Inside & Out: Apps that Make Life Easier

I asked a hyper-organized mom if she has a robot or a handful of apps that help her get through life. Pauline Benninga, gives me an inferiority complex. She not only is a talented (no particular order) writer, baker, dress designer, entrepreneur, and marathon runner, but she is also a great person. I keep thinking I want to be like her when I grow up, but she’s about a decade younger than I am.

Check out the apps that she loves and make her week a little smoother…

“Like most busy moms, I am always on the lookout for an iPad or smartphone app that can help make my daily life easier.  Here are a few of my favorites.” - Pauline Benninga

SpringPad: Love this App

It’s not quite an organization tool, not quite a planning tool, not quite a recommendation tool, but an awesome combo of all plus more.  I can create a notebook for each of my kids and link to articles about their development, toys that they enjoy, what they might like for Christmas or birthdays, soccer games, preschool events, etc etc.  It basically helps me map out their lives – including their futures!  I can have a notebook for my house projects that includes things like instructions on how to seed a lawn, Home Depot toolsp, color schemes, fabrics, paint, names of contractors, even budget info.  I can also manage my business (gown designs, etc) and school (track assignments, link to research in the field I’m interested in.)  It has Facebook integration but I don’t go for that – lots of people do, though.  Notebooks can be public or private so you can share and collaborate on ideas, too.  Basically, SpringPad works like a helpful assistant – I mean, like a real person – and not like a folder or a list into which I just dump info and then have to make sense of it all later.

iTranslate+ or 7-in-1 translate: The Perfect Travel Companion

We travel a lot.  A least, frequently enough that having a translation app is a huge help for those instances in foreign countries where you might have to ask things like, “Where can I buy some infant Tylenol?” or “We have a diaper emergency.”.

Google Music: Music for Anywhere

If you don’t want to carry 30 different gadgets, Google Music is a great way to access music from anywhere with an internet connection.  We upload music to Google Music and leave the iPods at home – we just bring the iPad and the wireless internet allows us to stream our music to wherever we are.

GroceryIQ: Grocery Organizer

This is a fantastic way to organize your grocery list – you can scan barcodes on items and GroceryIQ will put that on a list for you that is organized according to your local grocery store – it tells you the aisle that your item is in and groups things by location in the shop.  Makes shopping efficient and easy – even for clueless husbands.

Chess/checkers/parcheesi/etc: No small pieces

Basically, any board game with a lot of small pieces that can get lost is a great candidate for the iPad.  It entertains the kids and requires no cleanup – and no choking hazards for the baby.  Plus, it’s much more usable than the travel versions of the same games, so we bring it on every trip.

Disclosure: has an affiliate relationship with iTunes & Amazon, which means that purchasing music or books via the links helps support However, the choices of music and books are editorially independent from those sites. All content on this page has been chosen by myself or readers without any financial recognition from iTunes,, the artists, or authors.

Growing up, Pauline Benninga dreamt of becoming an architect, the President, and a princess, all at the same time. Once she realized that none of jobs would allow her to get any sleep, she abandoned her dream in favor of motherhood. Now that she has three children, Pauline is considering phoning the President and asking him to babysit for a couple of hours while she takes a nap.

This entry was posted in Inside & Out and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>