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Want to be a better mom? There's an app for that

Want to be a better mom? There's an app for that

By Nicole Carpenter, Contributor | Posted - Sep. 6, 2011 at 7:31 p.m.

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After much delay, I recently jumped on the smartphone bandwagon. I dragged my feet not because I think smartphones are evil, I just didn’t think I needed one. My husband is a big smartphone fan and has used one for years. He’s been urging me to switch over for quite some time.

OK. Truth is I couldn’t justify the extra money for the data plan from the family budget. Being the family CFO, I just wasn’t sure it would be cost effective.

But then my opinion began to change. It happened slowly, like layers of an onion peeling away, one by one. I began having moments in my life where I realized things would be much easier if only I had the Internet on my phone.

"It happened slowly, like layers of an onion peeling away, one by one. I began having moments in my life where I realized things would be much easier if only I had the Internet on my phone."

I can recall several situations where a map would’ve been nice. Just last week it took me an extra 30 minutes to get to the Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park because I didn’t remember the Ogden area as well as I thought I did. And, assuming you’ll just find a Wendy’s on the way is not true. How cool would it be to just whip out your phone and look up nearby restaurants and grab a hamburger?

Instances like this caused my Scrooge-like attitude to soften and I looked into a data plan with my carrier. I was shocked to find out it was only an extra $5 a month.

Now I have the Internet in my pocket -- that includes Facebook and Twitter and Google.

I am in love.

I may actually begin driving the smartphone bandwagon. I have come to realize the true meaning of the phrase, “there’s an app for that.” I am going to go out on a limb here, but after only four days of use, my Android phone has made me a better mom. Gasp.

Why? Because of the applications I can download — for free. I could go on and on and on about the apps (Remember, I’m now driving the bandwagon). But to spare you the written infomercial, I’ve summed it up to the three apps that have changed my life (in only four days).

  • Task ListUp until now, every week I print off a prefabricated to-do list. It reminds me what I need to do each day to keep the house, family and my small business running smoothly. I also have a section on my paper to write the random things I need to do in order to conquer that particular week. Then, with a super cute magnet, I attach the list to the front of the fridge. Only my 8½ x 11 to-do list is allowed on the front of the fridge. Armed with a Sharpie marker, I cross through the items on my paper as I accomplish them. A good week equals marker scribbles everywhere. Two days ago I discovered the Task List app by LorSoft. It let’s me recreate everything on my paper into my phone. The best part, this new task list is arranged just as my paper list was but now I don’t have to print it off. I’ve gone green.
  • Grocery Smart

Join the conversation
Have you discovered any Android or iPhone apps that helped you become a better mom? Share them with us on the Motherhood Matters Facebook page or on the Comment Board.

With such a young family, we are always out of milk or diapers and make frequent trips to the grocery store. With the Grocery Smart app by Handmark, I now create the lists that were once on my white board and keep them right on my phone. This app also keeps track of my membership and value cards from all my stores.

My favorite part: it syncs instantly with my husband’s iPhone so he has the list too. Making a quick run for milk or sending him to complete the entire month’s grocery list is now hassle free. I can even add an item while he’s en route.

  1. Kid ModeMy kids love to play games on their daddy’s iPhone. My 3-year-old can work the thing better than I can. Now they are thrilled I have games on my phone too. Kid Mode by Zoodles is a fantastic app that locks my phone when the kids are playing so they can’t mess anything up.

    It also has fantastic parent controls so I get to choose what kind of games my kids have access to. Best part, they are educational games so I feel better as a parent when I bribe my kids with game time. Maybe they’ll learn something too. I haven’t even had a chance to use my recipe app or bar code scanner. And I know, someday at a park or soccer game when someone gets hurt, my first aid app is going to win me major mom points. With my Android in one hand and an ace wrap in the other, I am going to save the day.

Nicole and her husband are raising four children, six years and younger, including identical twin boys. Life can get a little crazy! Nicole owns Sidewalk Communications,LLC and blogs at

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Nicole Carpenter


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