As a working and traveling mother of two boys, ages 5 and 2, with a civil-engineer husband and a job that requires time beyond 9 to 5 and, I have to rely on my support system. Besides my working spouse, my squad includes my family, friends and phone. Hold your judgment. I know that some may argue that technology is a double-edged sword, a distraction from family and work that causes more problems than it solves. I disagree.
While my phone is certainly not a replacement for my living, breathing support system, selected mobile apps have provided complementary tech support to make me more efficient as a businesswoman, mom and a spouse. I am not ashamed to say and share that my iPhone is another appendage, one that I rely heavily on. The right technology streamlines work, mom and overall family and life duties. My phone wields quite a bit of power and helps me pack it all into my daily schedule. Here’s how my favorite apps find their way into my day during a “typical” (I use that word lightly) week.
Sundays are the day to plan for the work week ahead and focus on family time and “running errands.” I have cut out a lot of wasted time gallivanting from store to store to stock up on household items and even groceries. How? Amazon Prime and Shipt are my best friends for these types of errands. With a few taps on my phone, a couple of hours shopping is condensed to 20 minutes, and I can be at home spending quality time with my boys and husband or place an order as I watch TV. My items from Amazon arrive a couple of days later and groceries come in fresh within a couple of hours or ordering. The only task that’s left: to organize and put it all away. Totally worth it!
And just like that, the start of the work week is here! I realize that my best friend’s wedding is coming up and I have nothing to wear. It’s Rent the Runway to the rescue! I can order an entire outfit from head to toe and eliminate the cost and time (and stress) it takes to navigate the mall. Since I travel so often during the week, I realize that I will need to ship the outfit to the wedding location. I do some virtual shopping, add in the dates of the event, where it needs to arrive, and I am set! Talk about checking things off the to do list in style.
My husband and I joke if it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist. But we’re kind of serious. So needless to say, we have a shared Google Calendar that we add everything to, from flight info, to girls night, guys night and pickup times for the boys, you name it, it’s on there. I always spend a few minutes at the beginning of the week, checking through and making sure my week’s activities are on there and other important info so my husband and I are synced up on where and when we are going to be places.
Part of my role at work requires quite a bit of travel. Like most people these days I definitely rely on Uber for transportation from place to place. Plus, this adds time back to my day where I can work, make calls and take a quick breather. Since I am the passenger and don’t have to worry about picking up a rental car and driving around a city and navigating directions, it eliminates cost and stress and adds back some time to the clock.
The Wallet App on my iPhone has come in super handy as well. There’s no need for me to carry all or really, any of my credit cards as I have them all synced in the app so my phone becomes my virtual wallet, to an extent.
Kimberly is a regional sales manager at Modernizing Medicine where she focuses on connecting with dermatology and plastic-surgery practices and introducing them to the specialty-specific suite of products and services to create efficiency and help improve outcomes financially, clinically and operationally in their practice.
After a productive and long day at work, it’s time to head back to the hotel. I check in with my husband and FaceTime with my kids before they head to bed. The perks of technology! After getting settled and sending a few last emails, I kick back and relax for a bit. For entertainment, I enjoy watching shows via the HBO Go app (just finished Big Little Lies and highly recommend it!). And if I want to do some leisurely reading, I use OverDrive to connect to my local library and download eBooks. Both provide inexpensive and free entertainment on the road, all in the palm of my hand.
As the work week comes to an end, and I am waiting in the airport to head back home, I am able to track my expenses and use the Concur app to keep an accurate tab on my work expenditures. I can even take photos of receipts throughout the week and make sure that all is accurately accounted for and submitted even before I get back home. Another box checked off the list! Speaking of lists, I use Evernote, a virtual checklist app to keep myself honest and replace all those sticky notes that used to cover my desk and clog up my purse.
Ah the weekend! As we all know they go by way too fast and 48 hours is never enough time to get it all done, especially when there are errands that are often a time suck and take longer than anticipated. Just a week of transporting the kids in the car can take a toll on your vehicle’s cleanliness. Going to a carwash is inconvenient and a waste of time, so I have the carwash come to me with an app called Washé. You pay a bit more for the convenience factor, but it’s well worth it to have my car cleaned on-demand in my driveway, once again adding time back into my day to focus on what matters most: my family.
Time to rinse and repeat. No one day or week is exactly the same as another. And the best-laid plans don’t go to plan. But my phone is there to keep everything running as close to perfect as possible. It’s my personal assistant, travel buddy, entertainer, organizer, accountant and more. Don’t hesitate to use technology to your advantage to supplement the support system that you have and add time back to your day to spend with your family.
Kim is an alumna of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. While not traveling for work or chasing around her two boys, she enjoys spending time by the pool, riding the ATV with her family, and doing creative projects for parties.
Written by Kimberly Mrachek Regional Sales Manager at Modernizing Medicine for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.