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, but 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. 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. I’m including this as part of my series on ways to thrive because staying organized is a key aspect what allows me to thrive mentally.
The 9 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 allow us to quickly identify who needs to pay attention to which appointments.
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. 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 it’s 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.
My Meal Planner
My Meal Planner is the most basic planning app out there and that’s exactly why I love it so much. This app doesn’t require any information other than the main ingredient. You can include a photo and the URL with the recipe in the notes section if you want.
-Plan your meal (week and month)
There’s an analytics section to help you identify if you’re in a cooking rut too!
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 that’s 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 allows 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 allows you to create personalized song playlists and save podcasts you’ve downloaded so you can find things quickly and drive safely.
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 there is an Airtable base that will help you think through every aspect 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.
This app is so helpful I’m going to do a separate post and highlight all the ways I’m using Airtable. For now, know that it’s my absolute favorite organization tool. 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!
This article was originally written May 16, 2019, and has been edited and updated for freshness and accuracy in January 2021.