Family Essentials®

9 Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Day

February 17, 2016

Posted in: Parenting

So we get an extra day in February during a Leap Year. But, it’s not like we get ten extra days. With only one extra day, we still have to make the most of our time and resources to get our to-do lists done in 24 hours, which never seems like enough time. So today’s #29DaysofEssentials to-do is to check out these unassuming apps that might make life more efficient and more fun. Using these might even make you feel like you have a few extra days on your hands…

mint 

App for personal finance: Mint

What it does: This all-in-one personal finance app shows you all of your accounts and automates your purchase and billing histories into categories of transactions. You can also create a monthly budget for you and your family.

Our favorite part: The cool pie chart the app populates once given the data of your transaction history so you can really see where all those pieces of the pie are really going.

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App for typing on the go: Dragon Dictation

What it does: Dragon Dictation is a must for when you find yourself in need of thumbing out a response to a text message, or rambling off a few sentences in an email when you’re on the move. This app uses voice-recognition to type text messages, emails, notes and anything else you can speak to it.

Our favorite part: Moms on the go can dictate words and then go back and manually edit any errors with traditional thumb and finger editing. Then copy and paste your spoken, and now edited, text into the area you need to send it on your device.

venmo

App for paying your babysitter: VenMo

What it does: Send money for free. Transfer money to your friends. Pay your friends for dinner, drinks, rent or more. Pay your babysitter or nanny. Easily collect money from people who owe you. A part of PayPal, Venmo uses bank-grade security systems and data encryption to protect your financial information. All transactions are free of charge, whereas other apps and services charge fees for money transfers.

Our favorite part: Assigning emojis to different payments. Every split-check between friends at happy hour deserves a beer glass and wine emoji.

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App for taking a break: Headspace

What it does: An app that essentially teaches you how to meditate? It sounds like a great way to take that break you need. Science has proven the benefits of meditation. Research demonstrates that regular meditation can have a physical effect on the brain – actually causing areas associated with learning to grow, and the part generating stress responses to shrink. This app sets you up for success with meditation, especially if you’re a first-timer.

Our favorite part: The buddy system. You and your friends can motivate each other as you all use the app and continue to feel inner peace and tranquility.

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App for tracking yourbaby’s moods: Wonder Weeks

What it does: The Wonder Weeks made our list of Best Books for New Moms last month and this app is a big part of the reason why. Where the book describes in-depth and easy-to-understand terms the incredible developmental changes that all babies go through, the app is the perfect companion element to track your baby’s mental development (during the first 20 months).

Our favorite part: Alert messages when a new “leap” is about to happen, thereby helping to forecast when your baby might be about to go through a big or drastic change (which is usually accompanied by fussy phases, poor sleep and abnormal appetite, as many parents are familiar with!).

 babyconnect

App for tracking your baby: BabyConnect

What it does: When was the last time the baby ate? Or pooped? Like anyone can remember after three nights of not sleeping with an infant. That’s where this app comes in. Clock everything about your baby from day one and monitor trends in their growth over the first few weeks when it’s hard to remember to even eat in between feedings for the baby.

Our favorite part: It has graphical reports and trending charts, weekly averages, medicine, vaccine and growth tracking, timers, notifications, reminder alarms, emails, .csv export, an easy to use interface and unlimited data. All can be printed out for the baby book when you’re out of the weeds and start to get your brain cells back from the early infant days.

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App for social scrolling: Instagram

What it does: Let’s be real. You know what it does.

Our favorite part: Filters that make an overtired, up-all-night-nursing-a-teething-baby kind of person look beautiful and flawless.

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App for home décor ideas: Houzz

What it does: You can find home improvement inspiration on the go with all the tools and information you need to complete your next home remodeling or decorating project. One of the best resources for finding room inspiration on interior and exterior home design and remodeling projects.

Our favorite part: Houzz Kids’ Rooms: the Houzz app for designing kids’ rooms and nurseries. Browse, save and share thousands of beautiful photos to inspire your little one’s next room makeover!

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App for clothes: ThredUp

What it does: This app is the leading online consignment shop for buying and selling like-new women’s and kids clothing with thousands of great brands like J.Crew, Mini Boden and Kate Spade New York.

Our favorite part: You can shop for yourself and your little one, for a fraction of the cost, on the same site. Sell your baby’s outgrown clothes, too! Did we mention you can use your Amazon credentials to login, meaning one less online account to make?