Hey, just so you know ... This post includes affiliate links. That means if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. That's how I can afford to continue inspiring and equipping families to add more digital learning to their home education. You can read my full affiliate disclosure HERERecently I was forced to do a little experiment that got me thinking about what smartphone apps are really essential to me.
You, see I had to an app elimination diet. You know those food elimination diets that people have to go on to see what foods they're sensitive to, right? They have to cut out all the typical offending foods, then add them back in one by one to see if they have a reaction.
I had to go through a similar process with my smartphone. I had an annoying beep going off randomly. Really it was three different beeps. There was no rhyme or reason to it, but it drove me nuts … mostly because I couldn't figure out what was causing it.
Confessions of an App Junkie
I took the self-professed techie's walk of shame into the Verizon store and had to admit that I couldn't figure out something with my phone. Their suggestion was that I do a factory reset, then add install apps slowly to see if any triggered the beep. Fearful of the full-blown factory reset, I opted to just uninstall all non-system apps instead. And the beep was gone!!
Then, came the task of adding apps back onto my phone. And, now that I could think straight since I was no longer plagued by the beep, I realized I had a great opportunity.
You see, like many people, I'm a bit of an app junkie; I had accumulated a lot of apps, including some I never used. I knew that minimizing my installed apps would make my phone perform better and even help me be less distracted. So, I decided that I would only re-install the apps as I needed them.
The result a month later … a lot fewer apps on my phone as I identified the ones I actually use, the ones that are essential to my life as a mom.
Essential Smartphone Apps for Techie Homeschool Moms
These are the apps that made the cut. I'm sharing them with you so that you might discover one that would benefit you.
- Google Calendar: command center for keeping track of our family’s schedule
- Keep: all my reminders, to-do tasks and shopping lists
- Google Drive: access to all my files for reference at any time
- Google Photos: archive of all images I take on my phone. Instant upload frees up storage.
- Trello: how I share homeschool assignments and chores with my kids
- Airtable: my DIY meal planning method (plus the database of my business information)
- Spotify: Easiest way to listen to music wherever we are
- Podcast Addict: my podcast library that I listen to when exercising or driving
- Facebook: My chosen social media network so I easily upload pics to my feed and keep in touch with friends
- Instagram: a way to keep up with my teens since it's their chosen social media app (“Mom, Facebook is for old people”)
- Messenger: how our family communicates, including video chatting with my daughter in Europe
- Messenger Kids: my under 13-year-old kids’ Messenger accounts so that I can monitor their conversations.
- Mvelopes: virtual cash envelopes to stay within our budget
- Photomath: A game-changer for checking my kids’ math problems
- Amazon: No explanation needed, right? (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial)
I will admit that my iPad is a different story. It's my preferred mobile device and I use it lots more throughout the day. Take a look at it and you'll see that I'm not a totally reformed app junkie.
This experience prompted me to ask other techie homeschooling families in the Techin' Your Homeschool Facebook group.
What smartphone apps do you think are “must-haves” for any homeschool mom?
Among their recommendations were …
- Epic!: ebook library for kids (Sign up for a free 30-day trial)
- Kindle: ebooks for the whole family (Try your first month of Kindle Unlimited Free)
- Audible: audiobooks for the whole family (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks)
- Overdrive: ebook reader from most libraries
- Merlin Bird ID: Instant bird ID help for your nature studies
- Timely: time tracking ap
- Meetup: a way to connect
- Library Thing: a way to catalog your books
- Evernote: cloud-based organizaiton tool
- Our Home: task management too
- Home Routines: way to manage household (and homeschool) routines
- Stitcher: another podcast & radio app
- Lifetime Alarm Clock: an alarm clock on steroids!!
- Dropbox: cloud-storage for your digital files
Must-Have Tech for Homeschooling
How about you? What are some apps that you think are “must-haves” for techie homeschool moms? I'd love to know your recommendations; just send them in a reply to this email.
Want to join in on techie homeschooling conversations like this in the Techin' Your Homeschool Facebook group.? Just CLICK HERE to request to join.
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