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Apps The Modern Parent Can’t Survive Without

Apps The Modern Parent Can’t Survive Without

Your mobile phone is probably the most customizable thing you possess. You can turn it into a media storage and broadcasting tool, a digital playground, a mobile office, a planner and task manager — into anything you want, just by selecting the right apps. Digital stores have apps galore and there’s no way you can navigate this sea of software without a clear understanding of what you are looking for.

Whether you’re a working parent trying “to have it all” or a stay-at-home mom or dad who tries to provide their child with all possible care and comfort, the guidelines below will be most helpful in shaping your own digital toolbox for better parenting.

Organizers

Multitasking is parental skill #1, and if you are an absent-minded person, you will have noticed how awkward it can be to forget about something important, like meeting with a friend or your parents’ wedding anniversary. Sleep deprivation, which is each parent’s permanent companion, makes it even worse.

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Luckily, you can always have a memory aid in your pocket, and unlike old-fashioned notebooks, it won’t sit there quietly when you are forgetting something. Organizer apps abound in both the Play Market and App Store, and you may choose the one whose features will fit your particular needs like a glove —  the shared lists of the Cozi Family Organizer, the location-based reminders of Google Keep, or other handy options based on your preference.

News + Social Media

Another skill parents should master is making the best of their time. To get all up to date during your 5-minute downtime while your little one is meticulously studying a shape sorter and learning the hard way that it’s not always possible to round the square, you will need apps that gather all your news and social media in one place.

You may also find news app to be a great time savior. In essence, what they do is crawl the internet sniffing out the content matching your interests or relevant to your area, providing you with a juicy digest of only the best. Some of them, such as Pocket, for instance, allow you to save articles for later if you have no time to read them right away — no more coffee boiling over because of some absorbing reading.

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Games

To win you some time, having games on your phone or tablet is absolutely indispensable. Not only do children love them, but they can learn from them. Learning from play is a natural thing for little kids and animal cubs alike. Of course, you shouldn’t leave your child to play on your phone for hours or you may find eventually they no longer know what to do without it. However, to deal with a wiggly toddler on a bus or to quell tantrums in public places, having a couple of educational games on your phone equals in power to a magic wand.

Monitoring

It goes without saying that prior to giving your phone to your kid, you should first secure the device with parental controls to prevent awkward situations. If your child is old enough to have their own gadget, you’d better check out some parental monitoring software reviews and choose among them to your liking.

The web is just as multifaceted as life itself, and you do not want your child to be acquainted with the ugly sides of those two before they can tell good from bad. Unfortunately, we cannot eliminate inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and predators completely, but at least we can make sure that neither of those will harm our children.

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Meals

A varied and well-balanced diet is paramount for both raising healthy children and staying fueled and energetic ourselves to provide proper care for them. On the other hand, such a diet takes a lot of planning and creativity.

If you don’t have the time to go through cooking blogs in search of inspiration, then meal-planning apps are all you need. Not only will they propose a diverse menu and recipes, they will also form your grocery lists and even provide some useful tips on the best bargains and stores that have all ingredients in one place. If you are short on time or energy, you can always opt for food delivery services, such as Seamless or Munchery.

Relax

Let’s be honest. With all the responsibility, decision making, extreme multitasking, and 24/7 duty, parenting is one of the highest stress level jobs in the world. To keep sanity and balance intact, you’d better have one or two apps to help you relax and de-stress always at hand. Again, this is a matter of taste — what you find the most soothing and helpful, whether that’s sounds of a natural environment, mind mapping, yoga, or white noise. The point is you definitely need something to restore inner peace and tranquility, and there is no reason why this “something” cannot sit in your pocket.

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Now that you are equipped with this checklist, a better quality of life is just a download away.

Featured photo credit: Esther Vargas/Flickr via flickr.com

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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