For many busy parents, organization is key to a smooth family life. Just trying one new tool to keep the family organized can make a big difference! If work, your kids’ schedules, and their schooling are pulling you in many directions, check out the organization software and apps recommendations below. They’re free!
1. Google Calendar
Google Calendar has a friendly learning curve, so you and your family can begin using it within minutes. As for the big picture, you can even plan your entire year. No longer will you forget to go to an event because you heard about it six months in advance.
Each person in your family can have his or her own calendar. Just be sure to add their calendar to your app so you can see their schedules. That way, when they add their basketball games, for example, those game nights will appear in your calendar, too. It helps to have color coding to track everything, and inputting repeating events is easy.
Perhaps best of all, Google Calendar syncs across multiple devices. If you enter an appointment on your phone and another on your computer, the appointments show up on both devices.
If Google Calendar isn’t your thing, Cozi is a top alternative. Its free version offers many of the same things Google Calendar does, and quite a few users prefer the look and experience of Cozi. You get shared recipe boxes, family calendars, family journals, to-do lists, and much more. However, if you want multiple reminders, views of the month on your phone, and a few other features, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version.
What if there was a way to make chores and homework fun and more organized? There is, and it’s called Chorma. This app allows household members to share and organize all the household tasks. You can prioritize tasks, such as studying for a test, doing homework, walking the dog or cooking dinner, and your kids can earn rewards.
Customized rewards do require a small payment (it’s $19.99 a year or $1.99 a month, but you can choose to pay only one month here and there). Suppose you’ve set a day trip as the reward, and it requires each child to earn 75 points. You can assign points of varying values to tasks (math homework might get three points for a child who absolutely hates it, while walking the dog might net only one point for a child who loves this chore). Once the child gets to 75, the reward is earned.
This app syncs across multiple devices, so coordinating is a breeze.
4. My Study Life
This app may be more for your kids, but there’s no doubt it’s a boon to any busy mom. Fewer dates for you to track down and to remind your kids about! My Study Life helps students keep up with deadlines, exams, homework and much more.
Evernote is sort of a jack-of-all-trades. Depending on what you need it to be for, you could type a paper, a report, or a list. You can also use it to clip items from the Internet and to store photos and audio. The learning curve is a bit steep, though, and a pricing change means that you can access the free version on only two devices, say, your phone and computer, or your phone and your child’s phone. That said, if you need one app to be able to do a lot, Evernote could be the answer. In fact, if you’re already a master organizer, Evernote could be a fun challenge.
Busy parents can turn to the above software and apps to make their lives and their children’s lives easier. You don’t have to jettison the big, old-fashioned calendar near the refrigerator, but now you have more options.