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Five apps that will keep your family harmoniously organized

Editor’s note: all of these apps are available on the Earnest Parenting AppGalleries! Just click the Featured Items category for easy access.

About a week after my husband and I got smart phones—and iPhone and an Android—we realized how easier our lives had become. As the parents of 3 children (my son: almost 11 months, and my daughter: 4-years old, and my oldest son: 10-years old), we began downloading applications that would help us to stay on top of our family’s hectic schedule! Suddenly, instead of resisting technology as we previously had, we embraced it. I downloaded apps that turned my phone into a baby monitor, a medical emergency resource, an appointment reminder, a weather forecaster, and a tool to teach my kids the value of responsibility.

Today, as busy parents we have found that our smartphones have become vital devices that help make our lifestyles much more manageable, and keep our family harmoniously organized.

Here is a list of the coolest apps for Moms and Dads:
1. My Health Records ($5.99 – for iPhone) When it comes to the health issues of your family, Mom and Dad should know best—or at least have a handle on what health issues, prescriptions, immunizations, and family doctors they regularly use as part of their family health team. When it comes to scheduling doctor’s appointments, monitoring immunization records, and refilling prescriptions I’ve come to rely on the My Health Records app, a tool that tracks all my medical info—such as family health history, emergency contact numbers, health insurance plans, and family physician contacts in case of an emergency. The beauty of this app is that it keeps all of that random health information in one central place, so when you need it in a pinch it’s at your fingertips.

2. Cozi Family Organizer (Free – for Android) The Cozi Family Organizer is a back-to-school wonder, an after-school best friend, a summer holiday spectacular! I honestly don’t know if my husband and I could manage our busy family without it! This app features everything busy parents need in their arsenal of family organizational tools—including an automatic appointment reminder tool, a color-coded calendar that can be customized to track the to-dos and appointments for each family member, a shopping list organizer, a family journal for treasured photos and memories—all in the most trusted app you will ever download!

3. Foo Pets (Free – for iPhone) When my eldest son turned 10 this year he started asking us for a puppy. Now I have no problem with a family pet if my kids share in the responsibility, but I wanted them to be prepared for all the responsibilities that a puppy demands. Introducing the Foo Pets app, a tool that allows your family to adopt a virtual, interactive “Marmaduke” Great Dane, and shows kids the value of taking care of a pet before in order to ready them for the reality of a real dog.

4. Baby Phone ($2.99 – for iPhone) The Baby Phone app turns your iPhone into a fully-functional baby monitor. I started using this app along with a baby monitor to keep dibs on my youngest son while he was napping in his crib, but soon realized I didn’t need the larger bulky monitor at all! This app delivers an automatic alert as soon as your baby wakes up by calling your smart phone. This app also displays the current status of baby and you can adjust the microphone sensitivity right on screen as you desire.

5. Weatherbug (Free – for Android) Now this app has saved me and my kids from an unexpected rain shower or heat wave in the midst of this crazy spring weather we’ve been having. I consult the Weatherbug app before school so I know how to dress the kids, or if I should pack an extra layer in their backpacks. This app displays up-to-the-minute weather conditions, hourly and weekly forecasts, and National Weather Service alerts for thousands of U.S. cities—as well as locations across the globe (which is ideal when planning a family vacation).

Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news, commentary, reviews on service providers and phones like popular T-Mobile LG cell phones.

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