Are you contemplating adding a monthly iPad contract to your bills list? We recently faced the same question. As mums in today’s busy world, we have systems in place for keeping our lives organised, from electronic calendars to chalkboards with scribbled notes hanging up in the kitchen.
But what if all of your systems could be organised and stored within one small tablet? No more frantic searching through towering stacks of papers for an overdue bill or accidentally forgetting your child’s football game schedule. Whether you are a mum who’s considering purchasing an iPad to help simplify your life, or a dad thinking of creative gift ideas for Mother’s Day, there are a number of things to consider before purchasing an iPad for yourself or your spouse.
Before we dive into a closer analysis on the specifics of the iPad, I want to share a quick story: my sister has three sons under the age of 15. With each one participating in multiple sports and academic programs, the process of getting everyone where they need to go on time was a major process. I daresay it was only slightly calmer than Piccadilly Circus at the height of tourist season. After the addition of the iPad along with some strategic scheduling apps that notify her or her husband who is due where and when, with which child in tow, a major element of chaos has been removed from their house. If you could use a bit of help in the area of organisation, here are some things to consider on whether the iPad is the right choice for you:
Access to apps.
There are thousands of free and inexpensive iPad apps available designed to help make life easier. For example, you may be the mum of a newborn. In your hazy state of sleep deprivation, it can be difficult to remember when baby ate last or what time they went down for their last nap. The BabyConnect app provides a complete record of baby’s day to day activities, which can be a wonderful thing if you are working on developing a schedule with your little one. Likewise, apps can be used to help you manage everything from when Fluffy needs to get her next dose of flea meds to allowing mums the flexibility of working from home.
All your systems in one place.
Imagine being able to organize all of your systems in one place, from tracking baby’s schedule to remembering football games to paying bills. If you have an iPad, everything can be organized in one place, so instead of taking the time to pay bills in your home office each month, you can simply use the Bill Tracker app and pay them on the go. When you’re ready to relax, you can tune into your favorite show or movie via Netflix or read the latest mystery you’ve been hoping to peruse using the Kindle or Nook apps.
iPads are expensive! For all that they do, it’s safe to argue that it’s a good deal. The cost of technology is going down. But for a single investment, the purchase of an iPad is not insignificant and bears mentioning.
Access to apps.
I know this was just included under the list of pros, but you can also argue that access to thousands of apps creates information overload. The more you download, the more you have to keep track of. With the amount of apps out there, it can quickly become a daunting task to decide which ones best fit your needs and how to organize them in a way that makes sense. Remember, more apps you download, the more time you’ll spend on the iPad.
Your kids will want to use your iPad.
Children are fascinated by electronic gadgets, and the iPad is no exception. This can be a bad thing for a couple of reasons. You may have organized the systems on your iPad in a certain way, but your five year old is not going to consider this when they are exploring your tablet and moving things around. Another issue is that when you place the iPad in the hands of your young child, they will be more likely to want to stare at the screen rather than engage in what’s going on around them.
If you’ve decided to go ahead with purchasing an iPad, here is a list of five apps that are terrific for mums to use to get organised fast:
- Ace Budget: Get your finances organised quickly and record purchases without having to save the receipts in Ace Budget.
- PageOnce: Once you have implemented your budget and are tracking spending, use PageOnce to track all of your bills and accounts. The app will give you a reminder when each bill is due.
- OmniFocus: This all-in-one calendar and project management system can keep track of everything from your family member’s individual schedules to the status of home improvement projects in one central location.
- iPregnancy: Are you expecting a new addition to the family? This apps tracks everything from details of your pregnancy to helping keep you on track with tips and advice.
- SmartICE4Family: SmartICE4Family stands for In Case of Emergency and allows you to track critical details for family members such as medical history, emergency contacts, allergies, and doctor details so that they are in a central, easy to access place if you ever need them.
For today’s mum, the iPad can be a blessing in disguise if you are looking for a tablet to help you organise your life. On the flipside, there are also some negative aspects of ownership, such as cost and the idea that junior might inadvertently delete your entire banking history if it’s stored on the tablet. If you do add an iPad to the family, be sure to check out these apps and let us know what other apps you find helpful!
About the Author: Elizabeth Alton contributed this article on Behalf of Broadband Genie. If you are a busy mum and are convinced that the iPad might make things less hectic, follow this link for the latest contract deals available.