Today I want to discuss a few practical tech products that help me manage this website, work on freelance work, and be a present Mom. I stayed home with my two kids until they were in kindergarten. Before kindergarten I ran a DIY-focused blog for fun, and sold vintage goods on Etsy part-time. Since then I have worn many freelancing hats! Most recently coaching small brands on social media, branding, and how to build a website. I also occasionally write sponsored articles on this website where I develop the content, style the room, photograph the space, write the copy, and publish the story on my site.
As a Mom I drive my kids 25 minutes to school everyday, because their school is a fantastic fit for their needs. And some weeks the drive + field trips + after school activities take over and zap my creativity. So below I will share a few “working Mom hacks” that help me focus & balance things even on the busy weeks. Above image credit: Lindsay White
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8 Ways Moms can Maximize Their Time Using Technology
Listen to Podcasts in the Car
Every few months I update my podcast list with podcasts that sound encouraging to my business goals. The minute my kids get out of the car in the morning at school…I turn one on and by the time I get home in the morning I am motivated to get to work. My favorite podcasts right now include The Blogging Millionaire, The Goal Digger Podcast, Food Blogger Pro, and Young House Love Has a Podcast.
Use a Laptop
Two years ago I struggled over the decision to buy a laptop. I already owned a desktop computer, and $900 felt like a lot of money (it still does, ha!) but my MacBook Air paid for itself many times over. I often hop over to a local coffee shop when have a 1-2 hr window of time before school pickup, and occasionally I will turn on a hotspot in my car when waiting in the carline after school. Sometimes I bring my laptop to a kiddo’s therapy appointment while I sit in the wait room.
Sync your computer notes to your iPhone using iCloud
This is a wonderful thing! I make notes to myself about family activities like vacation, and I also have a long list of blog post ideas. When I am out and I have an idea, I simply add it to my notes and it also goes to my computer-and it frees my brain to move on to other things (instead of worrying about loosing the idea). Ironically this blog post came about from an idea written out on my iPhone notes.
Use Google Calendar
Similar to my tips on syncing notes, Google calendar is synced to my computer and my iPhone. So when I’m in the dentist’s office or at a school meeting I can easily add new events without my computer. I asked on Facebook recently for help with my calendar, and friends recommended I categorize my work projects in a different color than my family projects. It has been a fantastic help! I can also turn my family calendar on/off to focus on work, or turn off the work calendar to focus on our family schedule.
Try Scheduling Software
If you are involved in social media-scheduling software is a must. I schedule many of my Pinterest pins with a paid program called Tailwind. And I schedule my brand’s Facebook posts within Facebook Publishing Tools. When I managed social media for other brands I used Buffer to schedule Tweets and additional posts. I also plan to check out Airtable for managing project schedules (though full disclosure I haven’t tried it yet).
Separate the Emails
I currently have three emails (two for work and 1 for family/personal) and having emails separate is incredibly helpful in protecting my brain from overwhelm. I’ve learned to read school newsletters & print homework in the evenings or on weekends, even though technically I am home during the day working. And I have also learned that every work email doesn’t need a response—especially when someone spells my name wrong or makes a really spammy request. I also don’t check my email constantly throughout the day.
If you have Amazon Prime you have access to Amazon Photos—unlimited photo storage and 5GB of video storage. I love that my computer and phone are synced to this, because now I can search by date or keyword on my phone app to find a photo to go on Instagram, or I can pull a process shot to share on my blog from my laptop.
Back Things Up With Google Drive
I store a lot of random stuff on Google Drive (it is admittedly not very organized right now), from photos to blog post text to spreadsheets. I have the app on my phone so I can access material on the go when I’m not on my laptop. In the past I’ve also used Google Drive to share image folders with clients (you can give them full rights or viewing rights).
I hope you found some of these tech tips useful! I am not advocating that anyone should work 24/7, but there are weird pockets of time in my Mom life where it makes sense to do work. And technology is a resource for women to accomplish tasks on the go with flexibility.
I’d love to know what works for you and your family. And let me know of other apps/tech you love! I plan to apply several of these tomorrow when I drive one of my kids to a half day field trip (laptop at the coffee shop before, afterward supply shopping for an article).