By: Jennifer Solomon
Many people who know me would agree that one of my greatest strengths is my organizational skills. As a mom of two juggling work, kids, and household chores, being able to stay organized is a must. Now that my kids are getting older and more active, those skills have been put to the test. I’m afraid to admit that I use two calendars to keep track of everyone’s schedules including doctor’s appointments, sports practices and games, school activities, vacation plans, business meetings, birthday parties, deadlines, etc. There’s a lot of effort that goes into keeping both calendars updated and in-synch.
Well, I’ve decided to put down the pen and paper (and dry erase marker/board) and use smart solutions to stay organized. While scouring the Internet for options, I came across seven simple apps designed to help keep your family life organized by tracking appointments and daily chores, and even synching grocery lists and family calendars with your spouse’s and kids’ phones. With these must-have apps, it’s time to let the digital world help keep my home running like a well-oiled machine.
The Cozi app lets you manage your family calendar by adding appointments, setting reminders, and uploading to-do lists that all family members can see. Cozi works on your iPhone or iPad, Android, BlackBerry, or on the web, and your updates automatically sync to all users connected to your account. Cozi can even send emails confirming appointments to any family member’s inbox, or text them directly.
Family Organizer (free)
Family Organizer helps you simplify your schedule and manage your family life with a shared to-do list, calendar, and grocery lists. Family Organizer also offers text or email reminders and lets you sync the app to your computer to share information with your spouse and kids.
Designed for both Droids and iPhones, Astrid helps moms clear off their to-do lists with weekly status updates showing users what they’ve completed and what’s left to do.
Grocery IQ (free)
Grocery IQ lets you set up lists for multiple stores, organize your shopping by aisle, and print lists and coupons via WiFi. You can even add last-minute items that will sync directly to your spouse’s phone when you send him/her to the supermarket. The app is also available for Android phones.
Remember the Milk (free)
Manage all of your tasks from anywhere with Remember the Milk. The app works across all platforms (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, email, Google Calendar, etc.) and sends email, text, or IM reminders. Remember the Milk also lets you share tasks and lists with any contact and create Smart Lists that automatically update depending on how you tag your tasks (priority level, due date, category, and so on).
Chore Hero ($3)
Chore Hero offers a fun way to organize and track household chores every week, teaching your kids responsibility in a fun way. When they complete chores, they earn points, eventually moving from Chore Newbie to Chore Hero. Assign duties to various people on different days, or let the application pick a person at random.
52 Organizing Missions ($10)
The iPad app, 52 Organizing Missions, is a virtual guide for putting your life in order through weekly 30-minute missions designed to help organize one aspect of your life. From step-by-step instructions for de-cluttering your kitchen to five steps to detox your car, no mission should take more than a half hour.
Jennifer Solomon is a mom of two kids, ages 6 and 7, and manages her own public relations and marketing business Inspire PR & Marketing. She has more than 13 years experience in public relations and marketing and is also the owner and editorial director of North Phoenix Family magazine and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org