It‘s a great time to be a multi-tasking mother! New technology helps women streamline busy family lives and “crowdsourcing“ comes of age as cell phone and online activities help moms build peer support for all kinds of decision making.
So long Leave it to Beaver, hello Wonder Woman! With all of the tools at your fingertips today, mothering’s hit a golden age. Plan menus, stay in touch (phone, e-mail, chat, social networking), build and share family memories, create calendars, organize data, navigate streets, monitor Baby, teach the kids and just about anything else you can think of with all of the technology available to you now. Here’s a round-up of cool stuff you might already know about if you’re already a hi-tech mom. And if you’re not? Whatcha waiting for?
Favorite ONLINE PHOTOBOOK SITES
Shutterfly (www.shutterfly.com) The gold-standard when it comes to making affordable soft or hard-bound photo books from your digital pictures. Choose the “instant” option to create in rapid-fire speed. For creative control, choose your own page-by-page options. Photo quality is crisp and books start at $12.99. Take advantage of frequent sales and coupons.
Kolo (www.kolo.com) The designer fabric-colored photo albums now makes high-end photo books for your digital pics. Prices start at $15 for a small brag book that ties with ribbon.
My Canvas (www.mycanvas.com) An 8 x 8 photo book starts at $29.95; this is a good choice for special occasions like anniversaries, graduations, and milestone birthdays. Premium albums are individually handcrafted to order.
smartphones make it so …
Two of the most popular smartphones continue to be the iPhone and Blackberry. There are thousands of apps to choose from … zero in on what you need to simplify your life. Here are a few goodies we found:
Favorite MOM APPS FOR Blackberrys
Healthy Recipes – Dish out delicious tonight. Healthy Recipes has 200,000 recipes to choose from and for the health conscious, each recipe includes calories, carbs and other useful facts. Free.
Happy Family Shared Grocery Lists – There’s no reason why you need to do all the shopping. Sync and share your grocery list with family so they can swing by the store while they’re out. $9.99.
Make a Mess – Finger painting fun without the mess. The Make a Mess app lets you (or your kids) finger paint on your Blackberry and share your masterpieces with friends and family through an online gallery. Free.
check out more at www.appworld.blackberry.com
cool blogs for hi-tech moms
Favorite TOT APPS FOR iPhones
Toddlers Teasers Quizzing – Four quizzes to test preschool-age tots on letters, numbers, colors and shapes. The game is different each time you play. $1.99.
iWriteWords – Teaches handwriting while playing. Includes 70 words/levels of uppercase and lowercase letters, 20 levels of numbers and a playback feature. $2.99.
Kidzongs – A simple sing-a-long for your child featuring six different songs with a lyrics page. itunes, $.99.
New Parent APPS FOR iPhones
Expecting – Track your due date and OB appointments, get tips and advice for each week of your pregnancy … everything you need with the touch of a finger.
Things – For iPhone and iPod Touch, the Things app helps make you a happy list maker and organizes all of your to-do’s. One of the most popular apps out there currently. 99 cents.
Baby Log – Record diaper changes, feedings, naps, baths and more.
Sit or Squat – When you child says, “I gotta go!” and there’s no bathroom in sight, use your current location to find your nearest options plus cleanliness stats, changing tables and handicap access. Free.
check out more at www.apple.com/iphone/apps-for-iphone
Editor Tip: I Like Google Apps!
Gmail helps your manage different accounts for different projects … Google docs helps you collaborate with other moms for event planning, projects and information … Google calendar is a life saver for managing all that your busy family does! – Susan