My husband is always getting on my case because my face is in my phone when I should be doing something else. He’s right – I spend way too much time on my beloved device. But what he doesn’t see – what he can’t possibly see – is how much time I SAVE because of some of the tools I use on my phone. I’m not talking about Facebook or Instagram…or even iTunes or Overdrive (although those are some of my favorite places to visit when I escape the present and immerse myself in the digital word).
I’m talking about apps that help me do my job – my mom job as well as my business owner job. These are tools that actually save me time. If I didn’t check in with these while I’m in line at the grocery store or waiting for soccer practice to end, I’d have to spend time at home (a.k.a., “Family Time”) doing this work.
So, in the interest of saving you some precious family time, and helping you do your job more efficiently, here are five of my favorite apps for moms (just don’t tell your husband I’m the reason you have your face in your phone!):
Evernote: If I had to choose only one app for my phone, this would be it. I could write an entire blog post on Evernote because I love it so much and use it for so many things. But, in a nutshell, it’s my repository for every list, idea or resource that comes into my brain. I use it to: keep a running list of blog post ideas; share the grocery list with my husband or babysitter; keep track of college scholarships my kids may one day be eligible to apply for; compile documents for tax season; make note of restaurants that have been recommended to me in a city I’m visiting; and SO. MUCH. MORE. It saves me the time and aggravation of having to search for these things on sticky notes or in journals or somewhere on my laptop.
OnePass: This app would be my second choice – only because I could probably keep a list of my passwords in Evernote if I absolutely had to. But OnePass is my go-to tool for creating and storing passwords of all kinds. I currently have 997 passwords stored in OnePass. What if I had to remember all of those?! (I actually need to go through and delete about half of them because they are probably no longer active.) But the thing I love about OnePass is that it syncs on all my devices. So anytime I create a new account online (like when I buy new yoga pants from Athleta or register for an e-course), the password and username is automatically stored in OnePass. I don’t have to search my email for it – or try to find the notebook or document that contains my passwords. It’s right there for me. On my phone. Encrypted for my protection. Yes, please!
Mint: Over the years my husband and I have managed to open three different bank accounts for different purposes, as well as several credit cards (I know – that’s not a good thing but I like the cash back!) and a few investment accounts. With our money in different places, it’s hard to get the full picture of how much we’re spending – and saving. It would take me forever to log onto each site and get a snapshot of the account. But Mint makes it easy. You simply connect your accounts and Mint helps you stay on top of your financial goals. We get alerts when we’ve spent a large amount of money on something or when we’ve had a change in our spending habits. Last week, my husband went to the liquor store (a rare thing for him) and promptly received an alert about his “unusual spending activity!” You can create a budget in Mint and the app will help you stay on track.
Feedly: This is the app for you if you like to follow several different blogs. Instead of subscribing to blogs in your email, add the blog URL to Feedly. Then you can keep your inbox clutter-free – and easily access your favorite blogs at any time. You can even create categories for your blogs. For example, I follow blogs in the following categories: business, leadership, faith, motherhood, fitness, food, news and home. So I can browse my favorite blogs within a certain category and read the ones that interest me. You can save them to read later. And if you connect your social media channels, it’s easy to share those blog posts with your friends.
YouVersion: I’ve been trying not to look at anything on my phone in the morning until I’ve spent some time with God. So, I keep the YouVersion app where I can see it. Proverbs 31 Ministries has another app called First5 that is designed to ensure you spend your first five minutes in the Word. I haven’t tried it because YouVersion is working for me, but I’ve heard great reviews! I suppose it doesn’t actually save me time, but it reminds me to spend my time wisely. If I’m tempted to read a text or email first thing in the morning, I click on the app and begin my day in the Word instead. I love the way YouVersion allows you to read different translations and it also allows you to subscribe to a reading plan. I recently discovered how easy it is to make a quote image out of a scripture verse within the app and share it on social media!
Those are my top five apps for moms – and really for anyone! What about you? What are your go-to apps?