Tuesday, June 4, 2013

You’re a mom? There’s an app for that!

Is it just me or is it ironic that smart phone apps are meant to save you time, but it’s hard to carve out the time to find a good smart phone app?

There is certainly an abundance out there to choose between. In fact, several technology blogs do app highlights on a weekly basis.  So, I thought I would do my own review of a handful of apps that have dramatically improved my life in one way or another! I hope some of these are a help to you and feel free to add to this list – I’m sure there are tons more great, affordable and useful apps out there for moms!

Here are a few apps I use regularly – and all of them were free!

Relax Melodies
Why I think it’s awesome: Ever been on an overnight trip with your baby and realized you forgot the mobile/crib toy/thing that helps them go to sleep? Yeah, me too. It’s the most dreadful feeling in the world because you’re already in a different place and in a different routine and now, without the special crib thing, they’re sure to cry for hours on end. Enter the Relax Melodies app! This noise machine app has nine different noise options including wind, river and ocean – and you can play multiple sounds at once! The best part: it has a timer and an alarm, so you can play it for however long you think it will take your bundle of joy to conk out, then it will turn off automatically!

Cons: None; this thing is great!

Why I think it’s awesome: Mint.com is a money management app and boy, does this thing work! Basically, you hook it up to your checking, savings and credit card accounts and categorize your spending and in a matter of days, you will start seeing (via a colorful pie chart) where all your money goes! It’s perfect for figuring out where you’re spending all of your money so you can create a budget based on real numbers, not guesses as to how much you spend! Thanks to this bad boy, I know I eat out WAY too often … and a considerable amount of my money goes toward toy trains. Hmm.

Cons: It does NOT allow you to budget into the future. If you have an ongoing expense, you can enter that and it will store it for you in the appropriate month, but you can’t budget for next month based on this month’s numbers. This app is more about looking back, not about looking forward. Still, though, it’s a great way to see where your money goes!

Find My iPhone
Why I think it’s awesome: I’ll be honest; I’ve lost my iPhone on multiple occasions. It just loves to slip down between the cushions of the couch, slide under an end table or – with some help – wind up in one of my children’s clothes hampers. But, with the handy dandy Find My iPhone app, that’s no problem! This app will track any Apple device you own. So, say you lose your iPhone. To find it you can either login to your iPad or Mac (if you have one) and login using your Apple ID or you can go to a website provided by the app and login using your Apple ID and it will track down your phone for you and play music on it until you find it! Genius.

Cons: Make sure your sound is on or else you’ll be doing that famous neck crane to listen for the phone vibrating sound!

Grocery IQ
Why I think it’s awesome: I love me some lists. Five years ago, you could have spotted me in a grocery store attempting to fish out the three partial grocery lists I had made at different times in the previous week so I could remember why in the world I was there. But Grocery IQ changed all that! My husband and I both have this app installed on our phones and anytime I think of something we need at the house, I open the app, add it to the grocery list, and it syncs with my husband’s app immediately! So whichever one of us winds up at the store, we always have the list! It kind of rocks my world. This app also has a barcode scanner that lets you compare prices of items with other retailers – pretty nifty.

Cons: When sharing this app with your loved one, be aware: when typing in, the app will auto-fill and guess what you’re attempting to add to the list. Don’t just click on the top auto-fill item and assume your significant other will figure out what you meant to add to the list. That’s how you wind up with three boxes of Tuna Helper no one in your house will eat. Just sayin’.

Aleshia Howe is the Communications Specialist for the Texas Health Resources Foundation and Mom to two boys. This column is simply one Mommy blogger’s opinion – it is not intended to be an endorsement by Texas Health Resources.

No comments:

Post a Comment