Starting or running your own business while being a mom isn't easy! There's an endless to list, both at home and in your work, and it can be difficult to stay productive while working at home, in the limited time you have.
Let's talk about some productivity apps for mompreneurs that will help you reclaim your time, reduce stress, and find a balance between your work life and home life that works for you. Instead of buying in to the hustle culture, let's explore the power of technology and productivity apps to help us achieve our goals without sacrificing our well-being.
It's taken some trial and error for me to find my favorite tools that didn't have a huge learning curve, didn't cost an arm and a leg, and just… worked without feeling like one more to-do or burden. But the good news is these incredible tools and systems are here to support you, reduce overwhelm, and bring more joy and efficiency into your life as a working mom.
toby: visual bookmarks for mompreneurs
Have you ever wished for a magical tool that can organize your online life and make your workflows a breeze as a busy mompreneur? Well, let me introduce you to your new BFF, Toby.
Toby is a visual bookmark manager that will revolutionize the way you navigate the digital world. Toby helps you tame the chaos of bookmarks – and open entire sets of bookmarks with one click.
Picture this: you can create personalized groups of bookmarks tailored to your unique workflows – the things you do day in and day out for your business. Sweet, right? Have a look. You can see that I have all the tools I need to work on this blog in one spot.
With Toby, you'll have all your go-to resources, inspiration, and business tools neatly organized and just a click away. You'll save so much time, instead of searching through endless lists or forgetting important websites.
Toby's intuitive interface makes organizing and customizing your bookmark groups easy. It's seriously simple, and you can have your workflows set up and ready to help you be more productive in just a few minutes.
First, you'll create a Space. Your spaces are broad categories. You can see in my list that I've created spaces for Printables, Summits & Bundles, Print on Demand, Homeschooling, and more – the list is on the left side.
Once you have a space set up, you can start adding your collections… these are your groups of bookmarks (in the above picture, you can see my collections for Lake House Mom and Olympic Peninsula Life.
To add to your collections, go to your browser and open the sites you want to save in new tabs. Click back over to Toby, and you'll see all your open tabs in the right sidebar. Just click and drag them into your collections!
Ready for the magic? Here's one of Toby's best features: when you are mousing over a Collection, you'll see a square icon with an arrow – click on it and ALL the bookmarks in that Collection will open for you! BAM!!
So, if you're a blogger, you might have a collection for writing a blog post and with one click you would open…
- Your blog admin
- Your keyword tool to do research (I like Keysearch and RankIQ)
- Your stock photo sites or Midjourney for photos
- Your time tracker (see Toggl below)
- Your design tool for social media images (I like Canva)
Of course, you can also use Toby just to store bookmarks, too! I still use a combination of Toby and Chrome bookmarks folders. Do what works for you!
things for mac: to-do app for mompreneurs
The Things app for Mac is the tool that finally – at long last – got me off of a paper planner and into the digital world with my to-do list.
Things is a simple and intuitive to-do list right at your fingertips, beautifully designed to keep you focused and motivated. With Things, you can easily capture all your tasks, ideas, and important deadlines in one place, so nothing slips through the cracks. Get your most important tasks front and center so you won't forget what needs to be done!
Plus, it's simple and pretty. It actually lowers my stress. You set up your areas (on the left in capital letters) and also use Things as a project management tool. You can see my projects in the pic below (below the areas). To dos can also be unattached to any project or area. You can set them to specific calendar days and also set them to repeat in any way you like.
What won me over to Things as a to-do manager was the super-simple way you can add to-dos from anywhere you're working. You simply hit Ctrl + Spacebar from anywhere, and the Things to-do box will pop up. Paste a link, add in that task you just remembered, and then get right back to what you were working on.
I'll try it right now:
The other way that Things radically simplified my life is that when I'm reading an email I can send it straight to Things and create a to-do with the email attached. YES!!! No more using your inbox as a messy to-do list!! You just hit Ctrl + Option + Spacebar and that email is waiting for you in Things.
Tasks that you send via keyboard shortcuts go to your Inbox and you can sort them into your areas and projects later.
Note: if you're not a Mac user, I've heard amazing things about the app Todoist, and it seems to have similar features and abilities. Go check it out!
Toggl: time tracking for busy mompreneurs
I first started using time tracking when my daughter was tiny. I found a great virtual assistant position that was entirely online and needed to get in the habit of tracking my time.
It has a learning curve – most of us go from task to task on a to-do list, and have been at jobs where you don't have to track minutes/hours to specific tasks.
I've since learned that time management is a critical piece of being a successful mompreneur. What you learn as you track your time is super valuable data that can help you grow your business!
