If you are one of those lucky people who never needed shopping lists or deadline alerts before you had a baby, lucky you! The chances are that post-baby, however, things are very different.
I think the majority of adults struggle with juggling personal and work related tasks after becoming a parent - the mental and logistical load is much heavier than ever before and with the likelihood of sleep deprivation you’re memory doesn’t seem quite as sharp as it used to. You think to yourself "I'll easily remember that" and then your tiny little person flashes you a beautiful smile and you forget everything else.
With that in mind, you can relax somewhat in the knowledge that there is an abundance of handy, practical tools to help you out. Some of these tools you can use for both personal and work tasks, allowing you to more easily manage those two parts of your life together at once. I am strong proponent for work-life integration because in order to thrive in both worlds you need to consider how they interact and support one another.
For instance, do your personal and work diaries appear in the same calendar so you can make sure important events don't clash? Can your personal tasks and your work task deadlines appear in one dashboard so that you can be realistic about what you can achieve in one day? Who or what can you delegate some of these tasks to?
Here are some tried and tested tools for you to check out. We compiled this list by asking our online parenting community for recommendations, and we have also included our personal favourites…
Got lists of things to do running through your brain at a hundred miles an hour? 2Do was designed to meet your need for speed by allowing you to quickly enter your thoughts and ideas before you forget. It can be a simple to-do list, helping you in staying on top of your daily chores, or a full-featured GTD tool for heavy taskers. It even gives you the freedom to group related tasks together and apply sorting, search filters and focus filters on each list separately. Check it out here.
Another app for lists and task management. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is here to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos. Organize and share your to-do, work, grocery, movies and household lists, Set Due Dates and Reminders and Assign to-dos, share your lists and work collaboratively on projects with your colleagues, friends and family. From personal experience, I can say the Pro version is worth the money! Take a look here.
This family organiser can help to coordinate and communicate everyone’s schedules and activities, track grocery lists, manage to do lists, plan ahead for dinner, and keep the whole family on the same page.Anyone in the family can access the shared calendar, get reminders, and see lists from any computer (PC or Mac) or any mobile device (iPhone/iPad, Android phone/tablet). Click here to explore all the features.
One of our working parents said she and her husband couldn’t live without this app! AnyList allows you to create and share a grocery shopping list and organize your recipes. It suggests common items as you type, and automatically groups items by category to help save time at the store. Stay in sync with family and friends by sharing a list with them. Any changes made to a shared list will show up instantly to everyone sharing the list. Take a look here.
This app was described as ‘life changing’ by one of our working parents. Plan to Eat is an online meal planner app that allows you to add and organize recipes, drag those recipes onto a calendar to plan them, and our software automatically creates your shopping list based on your planned recipes. By providing tools that streamline the meal planning process we equip households to eat better food, eat together, save money at the grocery store, and have a less stressful cooking experience in the kitchen. Find out more here.
Another member of the Thriving Parents team uses this virtual assistant service to delegate simple personal and work related tasks to a team of US-based assistants. Use any device, at any time of day, and the assistants will tackle anything on your to-do list! No negotiating, no waiting, just send your requests and they get to work immediately. Ideal for tasks which can be carried out in English, requiring a response from a 3rd party, coordinating back and forth, or research. Learn more here.
It’s not all about getting things down - sometimes we need a little help to slow down and practice mindfulness. Simple Habit’s mission is to empower humans to stress less, achieve more, and live better. Designed by top meditation teachers, it offers more than 1,000 guided meditations for any situation and mood — including before sleep, taking a work break, commuting, and more. Click here to download.
Similarly, Calm is an app for mindfulness and meditation that claims to brings clarity, joy and peace to your daily life. It was recommended by several people in our working parents community. It offers you a unique new meditation and inspiration every day and even includes Sleep Stories to help you fall into a deep and natural sleep. Get it here.
When you become a parent, it simultaneously becomes more important and more difficult to keep on top of your finances! Mint brings together everything from balances and bills to your credit score and more. It’s your financial life, in one place that’s easy to understand. The more accounts, cards and bills you link, the more it can help you do. See what you have and what you owe. Understand where money goes and where you can cut back. Create budgets, track investments, discover new ways to save and more. Check it out here.
Do you have any to add to our list? We’d love to keep updating this article and we’re always keen to share new apps with our working parent community. Let us know by emailing [email protected]
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