Productivity apps like Evernote, LastPass and AnyList to help busy mothers

3 Apps to Make Your Everyday Life Easier

I’m a self-confessed App Freak. My favourites are productivity apps which can be used on my desktop computer as well as syncing to my phone.

I love productivity apps that make my life flow a little smoother. I test them out before deciding which ones are worth it. A few make the final cut – and these three I can’t live without.

1. Evernote

Are you still using the standard Notes app that came with your phone? Having to scroll down pages of notes to find the one you’re looking for? Forget it!

Evernote saves your notes into handy little notebooks that you create and name yourself. It’s become an extension of my brain!

Some of my notebooks include:

Books & Films – whenever a friend recommends one or I read a great review, I pop it in there.

Restaurants – ditto

Kids – school/sports/activities

Travel – inspiration, research, itineraries, important documents

Recipes – this is where Evernote really rocks for me! I can add a recipe by clipping it from a website, or take a photo of a recipe from a magazine or a friends’ cookbook (which saves me buying the whole book). For meal planning I simply scroll through my recipes and when cooking use either my iphone or iPad propped up on the counter.

I’ve also got loads of work related notes divided into categories. I even write a lot of my blogs directly into Evernote when I’m on the go.

There’s a scanning function that means Evernote is like having a filing cabinet in your back pocket. You can scan in the important page of an instruction manual and toss the manual out. Do the same with kids’ report cards, class rosters, after school club notices. Scan in your drivers license, family passports and important documents so you have spare copies at your fingertips.

Evernote’s incredible search feature means you only have to type in a word or two associated with your note and it instantly brings up your options. It even searches within the text of something you’ve photographed or scanned in.

Success Tip!  Set up a free Evernote account on your main computer first so you can get started on a bigger screen. At the same time, download the Evernote Clipper app. This puts a little elephant icon into the corner of your browser. Instead of  bookmarking web pages, click the elephant and it’ll ask you which notebook you want to save it into. Add a tag or some notes. Voilà!

I also now have the Evernote Scannable App for my phone which means I no longer need a scanner to send documents. This has been a huge time saver for me! I can scan papers and directly email them from the App.

Evernote syncs across all devices. Download the App for your phone or tablet too.

See the end of this post about my Evernote Training Video! 

2. AnyList

Ever arrived at the supermarket and realise you left your shopping list at home? Doh! This happened to me all the time until I discovered ZipList AnyList! (edited as ZipList was discontinued and replaced with the even better Anylist!)

As my phone is practically surgically attached, there’s no danger of ever leaving my list behind. Any items I don’t manage to buy remain on the list until I find them. (I used to throw out my old, crossed-out paper list, forgetting that I hadn’t yet bought something important!)

Why use a kitchen white/chalk board when it only means having to write it down again before you go shopping?

Adding items into AnyList is super easy. Hit the + key and type it in. You can add the quantity and sometimes I even add why I’m buying it so I’m not left scratching my head in the shop wondering it’s on my list and if I really need it today.

8 ripe tomatoes for salsa

4 chicken breasts for Thursday

1 bottle of tequila for the party…!

Tap the items while you’re shopping for a satisfying feeling of watching your list become crossed out and diminish. 

My kids are great at adding stuff to the list as we need it. It gives them input and makes us all responsible for keeping an eye on things we’re running low on. (Like toilet paper…) 

Ever send your hubby out to run a few errands and he says ‘he’s got it in his head’ then returns home without the crucial items plus a bunch of random stuff you don’t need? Download the app onto his phone too and sign into your account just once. From then on your list will automatically sync to his phone. Problem solved.

After happily using AnyList for over a year, I’ve now upgraded to the paid version to support the developers and unlock the extra features which I’m loving! I can now take any recipe I find on the web and with the tap of a button, the recipe is added to my AnyList Recipes section. What’s even more fabulous is that I can also add the ingredients of the recipe into my shopping list. And I can half or double or triple the recipe ingredients depending on how many I’m serving. Cool huh?

3. LastPass

Anyone else get password rage? I’m cool in traffic jams and long lines, but something snaps in me when I type in my username and password and it says ‘Username or Password Incorrect’.

