Thursday, November 10, 2011

Apps to Help your Domestic Service

We are geeks in this household so we utilize our smartphone and iPad to help with day to day life . 

All the apps are either linked to their website which has a link to the app or the iTunes store.  But please google the name if you want to see it has an app for other devices such as Blackberry or Android.  We use a AppAdvice to get most of our apps for free (this is geared to iPhone and iPad but again google for name of app for use on other devices.) Things that normally charge will do free for limited time so please bookmark this site as a resources to find apps.  They also have an AppAdvice app - which is how we actually use/read it and I find it is worth price. But view the website not just the above link but the whole website for a while and see what you think.   

For a to-do list/task list organizer - Toodledo - it is a great tool. It has customizable alarms, you can set priority levels on them and break the projects down into tasks, you can share with others, it has folders, tags, contexts, subtasks and more to organize, search and sort through your tasks. It also syncs with Google calendar and gmail. 

Skygrid - basically really powerful newsfeed. If you are needing to find something out on the web and having problems, put that topic in and it will take some time - usually a day and start pulling in everything it finds on the topic. It is really good to if you don't have time right now but let it pull stuff in and then when you are sitting in a doctors office or have 10 mins you can browse through the things it found on the topic you were needing.

Dropbox - sharing files anywhere. It has been an amazing tool for us for business but we use it when we sit just with a wall between Master and my office because it is so easy to use it for sharing files. You just drop and drag to a folder that is on your computer and it will upload it to be shared with those you specify.  There is a little pop-up notification on the toolbox when someone has shared something with me. You then will also be able to access it anywhere because it is saved up in the cloud. So I can save a list of household needs and measurements and when out and about, I can access it.

Evernote - Take a note of anything. I like it because I can save websites, news articles and things I know might not be there at some point but evernote will save it for me forever as long as I want it. I can then access it anywhere. So if I read a great article online about wine, I save to evernote and when shopping for wine pull it up up on evernote.

HowCast - videos on How-To.  How to do almost anything.

Free Wi-Fi Finder - just what says

Remember that many magazines will give you issues via their app for free if you have a (paper) subscription to them. I have Martha Stewart's Living and Everyday Food and love the issues on the apps as they have extras like videos or more photos.  It is nice to read the recipe right on the iPad instead of trying to keep my magazine open on the counter or ripping it out.

Saving Money has an app that we use all the time to find the cheapest gas. The other night Master saved 14 cents a gallon not traveling very far down the road to get it either.

The Coupon App- pretty much says it in the title what it is huh? :)

Barcode Scanner - it is for the Andriod but Gizmodo has a list of barcode scanners for other devices too. You can scan barcodes or data matrixs and then the app will find you the lowest price. 

Menu Planning/Shopping Lists - Not only a great website but has an app too so you can access everything you have on  Pepper Plate has a place to store recipes easily from their recommended sites as well as other sites. You can create shopping lists, menus and it also has a planner.  From the home page - it looks like the app allows you to set timers and has a feature so your iPad won't dim when you are using to read a recipe while cooking.   I have been only using it for a couple weeks but love everything I have used it for so far - and just love the interface.

GroceryIQ & NutritionIQ  - Grocery IQ is a great app for creating shopping lists. You can have multiple stores, add details such as size, price and quantity, organize by aisle, has barcode scanning and predictive searches, print or email coupons and it can share with multiple devices and syncs the lists to them so if maybe you went shopping that day and then later one after work another member of your household stops by grocery store and they will be able to see an updated list.  Nutrition IQ isn't as powerful as Grocery IQ but gives you categories of food - nutritious foods and you can click on a category such as fiber and it will list all nutritious foods with fiber. You can then add them to a shopping list and it has the ability to check them off as you shop just as Grocery IQ does. 

Around the House
Handyman App - it is from the magazine The Family Handyman.  It has some old issues to flip through on it but if you want current issues you have to pay for them. The old issues they have available are full of great information though. You can read the forums and blog on the app too.  The forums are full of problems and solutions.

Good Housekeeping @ Home - has stain buster, do-it-all cleaning tips, home decor gallery and news & tips.

