I’ve only had a smartphone for a little over a year. Before then, I only had a “dumb” phone — one that made calls … and that’s it. Now, I’m not sure what I would do without one! I use it for almost everything.
So, without further adieu, here are my Top Five Mom-Tested Apps:
Cozi: The one-stop calendar you’ve been waiting for. I heard about it from another mom, and since we started using it, that wall calendar in our kitchen has been looking more and more neglected. Cozi is an online calendar that anyone with your password can access, making it ideally suited for families. Family members can add their own events and activities, choose which family members they apply to, and schedule a reminder email or text. The calendar syncs seamlessly for everyone, whether they’re viewing it on a computer, a tablet, or their smartphone. You can buy a yearly subscription for about $30 US, but the features in the free version suit us just fine. There are ads that run at the bottom of the screen, but these are generally just for Cozi, and rarely for third parties advertisers. Cost: Free (upgrade for $29.99/year)
Astrid: Need an extra reminder to scrub those toilets? Or finish researching a story? Astrid will remind you to do those things, and will increase the reminders the longer you procrastinate. The thing I love most about Astrid is that the reminders are so encouraging! Things like “Have I told you how awesome you are today?” and “Why not make a cup of tea while you work on this?” along with the reminder to get that paperwork done make Astrid a great app for task management. Cost: Free
Amazon Kindle: Have you ever checked out how many ebooks are available for free or are much cheaper than their soft cover counter-parts? With Amazon Kindle, you’ll be able to read any Kindle book on your phone. All of the books that Amazon offers are Kindle-compatible of course, and I’m sure there are other ways to find books as well. I’ve really enjoyed using Amazon Kindle for the Book Club I attend and for my own casual reading. Reading books on my phone or tablet mean that I’m saving paper and shipping resources, and I don’t have to worry about storing that book on a shelf collecting dust when I’m done it. Cost: Free
Sparkpeople: Sparkpeople is my go-to site for tracking workouts and what I eat. If you’d like to lose weight, get in better shape, or maintain your silhouette, check out Sparkpeople. I haven’t been as consistent as I should be lately, but it’s amazing what happens when you are! Sparkpeople awards points for doing things like logging in each day, tracking your water intake, meals and fitness, and for reading the community forums. When you hit certain point levels, you’ll receive virtual trophies that are just the right kind of positive reinforcement to keep you going strong. Sparkpeople costs a couple of dollars to use, but is totally worth it! Cost: $3.96
The Weather Network: Perfect for checking the forecast while on the go, The Weather Network is great for a quick update on the temperature, whether it will rain or snow, and the air quality. The app also has time-lapse radar images and a quick link to the top weather-related news stories. Cost: Free
What’s your favourite tried-and-true smartphone/tablet app?