Category Archives: Organizing your life

My Top 10 Favorite Apps to Keep a Single Parent Sane

I was one of those people who fought against getting an iPhone (and the Kindle but that’s a different post). I just didn’t understand what was so great about it. I can get on the internet from my computer at home so why do I need it at my fingertips 24/7 not matter where I am? Well, now I know. I am now addicted to my iPhone , which I know isn’t a good thing but I use it to help me stay sane on this crazy ride.

app-store-iconOver the couple of years that I have had my iPhone, I found some really great apps that have helped to keep me sane, more organized and just generally make my life easier. So, I thought I would share them with you.

All apps that I get are free. Now, sometimes I start with the free version and end up upgrading because I like the app and know that I will continue to use it. But I always start with the free one because once you spend that $1.99 (and with sooooo many apps out there, that $1.99 will add up), that’s it. It’s unlikely that you will get your money back no matter how much the app sucks.

So here is the list of my top 10 favorite “Keeping Me Sane” apps:


1. bill trackerBill Tracker-This is one of the apps that I started with the free version then upgraded and paid the $0.99 for it because it was such a tremendous help and with the upgraded version you can add a password. With Bill Tracker you can input all of your bills for the month and it will keep track of what is due and what’s coming up due for you. It helps with budgeting to be able to see exactly what’s coming down the pipe. You can set up accounts for all your bills and keep your online login info, the account numbers, etc all together for all your bills. Once you’ve paid a bill, you go in and mark it paid. You can set up recurring bills for those bills that are always the same and you can put in bill amounts that change. You can also put in stuff that comes out of your checking account automatically (I hate doing this but it was the only option for Netflix and Hulu) and it automatically shows as paid on the day that it comes out of your account. $7.99 may not seem like a lot to worry about but with the huge fluctuations in my checking account each month, I need to have a reminder that they are going to be coming out of my account.

2. checkbookCheckbook- I use this app instead of a paper check register. I have a hard time keeping track of what comes out of my checking account and that’s really bad since I basically use my Visa debit card for everything because I never have cash on me. This app makes it much easier to keep track and you can do reports in it to see how you are spending in different categories each month. There is an option to set up a budget to make sure you don’t spend too much in a particular category but I haven’t used that yet. You can set up recurring stuff too. I set it up to automatically take out those two pesky automatic bills that I hate and I set it up to put in my paycheck. I have my car payment go directly into a checking account that I have with the credit union that my car loan is through so the money is automatically put in into that account on my app and then automatically withdrawn each month when they take out the payment. You can also set up accounts for your credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc and you can do a transfer when you pay on those things and watch your balances go down (or hopefully not up). This was one that I also paid the extra $0.99 for because I knew it was going to get used and I wanted to add a password to it. Set-up can take a little time but grab all your bills together and you can do it while sitting in front of the tv.

3. ipasswordiPassword- This is app is perfect for people who have tons and tons of logins and passwords (yeah, like every single person in the world). I try to use the same password for everything but some sites have different requirements and some make you change it every now and then and it’s just impossible to remember all of them. And I have all of my daughter’s passwords in here. This app also has the option of putting all different kinds of info. I put in my health insurance ID numbers (I also took pictures of my ID cards just in case something happens and I don’t have them with me) and all my info about my Jeep (license plate number, VIN number, etc) so pretty much any information that I need is all in this app. And it has a password.

4. pocketPocket- Pocket is also on the internet at With this site you can keep track of stuff that you want to read later. You set it up in your favorites and you can click on a button and save something so you can read it later (it explains in better detail how to do that on the website). That always happens to me when I’m waiting for a meeting or a the doctor’s office and just browsing around. I’ll find something and then run out of time to read it. Now I can send it to Pocket and I can read it on my computer, my iPhone or my iPad later. Love it!

5. grocery palGrocery Pal-This app is just what it sounds like. A grocery list. You can set up different grocery lists for different stores. I have several of them. I don’t know about you guys but I hate it when I run to Wal-mart for toothpaste and forget that I actually needed toilet paper and conditioner too. So, now I just add it to my list and I always have it with me. You can also do it online at and it will update your phone.

6. alamedAlarmed-This is my life saver. There are so many times that I think of something that I need to do at home while I’m at work and there is no way that I will remember by the end of the day. So I open up my Alarmed app and set a reminder to go off at the time I need to remember to do it. You can also set up recurring alarms. I have one to remind me to start the Jeep in the morning so we won’t freeze our butts off while waiting for the bus and I have one set to remind me to take my vitamins, etc, etc.  It’s very customizable.

7. calendarCalendar-The calendar already comes with the iPhone but use it! Did you know that you can go to and see and edit your calendar from any computer? Did you know that you can set up different calendars that you can share with other Apple users? I have a separate calendar set up for stuff for Willow that I share with her.  I can set up reminders in my calendar that will go off on her iPod Touch (though she has to have wifi to get them and that can be a bit of a pain). Having a calendar that I can get to all the time keeps me from forgetting stuff that is coming up.

8. errandsErrands-This is basically my To Do list. You can set up different To Do lists in the app. You can have one for work, one for home, one for kids, one for errands, one for recurring cleaning, one for basically anything you want. I’ll think of something I want to get done this weekend and I just add it to my list.

9. allrecipesAllrecipes- This also is a website at but is an app too. I love this because you can set up a recipe box and save recipes that you like from the website or you can add your own. Then you can make a shopping list from them. I will put recipes into it that I find on Pinterest and then I can add them to the shopping list. Or, if I forget to take something out for dinner and I realize this at work, I can stop at the grocery store on my way home and know every single thing I need to make a recipe. I am always forgetting something in a recipe and it’s usually something big.The app also has a recipe spinner that is very cool. You tell it what kind of dish you are looking for (dinner, snack, lunch, etc), what the main ingredient is that you want to make it with (chicken, fish, veggies, etc) and how long you have to make it (20 mins or less, slow cooker, one hour, etc) and it finds all the recipes on the site that apply. This also helps when you forget to take something out for dinner and realize it at work.

10. podcastsPodcasts-There are so many free podcasts out there on every single topic you could ever imagine. Now there’s a separate app for podcasts. I listen to podcasts on my drive to and from work and I have learned soooo much good stuff about so many different topics. The list goes on forever. Check them out.

So, that’s my list of my to 10 “Keep Me Sane” apps that every single parent should have!

What are your favorie apps?