Tricks of the Trade

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sometimes the quest to streamline and make life more organized only adds to our mental and physical clutter. Think: Buying tons of supply at the Container Store...only to get home, not know how to actually use the stuff, having to find a way to organize your now-useless organizing supplies. I've done this maybe eighteen times. And, while everyone is online these days and proclaiming the virtues of sites and apps and whatnot, some of us (me) were a little slow on the uptake. There is so much tech stuff out there it can be overwhelming...

And yet: There are some really cool, easy-to-use web sites and applications that really are effective. Here are some of the "sites" and "apps" and doodads online that I've come across recently that actually do a little magic and make the life of a mom a tiny bit easier: A group site for anything from a book club to a sports team to a preschool class, allows groups of people to communicate, post shared-calendars, share photos, set up a shared website, and interact effortlessly--for free, to boot. I am going to recommend this to my son's preschool teacher so that I never again miss another Room Parent opportunity (which are "announced" on mimeographed hand-outs that are put into our children's cubbies). No, seriously I am.

Kidrex: Kidrex makes Internet searches safe for kids by utilizing Google SafeSearch technology to eliminate inappropriate material. You can make KidRex your homepage and inappropriate search terms (I'm sure you can come up with a few to test the software) will return an "Oops! Try again" message.

PhoneTag: Love this because it allows me to use my phone even less. PhoneTag converts your voicemail into text messages. No more listening to the message for the millionth time to make sure you got everything.

UEatCheap: Eating cheaply just got easier. Type in your zip code and the type of food you are looking for and UEatCheap will find nearby restaurants with entrees that are less than $10.00.

Yojomama: Yojo Mama helps you find things like child-friendly restaurants, closest diaper changing station, playgrounds, shopping deals or kids clothing stores, while on the go. Currently available in San Francisco and New York (LA is up next in the lineup), Yojo Mama utilizes a user's time and location to whip up the most accurate results.

A couple Iphone Applications:

Around Me: Tells you everything that is, well, around you--banks, restaurants, theaters--at any location.

Italk: Turns your phone into a tape-recorder. One that actually works (unlike the myriad other applications that promise the same).

GroceryIQ: Lets you search its preloaded database of 130,000 grocery items to organize personal shopping lists by store, aisle, buying history, favorites. Also lets you store your favorite items.

What are they gonna invent next, mail that doesn't require postage? Heh.
Souma said...

You know the best iphone apps I have found? The white noise maker and the turn-your-phone-into-a-baby-monitor device that you listed previously on this blog!

Gurinder said...

i love the dictaphone function! i also have a friend who swears by the nursing app...keeps track of things. gotta love the iphone.

Sarita said...

Have you seen "iChalky" it's awesome and entertains kids at restaurnts!

Sonia said...

great tips! I would also suggest for managing finances. It has changed our lives!!

Sarah said...

i love yojomama!!!

Sai Sundar said...

check out thirty pocket

get rid of all that extra stuff stored in your garage !

Sai Sundar said...

oh i didnt mention..thirsty pocket is an iphone app..
sorry...great posts !

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