If youâ€™re a working mother (or father) running a business, managing a team or trying to fit a creative pursuit around parenting, time is in short supply and multitasking is a necessity. Luckily, technology can help you manage the juggle. Add these time-saving cheats to your toolkit:
A hands-free headset
Pushing a stroller with a sleeping baby whilst taking a business call â€“ thatâ€™s multitasking. With two hands to steer, a hands-free headset makes it possible and, these days, Bluetooth headsets are smarter than ever. TheÂ Voyager Edge eliminates background noises, charges on the go (from your car or even a solar charger) and answers by voice command, so you donâ€™t even need to press a button. It also plays audio so you could listen to podcasts or stand-out TED Talks as you stroll.
The downside of madly multitasking is mistakes are prone to happen. Add in baby brain and sleep deprivation and who can be blamed for sending the wrong email to the wrong person, or an email filled with typos? Thankfully, Gmail allows you to undo your mistake. Turn on â€˜Undoâ€™ capabilities on your account and it provides a window of up to 30 seconds to cancel an email and prevent its delivery. Microsoft Outlook has a similar feature, allowing you to replace or recall an email before itâ€™s been opened.
Need to remember to pack your kidâ€™s swimming stuff when you leave the house, or to take that important file home from the office? On the iPhone and iPad, you can set location-based reminders that automatically go off when you get in your car, arrive at their school, leave the office or whenever you need a nudge. To do this, create a note in the reminders app, then turn on â€˜remind me at a locationâ€™, drop a pin on the map and specify if you want to be reminded when you arrive at, or leave, that destination.
Youâ€™ve probably dabbled with Siri, but dictation software can do a lot more than just open apps and help you to find a local takeaway. The Dragon family of speech recognition (created by Nuance Communications, who develop speech-recognition systems for banks and car GPS systems) can be used on your computer, as well as on your iPad and iPhone, if youâ€™re based in certain countries. Put your voice to work to create documents, reports and emails, whilst using your hands to complete something else on your to-do list.
Shareable to-do lists
Need to know who is where, when, and what they should be doing? The Cozi app is a free family organiser that lets you schedule multiple peopleâ€™s activities and appointments, create and share household documents, like shopping lists, store recipes, coordinate meal plans, and generally keep your life in some semblance of order. The Anylist app is another time-saver, allowing you to make lists on the go, which multiple people have access to (perfect for delegation!) Under the pump? TaskRabbit lets you list a household task, repair or chore for someone else to complete. Because you donâ€™t have to do it all anymore.
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