Our 5 Best Apps to Help Communication and Organisation in the Home

Often, as time-stressed parents, we focus on the day-to-day (especially during school holidays!), but considering and planning for the wider picture of on-going communication is a big determinate in the success (both academic and otherwise) of managing our households and interacting with our children.

Apps that facilitate and allow for easy-to-manage communication and family-planning, can only be a win-win for parents and of course kids!

Here are our 5 best apps to help you think about your family organisation and communication at home:

Cozi Family Organizer

( Android - Free , iPad - Free )

Manage everyday life and keep the whole family in the loop with Cozi, Appy Award Winner for Best Family App, BMA Gold Winner for Best Mobile Calendar and named a "must-have app for a better life" by The TODAY Show.

There's nothing stationary about your life, so why depend on a family calendar that hangs on a fridge or wall? Cozi is the leading choice for families and includes a colour-coded calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists, family journal and more. Cozi also offers a premium ad-free version with additional features called Cozi Gold (available as an in-app purchase).

Cozi Family Organizer is shared, so you only need one account for the whole family. 

iRewardChart - Reward Tracker Behavior Chore chart for Parents

( Android - £2.56 , iPad - Free )

iRewardChart is an app that allows parents or guardians to give positive reinforcement for good behavior through the rewarding of stars. Users can create individual categories for common tasks or chores and award a star each days those duties are successfully completed.

The traditional wall-hung/printed reward charts provide only a predefined set of tasks that parents can choose from and they typically do not have a way to track the rewards that the child wants or parents want to give out.  Neither do they book-keep child’s earned and paid out rewards.  Since they are hung on the wall at home, parents on the go have to remember to track the progress when they get home. iRewardChart addresses these inconveniences with a flexible, intuitive  and easy to use reward system. Parents can define custom tasks, define custom rewards, define stars required to get certain reward, maintain history of child’s tasks and the progress and payout reward when the child has accumulated sufficient points to get that reward – all these at their finger tips. iRewardChart provides a complete set up personalization and customization features, so it can be adopted by any family regardless of region or culture!

 
Bank of Mom

( iPad - £1.49 )

Bank of Mom is the best way to keep track of your kids virtual bank accounts and a great way to teach them about money. In today's world, cash is less often used, it can be difficult for children to understand and learn the concept of money, savings and healthy financial habits. Show your kids their transactions, balance and interest earned from an early age and they won't be overwhelmed when they get their first bank account or credit card. With the ability to track money, time and activities, Bank of Mom is flexible and will even help children too young to care about money.

Timer for kids - visual task countdown

( iPad - £1.49 )

This little app fulfils a neat little function that most parents will feel the need to take advantage of from time to time - a countdown timer to help keep young children on task and give a visual cue as to the task at hand. Although a wide range of countdown timer exist within the App Store, it is unusual to find one specifically designed for young children, although there are obviously many situations where this could be of benefit.

The setup screen is very easy to use, although this part of the app is designed to be used by adults rather than children. Upon launching, the app goes straight into this start up screen, which gives a range of options for setting up the required timer. First of all, you need to set the amount of time required for the task in hand. There are six preset times that can be used with a single touch of the screen - ranging from fifteen seconds up to thirty minutes. These can then be fine tuned in increments of five seconds or whole minutes to get to the desired total countdown time. Next, you can choose from a range of different activities. There is a sensible range of activities included, where you may realistically need to set a timer for a young child. Some examples include reading, brushing teeth or playing games. A really nice feature here is that if none of the preset activities are suitable, you can add your own image either from the gallery on the device, or using the camera. This really adds to the usefulness of the application in a variety of situations. Finally, you can choose from three different musical themes an then set the timer running and put it somewhere for the child to refer to it.

Chore Pad HD

( iPad - £1.99 )

If you would like to create some housework harmony within your family, this is your app! Assigning chores to children and teenagers helps them to become responsible adults. This system provides rewards for the chores that are done (in the form of stars within the app). 

There are two modes to the app; Parent mode and Child mode. The idea is that in Parent mode (which is also password protected), you can set the chores, the stars; create penalties (i.e take away stars for bad behaviour).

The app is flexible as to the types of chores that you can assign and then has a series of illustrations to accompany the chore. For example, you can assign one of your kids to “Clean you room” and then set the day and how often that that chore needs to be done. For each chore, you can state how many stars the chore is worth (it goes up to ten).  The stars can also be attributed to a payout say, a trip to the zoo, a kitten or a games’ app. Also, if chore has been very well done, you can assign bonus stars.

Over time, the stars unlock even bigger rewards in the form of trophies in order to encourage consistent good behaviour. The app also has statistics on the data so that you can track “performance”. This is a very interesting feature because it can help to tell Daisy or Jimmy that in order to go to “Disneyland” they need to be good and get “more stars”.