If you’re at all like me (a busy working mom with a to-do list a mile long, still trying to find time to run the dog, return holiday gifts, purchase a grill-cover before it snows again (oh no!), and write thank-you letters to the, wait…who were those for again?) you’ll appreciate the age-old recipe of a pen-and-paper check-list of “things to do.”
Except, if you’re like me, you’re a today’s-40-is-the-new-30 who doesn’t have time for a pen-and-paper list because it’s absolutely going to get either: a) lost in the purse, b) eaten by the dog, or c) both a and b. And then, most likely spit up on the floor.
Alas, have no fear! The age of the Smart Phone is here and there’s no need to be scared of it. There are essential apps (a.k.a applications) for an android phone that can make any busy mom’s (or dad’s) life easier. It just takes one simple install, perhaps a 5- to 10-minute tutorial, and some practice. The art of organization and staying on top of your busy life has never been easier. Dinner – check. Bills paid – check. Kids off to gymnastics – check. Taxes –check (grrrrr). Yes, there’s an app for all that!
Of course, you have to do a bit of research in the vast and wide ocean of the Internet to find the best one for your phone. Do a Google search and guess what you get? More than 32 million results. To save you some time I’ve highlighted a few of my favorites from a list of the top 10 organziation apps based on a report by Business Insider (I personally have a tough time operating without the app Any-Do at work you may want to check that out too.)
I also have my own list of “must have’s” in order to survive as a full- time working mom of three toddlers:
Cozi Effortlessly manage your family calendar, shopping lists, to do lists, and family journal while you’re on the go. **I use this mostly for grocery lists. It helps my husband and I can keep track of what we need. And, it keeps us from having paper lists and calling each other at the last minute saying “Do we need eggs? Cereal? Sugar?” It’s all right there. When we run out of toilet paper, we add it to the app.
Mint Get a handle on your finances fast with Mint. It does all the work of organizing and categorizing your spending for you. See where every dime goes and make money decisions you feel good about. Mint helps me keep and see all of our accounts in one place. I can set a budget and mark payments, have reminders sent to me when bills are due, set monthly allowances (and even roll them over month to month). It’s the best budget planner ever.
LoseIt Ok – here’s the deal folks…if you need a tracking system to keep accountable with your calories in and out (like I do) so that you can lead by example in a healthy lifestyle, this is a perfect app to do it. It’s easy to understand, works with your goals, and best of all it’s free!
Spotify I grew up in a household where music was always, I mean always, on. I believe I vacuum more efficiently with some Tina Turner playing in the background because it reminds me of how my mother cleaned. Spotify on my android allows me to have music in my life anytime, anywhere. Heck, even Einstein often turned to music in difficult times. It’s perfect for your workout, your night in, your journey to work, or just to get the kids singing along with you!
So, what’s your “can’t live without productivity app?”