If you’re like me and a working mama, you’re busy. In fact, busy isn’t even all encompassing enough to describe the level of hustle required to get everything done on a day-to-day basis. And if you’re a single mom, which I also am in this season of my life for all intents and purposes, don’t even get me started on how incredibly overwhelming my To-Do list is on the daily. Between shuttling kids to school and activities, staying caught up at work, keeping the house from becoming a disaster area and getting food on the table every day, I barely have time to think. So I want to take a minute out of my busy day to share with you my five favorite apps that help me make it through those mundane and extra curricular tasks from week to week.
- Google Calendar – This is my number one app that helps me keep my schedule straight and making sure I don’t forget to do things like “fasting labs” (that was from this morning). It’s backed up by the Google Cloud which means it syncs across devices so I still get my reminders when I’m settling in for the night and reading on my tablet and have turned off my phone (I hear you gasping but I have to unplug and decompress from that leash every night or I’ll never sleep). I can also pull it up on my laptop and have it handy when I need to add in client appointments and details or other such fun stuff from there. And because it’s backed up by the cloud, I don’t have to worry about losing everything if my phone takes a swim or crashes.
- Last Pass – I have been looking for an app to keep my stupid passwords straight ever since Samsung did away with their Knox service and this is the best app I’ve found by far. It also backs up to a cloud service and works across devices so I can visit a website on my tablet and still have the password easily accessible if I’m logging in from my phone or laptop. I like that I can save not only site passwords but passwords to things like Wi-Fi or create secure notes for Social Security numbers and the like. Having one simple location to access my secure data makes it easy for me to manage bank balances and take care of bills. I can’t give this one high enough ratings.
- Shutterfly – Who has time to deal with photos anymore? I take tons of pictures of me and my littles and I know I do not have time to worry about uploading them and then trying to edit and print them. Fortunately, Shutterfly makes it super simple and has an auto-uploader feature where you can upload your pictures automatically so you’ll never miss a shot. They have unlimited free prints using their app which is also a great money saver. I absolutely adore their photo books, pillows, mugs, magnets and other adorable photo gifts. Photo calendars are a huge hit with grandparents and extended family for holiday and birthday gifts. Seriously, couldn’t be easier or more affordable.
- Out of Milk – Shopping lists are such a pain. No matter where I set them, on the counter by my keys, in my purse, even in the car, I invariably forget or lose them by the time I make it in the store. I’ve tried some other apps but this one feels the most user-friendly and simple with the options to either manually add items, scan barcodes or add from history. I also like the Pantry List and relatively new Add Recipe feature. I keep my main grocery list and also a running Christmas list where I keep track of presents that I need to buy (or have already bought) throughout the year. You can also easily share the list via simple text or sync with someone else who has the app which is a convenient and easy to use feature.
- Expensify – This app doesn’t get near the love it deserves until it’s five days from taxes being due and I haven’t done anything to prepare! Then I start scrambling and trying to figure out what receipt needs to be claimed where and remember, oh yeah, that’s why I keep a rolling tally of expenses and group them as I go. I manage property for my grandmother, have a small business, work full time for an employer and have lots of medical expenses all of which I have already broken out into separate reports. I upload my receipts and add which report they should file to and then can quickly run through and add details either when I enter them or before I send out reports to my accountant. Seriously, has taken tasks that I think all of us probably hate and made it suck a lot less.
All of these apps are available through Google Play or the App Store for FREE. There are upgraded and paid versions of the apps but I am satisfied with the free versions and absolutely recommend them to you. None of these companies have paid me to say nice things or compensated me in any way for these suggestions so you can rest assured that this is 100% my real opinion and not influenced any way.
I’m always looking for suggestions for apps that save time and money. What are your favorite apps? I’ve been looking for a good app to store videos but haven’t found one I love yet. I have tried Google Drive, Amazon Drive and Drop Box but they have such limited amounts of storage, I run out of space relatively quickly. I’m all about free so if you know a free platform that allows you to store videos, would you please comment below with your suggestions. Looking forward to hearing what y’all think.