As a new mom, I’ve really struggled with not being as productive as I used to be. I used to read, write, journal, do homework, meal plan, catch up with friends, clean, work and a whole lot of other stuff. After feeling like I accomplished nothing the first few weeks of my son’s life, one of my best friends suggested that I download the Kindle app so I could at least get some reading in when it was time to feed the boy (which felt like every 30 minutes).
Not only did I do that, but I also created a stockpile of other apps that have helped me be productive when I get caught somewhere with nothing but my phone. Whether it’s in the middle of breastfeeding, at the doctor’s office, waiting for my husband to get out of class so we can do the child-handoff, in the bathroom, waiting for class to start, waiting in a long grocery line, or as a passenger in a car, I can still be productive! And I want to share that stockpile with you!
15 Apps to Keep You Productive
Since everyone has to eat, and simple math shows that making food at home is less expensive than going out to eat, take time to meal plan and get the most bang for your buck. You can find recipes, create a grocery list, or look for/submit rebates wherever you’re at with these apps. What’s more productive than saving money? 😀
- Ibotta is a FREE app that offers cash rebates on your grocery purchases and cash back on select online stores. Of the many rebate apps I’ve tested, this one is my favorite. It’s so easy to pick your store, the rebates you want to redeem, and then upload your receipt. You can even get a $10 welcome bonus if you sign up and use my referral code.
- Fetch is still in the testing stages, but so far I’ve loved it. Instead of getting rebates for certain products, you get rebates by brand. You can get points for buying brands like Kraft, AXE, Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Classico, Cool Whip, Gatorade, Jell-O, Mtn Dew, Philadelphia, St. Ives, Tostitos, Velveeta, and more! Just upload your receipt and they’ll assign the points. And you’ll get a free $1.50 in points if you use my referral code, A2MNQ, when you sign up.
NOTE: Sometimes they miss items on my receipts and I have to go back and add them manually. To do that you need to know the quantity and the price of the item you bought. I upload pictures of my receipts to an app for points, so I can just go back and look at the picture, but I recognize not everyone has pictures of their receipts to look back on and that could be frustrating if you’ve already thrown the receipt away.
- BerryCart is a rebate app for those who often buy organic products. Since my husband has Celiac disease, often it’s the organic items that he can actually eat, so this app gets used! Before you scan in your proof of purchase, many rebates offer you the chance to rate the product you just bought or learn a quick fact about that product for additional money back.
- Raise is an app that lets you buy gift cards at a discount. I have certain brands on my watch list so Raise sends me an email every time a gift card comes up that’s a certain percentage off. If you know you are going shopping, and have a few minutes to spare beforehand, check the app to see if there are any digital gift cards for where you are going.
- Checkout 51, SavingStar and Coupons.com (new!) are three other rebate apps that I use. Pick the products that you bought (or the store you bought from), upload your receipt, and wait for the cash to flow in!
- Pinecone Research is my favorite survey site because it gives me way more money back than any other survey site I’ve tried. For every survey you qualify for and complete, they give you $3.00! On occasion, they will also send you free products to test out and review. Cool, right?
- QuickThoughts is also a great app that gives you $1 for most surveys, and $0.10 if you start a survey but end up not qualifying for it (so you don’t answer ten questions for nothing). Keep in mind that some surveys can take up to 20 minutes to complete, though there are others that only take a minute or two. You can cash out for an Amazon gift card or an iTunes gift card, depending on the type of phone you have.
Related Article: Becoming Mom: Products You’ll Actually Use in the First Three Months
Sometimes the few minutes you find in the day you just want to take for yourself. There’s no harm in that! You can’t fill someone else’s bucket if your own is empty, so by golly take a few minutes and fill your bucket! You’ll be much more productive that way.
- My friend suggested that I download the Kindle app when I had my son and I love it. I personally use it most when I feed my baby. What used to be 15 minutes of twiddling my thumbs is now 15 minutes of a hobby I thought I wouldn’t get back for months. You actually can be part of book club now. Hooray!
- Ebates is one of my favorite apps to shop through. It tells you as soon as you open up the app which stores offer cash back, and how much. Five or 10 minutes of downtime is great for “window” shopping. I have a habit of adding things to my cart for later, though whether I actually buy them is another story. Since I don’t get out much with my Little, it’s nice to get a few minutes of shopping time, even if it’s through a phone. Ebates is also a Google Chrome extension that you can download to get cash back if you shop on your computer.
If you’re like me, writing is a favorite past time. Whether it’s journaling, blogging, or straight up writing a book, you can make a lot of progress if you take advantage of the five- or ten-minute increments you find throughout the day.
- WordPress actually has an app! I thought it would be months before I had time to get another blog post out. Thankfully, I can write my blog posts using the app on my phone. I’ll just use the voice command feature on my phone to write and tada! One spoken paragraph at a time, I’m making progress. I’ll just go back and edit it when my son goes to sleep. I feel so productive this way.
- Though I haven’t used this app personally, I know Blogger also has an app that my friends have used for journaling and posting things. Keep in mind that the app is only available on Google Play app store for the time being.
Though I can’t possibly name all the apps that can keep you productive, here are some random ones that I use that have helped me in one way or another be productive and keep my life in as much order as possible!
- Strides is an app that is practically a to-do list. I use it to help me complete the highest priority/recurring items on my list. For example, I have a goal to write in my journal twice a week. The app gives me the option to log YES or NO every day, and I can pull up the calendar to see if I’m on track. I’ve done this with playing the piano, vacuuming my apartment, writing, and other goals that are important to me. It will even send you reminders until you’ve completed your goal. I love it and it’s helped me so much!
- The Google Drive app is also a favorite because it allows me to access projects that I’ve been working on. For example, I keep a list of my family’s favorite recipes on my Google Drive, so when I have a few minutes I can open the app and work on inputting new recipes that we’ve deemed keepable.
What apps do YOU use to stay productive? Share your ideas below!
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© No Nightlights by Kyra Sutherland