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Melissa Cleaver
Omaha Public Schools | Nebraska
Common Sense Education Outreach Coordinator
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Common Sense Media - In the News


Smart Tech Tools to Make Mom's Life Easier

Apps, devices, and plain-old desktop tools for managing your every day.
Taryn Degnan Interactive Marketing Manager Categories: Healthy media habitsWe recommend
Interactive Marketing Manager

We'll never get more hours in the day, but technology gives us a little more wiggle room. Whether it's managing the family's schedule, occupying the kids with quality entertainment, or staying on top of the day's news, there are so many gadgets, apps, and sites to make everyday tasks a whole lot easier.

We polled some of our favorite moms to find out what tech tools they simply can't live without. Happy Mother's Day from us to you!

Stay Organized

  • Any.Do: "I can't live without Any.Do -- it's a to-do list app with a Chrome plug-in that keeps me organized and syncs between home, work, and mobile." -- Sierra Filucci, executive editor of parenting content at Common Sense Media
  • GroceryIQ and Wunderlist: "I use them together to manage my weekly menu/shopping. Can't live without 'em." -- Sarah McManus, tech educator
  • Google Calendar: "It's the one place my husband, my kids, and I can all dump our respective schedules and stay organized!" -- Crista Sumanik, director of communications at Common Sense Media
  • Freshbooks: "As a mom who is always on the go for work, I can’t live without Freshbooks to help me keep track of my business, such as invoicing, payments, and expenses." -- Leticia Barr, Tech Savvy Mama
  • AnyList: "I love AnyList. It's super handy for sharing grocery and shopping lists with my husband, plus we use it to make check-off lists for my daughter's morning and bedtime routines." -- Betsy Bozdech, executive editor of reviews and ratings at Common Sense Media
  • Windows 8 and Office 365: "I love that I can log on to any of our Windows 8 Tablets, Laptops, or PCs with one account that has all of my information (via OneDrive cloud storage) and business software (Microsoft Office) on the go. My kids also have their own accounts so they can use any of the devices at home with ease. With three kids, I play musical computer quite often!" -- Beth Blecherman, TechMamas

Stay Sane

  • Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones (in-ear): "Not only do I love them on the airplane, but they allow me to maximize time. As a work-at-home mom, I'm often taking or making calls in between errands and in the car while waiting for school pick-up. There's nothing worse than not clearly hearing what the other person is saying while on the go, and I used to put off calls until I arrived home, which sometimes cut into my daughter's time with me. Not anymore!" -- Katie Dillon, La Jolla Mom

Stay in the Know

  • The Daily Mom App: "This all-in-one app designed for busy (and obviously cool) moms pulls content from some of my favorite sites, such as Cool Mom TechKids Activities Blog,Apartment Therapy, and Common Sense Media. It keeps me in the know with daily updates on news, media, blogs, weather, holidays, trivia, recipes, and tons of fun stuff." -- Shoshana Stopek, Mommy Tech Bytes
  • Kids Media App: "If you find yourself, like me, suddenly belting out the lyrics to 'Let It Go' in the middle of the day and need some new media in your house, then check out Common Sense’s Kids Media App. This is my go-to app for reviews on the latest music, apps, DVDs, books, websites, and more!" -- Shoshana Stopek, Mommy Tech Bytes
  • Baby Connect: "What a great app for working moms who want to be kept in the loop about baby’s daily activities. It allows moms and caregivers to keep track of baby’s feedings, diaper changes, naps, moods, activity, and more." -- Erin Wilkey Oh, senior editor of education reviews at Common Sense Media

Stay Entertained

  • StarTalk Radio Show with Neil DeGrasse Tyson: "One of my favorite tech tools is this podcast from the host of the new Cosmos TV show. It's funny, informative, and seriously occupies my teen who can listen while he’s working on his hobbies. Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a wonderful way of simplifying complex topics -- and he brings popular comedians on his show to add humor to the otherwise dry subject matter." -- Caroline Knorr, parenting editor at Common Sense Media
  • SoundHound: "My daughter and I love exploring new music together and bonding over the stuff we both love. It's instant, fun, and I can finally get a peek into her teenage tastes!" -- Ellen Pack, VP of marketing at Common Sense Media

Save Money

  • Cartwheel by Target: "This is my must-have app for buying my family's everyday essentials. I love saving money but not chasing deals -- so this is a perfect way to cut costs where I'm able to." -- Cristie Ritz-King, Reinvention Girl

Make the Most of Screen Time

  • LeapPad2: "Our must-have tech tool is our Leapfrog LeapPad2! We have two in our house, one for the 3-year-old and one for the 7-year-old. There are so many fun, age-appropriate, and educational options for our kids to play with -- when they earn screen time!" -- Val Curtis,BonBon Break
  • iPad mini: "I've started downloading kids' eBooks to the iPad mini when we travel, which is much easier than carrying paperbacks. I'm surprised by how much my 7-year-old enjoys reading them!" -- Katie Dillon, La Jolla mom
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