Looking to get organized in 2023?
When you’re a mom, it’s not as easy as installing a couple apps and setting them up. You’re short on time and you’ve got a lot of things to keep track of. You need something that will be fast but also powerful enough to manage everything in your life.
After testing and tweaking my own systems and going through a LOT of apps, these are my picks for the 9 best productivity apps for moms right now.
I’ll be sharing how I use them, how much each app costs, and how to get started with each one.
Let’s take a look.
Table of Contents
- Best Productivity Apps for Moms in 2023
- #1 – Notion
- #2 – Fantastical
- #3 – Apple Notes
- #4 – Apple Reminders
- #5 – Apple Shortcuts
- #6 – Google Drive
- #7 – Google Photos
- #8 – Kindle
- #9 – LastPass
Best Productivity Apps for Moms in 2023
#1 – Notion
Best Overall Productivity App
Notion is a do-it-all kind of app that you can use to keep track of anything in your life. From to-do lists to planning pages to journal prompts and everything in between, Notion can handle it.
(It’s also great for managing freelance projects, clients, content creation, and other business information.)
The core of Notion is its ability to create databases. It sounds complicated, but all you need to do is create a new Table and add some items. For each item, you can add properties you want to keep track of.
Example of a database in Notion
For example, I have a wishlist database inside of Notion where I keep track of everything I want to buy for myself or my family.
Each wishlist item has the following properties:
- Tag (who it’s for, what kind of item, etc.)
- Why I want to buy it
- Link to the product
- A checkbox to click when I’ve bought it
After I enter an item and fill out the properties, I can sort through my list to quickly find things I want.
For example, I can list up all of the items with the tag “Furniture” or “For Kids,” or I can sort by price. I can hide items I’ve already bought or when I go to a store like Target, I can search for all the items available there. (We don’t have Target in Japan, but a girl can dream, okay!)
Things I track in Notion
I use Notion to manage my projects and tasks for everything in my life. I’d love to go through how to set that up if you want something like this—let me know in the comments if you want me to cover it in an upcoming post.
Why I use Notion for my task manager: I’ve used all the to-do list apps out there, like literally ALL of them! And all of them were really great at organizing tasks.
But I wanted to be able to have a dedicated place to manage my projects, too, like keeping notes and other information in one place. I’ve found that Notion allows me to not only plan out my projects and keep detailed notes on them, but also keeps my tasks for that project organized in one place.
In other words, it does more than what other to-do lists apps have been able to do for me.
Here are other things I track in Notion:
- Blog Post Ideas and Status
- Published Work (for my freelance business)
- Client Projects
- Projected Monthly Income
- Morning Checklist
- Shopping List
- Weekly Review Checklist
- And more
Downsides of using Notion
It’s not all unicorns and rainbows. Here are some downsides of using Notion:
- It takes time to set up. It’s not ready to go out of the box like other apps, and you’ll need to learn how to use it before you really get value out of it.
- It’s only available online. They have a desktop app, mobile app, and web version, but if you lose your internet connection, you can’t access your data until you re-connect. That’s a big downside for some people. (Maybe someday they’ll make an offline version.)
If those downsides don’t scare you away, I highly recommend this powerful productivity app.
Free for individual use. It costs $5 a month for a few extra features or $10 a month per user if you want to use it with teams.
Check out Notion here. (This is an affiliate link. Notion is completely free for individual use.)
#2 – Fantastical
Fantastical is my favorite calendar app, hands down. I use it to manage all of my appointments and reminders of things I have to do during the week.
I also plan my meals inside of my calendar. Every single thing that MUST be done on or by a specific date goes in there.
I find this app helpful for moms because it’s easy to manage a large amount of calendars and appointments without getting overwhelmed.
Here’s why I like Fantastical:
- Syncs with Popular Calendars: It syncs with Google Calendar, iCal, and popular to-do list apps, so it collects everything you want to see in one place
- Easy Input: You can type something like “Buy groceries at Hy-Vee at 3pm” and it will automatically add the location and set the appointment for 3pm.
- Calendar Sets: You can create Calendar Sets that contain specific calendars—for example, you can have a Home calendar set for private events and a Work calendar set that you use when you’re working
- Cardhop App: It’s bundled together with an app called Cardhop that helps you organize your contacts and add birthdays, relationships, and other information. When you add someone into Cardhop and add their birthday, anniversary, or other important date, it will automatically put “Sally’s 34th Birthday” in your calendar where you can see it
- Beautiful Interface: It looks pretty both on desktop and mobile and has helpful day, week, month, quarterly, and yearly views
You’ll need the Premium plan (called Flexibits Premium) to use the app. It costs $4.99 a month or $39.99 for an entire year.
#3 – Apple Notes
Best Notes App
Now, Android users, before you get mad at me, let me say this: I only recommend these apps because I’m an Apple user, and I don’t mean to say that Android users should switch over.
In my case, I choose Apple Notes because it’s the fastest notes app on iPhone, and I need a notes app that’s blazing fast.
When you have kids, you don’t have 3 seconds to wait for your app to load to jot something down (*cough*Evernote*cough*).
When I have an idea for a new blog post, I might have a total of 10 seconds before my kid screams from the other room that their brother stole their toy. So I need to open the app in a millisecond, write the idea, and then be free again to handle tiny people problems.
So for Android users, the equivalent would be whatever’s the fastest app that runs on Android (probably a built-in app).
