It isn’t easy being a mum, and most can attest to how busy they all are. But technology can be a real help if we only know how to harness its power. In this story, Mummyfique contributor Ruth Chew picks out five apps that can help make a busy mum’s life just that little bit more manageable.
TO STAY IN CONTROL
Hub – Free. Developed by Ironark
Working as command centre, Hub puts together the family calendars for everyone to share as well as grocery shopping lists and to-dos. Messages, notes and posts are shared so that everyone in the group can stay in touch.
What’s great is that Hub can sync calendars across various operating systems. This means that regardless of whether you’re on Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Google, Yahoo or Hotmail, schedules can be shared and makes up for a family agenda for the week or month. Lists and tasks shared can be assigned and tracked so no one forgets anything.
The best part, the Hub App syncs automatically, so you’ll always be up-to-date with everything that’s going on.
Cozi Family Planner – Free or Cozi Gold, US$29.99 a year. Developed by Cozi Inc.
As a family organiser, the Cozi Family Planner is similar to Hub in that it syncs calendars, shopping and task lists, family journal and even Meal Planner for mums with recipes from myrecipe.com .
The unique feature is the Family Journal where, much like social media, special moments can be shared (for iOS 8 and above). Also, the calendar is colour coded for different members so command central (usually mum) can keep track of school pick-ups, drop-offs and even set reminders based on the calendars shared.
The downside is, the calendar is based on the phone’s calendar, and so if you’re on another calendar like Outlook or Google, which is not synced to the phone’s calendar, this can slow things down.
If you want more enhanced features, reduced ads on pages, sign on for the year on Cozi Gold and you can even change the mobile app themes, sync contacts, get access to more reminder features and even a birthday tracker.
FOR THE ORGANISED HOME CHEF
Yummly Recipes & Shopping List – Free. Developed by Yummly.
Inspired by the online site, Yummly is an App which matches over 1 million recipes to your cooking lifestyle. Trying to be Healthy? Want a vegan version or Gluten-free or make it more Paleo? Yummly has it covered.
You can create recipe folders for various meal plans for different cuisines. Yummly allows for entire recipes to be added to your grocery shopping list and it even automatically categorises the list by food group or shopping aisle to make things easy. What’s more, toggling between smartphone and tablet is just a sync away.
The app also allows for feedback and you can check out reviews, make changes accordingly What’s different from the website is you can’t see the reviews but only can see how many have recommended each recipe, based on pictures and based on how many have “Yummed” the recipe.
Yummly is a godsend for mummy chefs looking for inspiration to make that fabulous meal to suit various diets and cuisines.
FOR THE TIGER MUM
Kids Numbers and Math, Kids ABC Letters and Kids Connect The Dots – free & available for upgrade to the advanced version for $4.23 Developed by Intellijoy
If you have a pre-schooler or kindergarten-going child, these apps are great and would keep your kids occupied while you have that meal at the café or when you need some me-time for a few minutes.
Kids Numbers and Math – It’s a multi-level app which shows the basics of counting, addition, subtraction, more versus less and basic Math skills. With the paid version, children learn to count up to 20 and the focus is on finding the right number to match the challenge or the sum shared.
Kids ABC Letters – Another multi-level app which gives the basics of recognising the alphabets and forming these letters. With the full version (a one-time payment of $4.23, with frequent updates), your child can learn to recognise capital and small letters as well as matching letters and identifying these letters in context and order them. Games are simple and easy to navigated and are ‘laser focused’ which means, the focus is on recognising alphabets versus understanding the phonetic sounds.
Kids Connect the Dots – A fun way to encourage fine motor skills on the device where kids trace the shapes of fun, interesting objects or animals, musical instruments or sea creatures following the ordered numbers on the dots. Fabulous if you need to keep the little one busy for a few minutes.
The best part of these apps is that they have voice-activated positive encouragement for each activity before they move onto the next stage. Also, the visual stimuli are colourful but not over-the-top, making it attractive but easy to navigate and figure out.
Pleco Chinese Dictionary – Free or enhanced paid version available. Developed by Pleco Software.
A Chinese dictionary, a character and word recognition App with phonetic help. Perfect for all school-going children and parents.
The app recognises handwriting input and an automatic look-up searches nearby meanings and common phrases and uses for the word. You can even check how it is pronounced with an audio pronunciation or review the hanyu pinyin. The App even deciphers new words in its document reader, making it easy to understand any Chinese text from the phone.
This app makes mastering the Chinese language a breeze and is so easy to navigate, kids will have no problems using it.