ColorSmart by Behr - it has a feature if you use with iPad2 or phones with cameras - where you can take a photo of your room and then upload it  so that change the paint  so you can see how it would look. ColorSnap is the Sherwin-Williams app that is like Behr. SnapShop is a similar app but for furniture. 

Houzz - is basically for inspiration when I want to redecorate or when I start thinking of our dream home and want more ideas. But it is just a gallery of photos that you can save and make notes on each photo for future reference or also upload photos you find inspiring. I think this app is only for iPhone or iPad.

Flashlight - I admit it - I have used the iPad for a flashlight before trying to find my way around in the dark. It casts off more light then the little maglite I have in the junk drawer. 

I use the Epicurious app quite a bit when needing a recipe or have an ingredient I want to use - I can a search there.

Soup Master - I got this app for free but it has so many recipes that I do feel it is probably worth the $1.99. It will list like 5 chicken noodle recipes but all are a little bit different.  But the variety of recipes is beyond what I could ever think of for soup.

Whole Food Recipes -  It has categories such as bugget, quick and easy, cooking with kids, you can target special diet needs such as gluten-free, diary-free, lowfat, vegetarian/vegan and so on,  and you can also search by ingredient, build a shopping list from the recipes. 

All Recipes - they have a free version and a paid/pro version that doesn't have ads and has just a few more features. I use the free version and have liked it just fine.   But I can see the paid version might have some benefits if you use All Recipes quite a bit.  Because it will access your recipe box, allow you to create shopping lists from the recipes and just a few more features that you can't get with the free version. But the free version allows you access to all the recipes, doing search by 1 ingredient or up to 8, by nutrition or name. It also allows you to bookmark favorites on the app. 

Big Oven - can search 170,000+ recipes, add recipes to grocery lists, and automatically synchronize those grocery lists, search by ingredient

Pocket Cocktails and Cocktails HD - It is an app for iPhone/iPad. It has recipes for cocktails. They now have their Christmas cocktail section up right now and during Halloween they had some really good cocktails that were great way to celebrate the holiday.  They have a full screen photo for every drink, search by drink name or an ingredient.  Also includes a Pocket Sommelier.  There is a list of tips and tricks such as how to coat a rim of a glass, how to make layer drinks, zest fruit and so on. Even though I have an iPad I use Pocket Cocktails as Cocktails HD hadn't come out when I first got Pocket Cocktails. They are both 99 cents so not bad for all recipes and information it gives you.

Good Guide -  find health, environmental and social performance ratings for 120,000 food, personal care and household products,  has barcode scanning built in to retrieve product ratings while you shop, you can personalize by selecting issues you care the most about such as is a product tested on animals if that is a top priority for you - you can select that to make sure it tells you how that product rates in that area. It also allows you to create shopping lists. 

Locavore - find local, in-season food, seasonal recipes, nearby farmers' markets & farms that sell the products you enjoy. 

iRecycle - tells you how, where and when to recycle just about anything by inputting your location and also shares new with tips and ways to make green changes to your life.  Another app that I think is similar is My Recycle List.

Part 2 of this will be apps that I haven't used but heard good things about and a few other resource lists for finding applications. 


  1. This was some really good info... Thanks alot..


  2. I was just thinking of posting something like this, I emailed kaya about it just this week.

    Since these are geared for iPhone and iPad, here are those I use for Android:

    Chore Checklist - helps me have a checklist of daily, weekly, biweekly and monthly chores.

    Out groceries - Lets you share and create multiple grocery and other to-buy lists. Just sync your phone and you won't need to call home to see if you need milk.

    ShapeUpClub - Logs my excercise and calories.

    Easy Money - keeps track of your credit and debit cards, as well as your walled and change. You just have to remember to use it... Has bill reminders, budgets, and other things as well.

    House Maintanence Schedule - I don't personally use this, we live in an apartment, but it helps you remember to clean your waterheater, you vents, and other seasonal chores.

    Chore Master Pro - Allows family members to gain points for doing chores. We don't use this one, but if we had children old enough, I think I would.

    I'm off to see if some of the apps in this list will work for us - thanks!



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