WHICH ONE? The username or the password??

I have to try several variations and finally give up and have it sent to me again. I’m sent a weird, generated password which I then have to go in and change. (I’m getting heated up even as I type this!)

Those days are over for me now thanks to free and easy to use LastPass.

I’d heard about password saving productivity apps, but felt very wary. What if it’s all a scam to steal your passwords and run? But when I heard enough people rave about LastPass I decided to give it a try.

I thought I’d have hours ahead of me trying to input all of my many usernames and passwords. But the cool thing is, I just used the internet as normal and whenever I had to enter any details, LastPass asked me if I wanted to save them. Within a week or so it had all of my most used passwords stored.

Now whenever I open a website, it auto-fills my log-ins and I’m in there in a flash. I declined on trusting it with my banking details, but for all of my social medias and membership sites, it’s a fantastic time saver. (No more password rage.)

Note: You must remember your main password for LastPass!

I’ve just upgraded to the Premium version for $12 a year so I can use the app on my phone too. Now when I’m travelling, I’ve got my passwords with me.

I have many apps, but these are my current top 3 productivity apps for making life easier.

Here are the links:




ps – If you want to know how I successfully keep track of my MANY tasks and projects on my to-do list and manage my time like a Productivity Ninja,  join Project WE. There you will find my Evernote Training Video, Trello Training Video and my best tools and hacks for living a life with flow and ease. FULL DETAILS OF PROJECT WE MEMBERSHIP HERE

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  1. Sally Kean-Hammerson on March 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Thanks for these 3 Apps have just started using Zip list which is fantastic . Somewhere to store recipes I like which otherwise get lost or forgotten.
    Password box has changed my life already!!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 3, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Happy to have your back-up recommendations on ZipList and Password Box Sally! Aren’t they both amazing?! Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  2. Stacey on March 3, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    I love Evernote. It seriously keeps me sane. I’m going to have to check out Ziplist though. That one sounds very cool. I have an app on my phone called period tracker. I don’t know if I’m the only one, but half the time, I can’t remember where I am in my cycle. It notifies you two days before and allows you to add notes etc. if you are either trying to conceive, or just cool like me and having a few minor issues. It made it much easier to talk to my midwife at my appointment because I could be specific. Nothing like having an app for everything!!! LOL

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM

      I hear you on Evernote as a sanity keeper – I barely remember life before EN 😉

      Thanks for sharing about the Period Tracker app – that sounds super useful! There really IS an app for everything!

      You were on my mind today Stacey as I’m (finally) preparing interview Q’s to ask you about being a mom of 7. Should have it ready to send you tomorrow x

  3. Marwa Farouq on March 3, 2014 at 8:03 PM

    Hi Kelly, Awesome post. I definitely gonna try the password box and ziplist; i so need those! I have my passwords now in my phone notpad which is crazy and extremely unsafe!
    Thanks a million,

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 4, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      Marwa – this is your Call to Action today: Set up Password Box and as soon as you have your passwords all input, delete that note on your phone!!! No procrastination. It won’t take long. (How’s that for a firm kick up your backside?) 😉

  4. Jen on March 3, 2014 at 8:30 PM

    I am a huge of evernote and ziplist! I did not know about password box…that would be such a huge saver! Thanks for sharing Kelly!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 4, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      You’re welcome Jen! I’ve been using Evernote for ages, ZipList since last year and PassWord Box for just over a month now. It IS a huge time (and sanity) saver. 🙂

  5. Mariah on March 4, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    OMG, I’m an app addict too!

    Kelly, I’m so excited to try Evernote. I have so many bookmarks in categories, but I think Evernote would be a better option.

    Right now I use Anylist for my grocery shopping lists. It sounds very similar to ziplist, but I’m always in search of the BEST 🙂

    I’ve been nervous to use a passwords app too, but seriously, I NEED to!

    Thanks for the great list 🙂

  6. Mariah on March 4, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    Oh my goodness. I just saw that you can save recipes into ziplist from pinterest! So cool! I am sold!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 4, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      You’re very welcome Mariah. Aside from my bookmarks bar for sites I access a lot, I never, ever use Bookmarks anymore. Evernote Clipper makes it all SO much easier. You are gonna LOVE it. Same with PassWord Box. A GEM!

