Transitioning into fall can be one of the busiest times of the year for families, with the kids back in school, involved in extra-curricular activities, and going on play dates. It certainly helps to create a consistent schedule within your family to help everyone stay organized and on the same page. Another great resource for managing everyone’s different schedules and commitments are time management apps — you can sync them across multiple devices so you are always connected.
As productivity consultants, the team at Innovatively Organized enjoys using apps to help busy parents save time and work more efficiently. Here are some of our favorite time management apps:
Online family organizers are changing the way we manage our family life. Maintaining one central source to track everyone’s varying schedules and commitments makes family coordination and planning easier. Organizing apps include features for task management, event coordinating, meal planning, and journaling, allowing families to stay organized no matter where they are.
Cozi helps simplify life. The shared calendar can be color-coded for each family member, with the option to set event reminders. You can create shopping lists by store, as well as to-do lists. It even comes with a meal planning feature and a family journal to capture and share memories.
HatchedIt creates a central hub to coordinate your family activity. With a shared calendar, you can view your appointment book for upcoming events, as well as each family member’s schedule. Upload contacts to coordinate plans with friends or other families. A customizable news section brings a live feed of your favorite news sources and blogs, and there is even a curating section to gather your inspirations.
Using a mobile calendar app is a great way to keep the family on task. By sharing a calendar with members of your family and color-coding events based on each individual, you can easily coordinate schedules.
If you live and breathe by your Google calendar, this app helps you take your calendar on the go. CalenGoo provides a similar display as the Google calendar that you’re used to, maintaining your chosen colors as well. You can click in and out of the month view for easy access to your time commitments.
Week Calendar is designed to be a more functional calendar than the default app included on an Apple device. It allows you to view your schedules in list-, day-, week-, month-, year-, and agenda-view. You can sync with Google calendar, Outlook, iCloud, MobileMe, Exchange, or CalDAV. You can easily color-code your calendar, as well as share events with your contacts.
For busy parents, task management apps are a great way to remember everything and record new priorities. You can share specific to-do lists or delegate tasks among family members.
TeuxDeux is a simple app with a clean interface. You can manage your tasks with a week overview, as well as collect future tasks in a “someday bucket.”
You can easily check off, delete, and edit tasks, with uncompleted tasks automatically rolling over to the next day.
Toodledo allows you to organize your tasks by folder, tags, subtexts, and priority. You can create hotlists of your most important tasks or use filters to concentrate on specific tasks. A scheduler feature helps determine which tasks you should work on based on your time availability and task due dates, time estimates, and priority. Setting alarms and reminders also ensures you complete your to-do list.
But wait, there is more!
Here are two more apps that can help busy parents manage their time. Since families are often on-the-go, these allow you to save time with two very time-consuming aspects of every day: Transportation and meal planning.
Seattle Traffic View
Avoid wasting time in traffic jams with this helpful app. Seattle Traffic View allows you to stay on schedule by quickly viewing traffic flows, including camera views from WSDOT.
You can easily choose the best route for your destination, ensuring you stay on schedule the entire day.
Meal planning becomes much simpler with Big Oven’s library of 250,000+ recipes. You can store your favorite recipes, create grocery lists, and record your meal planning weeks or months in advance. No more wasting time trying to find something to cook or wandering around dazed in the grocery store aisles. The app even includes a tool to find meal ideas based on the leftovers at home.
For more help with time management and your busy family, contact us for a 15-minute phone consultation.
To read more tips from Innovatively Organized and organizing and productivity expert, Elizabeth Bowman, check out the Innovatively Organized blog, where new tips, tricks and information about the latest apps and organizing products are posted regularly. Innovatively Organized is a Seattle-based organizing and productivity firm that provides effective organizing solutions for busy professionals, teams, and families to better manage their time, increase productivity, and gain control of their spaces. You can contact Elizabeth Bowman via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter at @iOrganized or visit her website at InnovativelyOrganized.com.