5 Apps Every Family Needs to Stay Connected and Organized

I think any mom will agree that kids make daily life feel rather disorganized. 99.9% of the time, our life is complete chaos, and I spend a majority of my days living one activity to the next…just trying to survive. 

Just within the last year (yes, I’m very late to jump on the tech-y band wagon), our family has become fairly reliant on shared apps to help us connect throughout our day. 

Below are a few apps that we have found help our family (both immediate AND extended) stay connected! 


First and foremost with a busy schedule, it’s important that my husband and I are clear on what’s happening at the start of each day. There are so many calendar apps out there, so it’s really just a trial and error on finding one that works for your family. Most are free, with the option to pay for upgrades. My requirements? Color coded activities and daily emails with “today’s events” so that it’s fresh in our minds…for both myself AND the hubby! 

Shared Calendar App Links : Cozi, FamCal, TimeTree, Curago, Calendly, Calendar Wiz


With family spread all over the Midwest, we only see grandparents once every few weeks, and cousins about four times per year. It’s nearly impossible to attend concerts, games, or even find a moment to Facetime as often as we wish. Someone introduced me to MarcoPolo last year, and our family has fallen in love with the app. It’s as if text messaging and Facetime had a baby…and named it MarcoPolo. Both Apple & Android phones can use the app, which is a perk over Facetime. It’s also like a group text, so that you can send a video to a group, but viewers can watch it at a time that is convenient for them. I also love that I can create groups for family members, girlfriends, or send videos to individuals. This has come in handy when one of our kids has a soccer game, and we can video their running huddle with everyone in the family, as opposed to sharing on Instagram Stories for the entire world to see (because honestly…no one other than family cares to watch your kid play soccer). I will also send MarcoPolos of our kids at their class parties to their dad, so he can see them interact with their friends during school hours while he is at work. This app has truly changed our life this past year. It’s a must have for families! 

Video Chatting App Link : MarcoPolo


Photos, photos, photos. People are constantly asking for recommendations on how to organize and share the bajillion photos & videos that we each take on our phones. Personally what I have found that helps immensily, is spending two minutes each day, organizing photos. At the start or end to each day (when I’m laying in bed), I will go back through recent photos and organize them into albums. Just by doing this, I’m saving myself the headache of having do this later!

There are hundreds of photo apps to trial and error, but here are a few I have found (and LOVE):
1. Google Photos : allows you to search keywords when you’re looking for a specific image. You can also create and share albums with anyone else who has the app. I do this often with my mom. 
2. Chatbooks : perfect for ordering little books of phone images. I do this for the kids’ art projects on a yearly basis. I know many people that also order books on a yearly basis to recap the past year.

Shared Photo App Links : Google Photos, Chatbooks


Can you pick up coffee when you’re at the store next?
I need deodorant and a tape measure.” 
Don’t let me forget milk on our way home!
-all comments from our family on a regular basis. 

Solution? Shared lists! Many of the shared calendar apps listed above have a section for list sharing, but there are also separate apps that specialize in making and organizing lists. Personally, our family uses Alexa…but you do have to purchase the hardward for this. Google Home is also a similar alternative to Alexa. 

Shared List App Links : Todoist, Microsoft OneNote, Wunderlist, Evernote


Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, & PDF Files – These are all common files amongst the work force & teaching world. Google Drive is a free app that you can download to easily open these files when a teacher sends you a Word Document for a project your child is working on, or an Excel Spreadsheet for a classroom sign up. It’s an easy way for me to share the information with my husband, and it’s also how I send out schedules for my seasonal mini-sessions to photography clients. Google Drive is probably the most used app on my phone, because I can literally use it for EVERYTHING, and it’s how I keep my life organized!

If you wish to take it one step further, you can even download the Google Docs and Google Sheets apps, which allow you to edit these forms from your phone. 

Shared Document App Links : Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Docs

Erin Hughes
Born & raised on a cattle farm just west of Salina, Erin has grown to love the city life that Wichita has to offer. She & her husband, Nathan, are raising their family on the east side: Blakely (Dec 2013), Rowen (Apr 2015), & Lincoln (Jun 2017). Erin formerly taught elementary for 6 years. When the chaos of 2 under 2 happened so quickly (oops!), she decided to leave teaching for now, and work-from-home as the premier photographer of Erin Kata Photography. When the calendar allows breaks from the multitude of children's activities, photo sessions, editing & teaching workshops, you will more than likely find Erin & the fam somewhere outdoors: dancing in the rain, playing in sunshine, and even tromping through the snow!