If you are reading this, then you are a busy mom. Or maybe a busy dad. Either way, that’s okay.
Whether you have one child or six, work in an office or at home, are a single parent or have a partner, managing your day is a well-honed skill. Some control over the next few hours could be the most meaningful gift for any Mother’s Day!
Technology helps when the brain gives up. Here are some tools that can help you plan, organize, stay informed, and even relax.
1. Wake Up Right
There is no worse sound early in the morning then that loud, annoying alarm clock. Yes, you need it to wake up. But why not try a more subtle, practical option?
With Poncho: Wake Up Weather, you can wake with jazzy music and the weather forecast for the day. You know how to dress yourself and the kids and if you will need an umbrella first thing in the morning. Plus, Poncho is a funny little cat that will give you a laugh when you wake up.
Download — Poncho for Android |iOS (Free)
2. Be on Time
Whether you work online or have a bit of time to browse the web, you can easily get distracted and forget important tasks. Maybe you have to pick up the kids from school, head to a doctor’s appointment, or get dinner in the oven.
Make sure you stop your online activity by using a handy browser extension. For Chrome, Cool Clock lets you set the countdown time in hours, minutes, and seconds and notifies you when time is up. It also includes an alarm clock and stopwatch.
For Firefox, TimerFox is basic yet useful timer. Set the countdown in hours, minutes, and seconds. You can also include a specific message for what you need to do when timer pops up its alert.
Want to battle it out with time? Try these handy timer extensions for Chrome.
3. Track the Chores
Put away the sticky notes, magnetic refrigerator planners, and paper lists. When it is time for everyone to get chores done around the house, make it more entertaining.
ChoreMonster is an awesome tool available on the web as well as mobile devices. What makes it unique is that your child will receive reward points for more motivation to make their bed, clean their room, or help with the dishes.
4. Find the Potty
You have probably run into a situation where your child needed to use the bathroom, but there was no option in site. While a potty-finding tool may not be something you use often, you have to admit, it is helpful to have, especially if your kids are toddlers.
Toilet Finder is an app available for mobile devices that locates the nearest bathroom, no matter where you go. You will see locations plotted on a map or in a list view. And, if you like to help others, you can add a spot you find that is not listed yet.
5. Make Sure It’s Appropriate
So your son wants to play that new video game at his buddy’s house. Or your daughter wants to watch that funny movie with her friends. Unfortunately, have not heard of either title. How do you know if the game or movie is appropriate for your child?
This is where Common Sense Media comes in to help. Available on the web and mobile devices, you can check out reviews, family guides, and top picks for media. Common Sense Media covers television shows, movies, games, books, apps, and websites.
You can also use the convenient search feature to quickly find out if something specific is appropriate for your child’s age.
Download — Common Sense Media for Android | iOS (Free)
6. Charge Your Battery
What is worse than forgetting your phone when you are out for the entire day running errands? The answer is, remembering your phone but having a dead battery. You need either a portable battery charger or charging case.
If Mophie products are not available for your device or you want a less expensive option, you can also check out Amazon. Pop cell phone battery case into the search box and have a look for one that suits you.
7. Do More by Doing Nothing
If you have tasks that you can automate, wouldn’t that save you a ton of time? Whether it is notifying your kids when you leave the office, controlling your home thermostat, or simply posting photos on social media, if you are not using IFTTT, then you are missing out.
IFTTT is a fantastic automation tool that goes beyond just those few tasks listed above. Receive a reminder to grab a jacket if it’s going to be cold out or a notification when NASA has breaking news. IFTTT works with over 400 apps and offers automated solutions for the home, social media, news, health, car, and more.
8. Check on the Kids
Is your child at that age where they are venturing off on their own more? Maybe they walk to and from the bus stop alone or home from school each day while you are at work. With the right tool, you will always know that your child made it to their destination safely.
One option to check out is Life360. This app helps you coordinate locations with your family in real-time. You can receive alerts when someone reaches home or school, view their current location on a map, and get driving data if your child is now behind the wheel.
Download the app for free and take a look at various paid plans if your family needs extras like unlimited places and lengthier location history.
9. Plan Healthy Meals
For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it can be hard for some families to plan healthy meals every time. Maybe you need ideas or simply dishes that do not require a lot of preparation.
Mealime is a terrific choice for healthy meal planning. You can plan meals for an entire week, use the built-in grocery list, and prepare the dishes in about 30 minutes. Check out Mealime on the web and then download it to your mobile device for free.
10. Organize It All
If what you really need is a calendar, task manager, and shopping list rolled into one, then you need a family organizer.
Cozi Family Organizer is one of the most popular options for keeping these items organized for you. You can share a color-coded family calendar, assign chores and tasks, and let everyone have input on the grocery list. Cozi also offers a recipe box for meal planning and handy reminders to keep all family members in the loop.
You can also check out the Cozi Gold paid subscription that provides a birthday tracker and other cool features.
11. Relax and Unwind
Now that the day is done, it’s time for mom to relax. But after a full day of activities, that can be hard to do sometimes. Whether you enjoy meditation or just need a simple way to unwind, you do not have to look far.
Available on the web and mobile devices is Calm. This wonderful app offers guided meditation sessions, breathing programs, and adult bedtime stories. You can choose unguided meditation, nature scenes and sounds, and try the Daily Calm feature for a 10-minute relaxation period before bed.
Calm is free, but offers subscription options for unlimited programs if you enjoy it.
Are You a Tech-Happy Mom?
Do you currently use any of these tools to help you through your busy days? If so, which are your favorites? Or maybe you have different tech hacks that keep you organized, on track, and on time.
Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions with us and other moms below!