your parents? — these are not the quality conversations that build a relationship. Necessary, yes, but they can make a marriage feel more like a business than a bond. With Google Calendar, I can keep all parts of my life scheduled, organized and on-time without lots of extra communication.

What are your favorite time-saving apps?
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