During the holidays we all get a little stressed. Deadlines come quick, kids need extra attention, and have you even thought about ALL the cooking coming up? Eek! Chances are, you’re a lot like me and need an entire team of 24/7 assistants to manage your personal, business, and family life activities during fourth quarter.
However, I don’t hire a crew of PAs to run my life. Instead, I enlist the help of these trusty apps. (Seriously, these apps are SO HELPFUL.) They’re the best apps to organize your life this holiday season. Here are my 7 favorites for turning your holiday chaos into productivity—well…mostly.
Cozi is touted as the “must-have app for families.” This amazing little gem of programming makes it easier for you to be all that you are, while still getting everything done. If sanity is a prized possession of yours during the holidays—look no further than Cozi. It’s a great family calendar that manages the calendar chaos, menu planning, and much more. This app is perfect for chore lists, recipe storage, family events, appointments, and even adding a last minute ingredient to your shopping list. Ever forget to write down something awesome that happened in your life or your kid’s? Never again. Cozi lets you keep a detailed Family Journal that will help you to capture all the holiday memories.
Evernote is a great way to keep track of what you see on the internet. See a holiday gift idea that you want to remember? Use Evernote to keep track of it. Evernote lets you upload photos of business cards. (Think office parties and holiday networking events.) It also allows you to speak your notes right into the app so you can remember your notes on the go. Also, Evernote allows you to share and send ‘Work Chat’ for easy collaboration on team projects. While you may not need to use it at work—it might not be bad to have a password-protected app for sharing your kiddo’s Christmas list with your spouse.
Invented in a garage and now worth billions, Dropbox is the world’s go-to for file sharing. Think this is just a business tool? Think again. Constantly deleting photos off your iPhone just so you can take more pictures? Stop choosing between your kids’ funny faces and your cat’s cute moments. Get all the photos off your phone and onto the Dropbox cloud. You’ll always be able to take more pictures! Also, you can share things like videos, holiday soundtracks, shopping lists, and other items to everyone in your family.
Wunderlist is a shareable to-do list app. Get the list of to-do’s for your Christmas dinner written down and then delegate them out to family. And no one will judge you if you choose to accidentally “forget” one or two people—you know who you are! Make sure you have all the ingredients and haven’t forgotten anything for Grandma’s secret chocolate pie recipe.
Most people use Pandora for the awesome music streaming and a variety of stations, but did you know you can use their automatic timer feature to time your music playlists? It’s super simple to stay on task with their simple timer! Need to put up the tree, hang the lights, and bake some cookies? No problem. With Pandora you can make your to-do list a breeze by creating holiday-themed playlists set to a timer. Anything is possible when you chunk your time.
Flipp is the perfect app for making sure you maximize your savings during the holidays. Instead of finding ways to save money all on your own, just download the app and let Flipp do it for you. Flipp cross references your local stores’ ads with major discounts on brands you love, making saving easier than pouring a glass of eggnog.
Seriously, Ibotta is one of the easiest ways to save money when shopping! Scan your receipt when you get home and get cash back. Whenever you shop, wherever you shop. No coupons or complicated exchanges—just cash back. How awesome is that?!
Fireflies is a simple and age-appropriate game for small kids. Sometimes it’s okay to give them a device to stay busy. They’ll be hooked on the brilliant colors and thrilling challenge of catching the fireflies looming about the forest. It’ll keep them quiet and entertained so you can get some work done!
No matter what your holiday schedule looks like, freeing up some time is one of the greatest ways to make the end of your year better. Whether it’s being able to have your sister pick up an extra cookie mix or making sure you and your spouse are able to communicate about what items you’ve picked up from the kids’ Christmas lists, getting organized frees up your mental energy. And all of us could use a little extra brain power to get through the holidays!