With gadgets galore and thousands upon thousands of apps to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start when it comes to tech that makes your life easier.


“I tend to feel so overwhelmed by the amount of app choices that I neglect to download the ones I need!” said Holly at The Culture Mom.


That’s where the awesome Carley Knobloch of Digitwirl, along with a team of tech-savvy bloggers, can help. They dispensed advice and recommendations for apps of all kinds during a highly useful live chat in The Motherhood today.



By category, here are their favorites!


Entering the World of Apps


“I agree with Carley to focus first on what you actually need a specific app for. General organization? Grocery lists? Calendaring? And then go from there,” recommended Jeana Tahnk, Tech writer for Parenting, Cool Mom Tech, Mashable and others.


“You could really start with the basics and begin using all the native software: Calendar, Reminders … also apps like ZipList to solve the grocery list problem (i.e., not remembering to take it with you to the store!)” said Carley.


Sarah Kimmel at Technology for Moms provided a brief list of must-have apps for newbies:


Google for calendar
Toodledo for tasks
Grocery IQ for shopping
Evernote for keeping notes


Time Savers


Said Sarah at Technology for Moms, “I love using ToodleDo.com for my to do list. Recurring tasks, organized into folders, synced with every device I own.”


“One of the browser extensions I’m most addicted to is Read It Later. Every day I see so many articles I want to read, but don’t have time to do it right then and there,” said Betsy Cadel at Gray Matter Matters. “I press the ‘Read it Later’ button on my tool bar and read it when I have time.”


When it comes to managing Twitter for your blog or business, “LOVE Hootsuite! And Buffer is my new favorite for scheduling tweets!” said Carley of Digitwirl.


Yelp. I use it so often to find new places to go when I meet up with friends,” suggested Betsy of Gray Matter Matters.




“I manage our family calendar on Google and grocery shop with GroceryIQ,” said Grace Duffy of Splash Creative Media and Formerly Gracie.


“I’m a big fan of Cozi for calendaring since I can access it via the web, iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, etc. and it works with Outlook and Gmail,” said TechSavvyMama. “So easy to have everything in one place and updating in real time!”


“A few great apps for organization are Intuition, Paperless, Evernote,” suggested Jeana. “TeuxDeux is a very simple app (and website) for making lists as well.”


“I LOVE Notability,” added MJ Tam. “I write notes with my iPad pen and it records sounds too. It converts my notes in PDFs or however I want to convert it so I can share.”




“In terms of finding great sitters, I’ve heard SitterCity is great,” said Betsy at Gray Matter Matters.


“Have you seen SitterScout? It texts all of your sitters at once and helps organize who is coming, when. Brilliant!” replied Grace of Formerly Gracie.




“I love AroundMe for the quick ‘where’s the nearest pharmacy’ type questions,” said Carley of Digitwirl.




“Another app I use a lot is Dragon Dictation (free),” said Jeana. “It’s like having a personal stenographer with you at all times!”


“If you use Evernote‘s voice record, you can have it transcribe your voice notes as well,” added Carley of Digitwirl.


For real paper “recording” needs, “I LOVE our HP Photosmart Premium printer – we can print before we even get home and then it’s waiting there for us – gotta love wireless printing!” said Sarah Burns, mompreneur and writer at The Ohana Mama.


Money Managers


For overall budgeting and tracking, “Mint.com all the way!” said Grace of Formerly Gracie. “Pulls in all of my accounts, sets up budgets based on expenses, and reminds you when bills are due.”


Expensify is great when dealing with bills/receipts and working with a couple of people together,” said MJ Tam.


Manilla is great for keeping all bills in one place,” added Jeana.


NeatReceipts and the Neat scanning software is also great for when you’re scanning receipts for an expense report — or just for personal stuff. And TONS of other uses too,” said Carley of Digitwirl.  “Also loving Lemon — a receipt tracker.”




“Some of you have asked about going paperless: We’ve done some research at Digitwirl and here are a few simple tips,” said Carley:



She added, “I also love the Doxie scanner — you don’t even need a computer to scan while you’re on the go… and the new Doxie is WIRELESS… you don’t even have to connect it EVER!”


There is MUCH MORE in the conversation – be sure to read the whole thing! And visit Carley and our other tech savvy friends on their sites:


Carley Knobloch, Digitwirl,@digitwirl @carleyknobloch

Betsy Cadel, Gray Matter Matters, @graymatterbc

Sarah Kimmel, Technology for Moms, @tech4moms

Sarah Burns, The Ohana Mama, @theohanamama

Jeana Tahnk, tech writer, @jeanatahnk

Grace Duffy, Formerly Gracie, @graceduffy