7 Free Tech Tools to Help You Simplify Your Mom Life
We’re moms, we’re busy, we don’t have time to mess around with all the latest apps and gadgets proclaiming to make things easier. But when it comes to managing clutter, your family calendar and your agenda, there are a few tech tools that are well worth your time. And – they’re free!
Without further ado, I present you with 7 free tech tools to help you simplify your mom life:
Note: I’m NOT affiliated with any of these three free tools. I just use them, love them and thought you might too. 🙂
Tools for keeping clutter in check
I’ve only recently started using this free app, but let me just tell you how much I love it! Keepy allows you to snap a photo of your child’s artwork or school work, organizes the files by child and age/grade, and then lets you share privately with whomever you want – hello proud grandparents! They don’t even need to have a Keepy account.
One of the coolest features is that along with each photo, you have the option to include fun details, like where the project was made/what you were doing and a little audio or video clip of your child describing it. So while you’re keeping kid clutter in check, you’re also creating a digital scrapbook of fun memories in the matter of a few minutes. Win!
Cell phone camera
I almost didn’t include this one because it’s almost too easy. Similar to Keepy, I like to use my phone to snap a picture of important notes from school that require me to do something or include details I need to keep track of. It’s so much quicker and easier than filing/keeping track a piece of paper.
Whenever my kids bring home a note I want to remember – like the details of a field trip, family event or even a school project/homework assignment – I snap a photo of the note and recycle the original.
I can pull up the photo whenever I need it and delete it when I’m done. This helps reduce paper clutter and keeps me from forgetting an important detail.
Speaking of clutter, get a jump on dealing with yours with the only decluttering starter guide created for busy moms with no time (for hot mess moms by a former hot mess mom – I get you!) 🙂
Simplify Your Life & Calendars
If you’re like me and have a special place in your heart for all things planning/check lists, then you owe it to yourself to check out Trello. Think of Trello as an all-in-one digital planner. It’s powerful, and all the features it offers make it a great tool to simplify your life and keep you on your top mom game.
You can create boards for a project – say, planning a family vacation, a home renovation or hey, maybe even a big decluttering project (*wink-wink), and then break those big goals (aka “boards” in Trello speak) down into smaller, manageable tasks (these are called “cards”).
Within each card you can include a checklist of things to do, set deadlines, move tasks between card (like To Do, In Progress, Done), add/save links and important details related to the task (for example the link to a quote from a plumber and all of their contact information for your bathroom reno). You can even add/manage your calendar. You can also collaborate with others and share entire boards or individual cards.
You should know that there are paid upgrade options for Trello, but I’ve been using the free version only for about six months now and it meets every one of my needs – and there are no ads.
Even if you’re like me and prefer a physical paper calendar or planner, this app still serves a powerful purpose in keeping things simple and convenient. Sharing.
It’s so much easier to coordinate schedules with your significant other when you utilize a tool that instantly updates every time you use it. If you share your calendar, then whenever you add an appointment to your calendar, it also shows on theirs.
If you don’t want to share the entire calendar, or you want to draw particular attention to something (i.e. Mom’s Night Out so Dad better plan to be home with the kids), you can send an invite for a particular appointment. Accepted events are automatically added (with all detail) to the calendar.
This is also an extremely helpful tool if any of your kiddo’s activities also use/share their calendar of events. No more scrambling to get Jimmy to that special Cub Scouting event taking place on a Saturday – you knew it was coming because it was already on your calendar when you allowed the Pack leader to share the Scout calendar with you.
Side note: accepting a shared calendar does not automatically mean your personal calendar is shared with everyone too. You control what/how much anyone sees of your own personal calendar and the default is private.
Meal planning gets so much easier with this little free app. I use it to create and manage our grocery lists but there are a few unique features that make this way better than the crumpled up pieces of paper I used to use.
First, it’s on your phone, which is almost always with you, so no more forgetting the list (#DoneThatWayTooManyTimes). Any time you realize you’re running low or are out of something, you can quickly open up the app and add it to your shopping list. You can type it in, or just scan the barcode on the packaging and it will automatically be added to your list.
Now, if you’re super organized, I’ve heard some people use this feature to create a living inventory of their pantry (I’m not there yet, but #listgoals.)
When you’re shopping, you check the box next to what the item and instead of just crossing it off, it moves it to a cart list. I think this is pretty handy because inevitably there are a few things I just can’t find or simply couldn’t get to because my kids have reached meltdown mode. Now, I can use the app to share the remaining list with my husband and he can pick up those stragglers on his way home.
With the shared list feature, you can both add things to your shopping lists too so if he remembers he needs shaving cream, he can just open up the app and add it to our shared list without having to remember to tell me or me having to remember to add it. 🙂
Tools for Managing Your Routines
As a blogger, I use Canva for a multitude of tasks, but as a mom, it certainly has its place too. Canva is a free graphic design website you can use for just about any design task. It’s like a simpler version of InDesign or Photoshop.
Once you create a free account, you can access tons of beautiful, customizable templates. I love to create printouts of our daily routines in Canva. They’re cute and since you add in exactly the steps you need, fully custom to you.
You can also use it to design birthday party invites, thank you cards, birth announcements, party themed labels – the possibilities are endless.
Your designs are automatically saved in Canva’s cloud so you don’t need to worry about hogging a bunch of space on your computer. Just download once when you’re done or share directly from Canva to your email or printer.
Like Trello, there is also a paid version of Canva, but I’ve been exclusively using the free version for over a year now, even for blogging, without a need to upgrade.
When I have to do something I don’t enjoy – like washing dishes, or pretty much any type of house cleaning – a good podcast is just the motivation I need to get through it without so much dread.
If you’re an Android user, PodBean is a free app you can use to access all the great ones. Pick your podcast, pop in your earbuds and get to work!
Psst…For more ways to simplify, don’t forget to grab your free decluttering starter guide for busy moms here!
And there you have it! These free tools are like having your own personal assistant, planner and project manager in your pocket.
What’s your favorite tool or app that helps you simplify your mom life? Leave a comment and let me know. I’m always on the lookout for a great tool! 🙂