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Apps that can help busy moms stay sane

Busy moms are pulled in an infinite number of sanity-challenging directions, and staying focused and efficient is a difficult task for any mom.

Before smartphones, moms relied on "archaic" tools like pen and paper, alarm clocks, and more to help manage their days. Now smartphones and PCs provide moms with a veritable swiss army knife of tools to help order the chaos of family life.

Additionally, Microsoft's dual-user, or holistic consumer and professional approach, ensures that its productivity tools have both professional and personal appeal. Though a mom's job may not entail managing an office and employees (though some do), as a manager of a home and family she can benefit from enterprise-grade tools that help manage family affairs. Here are some Microsoft, Windows, and third-party apps that may help a busy mom maintain her sanity.

Windows Central 2018 Mother's Day gift guide

Outlook

Keeping the family on the same page is important. Microsoft Outlook is a powerful email and calendar tool moms can use to communicate, create and sync shared calendars with her significant other and children.

Outlook is part of Office 365 (opens in new tab) and has web-based (opens in new tab), UWP, Win32, Android (opens in new tab), iOS (opens in new tab) and Mac (opens in new tab) versions so moms can use it on any platform.

Cortana

Cortana is Microsoft's digital assistant counterpart to Apple's Siri and Google's Assistant. "She" is available on Windows, iOS (opens in new tab), Android (opens in new tab) and Windows phone.

Cortana is cloud-based and integrates with Microsoft Edge, Microsoft 365, and the Microsoft Graph which links Microsoft services across platforms. Additionally, the unified Office 365 authentication allows Cortana to know a mom across her professional and personal lives.

Cortana can be interacted with via voice or text to search for information. She proactively provides information on interests, can set reminders, help moms pick up where they left off when restarting a PC, give deal suggestions or other useful information in the Edge browser, and more.

Cortana's downside is that her most integrated and feature-rich mobile presence is on the dying Windows 10 Mobile. So certain benefits like people-based reminders, won't be found in Cortana on other platforms. She's also functionally limited or absent in some non-US regions.

OneDrive

OneDrive iPhone

OneDrive iPhone (Image credit: Windows Central)

OneDrive is Microsoft's cloud-based storage service and is available on Windows, iOS (opens in new tab), Android (opens in new tab) and Mac (opens in new tab). Many busy moms create a host of documents to keep their lives moving along. From bills, payment records, personally created content and more, moms can use OneDrive to store and organize information.

OneNote

OneNote iPhone X

OneNote iPhone X

OneNote is a cloud-based note taking canvas that's perfect for scribbling down thoughts, ideas, lists and more. Additionally, whether a mom uses a PC, iPhone (opens in new tab) or Android phone (opens in new tab) her notes are accessible from anywhere.

OneNote on any device is an excellent tool and can receive typed and written input on devices like Windows 10 2-in-1s and PCs that support touch.

OneNote's also a smart canvas that calculates math problems and detects and perfectly draws hand-drawn shapes. OneNote, especially with a digital pen, is a great tool for moms as they help their little ones with homework.

Finally, OneNote's a perfect shared canvas when grocery shopping with a significant other.

Miscellanous other apps moms will love

Story Remix

Busy moms can't be very productive if they don't take time to relax.

My wife, a mother of a toddler and six-month-old, recommends iHeart Radio (opens in new tab), Microsoft Solitaire (opens in new tab), Groove Music (opens in new tab) and Netflix (opens in new tab) for leisure.

Microsoft Photo (opens in new tab) stores and allows moms to easily enhance pics of their tykes and allows them to create amazing videos. Additionally, pictures are easily stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere.

Story Remix allows users to create videos using special effects, soundtracks, and content provided by other users, like parents at a kids soccer game. Integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI) recognizes people and objects.

To communicate and stay social my wife recommends Messenger (opens in new tab) and Facebook (opens in new tab). Groupon (opens in new tab), Amazon (opens in new tab) and services like OfferUp are handy for discounts and convenience.

A mother's work, they say, is never done. That may be true, but these apps can help make her perpetual duties and labors of love just a little bit easier.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

13 Comments
  • Thanks Jason, good list! For moms but also everybody else ;-) what other programs/apps/web services do you use?
  • I do my level best to keep my mother away from most forms of technology. Especially anything Microsoft, Google, Apple or Facebook related. If using it is more complicated than an on\off switch, it's too much hassle having to show her how to use it three or four times (which is usually when she get frustrated and goes back to an old fasioned solution).
  • My mom is 86 years old, and has a Note 4 (upgrading soon), a Samsung tablet, and a Surface Pro 4. She texts, messages, and uses e-mail, along with the Internet. She just got an Amazon Echo, which I'll be setting up for her in a few days. Once in a while, there's some frustration, but she learns how to do what she's trying to do, even if she has to call me 🙂
  • I'm a wife, mom, grandmom, cat rescuer, business owner, Windows Insider and 72 yrs old. Not necessarily in that order of self-definition. So kudos to your mom. I hope 14 years from now I'm still at it and making my son proud.
  • Isn't it a bit archaic to assume that "Mom" is the manager of the home and family? In the modern world, at least over here, there is enough equality that I would rather say that to manage the home and family is a shared responsibility. Better to say - "Here are some Microsoft, Windows, and third-party apps that may help a busy parent maintain their sanity."
  • It's Mother's Day😉
  • Lol, it's for Mother's Day. Also, it's not remotely archaic to state that moms generally manage the home and family. I do it for my own and that holds true for every single couple I know, especially if they have kids. All my husband asks is that I keep him in the loop, so I do and take his input into consideration when making decisions. The partnership is there, but most women aren't inclined to relinquish the job of organizing things unless we want the occasional break. =)
  • what ???? You do know it's Mother's Day around the corner ???
  • so basically Microsoft echo system ? LOL
  • The worlds full of Variety
    what's wrong with any any of these choice
  • I agree with pretty much all of these suggestions. The photos app is a major reason I still love my Windows mobile phone since my pictures go with me wherever I go. It's also awesome on desktop because with the latest major update, you can record video with your children, draw on it and anchor the drawings so they movie with the video. The kids love it to bits.
  • Good mom ☝
  • aw.. thats sweet