      There are many food shopping list apps, but ZipList kicks butt on any that I’ve tried before. Report back in and tell us what you think!

  7. Christie Bielss on March 4, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I had no idea Evernote had an app. My kids have used it for school the past 2 years and I have enjoyed using it on my home computer for notes and such. Have also been looking for a great grocery list app. Thank you so much for sharing these!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 4, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      You’re welcome Christie. You’ll love how the app synchs across all of your devices so you have your notes on-the-go! Hope you like ZipList as much as I do! Thanks for your comment x

  8. Erin {Delightful E Made} on March 5, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    I’m so with you, especially on the password rage!! I totally do the wrong thing, which is have the same password for just about everything. And of course they want you to make up something long, multiple numbers & digits which is something you’ll ultimately never remember. Now I’m getting heated up too!!! Eeeek!!
    Thanks so much for the great idea on the apps. Have pinned!!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 5, 2014 at 7:16 AM

      Erin I feel your PAIN! Get it girl! You’ll never look back. Thanks for the comment & pin 🙂

  9. Farah on March 5, 2014 at 2:39 AM

    OMG I have been searching for an Evernote like app for forever!! TELL ME MORE!!! lol

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 5, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      I honestly could write an entire blog about Evernote. Best thing to do Farah is download it onto your main computer (along with Evernote Clipper as described above) and start using it. Before long you’ll begin to see all of the ways you can use it and once it’s synched to your phone…. you’ll really be in business! Please report back. x

  10. Bek on March 8, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I love evernote! The password app sounds great so will be trying that. Thanks!

  11. Rea on March 9, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    These are lovely and awesome! I’ve never tried any of these but looks like something that can really help a lot so I’m gonna try them now. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 10, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      You’re welcome Rea. Report back and tell me what ‘cha think. x

  12. Camesha on January 22, 2015 at 10:48 PM

    Me and passwords fight constantly! I’m headed over to try that app now!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 23, 2015 at 9:07 AM

      It’s changed my life Camesha! Hope it improves yours too 🙂

  13. Karin on February 20, 2015 at 11:56 AM

    Hi Kelly
    I got a new phone for Christmas and according to my teenage son “coming out of the dinosaur age” and he’s right – I have more than just a flashlight now! I did use ziplist on my PC when you originally posted the blog and was wondering what to use now since they discontinued. So glad I revisited your blog and am now downloading all three apps and becoming a 21st Century Mama! Password rage and lists were getting me down – can’t wait to use these!

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on February 20, 2015 at 3:52 PM

      Hurrah Karin! Welcome to the modern age – you’ll never look back! I’m so happy you found this post back and saw the new liat app I’m loving. Thanks for taking the time to let me know. You’re so sweet 🙂

  14. Lisa Penn on March 9, 2015 at 9:28 PM

    Have you ever tried Buy Me a Pie? It’s a great App as well and specifically for shared shopping lists – one person puts a item on the list and all of it is synchronised!!

    Just thought I’d let you know.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on March 10, 2015 at 6:03 PM

      Hi Lisa! No I haven’t but will check it out! Sounds great!!! 🙂

  15. Chichi on December 31, 2015 at 1:30 AM

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for the useful tips. I’m a big fan of apps and I am going to start using Evernote (with some of the folders you suggested), and Anylist. I’ve been using LastPass as my password manager for a couple of years now and, thankfully, I no longer suffer from password rage. 🙂

    Another app I find useful is Blinkist. I’m an avid reader and this app lets me read and listen to the key lessons from several nonfiction books in just 15 minutes.

    I really like my app for sending personalized cards and gifts in the mail. It saves me time and money, and provides a high tech, high touch way to nurture my personal and business relationships. Since I also market this app, I hope it’s OK to mention that if anyone would like to try it, they can contact me on Twitter.

    • Kelly Pietrangeli on January 6, 2016 at 10:02 PM

      Hi Chichi! Glad you like the Apps.

      I’ll also check out Blinkist as that sounds super useful!

      You’re so sweet to ask my permission before linking to your App. You have my blessing. Let’s hear about it!

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