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As a Dad I need every advantage I can get.
There is a saying in sports "if you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough". Now, I'm not saying to cheat, but I am saying gain as many advantages as you possibly can. Thankfully for us there are these little tiny devices called smartphones where, if used properly, can give Dads an unfair advantage.
Here are 3 of the tools in my arsenal.
"And when you're at the store don't forget garbage bags!!!" I don't know about you but if I don't write that down immediately it's as if it was never said. Thankfully "there is an app for that". I like Wunderlist. It's simple. It's free. And it works on your desktop or smartphone.
I created categories such as:
Then as you get these items you check them off, and you're done.
"The days are long, but the years are short"
A mentor once told me that quote when I was struggling as a Dad. He was right.
One of the ways I use Evernote is to journal life. Funny moments. Moments where I lock myself in the bathroom just to catch my breath (this happens more often that I'd like to admit).
Everyone once in a while I sit down and go through some of my old Evernote notes. It helps me to realize that now is not as bad as back then. And helps to realize that it does get better.
History does have a way of repeating itself. By going over my past notes I can try and not make the same mistake again.
I also keep prayers in my Evernote. There is a daily prayer that covers my family, as well as other prayers when I'm struggling with certain aspects of my life. Prayer works, and Evernote helps me remember that. I even have a daily reminder set up for the daily prayer that reminds me to pray it every morning.
Google Calendar (Free)
If you and your spouse, and even your kids, have smartphones and aren't using a Google shared calendar you are doing it wrong.
"Don't forget to pick up Cooper after school!!!" If it's not in the calendar it's not happening. Bottom line. And sorry Cooper, hard lesson learned, we won't forget you again.
Syncing your calendar and your spouses/kids is super simple. Here's a short video to show you how to.
(If you're reading this on a mobile device, you can see the video here.)
I use more apps than these 3, but these are the big ones.
I'm curious, what apps do you use that give you an unfair advantage being a dad?
Mike Ruman (@mikeruman) is a contributing writer for Dad Matters and the Director of Digital Outreach at Focus on the Family. Follow us on Twitter @DadMattersBlog.
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-- I'd actually been thinking through setting up a Google shared calendar this past weekend! Two of my three kids have jobs now, while the third has an assortment of after-school activities, and trying to keep track of everyone's work and personal schedules can be a challenge. My plan is to use the color tool to differentiate between everyone's appointments.
--I totally agree with you that we have so much on our minds and being the single taskers that God created us to be, we are not able to remember everything hence the need for the wonderful women that God puts beside us. The use of technology goes a long way in giving us that advantage. I use my smartphone literally all day to keep me up to date. Thank God for the Google calendar, my favorite, I use it to set bill deadlines, reminders for chores to be done, events to attend, readings I need to complete etc. My life revolves around this calendar and the fact that I can carry it everywhere I go makes it much much easier. Yet I still end up forgetting to take out the trash at times!
--I'm glad that there are other dad's using these tools as well! I'm a heavy user of both Evernote and Google Calendar. In fact, my family shares one account of Google Calendar to keep everyone up to date for family activities and I put "[GK]" (my initials) in front of some schedules I need to be out for dinner for business etc so that my wife and daughter know that I'll be late home etc. Can't live without it!
--Thanks everyone for the comments.
Geoff - I love your initials idea with the calendar. I'm going to implement that with my family as well.
--Mike, great thoughts. We use the Cozi calendar app in our house. What makes Google Calendar better? I know one frustration I have is that Cozi doesn't talk to my work's Outlook calendar, which means I have two places to go to "manage myself." Does Google Calendar fix that?
--Rich - I haven't heard of Cozi. Checked it out, looks great.
I sync my Outlook and Google calendars via my iPhone. Works great.