You may be able to take some comfort in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle to navigate the often wild and rapid waters of everyday family life.
There are five common problems most parents confront in their day-to-day lives that can be at least alleviated, if not solved, with the help of an app. We’ve scoured, reviewed and talked with parents to find favorite apps that could bring a welcome, helping hand to your world.
Five Apps for Busy Families
1. Managing your family’s activities and calendars.
Chances are you have your preferred calendar method pretty down pat by now, whether it’s a paper day planner, Outlook, Facebook or another calendar you can access via your mobile device. All are tried-and-true, obviously effective methods of keeping your calendar. But when it comes to keeping track of calendars for several members of your family, you may benefit from taking it a step further.
A popular go-to calendar app is Cozi, an awesome solution for organizing your day-to-day calendar in a simple format, adding after-school activities, meals, to-do lists, chores, social events and more with ease. But, there’s a newcomer that’s caught our attention as a real productivity booster. UpTo is an app that streams public calendars, such as college and pro sports schedules, TV show schedules, new movie release dates, concerts and other important events you’d like to be reminded of, and lists them alongside your own events. So, you not only remember to take your son to the dentist, you also don’t miss the season premiere of your favorite TV show or your alma mater’s big game. You know, the important stuff.
2. Getting a decent dinner on the table.
Stop scouring the Web for what to do with those chicken legs you bought on sale or for that fantasy recipe that you’ll be able to whip up in minutes. Epicurious Recipe and Shopping List app is a one-stop-shop for nearly any recipe you could need.
It’s a virtual smorgasborg of more than 30,000 recipes pulled from around the world, all of which are divided into categories that are organized by skill level and theme such as Quick and Easy and Kid-Friendly. Not only can you find recipes on the go, you can also add ingredients to a shopping list and save your favorite recipes. It’s quick and easy to pull up the shopping list when you walk into the grocery store. You’ll be instantly prepared to pull off any dinner, last-minute throw-together or otherwise. If you prefer to have a hard copy of your recipes while you cook, there’s the Epicurious app for an HP printer that enables you to send recipes directly to your printer.
3. Staying connected with your spouse.
We’re a bit partial to this one, but it’s so good at simplifying your life as a parent, we have to toot our own horn and remind you of it again – The UrbanSitter iPhone App. It’s incredibly valuable to be able to find and book a babysitter, even exchange logistics with her, while on the go.
You simply use the app to see who is available to care for your kids when and where you need her, read profiles, check parent reviews, and send him or her an instant request.
It’s an app that can put the spontaneity back into your life, ensuring that you never have to turn down an invitation for a dinner with your spouse or a coffee with a friend.
4. Taking care of a newborn while juggling an already hectic life.
“Momnesia” may not be a medically documented condition, but forgetfulness and that feeling of losing track of what you were in the middle of doing is a reality for most parents – first-times and old pros, alike.
Keeping track of all the necessities, such as when and how you last fed your baby (bottle or breast), when you changed a diaper, how long your baby last slept, and when you need to do it all again is mind-boggling – especially to sleep-deprived, pulled-in-every-direction parents.
Baby Log is an ultimate baby log app. It holds unlimited data for all your baby’s activities, and can be used for multiple babies, too. Let it keep track of it all, so you can enjoy a bit of peaceful time with your baby, instead of fretting over the schedule. It also offers a nursing or nap timer, and provides a place to record milestone, growth or precious moments.
5. Archiving the memories so you don’t forget a minute.
When it comes to dealing with the masses of artwork and school projects that flood your home once you have a preschooler or school-age child, many parents are fans of Artkive. It allows you to take photos of your child’s masterpieces, share the work and archive it so you can show your grandkids what their Mom created when she was three.
But what do you do if your little one isn’t yet producing any art, yet the pressure of just keeping up the baby book is enough to put you over the edge? Meet Moment Garden. It’s an app that allows you to keep pictures, track weight and growth, record all trips to the doctor and keep first-time events of your baby on your phone, and privately share them with your closest family and friends. With a single click, you can even turn your Moment Garden into a Moment Book, a beautifully printed book like that baby book you never had time to finish!