9 family planning apps to help curb the chaos
Keeping your family organized may seem like a full-time job, but no one said you had to do it alone
Whether you have young children or teenagers, so does family life feverish– Even a dog seems to have a schedule. Parents have to be impeccably organized to stay on top of housework, grocery shopping, meal planning, finances, and work obligations, not to mention the fact that if you have school-age children, you’re a glorified driver juggling school, extracurricular, and school-age jobs. And sports. It’s a lot. Despite the cries of our children who have taken over our lives, we continue to load more and more onto our plates. But you don’t have to do it alone. There are a plethora of family planning apps that take the guesswork out of family life, from shared calendars to budget tracking to even remembering to share family photos with doting relatives. Here are 11 of our favorites, so we hope you can sneak a little free time into your calendar.
Are you drowning in a sea of birthday parties, swimming lessons, work events and “what’s for dinner”? Then listen. Easy to use and well-designed, Cozi serves triple duty as a shared family calendar, digital recipe box, and menu keeper. No matter how many or how old your kids are, seeing everyone’s schedules in one place (color-coded, at least) is a game-changer. Parents can also create shared grocery lists or to-do lists and meal plans so the burden doesn’t fall on just one person (we all know who… Which Will be).
Cost: Free or paid (Cozi Gold: $29.99 per year) on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
It’s us! Parents looking to bring some order to their messy family photo collection on their smartphones can safely store the best of the best in Tinybeans (no more 36-photo collections) slight Different versions of the same baby photo shoot space). Moreover, you can share it instantly with relatives and friends. So, if responding to your mother-in-law’s constant (and well-intentioned) requests for baby updates has become too time-consuming, the app sends her emails or notifications when you post a major event, photo, or video — and sends you a regular reminder to post. Along with your best memories, you can keep track of all of your children’s most exciting milestones and accomplishments over the years. Often times, when you have a good collection of photos, put them in a nice album and order your physical copy directly through the app.
Cost: Free or paid (Tinybeans+: $74.99 per year or $7.99 per month) on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Plan to eat
Anyone who’s ever been forced to listen to the “I’m upset” symphony while staring into the fridge at 5pm in complete panic without eating dinner will have a deep appreciation for the eating plan. The dedicated app takes all the guesswork out of meal planning. Plan to Eat lets you choose recipes from anywhere on the web, import them into your recipe box, and automatically create a shopping list with items sorted by store and aisle. The only thing she can’t do is chop onions for you (would I ever do that?) no He cries!?).
Cost: Free or paid ($5.95 per month or $49 per year) on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Bill organizer and reminders
Paying late fees on bills you forgot about is a bitter pill to swallow, especially when you could have used that money to buy a cup of coffee to get you through another toddler gymnastics session. If you’re looking to track and manage all of your family’s bills in one place, check out the Bills Organizer and Reminder app (your credit score will thank you). You can quickly see all your upcoming bills in the app’s dashboard view, and be sure to receive payment reminders before each bill is due (whether the app is open or closed). To make life easier, set up automatic payments for recurring bills so you don’t even have to think about it. The free version lets you manage up to five accounts.
Cost: Free or paid ($2.99 for unlimited accounts, $1.99 without ads) on the Apple App Store.
If you’re a parent or part of a blended family, the 2houses app not only keeps everyone’s schedules organized, but it does it for two families. Everyone can view and edit the shared calendar, and it helps deal with one of the most difficult aspects of separation and divorce: finances. The app manages all the expenses made by each parent to give a clear view of what is being spent on the children and by whom. The “Nursery Journal” is a nice touch, allowing each parent to share photos, information, videos and news with other parents. So, when your day isn’t with the kids, you can still feel like part of the family.
14-day free trial then paid ($169.99 per year or $14.17 per month) on Apple App Store and Google Play.
Budgeting is arguably one of the most important aspects of family planning, but in reality it is time consuming. Not only does Mint take the guesswork out of budgeting for you, it also categorizes all your purchases so you can track where you’re spending (and maybe find some smart ways to save). To get the full picture, you can link all your accounts in one place – your checking account, savings account, credit cards, investments, and property. The app alerts you if you’re close to going over budget or overdraft, and collects insights from your spending habits to offer tips on where to save money — all of which sets you up to meet your stated financial goals.
Free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Tree of time
Syncing calendars is extremely useful for busy families, but TimeTree has a chat room feature where you can share photos and discuss upcoming events and calendar changes. To keep your entire group up to date, everyone receives a notification when someone changes or reschedules something on the call and when a new event is added. There is also the option of getting additional calendars, such as one with your mum’s group or extended family.
Free or paid (Premium is $4.49 per month or $44.99 per year) on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Being a “little person” isn’t usually a good thing, but Flayk, the family planning app, is great. Not only does it have a shared calendar for everyone in your family, as well as an option for everyone to receive event reminders, but the premium version of Flayk also has a points system for completed tasks. You can motivate your kids to do chores or finish their homework with personalized rewards, like a movie night, a trip to the amusement park, or a family vacation. Additionally, if you “follow” a task, you can assign it to someone else. And if you want to embrace the “it takes a village” philosophy, you can connect your Flayk with other families or groups using the app to make sure you never miss anything.
Free or paid (premium for $1.99 per month) on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Creating lists and reminders to get things done can take as long as it does in reality a job Damn things, why not automate some of those basic tasks. That’s the beauty of IFTTT (short for “If This, Then That”). It works with more than 600 apps, including Telegram, Twitch, Weather Underground, Google Drive, Gmail, and Spotify, and integrates with devices like Amazon Alexa, Nest, Google Home, and Philips Hue. The app is a favorite for businesses, but families can also benefit from a little automation — like getting the weather forecast every morning, changing the thermostat when you go out of town, warning you if the temperatures drop and you need to move your plants indoors, or starting a specific playlist When you ride in the car so that your children do not panic.
Cost: Free or paid (Pro: $2.50 per month, Pro+: $5 per month) on the Apple App Store and Google Play.