Smartphones have been playing a very prominent role in keeping our lives organized. They have a wide variety of use for parents for keeping the family tied together. Since new and new mobile apps are developing, the way even parents are using their smartphones is changing.
In a survey, more than 2000 U.S. parents were interviewed. 43 percent of these parents said that their smartphone is the mobile command center of their family. It helps them run things smoothly. It helps them communicate well and keep their daily lives flowing. 41 percent of the parents said they use their smartphone for coordinating grocery lists and running errands. 43 percent said they use their smartphones for keeping their kids entertained. 20 percent of the dads and 35 percent of the moms used their smartphones for sending messages of love and affection to their kids. Not forget, the usual- smartphones have allowed parents to maintain close ties with their children when they are separated by distance.
We have apps that can help you manage the intricacies of the house, keep up to date with everyone’s schedules, make grocery lists, track chores and even make travel plans. In fact, with a smartphone, parents can stay on top of all the challenges they face on a daily basis to keep everything and everyone in the family organized.
Ways our smartphones help keep things organized
Here are some ways your smartphone can help you keep your life together:
- Create a to-do list
All thanks to your phone, your to-do list will be with you always. You can pick the tasks for the day and add them to your calendar. Evernote, Google Tasks, Quip etc. are great examples of to-do list apps.
- Grocery shop as you go
It’s frustrating to carry a paper grocery list because it is hard to keep track of it. But your smartphone can make it easier to remember what you want to buy. There is an app called “out of milk
” that lets you record what grocery you need to buy regularly. It also lets you sort your items into categories like dairy, vegetables, spices etc. and make grocery shopping a breeze.
- Pay with your phone
You are not alone if you don’t like carrying multiple credit cards and loyalty cards in your wallet. Why not take advantage of your smartphone and lighten your load a little bit? With apps like Android Pay and Apple Pay, you can load your credit card or debit information right into your phone and just tap your smartphone on a sensor at any store to pay. These apps also let you link your rewards and loyalty cards.
- Set Alarms
It’s one of the best things about smartphones. You and everyone in the house can set alarms that go off at certain times. Although we now use emails and text messages to remind someone about something, if you have teens in the house who tend to be a little careless, then you can use an alarm as a reminder to get their attention.
- Sync your calendars
There are tons of mobile calendar apps like Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCalendar that lets you synchronize your tasks and information. You can store contact information, add notes, and set relevant reminders. This eliminates the need to carry your planner, notepad or address book all the time. There is an app called Cozi
that lets you see the individual appointments, chores, and activities of each family member. In this way, you won’t have to miss any important event going on in your child’s life.
- Stay on top of home cleaning
Who knew you could use your smartphone to prioritize home cleaning? There is an app called Tody
that helps keep your time tidy. It sorts cleaning jobs into simple categories and you can assign a priority and frequency to each one. Let’s say your son and daughter were responsible to clean their room, you can add how many people are responsible for this chore.
- Issue voice commands
With voice commands, we can do a lot of things with our smartphones. This can even come in handy for housework. There are smart speakers like Amazon Echo
that let you send voice commands to spend the right amount of time on each chore even if your hands are busy. With Amazon Echo, you can get access to news headlines, check the weather status, and listen to music or even an audiobook. You can even use Alexa for tasks such as editing your grocery list or set up a reminder.
- Rely on other parents
This one is for parents of younger kids. When it comes to raising kids, you are definitely going to need the help of other parents so why not start a parenting co-op? Along with meeting new parents and sharing tips, you can even babysit each other’s kids. For that, you can create a spreadsheet on your smartphone and keep track of the number of hours people have babysat your child and then offer a fair exchange. This could help you save you a lot of money.
You can also share important contacts with every parent in the group. There is an app ContactBox
that can help you create and share a list of contacts. Anyone with whom the contacts are shared can update the information.
What about maximizing family time?
Since we are talking about keeping the family and life’s daily chores organized, how can we forget about one important aspect- “managing the addiction to technology” When you are relying on your smartphone to do everything, this could turn into an addiction for both parents and the kids. On average, we spend 4 hours
on our smartphones. We often use them during family activities like meals, playtime or bedtime. This could affect the social and emotional wellbeing of your children. As a parent, if you are on your device most of the time, you will have fewer conversations with your child. It’s great to communicate, keep in touch with one another and organize the daily tasks on the phone but this shouldn’t affect your family time. Don’t worry, there is an app for that and it’s called Xnspy
. It’s basically a monitoring app that is widely used by parents to keep updated with their child’s whereabouts, social media activities, internet history, emails etc. The wide range of features of Xnspy lets parents use it for a variety of purposes. To make sure nobody uses their smartphone during family time, with help of Xnspy, you can lock every child’s phone remotely and apply screen-time controls. These controls come in handy when kids are doing homework, at bedtime and during exams. To get more involved in your child’s digital lives, you can also keep tabs on the list of installed apps on their smartphone. If you seem to find an app that’s age inapposite, Xnspy gives you the liberty to block it.
It’s not all bad if a smartphone has become the mobile command center of your family. Even a coin has two sides –heads and tails. Just like that, the use of a smartphone has its good and bad aspects. We are fortunate enough to have ways to combat the bad and utilize this gift of technology for the better.