I try to keep my
sh*t world together but lately that’s nearly impossible as I can’t seem to remember anything. I always have good intentions of meal planning, tracking spending, setting up a calendar system, organizing my house, etc. but I never seem to have the time (or motivation). So I’m turning to my trusty iPhone to give me a little help with saving time (and money) and organizing my life (and the life of my husband, my baby girls and my fur baby). Work smarter, not harder right?
I did some research on Pinterest (cuz you know I’m a Pinterest addict) and chose 5 recommended apps to (hopefully) help add some structure and organization to my life (and bonus, most of these apps are free). I’m giving them a test run over the next couple months and then I’ll report back so stay tuned!
Ziplist; cost: free
My meal planning/shopping list skills are seriously lacking. In my head, I dream of being a meal planning, grocery shopping ninja but I just can’t seem to get on track with something that works for my family. I’m also the queen of making five trips to the store each week for just a couple of items. This app claims to help you meal plan, create and organize your shopping list by category, notify you of coupons or deals for items on your list (bonus) and even lets you bookmark recipes you find around the web. I’m hoping this little wonder turns me into the meal/grocery ninja I’ve always dreamed of being. PS. there is also a web version you can use from your computer or tablet.
Evernote; cost: free (you can upgrade to a premium for $5/mo)
I love to make lists and save articles/recipes/gift ideas, but I can never seem to find them later. Evernote (which also has a web version for easy use on your computer or tablet) helps you remember everything. You can create audio, photo and text notes, as well as clip info from websites, and then access them from any of your devices. It allows you to search through the content you’ve saved and makes it easy to share the information with others. The premium version lets you add more files, lock your notes for privacy and work offline.
ArtKive; cost: $4.99
If your kids are anything like mine, they are really into coloring, drawing, painting, etc. I literally have Tinkerbell and Dora colored pictures taped all around the house (thanks to our non-magnetic stainless steel fridge, oops). And then there are the 4-5 school papers and drawings that Lucy brings home every other day. I don’t have the heart to throw them away but I also don’t have a place to store them. This clever app allows you to snap a pic of your child’s artwork with your phone, organize it, store it, and even use the artwork to create books and keepsakes (grandparents I know what you’re getting for Christmas).
Red Stamp; cost: free
I’m terrible at sending cards, birthday cards, thank you cards, any kind of card. This genius app allows you to send ‘cards’ to friends and family via email or text message. You can choose from a variety of designs, add a photo and your personal message (think ‘Thanks grandma for cute new shoes. Love Lucy’ or ‘I hope you had a safe trip Dad. We can’t wait to see you soon’) then hit send. You can even have a paper version sent for around $2.
Mint; cost: free
Tracking spending and budgeting
sucks is not my strength. Mint seems to make it pretty painless. You can import and categorize transactions from multiple accounts,As well as set up budgets for different expense categories. You can also set up savings or payment goals to help you meet a savings goal or pay off debt.
Over the next couple of months, I’ll be using these apps in an attempt to get a better handle on the craziness of our family life. I’ll be back with an update and review of each of these to let you know whether I think they’ve really saved me time or just took up space on my phone.
Do you have an app you can’t live without? Let me know!