I don’t worry about organizing my notes too much. As long as the app has a search function, I’ll be able to find important notes again.
Apple Notes Pricing
Apple Notes is free for Apple users.
#4 – Apple Reminders
Best Reminder App
Just like Apple Notes, I choose Apple Reminders because it’s the fastest reminder app on iPhone and it works with Siri. If you’re an Android user, it would be the fastest reminder app on Android that works with the voice assistant on your phone.
Sometimes I don’t have time to add something on my calendar, or I’m not sure I’ll check my calendar before I need to remember something.
For example, if I start a load of laundry while I’m working on freelance projects, I will often forget to hang them to dry. So I activate Siri on my phone or Apple Watch and say, “Remind me to hang the laundry in 30 minutes.”
This is all I use Apple Reminders for. It’s just a backup for me so I don’t forget something I need to do later.
Apple Reminders Pricing
Apple Reminders is free for Apple users.
#5 – Apple Shortcuts
Best for Power Users
Apple Shortcuts are great for a power user who wants even more efficiency in their life. They basically create custom apps on your phone that help you do different actions in just one tap.
For example, I had one set up called “Log My Weight” where it would ask me to input my weight and then automatically record it in the Health app. I put the icon on my home screen and then instead of having to open up the Health app, find the weight section, and do it manually, I could do it all in one tap.
This isn’t for everyone, but if you enjoy setting up different automations like this, Apple Shortcuts can help you do some really cool things.
I even found a way to instantly add tasks to Notion using Zapier—it took some workarounds, but it does work. Let me know if you want me to explain how I do this.
Apple Shortcuts Pricing
Apple Shortcuts is free for Apple users.
#6 – Google Drive
Best for Documents
Look, nothing beats Google Drive these days for creating and sharing documents.
It’s free (of course, you pay with your data, which is another argument for another day), and it has all the functionality of paid apps like Microsoft Office.
I use Google Drive mostly for client work these days. Each client gets a folder and I create a new document for each project. Then I can simply send the client a link, they leave comments on the document to give me feedback, I update them, and it’s done—no saving new versions or attaching documents to email over and over again.
I also have a personal reference library on Google Drive for all of my digital files.
Google Drive Pricing
Google Drive is free for up to 15 GB of storage. You’ll pay more for extra storage. Businesses can have extra features starting at $6 a month.
#7 – Google Photos
Best for Backing Up Photos
Say what you want about Google and their total monopoly of the entire internet, but dangit, they make really good apps.
If you don’t have something set up to automatically back up your phone photos to the cloud, I highly, highly recommend setting it up right now.
With Google Photos, you just download the app and turn on the setting to automatically back up everything in your photo library.
Then if something happens to your phone, you know everything is safely stored on the internet.
Other alternatives are iCloud Photos and Amazon Photos, but I like Google Photos because it’s easy to access my photos from any device, it’s easy to download photos, share with others, and search for specific photos with really advanced search filters.
The downside of this is that you have to pay for extra storage the more photos you back up, but I personally feel it’s worth it for the extra peace of mind.
Google Photos Pricing
The app itself is free to use, but if you go over your free 15 GB of storage on Google Drive, you’ll need to pay for extra storage.
#8 – Kindle
Best for Reading
Yes, reading productively is a thing!
I LOVE reading books, but how many times can I actually sit down with a paper book and read? (Not many.)
Most of the time, I read in bits and pieces wherever I go.
So instead of lugging around all my current reads, I take my Kindle with me (or just use the free Kindle app).
You can download a sample in one tap, buy a book and read it instantly, and save highlights from everything you read. What could be better!?
And once I find a book I love on Kindle, I’ll sometimes go out and buy the paper version just to have it on my bookshelf. (Technically I order books to be shipped internationally because I live in Japan. So Kindle is also a way for me to get books that aren’t available in my country.)
The actual Kindle reader starts from $100 and goes up from there, but you can use the Kindle app to read all Kindle titles for free. Each book has its own price. (With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you get access to thousands of titles for free.)
Check out the Kindle Store here. (Amazon affiliate link)
#9 – LastPass
Best Password Manager
I can’t finish this list without mentioning this app. LastPass is a password manager that keeps track of all the passwords you need for every single website, app, and account that you need a login for.
You can save credit card numbers so you don’t have to type in the number by hand when purchasing things online.
It also has a Notes section so you can keep track of other important information for taxes, bank accounts, and other important areas of your life that you need to keep under lock and key.
Security is strong—they don’t keep records of your log-in password to LastPass, so you must absolutely NOT lose it. As long as you remember that one little password, the rest of your information is available to you whenever you need it.
And with browser extensions for Safari and Chrome and mobile apps, LastPass can automatically fill out passwords for you so you don’t need to type them in.
Plus, they notify you when your passwords are at risk for getting hacked and help you to change them into more secure passwords.
Finally, if you have the family plan, you can share passwords with other family members so they stop asking you for their bank password for the hundredth time (not that I have any personal experience with this…).
LastPass is free if you only use it on 1 device, but who only uses 1 device?! The Premium plan costs $36 for a year subscription (it’s not monthly) for a single individual, or $48 a year for the Family plan.
There you have it—my round-up of the 9 best productivity apps for moms available right now. What did you think?
Whether you’re looking to rev up your productivity system or take the first baby steps toward getting organized in 2023, these apps can help you to get there.
Want to know more about how to use these apps? Let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to write more content to help you.
Also, I’d love to hear from you—which productivity apps would you add to this list?