You know that addictive little Instagram machine you carry around your purse? The device from which you grudgingly send work emails at 11:30 p.m.? It is capable of so much more. When harnessed properly, your phone can be an incredible efficiency tool—not a time suck, but a time saver. As proof, check out these genius apps and websites designed to help you live your best life while freeing up precious, beautiful minutes—right from the palm of your hand.
Crush a workout
Sure, you could spend an hour sweating on a treadmill. Or you could fire up an app that speeds you to your fitness goals in a humane fraction of the time. One that’s garnering glowing reviews from moms: Fit Mummy Project, developed by a postnatal fitness specialist in partnership with an OB-GYN. Here you’ll find 15-minute cardio and yoga routines designed for the total mom bod, with moves not just for abs, but for oft-overlooked spots like the pelvic floor, too. Another workout app beloved by busy moms: Seven, which guides users through 7-minute daily power routines that require zero special equipment and can be done almost anywhere, making them ideal for even your craziest days.
Slay the market
On average, only about 28 percent of women hold an investment account, compared with 40 percent of dudes. The problem? When a working mom keeps most of her money in cash, she misses out on market gains and leaves hundreds of thousands of dollars (!!) on the table during the course of her career. Ellevest is aiming to close the gender gap with a pro-female investment platform that accounts for factors such as women’s longer lifespans and gender-specific salary curves. The site’s simple interface walks you through building a portfolio for your goal—whether it’s retirement, a business launch, a bucket-list vacation or just for the hell of it—and setup takes mere minutes. Start today and get growing.
Plan a week’s worth of #OOTDs
Most women spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour choosing their outfits every day. Now, though, thanks to the rise of fashion-planning apps, you can reclaim that time without compromising on killer style. Stylebook allows you to upload pics of your wardrobe items to mix and match in magazine-style collages, then save the finished looks for quick assembly IRL. If you’re a big online shopper, Finery automatically builds your digital closet by compiling all your past clothing and accessory purchases for super simple planning. No time to think? ClosetSpace combs your digital closet and generates daily outfit recommendations based on your local weather forecast. So much better than trying on 10 different blouses at dawn.
Finally figure out life insurance
Money pros agree that life insurance is a crucial form of financial protection for young families. But back in the day, people had to sit through endless sales pitches and tedious paperwork just to apply—a major hassle. No longer: Game-changing companies like Ladder are automating many of the industry’s old processes so qualified customers can sign up for a policy in as little as 10 minutes. What’s more, Ladder allows you to adjust your policy whenever needed—for instance, if you have another kid, you can easily apply for more coverage, or as you pay down a mortgage and your kids leave the nest and you no longer need as much, you can reduce your coverage (and pricing) with one click. Who knew peace of mind could be so flexible—or easy?
Break your dinner rut
The 6:00 p.m. panic is real, y’all. As the workday winds down and dinnertime careens ever closer, you’re forced to confront the fact that you’ll have to feed your children…something. But what? *screams internally* For spontaneous inspo, step away from the frozen pizza and open up Foodgawker, a gallery-style recipe-discovery site that curates the most droolworthy dishes from around the foodie-verse (think pineapple BBQ meatballs and vegan coconut curry). If planning ahead is more your jam, consider MealBoard. This powerhouse app allows you to browse and import recipes, tack your faves to a calendar, and monitor your home ingredient supply so you know exactly what to grab as you fly through the supermarket.
Master an unruly to-do list
If you’re like most moms, you have reminders to yourself scattered allll over the place: in your iCal, on your wall cal, on wrinkled Post-Its in your purse, in a notepad draft on your laptop. … TBH, you have trouble remembering to check your reminders at this point. In that case, maybe it’s time to try an app like Todoist. Here, you can centralize and manage all your tasks by quickly sorting them into categories (e.g., work, kids, side hustle), assigning priority levels, setting due dates and, most enticingly, delegating. Have older kids with lives as hectic as yours? Consider a group-focused app like Cozi, which uses a color-coded system to track and display different family members’ obligations, from doctor’s appointments to math midterms. What’s more, you can set up alerts, saving you at least 10 minutes per day in pestering your kid to review her algebra notes.
More time-saving hacks from heymama: A career coach shares her best workplace productivity tips.
About our sponsor: Ladder is life insurance built to be instant, simple and smart. We offer direct-to-consumer, fully underwritten, term life insurance online. We do not charge policy fees and we do not employ commissioned sales agents. You can apply for life insurance coverage in minutes and get an instant decision. You can also decrease your coverage online over time, with no fees or penalties, so you can adjust your coverage as your family’s life needs change. Visit ladderlife.com to learn more.