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I want to know what your biggest parenting struggle is. What topics would you like to read more about?

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There's an app for that

February 14, 2017

 

 

 

 

Need an app for....

 

Keeping track of paperwork and ideas?  Try Evernote. A searchable way to file photos, notes, reminders in one spot. Snap a photo of a birthday invite or recipe and file it away. Brilliant idea you don't want to forget? Want to try bullet journalling?  Evernote keeps it all together. Did mention it's searchable?

 

Making Lists?  Clear is what I use this for an everyday list. Grocery list, to-do list, chores, vacation packing. I can also e-mail a list with Jerry's phone, and send him shopping, and he can swipe away items as he picks them up in the store.

 

Budgeting/Book-keeping: Google Sheets. I realize there are apps like Mint and YNaB, and I have tried them (Receipt bank is next on my list of things to try). But for now, Google sheets is the simplest way for me to budget, track and mange bookkeeping for tax purposes. Plus Jerry, his assistant, our accountant and I can all use it in real time. A must when you own a business. I hide money from myself using Tangerine. 

 

Self talk: I program inspirational quotes and reminders of my priories to buzz at certain times of the day using the reminders app. Things like "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves" by Frankl. "It's better to be a trickster than a martyr (Gilbert). Or "children are a joy even when they aren't" which pops up on my friends screen every day at 4 pm. 

 

 

Running a busy house? 

We have an iPad mounted to our wall. We call him Mr. Carson (after Downton Abbey's Butler). We use him for many, many parenting-related issues. By using the alert function in the calendar app, we program the butler to tell us when someone needs to remember a swimsuit for a field trip, or a playdate after school. Also, I can't say enough good things about synced calendars. Jerry, and I and our older children can all enter important dates and it automatically updates on everyone's devices. This iPad lends itself nicely to many many things. Youtube safety lessons, Face Time with relatives, reading e-mails to the kids etc.

 

 

 

Timer (a feature of the clock app) I use for turn taking (the child who has to wait gets to pick the "sound"). Also, it gives them a clear boundary of when I want a certain chore done. It's a pretty simple app that can really help  teach children patience.

 

Decide Now! A random decision maker. I use it for handing out consequences for talking back or doing something the first time I ask. Also be helpful for "flip a coin" type decisions where you don't want to pick which child gets a privilege or the "pink cup" . You can just let the phone decide.

 

Chores: I have used chore monster in the past to assign jobs and rewards to my kids. It has a lot of curb appeal for ages 4-10. I have left it in favour of notes new ability to sync between devices. I create a job list. They mark jobs as complete and I mark them as paid after I pay them. It updates automatically. 

 

Remote app turns your phone into an apple tv remote. Meaning you have access to a full keyboard when entering search terms. 

 

Dice app comes in handy at the strangest times. Like when doing dishes. Roll a double 6 and you wash till the next person rolls the same. 

 

Getting the Baby to sleep. Whitenoise app. Got one squeaky spot on the floor of the baby's room? This will help. Also I use it to get the baby to sleep when the big kids are playing piano or when I am hosting and evening dinner party  I want the kids in bed. Also good to use when you all have to sleep in the same room of a hotel (or tent).

 

 

Group Text. What's app or Kik. How I stay in touch with my brother who is very far away, and how we stay close as an adult sibling group (your siblings will end up knowing you longer than anyone else). Also a great way to introduce texting to preteens. Text aunts and uncles only.

 

Waiting with kids. 

Heads up. Such a fun game while waiting in line, or at a restaurant to keep the group engaged.

 

 

 

Apps that get me thinking

EPL - this is my public library and is perhaps one of my most heavily used apps. Yes you can use it to manage your book borrowing, but for Edmontonians, EPL is so much more than a library. I have recently attended lectures on planets in deep space, attended a Q&A with my Mayor and send my son to an 'evil genius day'. All for free (or next to nothing). Hoopla (see below) has enabled me to listen to stimulating books while doing boring jobs.

Ted Talks-The subject of another post I think. So many great talks.

Hoopla-Similar to audible, but free with a library card

Podcasts. I've been listening to Happier by Gretchen Rubin lately. 

 

Keeping a toddler happy:

Sesame Go: Short Sesame Street games and clips that I can actually stand. There are even some old school video clips. 

Tozzle: a drag and drop kind of game my preschoolers have loved

Netflix: download episodes for offline use. Life-saver while travelling.

 

Social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are on my phone. I try and hide them a few screens back so I'm not so tempted to check them every 5 minutes.

 

Tell me, what are your favourite apps? Or how do you use some of these ones differently  than I do?

 

 

 

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