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!

8 Common Time Management and Productivity Mistakes That Moms Make


Mom and Baby

In our modern world, we have demands on our time that our parents’ generation never even dreamed about. Our children have more challenging schedules; school is more competitive than ever before; and the modern digital world presents distractions that would have been science fiction in our parents’ time.

If you feel like you don’t have enough time in your day and you’re struggling to stay on top of things, keep reading to learn about these 8 mistakes that you might be making.

1. You Spend Too Much Time Online

We’re fortunate that we have access to information anywhere and at any time. However, the availability of information is a mixed blessing. According to the 2014 Millennial Mom Report, Millennial Moms spend nearly 8.3 hours on a typical weekday using digital media. This includes tablet, smartphone, laptop, TV streaming, radio and television. And the Gen X moms are not immune. They’re right behind them with an average of 7.4 hours of daily media use.

As you probably know, once you get online you can fall down a slippery slope. You pop on Pinterest to see if there’s a new recipe for a Gluten-free, Paleo stew and before you know it, you’re bombarded with beautiful and enticing photos of DIY projects, summer outfits and new hairstyles. You’re sucked in and suddenly you’re at the hardware store purchasing the materials to make a Mason jar chandelier.

It’s interesting that parents limit the screen time of their children; however, many are not setting the limits on themselves. Think about the amount of time that you spend plugged in. You might find that your time could be spent more productively elsewhere.

2. You Don’t Make Time for Exercise

Many moms don’t make the time for exercise because they’re busy with their career and parenting. Again, according the 2014 Millennial Mom Report, on average, Millennial Moms spend -0.8 hours a day exercising. If you’re a regular exerciser, congratulations, you can skip to the next section!

What many moms don’t realize is there are hidden productivity benefits of exercise. Exercise doesn’t just provide weight loss and health benefits, such as reducing the risk of diabetes. Getting fit also improves energy level, alertness and might also prevent sicknesses by boosting the circulation of white blood cells.

Think about how you could carve out an extra 30 or 60 minutes a day. Take a brisk walk or a bike ride with your kids and find a gym with a fun daycare. Take a run while your child is at a piano lesson, rather than checking Facebook or Pinterest. Think about other creative ways to make exercise a priority in your life. The productivity results will be amazing!

3. You Over Schedule Your Kids

I’m sure you’ve read about the possible dangers of over-scheduling kids. They get burned out, stressed out and cranky. But what about the moms who schedule, organize and support all of these activities? They aren’t immune to the same effects. An overly busy schedule can consume a considerable amount of time in many moms’ lives. Between tutors, sports, music lessons and other activities, moms spend numerous hours supporting kids’ events. It takes a toll on health and sucks away time that could be used more productively.

This doesn’t mean that you should eliminate stimulating activities. Find a healthy balance. Ensure you have a support system. Take turns carpooling with other parents; divide and conquer with your spouse or partner; and elicit the help from older children. If you still can’t find the time to prepare a healthy dinner and your kids are finishing their homework past 10:00 at night, it’s time to re-prioritize these activities.

4. You Do Everything For Your Kids

Out of all of the items listed here, this is the one that I’m most guilty of. As a busy working mom, I sometimes find it easier just to take care of things myself then to teach my son to do it. Big mistake.

It’s likely that you’ve heard the Chinese proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The same is true for our kids. Teaching them life skills such as doing dishes, choosing their clothes, doing laundry, learning to drive, taking care of pets, making beds, etc. frees your time and teaches them how to be responsible. Of course, it can be frustrating at first – especially when your son chooses to wear superhero tights with a tuxedo jacket to school. However, you’ll pat yourself on the back when they’re packing up boxes and heading to college.

5. You Make Mental Lists

When you’re a busy parent, it gets harder and harder to keep up with the demands on your schedule. And when you’re relying on memory alone to keep things straight, items are bound to fall through the cracks. The human brain is only equipped to remember a few things at a time. And it’s also a well-known fact that trying to remember too many things can lead to anxiety and stress.

If you haven’t started using a calendar, day planner or personal organization app on your Smartphone for managing your schedule and keeping track of to do lists, then get started today. Being free of mental clutter takes a huge load off of your shoulders.

6. You’re Ignoring “The Cloud”

I discussed mental clutter above, but what about physical clutter? Physical clutter also negatively impacts productivity. Physical clutter in the form of papers messes with your focus, which makes you less productive. An easy solution to paper clutter is to take advantage of “Cloud Storage.”  If you don’t know what “The Cloud” is, don’t be embarrassed. In fact, according to Citrix, when they surveyed respondents about it, 29% responded that it is a “fluffy white thing” in the sky.

If the Cloud perplexes you, you’re not alone. Without getting technical, it’s essentially an infrastructure of servers (computers that provide data to other computers) that all work together to deliver services to you over the Internet. When you upload files to the Cloud, you’re storing them elsewhere, instead of on your local machine.

Cloud storage is provided to you for free for personal use (until you run out of space). You can take advantage of services such as Dropbox™, Box™, OneDrive™ (SkyDrive) and others to store your important scanned papers. You simply scan, copy and upload those files to the Cloud. It’s actually extremely easy to set up and utilize.

You’re probably wondering how the Cloud is going to save time. Unlike your filing cabinet, Cloud storage opens up the ability to better organize and search using keywords for quick access to files. Not to mention, it clears up the clutter in your home, which frees your mind.

7. You Drink Too Much Coffee

Before writing this post, I asked my teenage son what time management mistakes that he sees moms making. He surprisingly answered, “they go to Starbucks too much.” This made me think about the impact of caffeine on productivity. Caffeine is a double-edged sword. Sure, it wakes you up and may help you focus. However, coffee is a stimulant so it can keep you up at night, which leads to lost productivity. In addition, caffeine dehydrates you, which depletes your energy. If you’re overdoing it, start replacing your afternoon coffee with herbal tea or water. Make sure to stay adequately hydrated to keep your energy level up.

8. You’re Not Planning Ahead

After working in the tech industry for many years – dealing with aggressive deadlines and startup schedules — I learned a thing or two about the best ways to conquer a project. In my opinion, one of the most rewarding and challenging projects you’ll ever face is raising children and running a household. So why not treat it like you would any other project?

In tech, the Agile Methodology is a very popular project management technique. Two excellent takeaways from the Agile Methodology, which you can apply to getting things done at home are ”Planning Meetings” and “Review Meetings.” For example, take the time to conduct a family meeting once a week to plan the activities of the upcoming week and to also reflect upon what went right and what went wrong during the previous week. Discuss meals, shopping lists, activity schedules, homework and career commitments. Your family life will run more smoothly and you’ll get more things done.

Your Turn

Are you making any of these mistakes? What are the roadblocks that keep you from getting things done? Comment and let us know!

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