Mother’s Day 2015 – 12 Best Apps for Moms


Every year, more and more moms are getting connected and their mobile use is skyrocketing. These tech savvy moms want their mobile devices to be equipped with the best apps to help them save time, save money and make their lives safer and easier. For Mother’s Day, we compiled a list of our 12 favorite apps for iPhone and iPad and we’re sharing these apps with our readers to help them get more from their mobile devices. These apps are paid, freemium and free. Click on the app’s link to learn more about the pricing.

1. Evernote® – Rating 4+

Click here to find Evernote at the Apple App Store

Evernote is for note taking and it’s considered a best-of-class app. It’s a “freemium” application, which means you can use it for free and choose to be charged for upgrades.

Why is Evernote great for moms? Moms are busy people and can’t keep everything inside their heads. With Evernote, it’s super easy to take notes, organize things found on the web and make checklists. With tagging, moms can easily find the information that they’ve saved in Evernote. I like using the Evernote Web Clipper. It allows moms to “clip” information from the web and save articles, recipes and more in Evernote.


2. Dropbox™ – Rating 4+

Click here to find Dropbox at the Apple App Store

When I first started using Dropbox years ago, it was simply a great way to share big files with co-workers, family and friends. Dropbox has evolved over the years and it has become extremely popular for file storage in the Cloud. With Dropbox, moms can store their photos and documents and easily share them with others. 2 GB of space is available for free and more can be obtained with a fee or through other actions, such as sharing.

Why is Dropbox great for moms? It’s an excellent way to back up and share family photos, receipts and other important documents. Moms can scan report cards, homework, kids artwork, etc. and save these items forever in a safe and secure place. No worries about hardware crashes. It also helps to keep the house tidy eliminating paper clutter.


3. LifeTopix™ from LightArrow, Inc. – Rating 4+

Click here to find LifeTopix at the Apple App Store

LifeTopix is an all-one-organizer for work and life. Many use it for life management or small business management. It’s excellent for getting and staying organized. It’s one of the best personal organization apps for families and anyone else who wants to boost their productivity.

Why is LifeTopix great for moms? It’s like having a personal assistant that organizes everything. Moms can organize travel, projects and tasks, events, finances, health and fitness, home assets, bookmarks, photos and shopping — all in one place, which prevents the need to jump from app to app. The Agenda view, shown below, is super handy for knowing what’s coming up today, tomorrow and in the near future at a glance.


4. Scanner Pro by Readdle – Rating 4+

Click here to find Scanner Pro at the Apple App Store

I recently discovered Scanner Pro and wow I was impressed. Scanner Pro essentially turns your iPad into a scanner, saving you loads of time.

Why is Scanner Pro great for moms? As I mentioned earlier, Dropbox is an excellent way to keep the house tidy by storing documents. With Scanner Pro, moms can easily scan all types of documents, save them in a variety of sizes (A4, letter, legal, business card, etc.), and upload these documents directly to a variety of other apps, including Dropbox and Evernote. Moms can also open these scanned documents in LifeTopix allowing them to associate the documents with projects, events and other LifeTopix items. In the example below, I’ve scanned a bike map which I can access directly from LifeTopix if I get lost while cycling — no need to carry a physical map in my bike pouch.


5. What to Expect – Rating 4+

Click here to find “What to Expect” at the Apple App Store

Just about everyone who’s expecting or who’s had a baby has heard of the famous book “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” This app is based on the famous book. It’s basically a roadmap for your pregnancy on iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.

Why is “What to Expect” great for moms? This app is especially valuable for first time moms. It offers practical advice, tips, articles, videos and message boards. It also helps moms communicate information with their spouse or partner, which is fun and helpful during pregnancy.


6. Finding Rover – Rating 3+

Click here to find Finding Rover at the Apple App Store

Finding Rover uses a new facial recognition technology to make finding dogs easy through a community of users. For example, you take a photo of your pet and upload it to the app. Someone finds your beloved pooch and snaps a photo. Voila! Your pup’s face is matched and found! And did I mention the app is free?

Why is “Finding Rover” great for moms? Every parent knows that losing a beloved pet is heartbreaking for the entire family. Fortunately Finding Rover has come to the rescue.


7. OverDrive – Rating 4+

Click here to find OverDrive at the Apple App Store

As a leading distributor of eBooks, OverDrive offers eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video from local libraries. In fact, there’s a network of over 30,000 libraries worldwide that offers titles from OverDrive.

Why is OverDrive great for moms? Many moms like to relax with a good book, but it’s hard to find time to get to the library. In this situation, OverDrive is a perfect solution. Also, everyone knows that reading is the cornerstone of learning. OverDrive offers many titles for kids and it’s a great way to quickly introduce new books to inquisitive children.


