8 free apps that parents can rely on

8 free apps that parents can rely on

IT’S challenging and fun to be a parent, whether you’re working or not.
 
Children keep us busy and can turn our world upside-down. And if one is working too, then balancing time and responsibilities between family and work becomes almost like a game that one needs to hone to perfection.
 
With these free apps for Android and iOS devices, you can keep yourself sane (and hold on to your job too!).

 
Evernote

Platform: Android and iOS

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Features
 
Why do we need a note-taking app when we have the traditional pen and paper?
 
Well, it is essentially what Evernote is, a note-taking app. And for some of us, nothing beats the good old pen and paper. I mean, it’s just an additional pen and paper that one has to carry along everywhere, in addition to everything else.
 
The trouble is this: Sometimes, one may forget one’s notebook, or even pen, when one is in a rush. Or perhaps, instead of actually writing on a notebook, one ends up writing on bits of paper, which can easily get lost.
 
Evernote can store several notes at once, in a nifty app, on one single phone. You can create numerous notes and add photos, lists, reminders and even take images of receipts for easy search.
 
Because the phone is something we rely on so much these days, it’s unlikely that we will forget it.
 
Even if we do, and even if we misplace the phone, notes on Evernote can be recovered, as Evernote can be synced with a tablet or even a laptop.
 
What we like
 
This saves us from hunting around our bags and pockets for those bits and pieces of paper. It also prevents those bits and pieces from accumulating.

 
foodpanda
 
Platform: Android and iOS
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

Features
 
As much as we like to cook healthy food for our kids, sometimes it just gets too busy, and we just want to take a little breather.
 
No qualms in doing that, just order in. That’s where foodpanda comes in. From the comfort of the couch, you get quick access to over 130 restaurants with wide-ranging cuisines like Italian, Japanese and Chinese.
 
Don’t expect that you need to break a bank to have food delivered. The minimum spend is S$10 [in Singapore] on foodpanda, which is really handy and comforting.
 
Plus it runs on a payment upon delivery system, so that means no need for credit cards.
 
Order early though, before the kids start screaming of hunger. Delivery times are between 45 and 180 minutes.
 
What we like
 
It’s nice to be able to give instant feedback on food orders, and read about other users’ various experiences and food reviews.
 
With so many choices, one can get confused, and it’s great to be able to make informed decisions … though, we suspect we will most likely order according to the kids’ choices.

 
WebMD
 
Platform: Android and iOS

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Features
 
It’s always handy to have a health and medical information app on your phone, and in this case, we like WebMD.
 
It’s an all-in-one medical resource that is awfully comprehensive and handy. Besides information on drugs, supplements and vitamins, one can also find content on their side effects, and even be able to identify and get more information about prescription drugs by pill shape, colour and imprint.
 
Confused about a certain medical term? Do a quick search to find out. There’s also a dedicated first aid section, which comes in really handy for medical emergencies.
 
What we like
 
We like the ‘Symptom Checker’ where one can select the problematic body area, choose the symptoms and find out if one really needs help. There's also a list to choose one’s symptoms.
 
If you have a certain medical condition, you can also learn more about its causes and treatments.
 
We also like the quick access to healthy recipes. The other health information like Heathy Targets is inspiring and useful too, but do require signing up.
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
 
First Aid Singapore Red Cross
 
Platform: Android and iOS
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Features
 
Why another first aid app? Because this is a dedicated, localised app by the Singapore Red Cross.
 
It has step-by-step information on how to deal with the most common first aid emergencies, and we like the way the medical conditions are categorised alphabetically, with videos to show the correct first aid procedures.
 
There are also interactive quizzes you can use to test your knowledge.
 
Want to learn more? The app also has useful information on the various types of first aid courses.
 
What we like
 
The Helplines option, which provides a list of emergency, non-emergency, hospitals and polyclinic numbers.
 
A one-touch call button to call the ambulance or police in emergency situations, in case you forget the numbers in your panic.
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Qustodio
 
Platform: Android and iOS
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Features
 
Kids spending too much time on the Internet and social media? This nifty little app should be able to solve that.
 
Qustodio, which comes from the Latin word ‘custodio’ and means ‘guard,’ is designed to handle all kinds of parental control and monitoring.
 
It has a built-in scheduler that can limit screen time and can automatically lock kids out of a computer or tablet.
 
It’s useful as parents can allocate reasonable times for kids to get their screen time, or even specify which periods they can go online.
 
Afraid that the kids will go to suspicious websites? It’s nice that Qustodio features real time categorisation, and can automatically block them if they fall under any of the 29 selected categories, even if the websites are newly visited.
 
Forced safe searches can also be set when search engines like Google are used. Automatic updates and regular reports can also be set to detail social media and internet usage.
 
What we like
 
The comprehensiveness of the app to cover a wide range of parental monitoring and control aspects, as compared to apps that look at a single entity, such as controlling screen time.
 
Our gripe is that only first monitoring account is free.

 
Cozi
 
Platform: Android and iOS
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Features
 
A simple family management app that keeps the whole family informed of each other’s daily commitments.
 
Parents can set up several accounts for individual members of the family, and everyone can be kept in sync instantly and more conveniently.
 
This app also allows the creation of grocery lists and to-do lists, which again can be accessed and edited by members of the family.
 
It has a simple user interface that any family member of any age will find it easy to use.
 
What we like
 
Each family member’s individual calendar can be colour coded, so it’s easy to identify who has got what appointment at what time and on what date, so that it’s more convenient to organise the family’s time.
 
ChoreMonster
 
Platform: Android and iOS
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

Features
 
Sometimes, it’s tough to get the kids to do their chores. There are many chore apps out there, but we find this one really fun.
 
It also allows kids to take charge of doing chores and to monitor their own ‘chore’ progress.
 
There are two accounts – one for parents, one for the kids.
 
Parents have complete control of assigning chores, as well as the number of points the children will receive once the assigned chore is completed and the due date. Rewards for achieving a certain number of points can also be set, such as getting ice cream or having an hour of screen time.
 
Separate accounts can be set for kids, and this is where they can see their chores, and mark as complete once they are done with them.
 
Then, the parents can go into their own account to approve the chore and the points for the completed chore will automatically be updated in the kids’ accounts.
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
What we like
 
Designed for children aged three and above, this app empowers children to take responsibility of chores assigned to them, but adds a whole load of fun so that this responsibility doesn’t become a ‘chore.’

 
Daily Yoga
 
Platform: Android and iOS
 

8 free apps that parents can rely on

 
Features
 
Tight with time? Kids keeping you from the yoga studio for that much-needed quiet me-time? Or do you just need a quick stretch to release those tight knots?
 
We found this app useful in providing video and voice instructions of simple stretches and poses to meet a variety of experience levels and fitness goals.
 
It has a library of over 300 poses, and we like that it allows the user to search fir exercises based on duration and focus, such as improving on yoga skills, focusing on a particular body part, or on weight loss.
 
Some of the exercises and programmes are for pro users, which means an extra US$44.98 per year, but it gives access to all routines and programmes, along with usage across devices.
 
What we like
 
We like the background music that comes with the HD videos. Straight away, the ambience is set. It’s also nice to know the estimated duration of each yoga session, which is indicated at the bottom.
 
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