THE STORIES  Erin Hultgrenn

Erin Hultgrenn

Leveraging Technology

I know technology gets a bad rap a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, technology can be a HUGE time suck — and a major hindrance to effective time management. Spending hours on Pinterest doesn’t help get the toilets cleaned! Trust me, I know. BUT, technology CAN be a huge asset to busy women!  Seriously!

Utilizing web based calendars, reminder/to do list apps, web based shopping, researching items, and online recipes can all help increase our productivity! Two of my must-have tech tools are listed below.

  1. Google Calendar! It’s the web based calendar that my husband and I use. We share our calendars with each other so we can each see when one of us adds something to it. It’s color coded for ease of use, so we don’t have to call each other numerous times a day to ask about “what’s going on next weekend?” etc. Don’t get me wrong, I like talking to my husband on the phone, I just don’t need to call 100 times asking when his dentist appointment is.

Google calendar is on our smartphones so it’s always right at the tip of our fingers. There are many other web based calendars that could work for you as well!

  1. Grocery apps! Maybe one of my favorite inventions (after Post-it notes as discussed in my “To Do List” blog post, lol). While many grocery retailers are jumping on this bandwagon, I personally use Walmart’s grocery app because it’s more convenient. The first time I used Walmart’s grocery pick up, I filled my shopping cart and was certain to “favorite” my staples, so now when I use the app I can just add all my favorites without individually looking them up and adding them to the cart. I selected my pick up time and, at the appointed time, off to pick up my groceries I went! 

    Before grocery apps, I used to spend maybe 15 minutes writing out my grocery list and then an hour doing my grocery shopping (that was if I was lucky enough to sneak out without any children) every week. Now I’m down to five minutes filling my Walmart grocery cart and selecting my pick up time. I then spend 10 minutes driving round trip to the grocery store and the longest I have waited for them to bring my groceries to the car was two minutes. That is it! Did I mention that I don’t have to get my kids out of the car? Or drag them out of the store screaming with one kid missing a shoe? Grocery apps save the time and sanity of women everywhere!

There are so many fantastic smartphone apps that I could discuss in great detail, but in the interest of brevity, here’s a list of some of my other favorites:

Banking – My bank allows for mobile depositing of checks. I take a picture of my check (front and back) and submit. Done. No need to run to the bank to deposit a check that’s been sitting in my wallet for 3 weeks waiting for me to swing by the bank. I don’t have time for that! Transfers are also super simple and quick.

Bill pay – I pay my cell phone bill, water bill, school lunch bill for my kids, and even my church offering all from the apps these businesses/organizations created for my phone. And I can get these tasks all done while I’m sitting in that dreaded long school pick-up line.

Shopping – I haven’t stepped foot in the mall in years. If my kids need a new pair of shoes I generally hop on Amazon.com, pick out a pair in the color they like and push, “buy it now.”  It saves hours browsing stores.

Reminders/“To do” lists – I keep LOTS of lists on my Notes app.  There are many similar apps that can send you reminders and alerts, helping to keep you on task.

Leveraging technology to our benefit can allow us to accomplish daily tasks that previously took up so much time, just helping to lighten the load a little. Every bit helps when we’re feeling overwhelmed! Leveraging technology can help us better fulfill our true purpose.

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