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I have a bit of an app addiction. My friends constantly joke that I have an app for everything. I’m less than two months into blogging, and I already published this post about an app I love. Truthfully, there are zillions of apps clogging up my iPad. Many of them could likely be deleted without affecting my life much. Some, though, I find absolutely essential for helping to manage all the info rattling around in my mom brain. Keep reading for the list.
5 Essential Apps for Organized Moms
I’m not really a person I’d call ‘stylish’. I try to keep a relatively minimalist wardrobe, though. This requires organization and planning. Also, because of my music teaching business, I tend to see the same people every week on the same day of the week. I like to make sure that I don’t wear my blue maxi dress with the same accessories every Monday. I also like to take advantage of the fact that I can wear the blue maxi dress on Monday and Tuesday since I’ll be seeing different people on those days. Enter Stylebook.
This app lets you log all of the clothes in your closet (including the brand and size, which is really helpful for future shopping trips and online shopping). You can then organize your clothes into outfits and place them on the calendar. At a glance, I can see what I wore to my husband’s cousin’s wedding or wore on my last mom’s night out. I can also check data such as which pieces are used most often and what the average cost per wear is for a particular item. It’s really helped me to think differently about spending a little more on something like a great pair of jeans that I’ll literally wear hundreds of times.
The other area where it’s provided a great deal of value to me is the packing lists feature. It’s fun to drag all the pieces of my wardrobe onto one big board to see how they’ll go together without literally pulling everything out of the closet. It’s easy to pack for my next beach trip when I can quickly pull up what I took last time. The one time charge of $3.99 for this app is absolutely worth it to any mom who wants to organize her wardrobe.
I try to be intentional about how I spend my time, but I often fail. I get sucked into either the semi-urgent (but not that important) tasks of a mom or time-wasting activities I know I should probably avoid altogether. (I’m looking at you, mindless Instagram scrolling.) It’s easy to then forget the little habits I’m trying to cultivate every day to make my life better in the long run.
Strides allows me to track all kinds of things, from my current weight and any weight loss goals I have, to whether I took my vitamins today, to whether I practiced the guitar. Notifications can be scheduled to pop up to provide a reminder of things I need to do. All data is aggregated—so I can see a cool line graph of how my weight has fared over time or see what percentage of the time I’ve met my goal of practicing the piano for ten minutes a day. I use the free version. There’s an upgrade for $5/month, but I hate monthly subscriptions, and I haven’t found this one to be necessary.
My contact lenses need to be changed every two weeks, the air filter in my furnace needs to be changed every three months, and the water filter in the refrigerator needs to be changed every six months. These are just three of the dozens of tasks I monitor using Upkeep. I can log across nine categories (personal, home, automotive, finance, etc.) things that I want to do periodically. Upkeep reminds me when it’s time to complete a task and saves the instructions for doing it.
If I complete a task early or late, it asks me if I’d like to perform the next task based on the original date I was supposed to do it or based on the date I completed the task. I never have to wonder anymore when I last waxed the car, turned my mattress, or rebalanced my IRA—very helpful to relieve some of my mom mental load. Oh, and unlocking all of the features of the app only costs $1.99 one time.
GoodReader is a PDF reader and annotating tool (among many other things). I homeschool two boys. This means tons of books. Many workbooks that I’ve purchased once will need to be used again in two years when my younger son is ready for them. Instead of purchasing physical copies of these books, I purchase digital copies of them and upload them into GoodReader.
In the app, we can read and annotate anything. The app also allows family sharing, so we can each have the books we need on our devices without having to purchase multiple copies of the app. When I’m teaching my oldest an English lesson, I have the teacher’s manual on my iPad. On his iPad, he’s got the workbook and the set of easy readers. We each make special copies of our books to annotate, and the books are incredibly easy to mark up with multiple colors of digital pens and highlighters. I can scribble notes in the margins of my teacher’s manual, and my son can complete his workbook problems right on screen.
It’s easy to carry our books with us anywhere we go, which really helps us when we’re traveling. The files are available even when we’re offline. Little brother will have a pristine copy of each workbook when it’s his turn without me having to make a second purchase. We’ve saved space in our home, saved money on homeschool resources, and saved a tree or two as we aren’t creating unnecessary paper to throw away. This app has TONS of features, and I know that I don’t even scratch the surface of them. I didn’t upgrade to the Pro Pack.
Another app that I’m certain I’m not using to its full potential (even though it’s providing a ton of value to me) is Trello. Trello is an organization app that allows me to put all my mental post-it notes in one place and see the big picture.
Right now, I’m using it to manage all the tasks I do for blogging. When using Trello, you set up a board, for example, “Social Media Schedule”. Within the board, you set up lists, which just look like long columns. My Social Media Schedule board is based on one of the many helpful templates the Trello people provide. It has a list for each day of the week. On each list I have several cards representing the different social media platforms I use to connect with my readers. On each card, I’m able to save checklists, images, notes, and URLs.
This makes it so much easier to remember all the minutiae of what Instagram hashtags I like to use on Mondays or which video I posted to my Facebook page last week. I may still not know what I’m doing with this mom blog, but at least I’m organized.
I just downloaded this app recently, and I can see that before long, I’m going to be using it to manage all kinds of ongoing projects in my life. Although there is a monthly subscription available, the free plan is more than adequate for the projects I‘ve been undertaking.
What are your favorite apps for getting organized and making mom life a little easier?
Share them in the comments!
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