As published on Little Hero Hosting, Tue 14 May 2013
Written by Alison Parks
If you know me well, you will be shocked that I am writing an article on technology, let alone apps. Here is a picture of the mobile phone that I have carried around until 6 months ago. I loved this phone. It didn’t have internet access, in fact, it couldn’t even take a photo. But it fit easily into any pocket or mini purse and I could make and receive phone calls. That’s all you need from a phone, right?
I admit I’m a slow learner. So I’m going to give you the Most Useful and Easy Apps for the Home from my perspective. If you search the internet, there are thousands of websites with experts telling you this and that about apps, and you need a technology dictionary to help read most of them.
I’m going to show you the easiest, cheapest and most useful apps that I have found and am currently using around the home. If I’m using them, they must be easy to use!
As I own an android phone and tablet, my recommendations will be android based, however I have also provided an iphone option.
In Australia, we don’t seem to have a one-stop-shop app for all the supermarkets. The choice is for you to pick from the main supermarkets (Coles, Woolworths, Aldi), or simply download a Shopping List app and go from there.
Of the major supermarket app selections, my pick is the Woolworths app, because you can also order online, it’s not just a shopping list like the others. You can scan your item and either store it in a shopping list and/or order online and have it delivered to your door … all from your mobile phone.
Select the link below for your preferred option.
I have a serious excel spreadsheet that monitors our budget. In my pre-smartphone days I would take cash out each pay day for my ‘entertainment’ money, which was the best way for me to keep track of my casual spending.
These days however, I am able to eftpos whatever I like without fear of going over my allocated spend with the TrackMySpend app.
While you’re standing in the checkout line, just enter the amount of spend and it will calculate how much you have left, and how many days you have left until your next top up (i.e. pay day). You can save your favourites (i.e. morning coffee) and with just a click of a button your spending budget will be updated.
How often do you ask “Does this dress look nice?”, and hear in return “yes, of course” or “yes, dear”? Wouldn’t it be great to get some honest and reliable feedback on what you’re wearing for your hot date or catch up with old friends. What Should I Wear.com.au is the best app for this purpose! When you’re out shopping, you can refer to what you actually have in your closet and compliment your wardrobe, rather than double up on what you already have – no more impulse buys! It’s very addictive … you can give or get advice and also have lots of fashion questions answered by experts.
Housework / Chores
This has been referred to me by friends with older kids. What better way to share the chores with the kids, than via their smartphone! iRewardChart allows you to select from built-in chores or create your own, delegate and accumulate rewards. Kids love novelty, and using their phones … iRewardChart is a great concept! You can always use it as an adult too … no reason why adults can’t get rewards for doing the chores!
A simple chore app is the Chore Checklist which has pre-set basic chores to keep your household running smooth, crisp and clean. You can add or delete chores, and set reminders to ensure none are forgotten. It’s a great motivator and organiser.
Android: Chore Checklist [Free]
We have just finished renovating our home, and I am kicking myself for not having a smartphone years ago. There are apps which allow you to upload a photo of your room, and virtually paint it with the colours of your choice. I feel a new “feature wall” coming on!
Dulux have a great iPhone app available, click here.
Not a great recommendation, but the best solution I can find for the Australian Android users is the BEHR app to get a good idea on how your room is going to look, and then use the Dulux Colour Schemer app (which doesn’t allow photos of your room) to try and match the colour so you can buy the right product here in Oz.
Diet and Exercise
I religiously follow the Calorie King website to monitor my dietary intake and exercise program, and don’t you know it … they have an app too! Set your weight goal, and it will keep track of the calories, fats, carbs, protein etc in all the foods you eat and will also calculate how many calories you burn through exercise. This one I can’t use as it’s only available for the iPhone owners. The Calorie Counter – My Fitness Pal has been recommended to me for Android users for this article … so let me know what your thoughts are on it.
Cooking in the home is a family affair at our place. The kitchen is the centre of our home and it’s where all the important things happen. I am not the world’s best cook, and I will take any help where given! I’ve recently downloaded an easy to follow recipe app, Epicurious which has over 30,000 recipes to inspire me with last minute decisions during the week or long time planning with dinner parties. Now this is an easy, essential app to have in your home.
Do you know what I like most about Apps? Is that App is in Happy, and that’s how I feel when finding technology that can help me around the home!
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