Not only can you find out how long your biz tasks actually take you (instead of guesstimating), by turning on a timer, you have a little bit of extra motivation not to click off to social media or stop focusing on your work.
Setting up Toggl is easy. On your Track page, you will see the calendar front and center (you can set the view to daily, weekly, or monthly) and right at the top is a space for you to start your timer. Enter what you're doing in the box, then click the folder to set up or choose the project your task falls under, and click the tags to add those, if you want.
You can also enter a task at any time directly in the calendar by clicking. You'll set your start and end times and choose your category and tags in the pop-up interface.
Projects can be edited or added from the left side menu as well.
But the BEST part of Toggl is the amazing color coded reports! Be still my heart!
You can see reports by time frame (day, week, month, specific date range), or see data by one project or a group of projects, or by tags or descriptions.
It's a REAL eye-opener to start using time tracking and get your eyeballs on how you're truly spending your time each week. It can be a game changer for your business to discover you're spending time on tasks or marketing that's not giving you a good return.
Toggl also loads of integrations like Google and Outlook calendars, Asana, and Adobe products so you don't have to leave your workflows. There are browser extensions too – but I just open Toggl in a new tab and get to work.
All the features I've talked about above use the free version of Toggl!
Forest: focus and productivity for mompreneurs
If you find yourself easily distracted by your phone while trying to focus on important tasks, Forest can help you stay disciplined and productive. It's a neat twist on the Pomodoro technique – although you can set your timer for whatever length of task you'd like, instead of always using 25 minute chunks.
Forest is a simple and beautiful productivity app that uses gamification to encourage you to stay focused on what you need to get done! When you want to concentrate on a task, you plant a virtual tree in the app. As long as you stay away from your phone, the tree grows. You will end up with a beautiful forest as you work toward your goals!
Forest helps you build a habit of staying focused and avoiding distractions, and brings a touch of magic to your daily routine by helping you stay present and rooted in the moment. (See what I did there? 🤣)
Another cool thing about Forest is that you're making a positive impact on nature in the real world. For every virtual tree you grow, Forest partners with real-life organizations to plant trees. So, as you flourish in your work, you're also contributing to a greener planet.
Forest isn't a free app – it's $3.99. But to me, that's well worth it for the motivation and goodness it brings to my workday! Nurture your focus, accomplish your goals, and stop trying to multitask: be present with whatever you're working on.
chatgpt: a mompreneur's ai personal assistant
Oh, ChatGPT. Chatty, my friend. How many creative blocks have you busted through? How many ideas have you generated effortlessly? How many blank pages have you saved me from staring at?
If you haven't jumped on the AI bandwagon, and think that using Chatty or another AI writing & research assistant is somehow “cheating” – I want to pull you over to the productive side. ChatGPT and other AI tools are just that – tools. They can be used to move your business forward and enhance your work in a positive way!
You can use ChatGPT to:
- write blog outlines, drafts, meta descriptions
- get lists of keywords
- write product descriptions for Etsy and TPT
- write posts for your social media platforms
- give you digital product ideas
- write scripts for YouTube videos
- and so much more!
I use ChatGPT every day to draft blog posts, get ideas for products to create, write social media posts, and so much more. It's like my robot BFF and virtual assistant. I can even ask it for a pep talk when I need a little motivation!
Seriously? Hello, magical motivational AI assistant. Chatty wasn't done though:
I know it's a machine learning tool, but didn't reading that bring a smile to your face? It did for me! ChatGPT is a really amazing tool for small business owners. ChatGPT also has a mobile app – I'm a big fan of using spare time (waiting in school pickup lines, waiting for appointments) to sneak in some productivity. Why not draft blog posts on your mobile phone?
ChatGPT can also help you with non-business tasks. Want to find birthday gift ideas for friends and family members?
What about creating a recipe out of what you've got in your pantry?
Go ahead – give it a try! It's fun, I promise.
keep it simple
App options are plentiful, and it can be so tempting to try out every new thing that catches your eye! But keep it simple. These five apps have improved my productivity, allowed me to work faster and better in the same amount of time I've always had, and lowered my stress.
The most important thing to remember is that apps should add value to your life – real value – and not just be shiny distractions.
Absolutely experiment with different apps, test their features, and determine which ones integrate seamlessly into your workflow – but be ruthless and ditch the rest. With the help of technology, you can organize and streamline your work to have a better work-life balance while also thriving in your biz!
PRODUCTIVITY FOR YOUR UNIQUE LIFE !
Are you tired of struggling to balance your business and motherhood responsibilities? Do you feel like there are not enough hours in a day to get everything done?
Learn how to make the most of your time by creating a system based on your unique workflows and schedule, so you can be more productive every time you sit down to work.