I thought I was a fairly organized person before I had kids. I handled myself well at work, got to my community college classes, knew where my ever-traveling fiancé was in the world at any given moment, and planned our wedding. Then came the kids. The level of organizational acumen needed in order to run a family caused me to have to step up my game. Enter soccer practice/games, theatre rehearsals, Boy Scouts, medical/dental/orthodontist appointments, school and homework, birthday parties, not to mention keeping track of my husband’s travel and my own work deadlines. Check out some of the best free apps I use to simplify my busy household; they will help you to get your house in order quickly.
Want to sync schedules, set reminders, add maps and details to appointments, as well as assign each family member a different color? Google Calendar does it all and more. You can even send schedules to email inboxes and print them out if you need to.
If you’re on a great website or blog and want to remember the brilliant thing you just found, enter Pinterest, your online organized bulletin board heaven. You can organize pins and boards any way you like, and some ideas include: recipes, home organization ideas, gift ideas, a board for each family member, travel, books, holidays, seasons, projects, crafts, and more. Pinterest is also amazing for discovering new things using either the main feed that pops up when you open the app or using the search bar.
Instead of jotting notes down on envelopes and napkins, Evernote is the perfect place to park all your thoughts and reminders, including links, photos, graphics and more. Think Pinterest but with notebooks instead of boards, so you can create different notebooks for different purposes and share the notebooks with others. You can also record voice memos, upload PDFs, and forward emails into Evernote.
Stop searching for lost papers! Manilla is a secure online filing system, so paper clutter is minimized. Everything is in one place: email, bills, documents, things like subscriptions and accounts. This app also allows you to set reminders.
Ever get to the grocery store and realize you left your list at home? With Cozi, that’s not a problem anymore. Cozi keeps your store-specific lists to go along with the meal plans you also have stored in the app. My favorite part of this app is the feature that lets me journal (goodbye, iPhone Notes). But Cozi is no one-trick pony: it also keeps your color-coded calendar and send you reminders via email or text. Be sure to also check out the Cozy Today feature.
Remember the Milk.
This reminder app takes a load off your brain by letting you add all your tasks so you can prioritize them. Then you can set alerts, so the app reminds you about those tasks however you like: text message, email message, even a tweet and more! It includes a search feature and connects to Dropbox and Google Drive.
Oh, the endless communication that comes with having kids! School, sports, afterschool activities, playdates and birthday parties all require far more messages than I feel like I can keep up with sometimes. Ringya makes it easy to create groups that you need to keep in contact with on a regular basis... and then quickly contact them all at once without having to try to remember every single person every time you send a message. Set up an event, reschedule, cancel and more with Ringya.