Tag Archives: busy

10 Time-Saving Apps for Busy Moms

When you’re a busy mom, every second counts. Here are some time-saving apps to help you shortcut your way through life.

RetailMeNot (Free)
My stepmom turned me on to this app over the holidays, and I am obsessed! When you’re out shopping, just type in the name of a store to find all of the coupon codes available. When you go to checkout, they just scan the barcode on your phone.  With 24 different categories, you can find coupons for nearly every major retailer.

Evernote (Free)
Evernote’s slogan is “Remember Everything,” which is fitting for this accessible repository for notes, articles, links, photos, whatever you want to keep track of. What I love about Evernote is that I have it on my iPhone, iPad, work laptop, and home computer, so no matter what device I’m on, if I come across something I want to remember or go back to later, I can easily save it. I also love the voice note feature, which lets you dictate a message to yourself and save it as a note. I use this all the time when I think of a great blog post idea while I’m on the go!

Mint.com (Free)
This app lets you view all of your accounts in one place—bank accounts, investments, credit cards, mortgage—to give you a bird’s eye view of your finances. It even tracks and categorizes your transactions so you can see how much you’re spending each month on groceries versus gas. The Mint.com app will also give you financial advice based on your accounts and your spending habits.

Wunderlist (Free)
The ultimate list app, Wunderlist keeps track of your to-do list, your grocery list, your packing list for your upcoming trip, pretty much anything. It syncs across all your devices, and it allows you to share your lists, which comes in really handy when your hubby offers to go to the grocery store for you.

Grocery IQ (Free)
If you’re looking for a dedicated grocery list app, look no further. Build your grocery list using text, voice, or barcode scan, and then organize your items by aisle to help you get in and get out as quickly as possible. You can even search for relevant coupons based on what’s on your list and share your list across multiple devices.

IFTTT (Free)
IFTTT stands for If This Then That. Okay, so this isn’t an app, strictly speaking, but it DOES help your apps work harder for you. With IFTTT, you can set up “recipes” to help you automate just about anything. Some of my favorite recipes: when I star a blog post in my Google Reader, it automatically creates a note in Evernote; I get a text message to let me know it’s going to rain; and anytime I change my Facebook profile picture, my Twitter picture automatically updates as well. Sure, these aren’t necessities, but they do save me a step or two.

RedLaser (Free)
Never waste time bargain hunting again! This app lets you scan an item and instantly see the best online and local prices. You can also find top deals and search for stores nearby. Best of all? You can scan all of your loyalty cards right into the app so you never have to worry about keeping track of them all.

Find My iPhone (Free)
Things will go missing when there are kids around. It’s almost a rule of physics. At least with this app, you won’t spend an hour trying to figure out where your two year old stashed your phone. You have to set up this app BEFORE you lose your phone, but it definitely comes in handy when you need it to spring into action.

How to Cook Everything ($4.99)
Mark Bittman’s bestselling cookbook, How to Cook Everything, is now an easy-to-use app! Search reference information and recipes, complete with shopping lists and built-in timers. You can also easily print out your recipes and shopping lists. I love that this app doesn’t require a network connection to work, so even when I have no signal at the grocery store, I can still pull it up.

Total Baby ($4.99)
I so wish I had had this app when I was nursing my daughter. It keeps track of which side you nurse from and when, as well as a gazillion other things that new moms need to keep straight. Log vaccines, track sleep patterns, time pumping sessions, you name it, this app does it all.

Do you have a go-to app to help keep your life organized or to save you time? Share it!

A Day in the Life. . .

I always find it interesting to peek behind the curtain at how other moms manage their busy schedules to see what tips and tricks I can pick up to help me improve my balancing act.  So I figured I would pay it forward and share my day with you. I don’t pretend that my life is half as exciting as Gwyneth Paltrow’s. . . just a normal working mom here, trying to get from day to day. If you’re interested in sharing a day in your life, shoot me an e-mail!

5:30 a.m.    Alarm goes off. . . immediately hit snooze (at least three times). Finally roll out of bed cursing the fact that I stayed up too late the night before (again).

6:45 a.m.    Showered, dressed, and ready to go, I hear Olivia yelling “Mommy!” at the top of her lungs and drop kicking her toys out of her crib. When I go into her room, she announces that she has pretty pigtails, which are really two gigantic knots on either side of her head. Great.

6:50 a.m.    Spend at least 5 minutes arguing with a 2-year-old about why she does, in fact, have to wear pants to daycare because, among other things, it’s 40° outside. I switch gears and tackle the knots, thinking this will distract her from the pants issue. Wrong. So wrong. She might win the award for the earliest tantrum of the day.

7:35 a.m.   Olivia decides pants are acceptable and we’re out the door, but only after pulling out every winter hat before we found one that wasn’t itchy, too small, or “scary.” I realize halfway to daycare that, while I made sure to grab all of Olivia’s stuff, I walked out of the house with no coffee, no breakfast, and no lunch. Awesome. Guess it’s a McDonald’s morning, because our Starbucks doesn’t have a drive thru and I have no patience left to get out of the car.

8:40 a.m.    Make it to work and jump right in. I don’t have a single meeting all day, which is a minor miracle. I may actually get some stuff crossed off my list today, woo hoo! Blah blah blah work. For lunch, I run down to the cafe to get a Reuben and scarf it down at my desk while editing some copy. Blah blah more work.

5:05 p.m.    I’m out! Have to stop at the dry cleaners on the way home to pick up our clothes, which puts me a bit behind.

6:15 p.m.    Walk in the door and immediately get tackled by a blur of pink and pigtails. I throw my stuff down, kiss my hellos, then it’s time to throw dinner together. Luckily, my husband is awesome and he’s already started prepping. I write out the menu for the week every Sunday on a chalkboard in our kitchen so there’s never a question as to what is for dinner- this also helps me shop smart and only buy what I need. Tonight it’s pork tacos – YUM! We’re able to sit down to eat at 6:45 p.m., just 15 minutes behind our normal schedule. I’m so thankful tonight isn’t my Pilates class, so I get a few minutes to play with Olivia, color, and snuggle instead of rushing out the door.

7:30 p.m.    Bedtime for bonzo! We troop upstairs to brush teeth, take vitamins, and wrestle our little fish into a clean diaper and jammies. If possible, my husband and I always tag team bedtime to make it go faster. We do bath time every other night to help Olivia’s eczema, so we get lucky tonight (no bath!). Time for a quick bedtime story. Thank you, Sandra Boynton, for your super short books, but you will have to explain to me why the animals take a bath, put on pajamas. . . and then go work out. Makes no sense.

8:50 p.m.    Dishes are done, lunches are packed, laundry is in. Ahhhhhhh . . . I get to sit down! With wine!! I spend the next hour and a half checking e-mail, catching up on Facebook/Twitter, doing blog research, writing, watching the last episode of New Girl, etc.

10:30 p.m.  I climb into bed fully intending to be asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

11:25 p.m.    Damn you Daily Show. Better turn off the TV so I have half a prayer of getting up on time tomorrow.