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The 7 best family organiser and calendar apps

The 7 best family organiser and calendar apps

There is no job in the world quite as busy and overwhelming as that of being a parent. Family calendars quickly fill up with football training, drama rehearsals, birthday parties, and hundreds of other things that you need to keep track of each month. Add in the various to-dos and must-dos that spring up out of nowhere each day and any parent can find themselves in struggle town pretty quickly.

Luckily, our phones were built for more than just scrolling through Facebook and snapping quick pics of our little ones. Family calendar apps can be a real lifesaver for mums and dads these days, and finding the best organiser apps for busy families to help make your daily life easier can make all the difference.

Figure out your stress points to find the right app for your family

The first step in finding the best family planner app is to sit down and determine what is causing the most stress in your family’s daily life. For some, this may be that no one ever seems to know where they are supposed to be on any given day, while for others, it may be that they are overwhelmed by the painstaking task of tracking chores. 

Kids of almost any age can use family apps

Don’t assume you have to wait until your children are older to get them involved in using a family organisation app. Most children can begin to see smart devices as productivity tools from an early age.

As kids get older and learn to read, they will be able to add to lists, mark off tasks, utilise family calendars, and more.

We’ve rounded up the best family productivity apps that are parent-approved and will help you and your family become more organised in no time.

The best apps for busy families

1. OurHome

An in-depth chore app that allows parents to reward kids for their work on chores, OurHome is free to use and has no ads. The app allows parents to assign and schedule tasks and chores, view personal progress and activities, add items to a shared grocery list, enter events into a family calendar, send messages and reminders, and stay in sync across multiple unlimited devices. 

Each family member has the ability to create and edit to-do lists, add new tasks, assign deadlines, and assign tasks to a family member.

Reviewers love it for its ability to keep large families organised and for its customisable features. 

2. Google Calendar

The calendar from Google is one of the most-widely used, best family apps because it’s free, simple, and available on all platforms. All you need is a Google email address and you’re good to go.

Google’s colour-coding options make it easy to divide up different types of tasks, activities, and events, so that each person can filter their view by what matters to them. The ability to share calendars makes it the perfect option for busy families with older children who have a lot of sporting commitments and other dates to keep track of on a weekly basis. Being able to set permissions allows you to control who sees what and who can add or delete events.

Google Calendar can do a lot more than simply track dates for you. For instance, when you input a location for any activity, Google will automatically pull up a link for directions as well.

3. Evernote

If you’re looking for a way to easily create and share lists, notes, and reminders with your family members, Evernote is a fantastic option. It’s available for all platforms, has a basic free plan that works well enough for most people, and the app is also accessible offline. (There’s also a “personal” premium version for USD 80 a year.)

It’s known primarily for its list functionality, but Evernote has a lot of other features that set it apart from the competitors. You can easily record and share audio notes, and Evernote makes it easy to take and store photos within its notebooks as well.

Evernote is great for making notes and lists for all kinds of things, but especially for planning for the school holidays or birthday parties. You can take photos of things like school event notices and even reading lists, and save them in your notes so you can look at them quickly on your phone when you’re at the book shop.

4. Trello

Trello is a project management tool that has been loved by professional project managers for years, but tons of families rely on it as well. Essentially an electronic corkboard, Trello can be as simple or as complicated as you would like. You can create a “board” for anything, from a family holiday to meal planning. Share it with your family members and anyone can add “cards” made up of links, thoughts, dates, to-dos, and more. Family members can comment on cards and easily move them around by dragging and dropping. You can also find templates for Trello created by other families that you can save to your own Trello for your family’s use.

5. Cozi

Cozi has been around for many years and is still the go-to family organisational tool for many parents. It boasts a host of features such as family calendars, to-do lists, recipe sections, shopping lists, and even a space for a family journal. Because there are so many features within Cozi, some parents find it overly complicated, but it’s still a favourite for many. With over 20 million users, Cozi is available cross-platform and definitely worth checking out. The ad-supported version is free, but an ad-free version is also available as a paid upgrade.

6. BusyKid

BusyKid is an app that helps parents simplify the chores and pocket money aspect of family management. With BusyKid, parents can create a list of weekly chores for each child and assign a pocket money amount that will be awarded once those chores are completed. When the child finishes a chore, they log on to the app and mark it as completed. (Don’t worry, if the chore wasn’t completed the way you wanted it to be, it’s easy for parents to override and deny the pocket money.)

The BusyKid app will also give you age-appropriate suggestions for both chores and pocket money amounts. It ties directly into your bank account so that you don’t have to worry about always having enough cash on hand when it’s time to pay your child’s pocket money. Once the money has been transferred, your child can either save it, choose “cash out” and request a set amount, or spend it on gift cards at popular sites like Amazon. For older kids, BusyKid is also a way to teach them about investing, as they can also choose an option to buy small shares of stocks (with your OK). The app starts at USD 4 per month for the entire family, which might be worth it for busy families with several children.

7. Greenlight

Greenlight is the family money app you want in your life. Another way for parents to get control over how their kids are spending (and saving) money, Greenlight makes it easy for parents to load money onto a card that their kid can use. Using settings within the app, parents are able to designate specific places where their child can use money and how much money they can use at those places. They can also specify a general breakdown of how their child can spend their money—food, ATMs, or “spend anywhere”.

When their child attempts to use their card, the parents get real-time notifications letting them know. Kids can also request to use money somewhere not pre-approved and parents can quickly approve or deny the request. Greenlight costs USD 5 per month for an entire family, but parents of active kids who are often travelling for extracurricular activities love the control it gives them when their kids are away.

The takeaway for parents 

Whichever app you choose, consistency is the key to making it work for your family. The hardest part of utilising any shared family organiser app will be the initial setup, but stick with it. If an app really isn’t doing much for you even after working with it for a few weeks, try another one.

Everyone wants more hours in the day to spend doing the things they love, and if an app can give you that time, it’s worth embracing the new technology.