8. Etsy – Rating 4+

Click here to find Etsy at the Apple App Store

Etsy is a new way to shop. Everything found on Etsy is created or curated by people running independent businesses. Essentially, if you want to find something different and unique, Etsy is the place to find it.

Why is Etsy great for moms? I think most moms would agree that they love shopping on Etsy because of the extraordinary things they can find. It also allows them to support independent businesses. And moms with an entrepreneurial spirit can create their own businesses while taking care of kids at home. In fact, Fast Company reported that Alicia Shaffer’s business named ThreeBirdNest makes $80,000 monthly!


9. Calm – Rating 4+

Click here to find Calm at the Apple App Store

Calm is an app for meditation, sleep, relaxation and focus. It helps users learn mindfulness meditation and includes seven guided meditation sessions from 2 to 30 minutes.

Why is the Calm app great for moms? Moms live in a busy world and they don’t have a lot of time to relax and focus on the present moment. When stress takes over, it can take a toll on physical health. Meditation can improve sleep, treat heart issues, relieve chronic pain, lower blood pressure and improve insulin resistance.


10. RetailMeNot – Rating 4+

Click here to find RetailMeNot at the Apple App Store

RetailMeNot is an app for saving money and who doesn’t like saving money? This app provides deals (online and nearby) and allows its users to view these deals by category. “Trending” deals are also provided so users can find the most popular discounts.

Why is RetailMeNot great for moms? It’s an excellent app for saving money and no coupon clipping is required. Moms can just show the retail clerk the barcode on their iPhone or iPad and be on their way!


11. Skype – Rating 3+

Click here to find Skype at the Apple App Store

Skype is a service that features video calling, voice calling, instant messaging and file sharing. It’s a Microsoft product that was purchased from Ebay in 2011. Skype is similar to FaceTime and Google Hangouts, but it provides some advantages for those who want to video or voice chat with people who use a variety of devices and software. For example, with Hangouts, users are required to set up Google + accounts. With FaceTime, users are required to own Apple devices. Consequently, if you want to video chat with Grandma in Poughkeepsie who’s still using Windows 7 and isn’t keen on social networks, you’re in luck if you’re using Skype.

Why is Skype great for moms? Nothing replaces face-to-face communication, but video chatting is the next best thing. These days, many families are spread around the country and even around the world. If you can’t be with your mom this Mother’s Day, consider helping her set up Skype on her computer or smartphone. This way, you can have video chats regularly — not matter what technology she’s using.


12. NextDoor – Rating 4+

Click here to find NextDoor at the Apple App Store

NextDoor is a free private social network for neighborhoods. According to their website, over 60,000 neighborhoods across the U.S. are now using NextDoor. When you sign up and open the NextDoor app, you’re presented with a variety of happenings in your neighborhood. It provides classifieds, crime alerts, lost and found and general information such as social events, traffic alerts, HOA meetings and news around your city.

Why is NextDoor great for moms? These days, moms are so busy it’s challenging to stay in the loop, especially if they work outside the home. NextDoor is it has become the new “Neighborhood Watch.” If anything suspicious or unusual is happening, parents know instantly through the optional notifications. It’s also a great way to sell, trade and purchase used items — it feels much more safe than using Craiglist.


Your Turn

We love sharing and reading about useful apps. Please share your favorites in the comments below. Thanks!

Does Your Pregnancy App Allow You to Think Beyond Nine Months?

Our customers tell us time and time again that they install many apps and soon get bored with them or no longer find them useful. This is a trend that we typically see with “niche” apps, such as pregnancy apps that are built to manage one thing — your pregnancy. Imagine what you could do with an app that could manage your quest to get pregnant, your pregnancy, and your life after baby. This is what LifeTopix does — and more. Keep reading to learn how.

Get Pregnant LifeTopix

Pregnancy apps generally include the following features (but not all in one app): photo journals; text journals; logging (mood, energy, appetite, morning sickness, cravings, weight, measurements, medication, fitness, nutrition, etc.); MD visit planning; graphical charts; baby shower planning; baby shopping lists; pregnancy to-dos; favorite websites; and contraction counters. What’s great about LifeTopix is it’s completely user configurable so you can decide what you want to track. You can track everything from the days you’re ovulating to planning your child’s college fund.

Note: This post was created using a pre-released version of LifeTopix, which will be coming soon to the Apple App Store.

Charting Fertility

Each month, there’s a window of time (12 to 24 hours) during which an egg can be fertilized. You can track the times that you’re most fertile in your LifeTopix calendar. I recommend adding a LifeTopix Bookmark to this handy ovulation calculator from WebMD. Let it calculate the times it believes you’re fertile and add those times to your calendar. The following shows an example of your calendar with appointments.

high fertility

Scheduling Doctor’s Appointments

You can schedule your doctor’s appointments, midwife appointments, and tests such as ultrasounds the same way that you chart fertility. If you prefer to use your Google Calendar or Device’s calendar, LifeTopix works seamlessly with both.


