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I love being a mom! But what comes along with that is a pretty busy day. With taking care of the baby, laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping (and an endless number of other tasks, including working from home) my days get filled up pretty fast. I’m not complaining – it all comes along with the territory and I love this life!
The one thing that helps me manage it all is to find ways to be more organized, and thankfully, I found some apps that help me do this.
I’m not one to just download a bunch of apps, but I do love to use them when they’re practical.
Sure, for a lot of these I could just use pen and paper, but that is just not my style.
First of all, I hate to hand-write. I’m left-handed so it’s already naturally awkward for me. And I write so little these days that it hurts my hand after only a short time (can anyone relate!?).
Also, I make a lot of mistakes when I write by hand, and when I do, I usually like to start completely over instead of crossing something out and making it look messy. (A mess makes me feel LESS organized.)
All of that is just too much wasted time for me!
So instead, I usually turn to various apps to help me.
The apps that I use may not be the most popular ones (except for maybe the last one on my list), but they work very well for me.
They are also free. That’s right – FREE!
I have probably only ever paid for one or two apps in my entire life. I would rather deal with an ad now and again then spend unnecessary money (where are my other frugal moms at!?).
It’s important to note that the apps I have listed below are compatible with Android devices. It’s possible some may also work with Apple, but since I don’t have an iPhone, I have not tested them nor did the research to see. Sorry iPhone users! I’m hoping to have an iPhone and if I do, I will certainly see if my favorite apps also work for Apple.
But the point of me sharing these apps isn’t so that you necessarily use the exact ones I mention (although I do include links to them). But rather, they are meant to spark ideas of different kinds of apps you can use to better organize your life.
So if you decide you don’t like an app I am using for something specific, then search for one you do like!
(And by the way, I am not getting paid a penny to endorse these apps. I just love them enough to recommend them! :))
From babies to budgeting and everything in between – here we go!
This post was updated and republished December 11, 2019.
This is absolutely one of my all-time favorite apps.
As a first time mom, it has been so helpful to me as a place to track my baby’s feedings, sleep times, diaper changes, tummy time, etc.
When my son was first born the doctor would often ask me about his feedings and diapers and I would blankly stare at her because they weren’t something I tracked well in my head. This app eliminates that problem!
Also, since I work from home, it’s not always easy to keep track of everything in my head when I’m busy. No need to worry about that anymore!
The following are my favorite features of the app:
When nursing, I press either L or R (left or right) and it will start a clock as my son nurses. Then I simply press the stop button when he is finished.
I love this feature because I am terrible at remembering which side my son nursed on last and so I just go right back to the app when it’s time to feed him again to know where to start.
But my favorite part of it is that I can just open the app and it will tell me exactly how long it has been since he last ate. If he’s fussy and I’m not sure why, I can see that he hasn’t eaten in three hours and that he is likely fussy because he is hungry.
It also has options to track bottle feedings, pumping sessions and also solid foods.
When my son falls asleep I press the “play” button and it starts timing him. If I don’t get to the app right away, I can manually set the time he fell asleep and it will start the timer from there.
When my son was waking up every couple of hours during the night, I loved being able to see just how often it was happening. Sometimes the night became a blur and so it was helpful for me to be able to look back and know exactly what was going on.
And since I work from home, I sometimes have to go into the office and I bring him with me. Being able to look at his recent nap times helps me to know when to schedule my meetings at the office so that it is hopefully also a good time for him.
And just like with feedings, it will tell me exactly how long it has been since he last woke up. Another feature that helps me determine why he might be fussy.
I don’t always remember to, but I try and log when my son has a diaper change and what kind of diaper he had.
The other day I was running low on diapers and was able to look back over the past couple of days to see how many diapers he was going through in a day. It turned out I could wait until the next day to buy more.
This was a great way for me to make sure my son was getting enough tummy time each day. As with the other options, I just start a timer at the beginning and then stop it when he’s finished.
I also use the app to keep track of height and weight and so much more!
Some people like to write down their to-do lists. Other people like to just keep them in their head. I love to use an app on my phone.
I always have my phone right by me so I can easily pick it up when I need to add something or take a look at what I need to do.
The app I use gives me the option to create many task lists. I have lists for each day of the week, my blog, and for my day job.
When I complete a task it puts a line through it (until I delete it completely) so I can see my progress at the end of the day. It also lets me easily rearrange my tasks in order of importance (or whatever other order I prefer). And finally, I can color code each list to keep them separate.
Just like with to-do lists, many people like to hand write their grocery list. For me, however, using an app for my list keeps me so much more organized. I love that I can easily pick up my phone when I need to add something as soon as I realize we’re out of it or getting low.
When I’m at the grocery store (or grocery shopping online) I just tap the item as I pick it up and it moves to the bottom with a line through it so I know I grabbed it .
I can also have multiple shopping lists, which is great for me. For example, I have a different list ready to go for Costco and one for Aldi.
And one of the best features of it – I can share it with other household members! My husband can just open the app on his phone when he goes to the store and shop right from it.
Since I manage the finances in our busy household, I need every tool I can to keep me organized.
EveryDollar is my absolute favorite place to keep my budget. It’s very easy to use and lays out my budget very clearly for me.
It is also very easy to record transactions and it keeps track of how much money there is left to spend for the month in each budget category. It does have a paid version, which links it to a bank account, but I haven’t found a need to use that.
EveryDollar can be used on the phone or desktop – and I use both often. The phone is great when I’m out and about and want to record a purchase right away. I like to use it on the desktop, however, when I’m creating my budget.
Checkbook – Account Tracker (Checkbook Register App)
Checkbook registers aren’t popular these days, but it is another important tool I use to keep our finances organized. (Today it should actually be called Bank Account Register, since checks aren’t popular anymore. It still serves the same purpose!). Using a checkbook register, and balancing it, is the only way I have any idea exactly how much money we have to spend because it records every penny going into and out of our bank account.
I give people who use an actual paper checkbook register a lot of credit! It takes a lot of work in my opinion. I just don’t have the patience for it.
When I worked at the bank, I often helped customers find the error in their checkbook registers when they didn’t balance. Sometimes this took a really long time.
I like to use an electronic checkbook register instead. It’s so easy to just open it up on my phone and record my transaction as soon as it’s made. And when I go to balance my checkbook, all I have to do is just click the dot next to the transaction and it clears it for me.
Best of all – it does all the math for me! It makes balancing so simple. No more crossing out and spending hours trying to figure out why I’m not balancing!
I am fairly new to Evernote, but boy do I love it so far! There is so much that can be done on it. In fact, all or most of the above apps could probably easily be done right in Evernote if I wanted.
Right now I use Evernote mainly for a place to take any notes I need to keep. But it can be used for reminders, budgeting, a weekly planner, a calendar and so much more! It even provides many templates. (I am still learning everything it can do – there’s so much!)
I highly recommend checking out The Merry Momma’s post on how she uses Evernote to store recipes. It will give you a glimpse into the app and it just might help you out if you’ve been looking for a better way to store recipes! I know I’m going to start using her method.
Bonus App – Trello
I just started using Trello and found it is another great way to stay organized. With Trello, It is a great way to prioritize projects and other things you are doing. I am still learning more about it but I think you might really like it if you check it out!
There are many different tools I use when it come to organizing my busy mama life. These 6 apps are just a few of those. They have really made things simpler for me and made me feel like I’m staying on top of certain areas of my life. I can never go wrong with that!
What kinds of tools do you like to use to keep your life organized?