I’ve been writing this post in my head all of my motherhood life. My goal has always been to be a lean mean efficient machine and being a mother sort of disrupts that for a bit. You have a baby and efficiency, as you know it, sort of disappears from your vocabulary. It is what it is. As our kids grow and we adjust to our new roles, we find tools that help us deal with the constant barrage of requests and to do’s that come with motherhood. But aside from being mothers, we are also individuals, and workers, and partners. Somehow I have inadvertently fell into the three roles of being a SAHM and WAHM and a WOHM, stay at home/work from home/work outside of home mom. Each one of them at different times, obviously.
So today I would like to go over specifically the phone apps that help me with my days in all three of those roles. I try to use my phone to the best of its possible efficiency and some incredibly smart people have come up with ways of making our human lives better, more organized and straight forward. I’m all for electronic help!
So I broke these down into several categories:
WORK– apps that help me in my business life
PERSONAL – anything creative, day to day and personal development related
MOTHERHOOD – apps that help me as a mother
TRAVEL – what I use for and during my travels
My most favorite used and cherished app. I don’t know where I would be without it. It’s like a TO DO list supercharged. You don’t even need to use/try/look for a TO DO list app, because this is the ultimate in helping productivity. Tasks, folders, subtasks, notes, assignments ( read: husband to dos), due dates, stars, schedules, remiders, repeaters, comments. It has everything you need but in such an uncomplicated format that anyone can use it: from the busiest mom to the easy going one. The best part? It’s FREE!
Saves me so much time. I live/work/play on my iPhone and this is like speed dial for apps. Instead of scrolling, selecting folder, going into an app, opening photo library, you can program Launch to do it for you. So all you have to do is tap Launch and an action. Facetime my mom? Two taps instead of 4-5. Text a group of my friends? Two taps. It’s brilliant.
A legal app that lets you create a simple legal agreement with just a few questions. It doesn’t cover a lot, but basic sell/buy, freelance/hire, keep confidential, loan money etc. Might be useful for some.
IF THIS THEN! And if/then app that lets your phone take an action when something occurs. UV index raises to 8, get a notification to put on sunscreen. You take a photo, it automatically uploads to Dropbox or gets emailed to you. Possibilities are endless.
This is a MUST HAVE for social media scheduling. I almost don’t want to describe it here, because I’d like you to just go and sign up. Just take my word for it. If you do social media, you need this app to be more efficient, productive and to see better results. There is a free option, so sign up and try it out. It allows you to push content out on all your social media channels with just a click of a button, as well as schedule it for the future automatically set hours and dates.
I talked about this app in detail in my HOW TO GET SHIT DONE post. So in short this is a productivity app that splits your work into 25 min increments and 5 min rest periods. This way you’re getting a break and a refresh every half an hour ( which allows you to do other important things, like brush your teeth/take a shower if you’re a SAHM or make some food if you’re a WAHM) and get back to work with a sense of renewal. Read more about how I use this system to have a productive and fulfilled day working from home.
If you don’t have the budget for a personal assistant, but are swimming in to-do, Fancy Hands is the best solution. These are virtual assistants, perfect for researching things, making phone calls, buying gifts, scheduling appointments. I outsourced ALL my household related calling to them. Need to repair a multicooker? Have Fancy Hands call the company and set up a return. Want an addition to the patio? Have Fancy Hands research the best companies and get quotes as well schedule visits. It’s very affordable (the plan I used was $25/month) and takes hours of my work days.
I just recently discovered it and it has been one of my favorite apps to use. Since I have so many projects I am working on, I wanted to be able to track the amount of time I am spending on them. Our brains are really funny in how they underestimate or overestimate the amount of time we spend on things. So Toggl does the tracking for you.
You tap the timer button, create or add to the project you’re about to start working on and when you are done, you pause the timer. You do that with everything you care to track and at the end of the day or week, you get a pretty good idea of what’s taking up all your time. This allows you to cut certain activities out if they have poor return but take too much time or to realize how much time you actually do waste in the day. Brilliant! You can also install a desktop timer and track your activities on the web where it gives you more detailed reports.As I am writing this I have my timer going on the Content- The Art of making a Baby project 🙂
A very very useful and detailed packing app. You input items once and then can reuse it each time you travel. Weekend travel, long term travel, day trips, solo travel, international travel- create packing templates and never forget anything again. If only this app could also find all those things for you…
Mileage and car expense tracker for tax purposes. Awesomely automated.
A new app I’ve been using. If you travel a lot, this is the app to track prices on flights and see when you should buy. It has amazing user interface, easy to navigate and understand and you can watch prices on flights.
This is my main flight booking app. Has most airlines that even Expedia doesn’t have. Great filters and so easy to use. And I’ve found some of the best prices on flights through Kayak.
Perfect for bored SAHMs 🙂 Days can get pretty boring when they look the same. Knoala helps you come up with fun activities for kids based on their age. I haven’t utilized it as much as I want to, since I work half the week, and the other half Lexi and I out playing in town and going to classes. But back when we were home most of the day, this was awesome!
This is REALLY cute! A journal app, just for you, where you record your daily happenings with pictures. I didn’t think much of it until months have gone and I went back to look at what was happening a month ago. It’s so sweet to look back on daily events. I have this blog to record important things, but daily life with a preschooler is really beautiful too. You can even have Momento automatically import your FB and twitter statuses for each day.
This is my favorite bookmarking app. It has a great interface, it integrates with a ton of websites and saves all your online reading material in your “pocket” ready for you to review it, tag it, categorize it and read it in a well designed reader that makes even the worst formatted articles easy to read. Often, I stumble upon articles I want to read but don’t have time. Off they go to my pocket for later reading.
I LOVE this app. If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you’ve seen short quick videos I put together every time we travel somewhere. Instead of spending hours stitching together videos ( which I still do for longer ones), all you have to do is drop all your Iphone videos into Lomotif and it automagically puts them together over 15 or 30 seconds, allows you to add music and voila you have a quick recap video.
We all strive for balance in our lives right? So what about entering all your important activities into this app and then letting it remind you when you haven’t done something in a while.
The only way I get a chance to read books. Period. Amazing readers and allows you to download books samples. I read the samples before deciding if I want to read the book itself.
Wrote about it already. You can read it here! Best work out app!
I LOVE this app! Ok, let’s say you have a million ideas and important projects you need/want to accomplish but not sure which one is best to start with or just something you need to make a choice on. You input these projects into ChoiceMap, then enter factors that influence your decision and mark priority levels, and finally rate each one of the choice based on those priorities. Once that’s done, choice maps gives you the order of importance of those projects based on your inputs.
To make it clear here is an example:
You want to map out your most important New Year’s goal.
- lose weight
- clean every day
- spend more time with my kids
- be creative
- write daily
- read a book
Then it gives you priorities that you need to rate in order of importance. You could enter: realistic this year, impact on finances, impact on relationships, supported by family, impact on health, or any others you want to add. Next you rate each one of the options based on those priorities. Lose weight: realistic, good impact on relationships, not supported by the family, good impact on health. Then move onto clean every day. Once you’ve rated them all, you get a list in order of which New year’s resolutions you’re better off starting on.
Amazing video editing app. Put together gorgeous videos with music right on your Iphone with gesture based editing.
What are some your favorite apps that you use?