Creating Pregnancy Journals

Keeping a journal of your pregnancy is a wonderful way to record this special time in your life through your thoughts and photos. With LifeTopix, you can use the Notes + Files topic to record text, audio, video, photos, and drawings. The best way to get started is to create a Pregnancy Project, and then add a Note to the project. And if you use Evernote, you can also add your Evernote notes. In addition, printing capabilities are included. The following example shows the Notes view in which your journal would appear.

pregnancy journal

Logging Pregnancy Statistics

LifeTopix enables you to log just about any type of stat that you can possibly dream up. These stats are very helpful for fertility doctors, your OBGYN, and for your own reference. Examples of items to track might be mood, energy, appetite, cravings, morning sickness, blood pressure, glucose levels, prenatal vitamins, exercise, nutrition, calories, measurements, weight, and meditation. In addition, you can combine many of these items into multi-topic log forms and view a graphical representation of combined items to recognize any trends (such as meditation and mood). The following example shows data for waist circumference, represented in centimeters over time, in a graphical format.

waste circumference

Planning Baby Shower Events

An item that is unique to LifeTopix, as opposed to special Pregnancy Apps, is the ability to plan entire events, such as baby showers. LifeTopix enables you to add tasks, checklists, appointments, reminders, bookmarks, files, audio, photos, video, notes, expenses, services, and shopping items to events. You can also manage the invitees, including keeping track of responses and emailing all invitees at once with updates.

baby shower

Recording Baby Shower Gifts Received

When you’re expecting, you’re likely to receive many gifts. With LifeTopix, you can keep track of all the gifts that you received during your pregnancy and after the baby arrives. When you record each gift, you can create reminders to make sure you send a thank you card.  The following shows an example of the gift record.


Creating Shopping Lists for You and Baby

When you’re preparing for the baby, there are several items that you need to purchase for feeding, diapering, clothing, etc. You can find a great list of items to bookmark at Once you decide on the items that you wish to purchase, you can create your shopping lists directly in LifeTopix. In shopping lists, LifeTopix calculates the total cost of each item based on the quantity to help you with planning your budget. You can also check off the items as you purchase them. You can add a seller, photos, notes, and product details to each item if you need more detail while you’re shopping.

The following shows an example of shopping lists in LifeTopix.

baby shopping items

Tracking Your Pregnancy To-dos

Many moms-to-be can feel very overwhelmed during their pregnancy. Keeping track of the many things that are necessary to prepare, be healthy, and manage life can be quite challenging. Keeping a to-do list can lower your stress level by helping you not worry about all the things that are bouncing around in your head. There are plenty of resources to help you prepare. A site that includes a very helpful set of checklists is Babyzone. In LifeTopix, you can create tasks for items that might linger for a while; and alternatively, create checklists for items that you quickly check off each day or week. The following shows an example of checklists in LifeTopix.


Remembering Your Favorite Pregnancy Websites

With LifeTopix Bookmarks, you can use your device to quickly access all of the websites that are useful for your pregnancy, documents that you’ve stored, and user names and passwords for your favorite websites or pregnancy forums. The following screenshot shows an example of bookmarks in LifeTopix.


Recording Kick Counts

Currently, LifeTopix doesn’t include automated functionality for tracking kicks; however, it can be accomplished via a manual process. According to American Pregnancy, “The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you time how long it takes you to feel 10 kicks, flutters, swishes, or rolls. Ideally, you want to feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours. You will likely feel 10 movements less than that.”

For kick counts, you can set a reminder or appointments in LifeTopix to remind you to record movements as directed by your doctor or midwife. In LifeTopix, this can be accomplished by creating a Wellness Log form, and selecting the options that appear in the screenshot below:


So if you’re thinking beyond nine months, LifeTopix will be a great app for you. You can start planning your child’s college fund; manage your household expenses; manage your fitness to lose any post pregnancy weight; keep track of service providers, such as babysitters and day care providers; and the list goes on and on. You can learn more about LifeTopix at the Apple App Store.

Tips To Regain Your Fitness After Pregnancy

In our last blog post, we talked about ways a mother can stay fit during pregnancy. This time, we will offer up some tips for how you can recapture your pre-pregnancy physique.

1) First, you have to remember that physical fitness takes time — there are no shortcuts. Trying to rush too quickly can be dangerous to you and your family, so be patient and set realistic expectations.

2) As always, you should get your doctor’s approval before you start exercising.  Unless you have health issues, generally light to moderate intensity aerobic exercise such as walking is safe after 4-6 weeks. If you encountered diastisis recti during pregnancy, check with your doctor about the best way to recover from that.

3) Good, gentle exercises to start with include kegels, pelvic tilts, gentle stretches on the floor, curls, and bridges.

