2011-12-07 / Just Sayin

Apps in a Snap

Jessica M. Machado

While getting ready for my daughter’s third birthday I realized I use my iPhone apps a lot. And I stress the term A LOT. So I’ve decided to compile a list of what I call my “Momma apps”. These are the apps (applications) I use to help me with being a chauffeur, doctor, personal shopper, mathematician, meteorologist and knower of all things in the universe aka MOM.

Now, I understand there are millions of apps I am merely scratching the surface. The apps I tend to use are either free or minimal cost.

CoziCoziCozi (free version) - This app is the center of my Mother Mode Universe. It is fantastic. It is a calendar (with reminders), shopping list, To Do list, and journal.

The calendar has great personalized settings. I can only tag the family members who are involved and I can have a text message reminder sent to their phone. This is great for parents in the workforce who get caught up in work. It keeps my husband and I informed of all the kids appointments, games, classes, etc. It even color codes each member.

My favorite feature is the Shopping List. I had my husband download the app as well and sign in with my account info so that they are synced perfectly. In doing this we figured out that we can both add to the Shopping List and it updates itself in real time. If he’s at the store while I’m at work I can add something to the list and it will appear on his. This makes it a lot easier not to forget things.

The To Do list is just that, a To Do list. Being that I am a list maker, this does wonders for me. There’s something about seeing a list with tasks all marked out that gives an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

The Journal is an added bonus. You can quickly jot down an event even add a picture from your phone. We took my son to the Lego Store in Austin for his birthday and I quickly journaled some of the funny things the kids did while we were there and even added a pic of the store.

Coupons.com (free) - This app works much like the site. You sign up and get to “clip” virtual coupons that you can print at home and take to the store with you. I love it. The app goes a step further though. You can view and “clip” your coupons then have them sent to your email. That way when you’re on the go or have a little down time waiting in a doctor’s office or in line to pick up the kids you can chose what you want. Then when you get home you check your email and you have them waiting in the inbox for you. Just don’t forget to take them to the store with you.

Weather Bug (free) - This app does what you think. It gives you the forecast. It pulls up the weather in your area according to zip code and can give you weekly outlook. The best feature is the forecast by the hour. This always helps me with deciding what size jacket my son should take with him to school (if any). I use this often for planning weekend activities too.

Red Laser (free) - Great shopping companion especially during the gift giving season. This app uses your camera to scan bar codes of any product in the store. After holding the camera lens steady over the bar code the app gets to work searching stores in your area as well as vendors throughout the web. It compiles a list of prices of the item you scanned making it easy to see who has the more competitive price thus you get the best deal you can. Brilliant money saver.

Google (free) - As I’m sure you know Google is a search engine. It’s easy to use and even has a hands free option. You speak into your phone, it deciphers what you say and then searches the subject for you giving you results almost immediately. This app comes in handy. It knows everything about everything. As I tell my 10 year old, “If momma or Google don’t know then it doesn’t exist.”

Talking Tom (free version) - This is my “Please don’t scream your head off while we’re waiting in the check out line at H-E-B” app. It features Tom, an tomcat who will repeat whatever you say in his own tiny voice. My kids think it’s the funniest thing. You can also pet him and make him purr. This app is updated often by the developer and will give you more variety every time you update. It’s also available in other versions. I believe there’s a hippo, a dog and a giraffe. It keeps the little ones busy and laughing.

Red Box (free) - Ah, movies. Being that I was part of the first generation to grow up with VCRs, movies will always hold a special place in my heart. The Red Box app is digitally connected to those little red kiosks found in front of businesses through out town. You can rent movies for as little as $1.00 a night. The app lets you reserve your movies before you go pick them up. This takes out all of the pressure of standing in front of the kiosk while others wait in line behind you making faces ‘cause of course whatever they have to do after is waaaay more important that what you have to do. Take the fuss out and reserve them with the app. You’ll also know if a movie is available at which kiosk in town. This way you won’t have to drive around town trying to find that one “gotta have it” movie. Makes Friday nights with the fam that much easier.

Convert Units (free) - This is a much appreciated gift from the “App Developer Gods”. I, being someone who does not speak math, could not live without this one. The Convert Units app has an easy to use dial to show you different units converted. You can use it for anything. I once used it to figure out my son’s homework and then turned around and used it to double a recipe. It covers a variety of units and measurements.

I plan to review different types of apps on later blogs. Let me know if you’d like me to review one in particular shoot me an email jmachado@pleasantonexpress.com

And for those of you wondering, I was not able to start my sewing project this weekend, but I will. I guess there’s not an app for sewing on the weekends. Yet.

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