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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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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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