4) As you progress and are ready to add a weight training routine back in to your exercise, start over with your weight training routine.   After you get the okay from your doctor to resume exercise, begin with 1 set of 10-15 reps of 8 to 10 exercises 1-2 days a week.

5) Breathing is always important when working out, but after a pregnancy, it becomes even more important. Proper breathing techniques that expand your abdomen as you inhale and flatten your chest and tighten your abdominal wall as you exhale will help get your abdominal muscles back in shape after pregnancy.

6) Take it easy on your abs!  Even though you want your pre- pregnancy tummy back ASAP, you have to give it time.  Your rectus abdominus (the large abdominal muscle that runs from your breast bone to pelvis) has been stretched and weakened for 9 months!  Start with exercises that target your transverse abdominal muscles like planks and progress to crunches slowly.

Above all, enjoy the time you have with your child. Getting yourself back into a fitness routine after childbirth not only helps fight the “baby blues” and postpartum depression, but it also releases endorphins that  can have a positive effect on the entire family.

This blog post is the second in a two-part series guest authored by Julie Drake and Leeann Mar­cie from the Uni­ver­sity of Texas at Austin’s Fit­ness Insti­tute of Texas.

Tips To Stay Fit During Pregnancy

If you are an expectant mother, it is very important for your health and your baby’s health that you continue to focus on your wellness throughout your pregnancy. In addition to eating right, getting proper rest, and taking your prenatal vitamins recommended by your doctor, physical fitness is very important. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologsts (ACOG), at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week is recommended.  Here are some tips for staying fit during your pregnancy:

– As with anything that involves your body and your baby, it is important that you speak with your doctor about all your exercise plans. You should also follow the ACOG’s guidelines and be aware of any contraindications and abnormal symptoms that may develop.

– As your belly expands, your pelvis can tip to counterbalance the load.  This “anterior pelvic tilt” shortens/tightens the hip flexors, tightens the lower back muscles and weakens your hamstrings.  Doing exercises to stretch or strengthen these muscles can help prevent back pain and keep your core strong throughout your pregnancy. Muscles to stretch: low back, hip flexors, chest, quads (avoid over-stretching: pregnancy hormones stimulate lengthening and laxity in the ligaments and other connective tissues).  Muscles to strengthen:  glutes, hip extensors, hamstrings, trapezius (upper back), pelvic floor

–  Include a minimum of two days per week of resistance training.  Bands, machines, or body weight exercises are best during pregnancy, especially full body resistive exercises that incorporate large muscle groups and your core such as squats and cable exercises.  Maintaining your muscle mass keeps your metabolic rate high to help you shed the baby weight and keeps your body strong so you can carry that 20lb infant car seat.

–  Circuit training and workouts that combine aerobic and strength exercises are an efficient way to move. For example, completing the two mile loop around your local park followed by 4-5 bodyweight exercises (2-3 sets each of  10-15 reps). Examples include modified push-ups on a bench, tricep dips on a bench, body weight squats, and modified pull-ups.  Most of these exercises can be done with items you have around you and require nothing more than your positive attitude and your doctors’ approval.

–  If you were a fit, regular exerciser before you became pregnant, you can maintain your current frequency of exercise but back down on the intensity.  Remember that this is not the time to lose weight or train for your next race.  Listen to your body and stop exercising if you feel over fatigued or pain.

–  If you count housecleaning and shopping as your physical activities, don’t order P90X or start an intense routine during pregnancy. Start with three days per week of moderate intensity exercise (such as walking) and progress to 30 minutes daily. You should be able to talk but not sing to know you are moving at the right pace.

–  Maintaining the strength of your pelvic floor and doing exercises that target your glutes and core are vital for supporting your growing belly and helping you in the delivery room. Exercises such as hip bridges and planks coupled with Kegels are ideal.  Avoid doing exercises on your back for extended periods of time. (See ACOG guidelines.)

–  Pregnancy hormones can be brutal, and your poor partner often receives the brunt of it.  Exercise and physical activity helps you feel good about your body and is proven to elevate your mood, combat depression and help you maintain that “Preggo Glow”.

–  Hydration is critical. The combination of an increased blood volume during pregnancy and the heat of summer (or the dryness of winter) make it critical that you stay hydrated.  Every fifteen minutes throughout your exercise routine you should be taking in 8 oz. of water.  Getting dehydrated and overheated can have a negative impact on you and on the development of your fetus. See ACOG guidelines about avoiding exercising outdoors midday and any activity where you get overheated.

– Focus on maintaining a neutral spine (ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips) during exercise to prevent injury – if you can’t maintain good alignment, you should choose a different exercise or lessen the intensity.

This blog post is the first in a two-part series guest authored by Julie Drake and Leeann Marcie from the University of Texas at Austin’s Fitness Institute of Texas.