Tuesday, March 5, 2013

These Are a Few of My Favorite Apps

I know the world remained on it's axis and spun at the correct speed before the invention of smartphones. I also know that millions of people have gone and will go their entire lives and never touch one. For me, I'm incredibly thankful for my smart phone. I would like to share a few apps that in some way have made my life a little easier. I do own an Android phone but I'm sure most, if not all, of these apps are available for Apple as well. Most of these apps are free but I did pay for a few of them or upgrade to the pro version.
My phone often functions as my brain. I'm sure any busy mom can agree that when children enter the picture, your memory seems to leave. My phone helps me get everyone fed and clothed, keep them warm and dry, and make sure I remember their birthdays {I'm not that bad - yet!}. I thought I'd share a few apps that make my life as a busy, homeschooling, large family mom easier.
So, here they are in no particular order {other than the order the pictures uploaded} . . .
I already discussed menu planning here and this app aids with that task. Calengoo was the easiest calendar app to add an iCal link. My menu is on each day. If I open the day, I can then click a link for the recipe. My family doesn't do individual activities so I don't use the color coding feature in it but that would be a great asset if running different schedules. I can link my calendar with Kent's. When I add an activity it shows up on his calendar as well.
You Version has an awesome Bible app. I prefer reading from my paper Bible but when I forget to grab it when sitting to nurse {I always have my phone when I nurse - more on that later}, You Version is convenient to look up something or continue my daily Bible reading. The app also has various plans, versions and languages. Several versions do not require an Internet connection. The app has audiobook capabilities. You can search by topic, word or verse.
I have been using Out of Milk for about two years now. I love having a shopping list app on my phone. I never leave home without my phone, so now I never leave home without my shopping list. The app allows for multiple lists to be set up. I can keep an ongoing Sam's list, Dollar Tree list, and general list. As soon as I realize I'm out of something I can add it to the list. The lists can be rearranged so that my items are in order based on the store layout. Items are checked off as I go through the store.  You can even keep a running pantry list and create to-do lists.
Every busy mom needs a weather app. If you live in the Mid-South, this app from Channel 8 is great. Multiple cities can be added so the forecast can be found quickly. It has radar, 10-Day and hourly forecasts.
My reasons for liking this app are fairly easy to determine. I don't compose many posts using the Blogger App but I can upload pictures and screenshots from my phone. It's a much easier way to share items from my phone.
Evernote is an app that gets to be my brain. I like that it can be accessed from anything with an Internet connection. I keep ongoing lists of books the kids would like to have, packing lists for field trips and picnics, and gift lists. This past Christmas I numbered the kids' gifts and kept the code on Evernote.
App Lock's name is pretty explanatory. This app locks any app  I choose or all apps on my phone with a four digit pin. Currently I have any app that can spend money {Play Store, Amazon, etc} locked so that little hands can't order a new wardrobe with the click of a button. I also locked any app with personal information, such as Evernote.
Flixster is an app that I don't use often but it's really handy when I do. I have programmed movie theatres close to our home. With a click I can see what movies are currently showing. It has showtimes and trailers. I can even read reviews from multiple sources. If I see something we would like to watch, I can also add it to our Netfix que right from Flixster.
This app is the reason I always have my phone when nursing.  It can be used to track nursing time/side, bottles, pumping,  wet/dirty diapers, and sleep. It also has a place to track growth and medicine dosing {with timers!}. When several children are sick, it's easy to forget who had Tylenol when. Baby ESP will even send me a reminder telling me it's time for an antibiotic. You can add custom tracking. If you want to know how much time baby spent in the swing, keep up with it using Baby ESP! At various points I have added 5 of my children and it will still allow me to add more. This a perfect app for a mom with one child or a dozen children.
Motivated Moms is a chore app. Each day I have reminders to do various tasks. Some tasks are assigned daily such as make beds, do laundry, and run/empty dishwasher. There are also tasks that are assigned weekly like vacuum main rooms, wash sheets, mop kitchen. There are even more tasks assigned on a less frequent basis - change AC filter, clean light fixture - living room, etc. I love that I don't have to try to keep up with these things. I just pull out my phone and look at the days list. 
A through the Bible in a year reading plan is also part of the app. Each task can be removed or hidden if it isn't something you do {no guest room - block those tasks}. Custom tasks can also be added, these are completely customizable. You can specify room and frequency.
Each room is grouped together and completed tasks are moved to the bottom of the list.  Chores can even be assigned to different members of the household. Each member receives their own color {see, all the smart people color code ;-) }and their tasks are separated from the others.  I've been using this app since October and I am slowly getting to all the things I tend to forget, like ceiling fans and cleaning the freezer.
I have mentioned in the past my love for Amazon.  This app enables me to check prices quickly and place orders very easily. When making out a shopping list, I look over the weekly ads that come in the paper. Before adding an item to my list, I check the price on Amazon. If Amazon is within a dollar or two, I order the item from Amazon. It gets shipped to my door and I don't have to load up children or drive anywhere. If the price is less than Amazon's price, I add it to my list. The app even has a bar code scanner so I can make sure I'm comparing identical items.
All of these apps help me complete my tasks as manager of my home. Frequently my phone acts as my brain and helps me to remember things. It also places information right in my hand. Several of the apps I mentioned also cut down on paper use. It seems my lists always disappear to be discovered after I don't need them along with a pile of clutter. Anything that cuts down on the clutter that 9 people bring to a home is a winner in my book.
Want some more great tips? Head over to We Are That Family and join in the Works For Me Wednesday fun!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

You can also checkout Raising Homemakers and Raising Arrows for some great homemaking tips.

{It sems I am frequently asked how I do various tasks. I'm a member of a wonderful online community and have friend who are always willing to share their successes {and failures}. I plan to share a few of the things that work for me over the next few weeks. Most of my ideas are not original creations, they have morphed from places like Pinterest and Facebook. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel and I'm more than willing to share how I made it work for me. If you would like to know how I do something, leave a comment, send an e-mail, etc. I'll be more than happy to work up a post on the topic. You can e-mail at Stacy at TheresRoomForMore.com .}


  1. Hi, visiting from WFMW. I just got my first iphone for Christmas, so I love this post. I tried Motivated Moms (paper version) years ago, but I might just try the app. Thanks for a great post.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Dana! I also tried the Motivated Moms print version a few years ago. I liked it, but it didn't last long term. The app is so much easier. I don't have to print it and I don't leave it behind. I also like that I can add new tasks and remove the ones that don't apply to me. There was an iPhone version before the Android version. I heard such great things about the app that I nearly changed operating systems. It is a bit expensive (compared to free and 99 cent apps) but it has been very much worth it to me.

  3. I just loved this post as we gotmournfirst iPad in January and I'm still trying to get my head around the apps!! I'm going to check some of these out!
    Thanks very much

    1. So sorry that first line was meant to say 'got our first iPad'. Obviously I am still working on learning how this keyboard works!!!

  4. Great suggestions! I am always on the lookout for apps that make things easier.

  5. An iPad was a Christmas gift here. Our older children have Samsung tablets. I'll have to work on a list of favorite tablet apps. Thanks for stopping by Renata! Welcome, The Mom!