5 Essential Productivity Apps for Work at Home Moms

As work at home moms, we have many hats to wear. Heck, moms of any type (stay-at-home, work-at-home or work-out-of-the-home) do. But working at home…

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5 Essential Productivity Apps for Work at Home Moms

As work at home moms, we have many hats to wear. Heck, moms of any type (stay-at-home, work-at-home or work-out-of-the-home) do. But working at home has its particular challenges, especially when it comes to staying on task and being productive while at the same time being attentive to your children.

Personally, I struggle sometimes. On some days, I just want to snuggle and play with my kid, while on other days I’m in “the zone” working. Neither of those is sustainable. Here are five apps—my essential apps—that help me strike a balance between my work/mom roles.

Evernote

Evernote is my go-to app for just about everything. I use the desktop version, web clipper and Android versions. One of my favorite ways to use it is to store my son’s art. My toddler scribbles and “colors” often, but the refrigerator can only hold so many pieces of paper. I keep my favorites up for a while and snap pictures of them when I take them down. I love the fact that I can share certain notes and folders with my husband (or anyone else).

I also use Evernote to store research for my writing projects, seasonal to-do lists, ideas for our house, confirmation numbers for our bills, and just about everything else that I’d like to keep. I use the tagging feature, but I’m not meticulous about it because the search function works well for my needs. I find the premium subscription to be helpful because I take pictures of my scribbled notes often, and with premium, you can search for texts within documents. That feature is a lifesaver.

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Pomodoro Timers

I use two Pomodoro timers on my phone. The first is my favorite, and it’s called Clockwork Tomato. It’s my top pick because you can set the timers to whatever you want. Although the Pomodoro Technique recommends working for 25 minutes and taking a break for 5, starting with just 10 minutes on a task I dread works better for me. My second choice is Pomodroido. It’s free, and you achieve higher levels as you complete more pomodoros.

Motivated Moms

Can I just admit here and now that I suck at cleaning? It’s not something that comes naturally to me. Unlike other people who have a natural tendency toward order, mine is toward chaos. I look at a messy room and sometimes feel overwhelmed about where to start. Motivated Moms provides me with an easy checklist to complete every day. It addresses all areas of the home and keeps it tidy enough to be manageable without being too much of a time suck.

Trello

Although Trello’s primary function is as a project management tool, I use it to manage work, personal and household projects. The visual experience of dragging something from my Today column to the Done column is extremely satisfying.

My columns are set up as follows:

  • Today – things to do today
  • Incoming – things that need to be sorted into one of the other columns
  • This Week – things to do this week
  • This Month – things to do this month
  • Next Month – things to do next month
  • Later – things with due dates past the next month
  • Done – things that I have accomplished today (gets cleared everyday)
  • Waiting on Payment – completed projects that I need to invoice
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Trello also gives you six different colored labels to use on your cards. I’ve assigned one to each of my major clients, one to my personal writing and one to household projects.

Play around with the setup until you find one that works for you. I found this article helpful when I first started.

Stay Focusd

When I plan to spend five minutes on Facebook or 10 minutes on a forum, that small allotment of time can stretch into hours if I’m not careful. I use Stay Focusd to help me do just that—stay focused on what I need to do. I’ve set it to 60 minutes a day for Facebook, Twitter and my favorite forums combined. Once I reach 60 minutes, the sites are blocked until midnight. You can set the time to whatever you want, but I found that anything less didn’t give me enough time to post and interact.

What are your essential apps for increasing productivity? Share them in the comments!

This post originally appeared on ProductiveWAHM.

For more tips on being productive as a work at home mom, follow this new series!

Work at Home Productivity Tips to Help You Get More Done TODAY - Part 1

 

27 comments

  1. Those are all really great apps! I need to get better with my time management skills. And I call myself an uninspired homemaker. I don’t mind homemaking as I understand a clean home is a good thing, but at the same time, trying to clean with a little one underfoot is liking brushing your teeth with a mouthful of Oreo cookies.

    1. Cleaning is not at the top of my list, but it has to be done. Totally agree about the mouthful of Oreos thing. Anything I do while the kiddo is awake seems to be undone within a couple of hours.

    1. Music helps me when I’m cleaning, but I can’t stand noise when I’m writing or researching.

  2. Since my blog is taking off this post is just what I needed. I am checking these apps you mentioned and see if it brings me some major help because I need it at the moment. 🙂 I never heard of Motivated Moms so I’ll be checking this one out too. Thank you for this very helpful post.

  3. I love the sound of these – I need to use them. I am currently using ToDoIst.com – app on my phone and desktop (web too if needed)… it seems a bit like Trello but maybe simpler?

    Question – you mentioned limiting the FB time and it gets blocked if you go over – what if you’re working on a paid social media assignment – can you unblock? That would be my main concern is blocking a site I need to still continue working on (let’s not talk about the fact that I’d be blocked b/c I probably wasted TIME on FB! hahaha).

    1. Yes, you can turn the blocker off, but it requires some work. I can’t remember the specifics of it, though.

  4. Great apps – thanks for sharing!
    I happened along your blog from Think and Make Thursday and am so happy I found it! I’m just starting my blogging journey and am wanted to blog about tech as it’s one of my passions but I don’t find too many other tech blogs out there. It’s nice to see yours. I’ll definitely be following you! 🙂

  5. I’m not a natural cleaner either but I do have things that I like to have done. Like a clean kitchen. It stresses me out when I go to cook and the kitchen is dirty. I’m also bad with getting things done because I lose focus and forget to do things sometime. I will be trying some of these apps to help me out. Thanks for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday!

    1. That’s so funny… a messy kitchen stresses me out, too! And if a room is messy when I’m trying to work, it drives me nuts. I’m not naturally neat, but it definitely affects my state of mind if too much clutter is out.

  6. I just recently learned of Trello and am really excited to give it a try. Also love love love Evernote! It is my LIFE! If anything ever happened to them, I’d lose so much of my life and business. I store so much in there.

    Stay focused sounds awesome! But my problem is I am a social media manager and spend a good chunk of my day on Facebook managing my clients pages. Not sure if it would work for me. I may still investigate it, maybe I can set it to block during certain times of the day.

    Great post! Visiting from Turn It Up Tuesday!

  7. Pingback: Turn It Up Tuesday's #83 & Giveaway - Afro-Chic Mompreneur

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