Manage Your Busy Schedule With Tech Tools
Overscheduled No More 03:42
Life can easily get stressful with kids coming and going, work schedules overlapping and social-life planning. Not to mention, does anyone know what we’re having for dinner? (Blank stares.) Employing an army of digital tools has allowed my family and me to squeeze in more of the things we want to do after doing the things we have to do. It’s all about planning and productivity. For instance, using a calendar app combats over-schedule mayhem because it syncs with everyone’s device and automatically pulls important dates and times from your email. Everyone knows exactly what needs to happen and when.
Always forgetting the milk or buying eggs when you already have enough? This app allows you to make a grocery list that you can access and share across multiple devices. It also features barcode scanning, coupons and the ability to sort by aisle, so you don't do laps around the store.
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When parents don't live together, staying on the same page with kids' schedules can be tricky. This app centralizes everything from medical records to finances and makes it easy to share files and photos.
This app is named Fantastical because of its magical ability to take a note in natural language. Use it to populate your calendar; there's no need to find the day on your calendar and select the time — just let Fantastical fill it in automatically.
This minimal, color-coded calendar app syncs with your Google Calendar, iCloud, Facebook and a host of apps to corral all your events in one place, no extra effort required. Plus, it connects to LinkedIn, so you can instantly get details on the person you're scheduled to meet.
If you've ever wondered why a calendar can't be beautiful as well as functional, you'll appreciate Cal, with its gorgeous photo backgrounds, integrated maps and thumbnail shots of suggested friends you might want to invite to your next event.
Google's intuitive system uses color-coding so you can view multiple calendars at once. It also has the ability to email any event to all your invitees, request an RSVP and update them whenever your event is updated.
How many times have you needed a babysitter, only to find that your go-to is out of town or booked? Urban Sitter is like a Yelp for babysitters, with parent reviews and background checks, so you can find someone trustworthy last minute.
Feel like receipts and documents are taking over your house? This app will keep track of all the key info you'd typically stash in a filing cabinet and makes it accessible wherever you are. So whether you need to know your sitter's phone number or your insurance ID, it's all there.
I’m also a huge fan of task-management websites and digitally delegating my errands. It’s so simple to book a tutoring session, find a babysitter or make sure the dry cleaning is picked up — shaving hours off my weekly to-do list.
Checkmark 2 by Snowman
Thanks to straightforward icons and integrated maps and contacts, this iPhone-optimized app minimizes the clicks you need to create lists and reminders. You can use natural language to schedule a location-specific event (e.g. "Remind me to silence my phone when I get to the office tomorrow.").
This app with attitude can add both motivation and laughs to your to-do list. Get your tasks done, and you’ll be rewarded with jokes, compliments and stories. Fail to do what you've planned, and you'll be chastised — all in fun.
Preloaded on iOS devices, Reminders allows you to create simple, color-coded lists (e.g. one for work, one for home and one for an upcoming vacation). Plus you can set reminders to pop up when you reach a certain location — like "Preheat the oven" when you get home.
This intuitive app divides your tasks into "Today," "Tomorrow," "Upcoming" and "Someday," so it's easy to prioritize. Just click one of the four categories to schedule, without sorting through a calendar.
This app works across any device, syncing your tasks so you have them everywhere. You can also share your lists with people in your social circle, which is invaluable if you want to delegate.
Once all the dates, times and to-dos swirling around my head actually land successfully onto my list, I can turn off the tech and turn on the fun in my house. Playing a board game, having a family beach day or drawing together — that’s the good stuff worth penciling in.