The fact is we live in a digital world. I love my paper planner for keeping lists and plotting out the events for the whole week. Still, it’s not helpful for communicating with the rest of our household even though our family has spent more time confined under the same roof the past year than ever before; we’ve still needed our Google Calendars to coordinate virtual meetings and in-person meetings.
Of course, during a typical year, I’m always looking for ways to optimize my time. For example, I’m happy to run errands while waiting to pick someone up from practice, but if I arrive home with only half the things on the grocery list, it’s a wasted trip.
Today I’m featuring some apps that help streamline communication for our family and keep our whole family more organized. Staying organized is a key aspect that allows me to thrive mentally in work and life.
The 10 Best Apps for the Busy Wife
I know this one may seem obvious, but I’ve seen a lot of calendar suggestions where people pay money for the same features Google Calendar App offers for free.
- This calendar offers multiple views of your day, week, and month,
- Allows guest invites for appointments that include video conferencing.
- Your events are stored online, so you won’t lose your schedule even if you lose your phone.
Google Calendar offers options to schedule events, tasks, reminders, and goals. We set up our calendar with different colors for each person. This allows us to identify who needs to pay attention to which appointments quickly.
This app is a favorite of mine because it’s an all-in-one list and note creation app. Google Keep syncs with Google Drive, so you always have a backup. In addition, you can pin and share notes which makes things like creating a grocery list very convenient. The notes are color-coded so you can find them quickly, but there is also a search feature so you can pull a note up by adding a keyword.
Google Keep allows you to print, email, and archive notes. You can attach documents and embed hyperlinks. Finally, there is an alarm feature. This app has the ability to hold endless information and its simple post-it note view makes it intuitive for any user.
Libby and Hoopla
Audiobooks are my new favorite ways to keep up with the endless list of books I’m dying to read. Of course, the audiobooks are great but aren’t always my preference. There are plenty of books that have amazing quotes I want to highlight for future inspiration. Audiobooks are great for exercise motivation or to keep me focused during a long drive. Borrowing Kindle books are a budget saver, and our library is amazing because we can access both through Libby and Hoopla.
I’ve featured this app already. If you know your spouse’s love language, this app allows you to set reminders to take action to serve them in practical ways they will appreciate. You can also set personal goals. It’s nice to have a nudge to connect with your favorite person when you’re running around taking care of everyone else.
Staying connected to my girlfriends who are spread across the country is so much easier with Voxer. There are times when a text is simply not the way to send a message. Maybe you don’t want to risk something understood, or it’s just too long to type. I love that Voxer is separate from social media. I’m connected to social apps for work all day, and it’s nice to have a space just for catching up and “chatting” with the girls. Voxer allows texts, voice messages (up to 15 minutes on the free app), and GIFS. You can send URLs and images as well. Voxer will enable you to hear messages in real-time and also saves messages until you have a moment to sit down and listen.
Podcasts, music, and radio are all accessible on Spotify. You can sync the app on your desktop and phone, which allows you to conserve your phone battery. Even the free version will enable you to create personalized song playlists and save podcasts you’ve downloaded so you can find things quickly and drive safely. I love that Spotify notifies me when my favorite podcasts drop new episodes and when new artists have new music. I’ve even created a custom playlist for my newsletter subscribers!
There are a ton of options for devotional apps out there and I’ve tried several but the one I return to every time is the YouVersion App. The App has 1,400+ Bible versions in 1,000+ languages. You can listen to audio Bibles. There are thousands of Reading Plans & Devotionals in 40+ languages. You can customize your Bible with Highlights, Bookmarks, and public/private Notes. Access everything online, or download select versions to read offline. Read, study, and share with friends.
Airtable is the desktop and phone app I’m using to coordinate almost every aspect of our crazy lives. Whether you’re planning a podcast or a conference, an Airtable base will help you think through every part of the project. Just like Google Keep, this app has a live time updating feature. You can even see when someone else is working in the same base, just like in Google Sheets. This is helpful when you’re collaborating on a project.
We use Airtable for our digital checkbook, grocery list, and to-do list.
If you’re interested in trying this app out, I’d love for you to use my affiliate link. The app is free. However, using my link gives us both a credit to apply toward paid features!
I’ve tried many different recipe apps, and the reality is they’re all expensive or complicated to set up and maintain. I end up browsing my boards on Pinterest anytime I need a recipe, even if I’ve placed the recipes somewhere else, so rather than wasting time with other apps, I’ve finally admitted that some things can’t be improved on. So I’ve moved Pinterest to my “must have” app list. I spent time reorganizing my boards, and I love rediscovering recipes!
Need Some Cooking Inspiration?
This article was originally written on May 16, 2019, and has been edited and updated for freshness and accuracy in October 2021.