Vacations should be a time for families, reflection, peace and joy, without emphasizing how the festive dinner will be handled or entertaining a dozen rowdy children. To maximize your joy and minimize anxiety and frustration, turn to your smartphone. That pocket computer, loaded with some well-chosen applications, will make sure you have a vacation to remember.
Set up a family calendar together with Apple Calendar, Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar
The month of December quickly fills up with office parties, school celebrations, meetings at friends' houses, cookie exchanges and great seasonal meals . To track all that activity so that each member of the family knows what is happening, use an application to set up a joint calendar for the holidays. It can give access to children, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and any other person involved in the joy of the season. Each person can see what happens and schedule their own events to avoid conflicts.
Apple Calendar (included in iOS), Microsoft Outlook (for Android and iOS) and Google Calendar (for Android and iOS) allow you to share calendars between several people. Ask what application they prefer from their closest and dearest friends, and then choose the one that most people are already familiar with.
Once you have chosen an application, make sure that all participants install it on their devices. Then create a new calendar and add each person to it. For example, in the Apple Calendar, tap Calendars to display your list of calendars. From here, you can create a new calendar and name it as December, holidays or Christmas. Then, select the information button next to your new calendar and choose Add person to start sharing it.
For Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook, you must share your calendar through the application's website. In Google Calendar, create your calendar, click on the three points next to your name to open a pop-up menu and choose option Settings and sharing to add people. In Outlook, look for option Share at the top of the interface. After that, you can ignore the web portal: all participants can verify and edit events from their phones.
Organize your month with Evernote
Between wish lists and Christmas cards and attendance confirmations for various events, your planning could spiral out of control. So organize all these pieces with Evernote (for Android and iOS). The application allows you to store text, images, files and web links in a very flexible format. You can group related items in folders and set labels to remember where it is. This allows you to keep everything from recipes to to-do lists and photos of grandchildren in one place.
Track your shipment with Arrive
If you are sending your gifts, then you must make sure someone will be there to take them. them in the house when they arrive. Knowing the ETA of a package will also quell any concerns that packages appear at your front door too early or too late. Therefore, use the Arrive application from Shopify (only currently available for iOS) to track your deliveries.
Arrive begins by requesting access to your email account. Then, order through your inbox to select follow-up messages from hundreds of retailers and courier companies, including Amazon, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, UPS, USPS, FedEx, DHL and Canada Post. According to this, you can discover all the deliveries you are expecting and how your trips are progressing. Therefore, you can control each package that is still in the mail from a clean and easily accessible screen. You can even use the application interface to organize returns and consult the retailer.
Share updated wish lists with Amazon, Notes or Google Keep
Sending a wish list will ensure you receive the gifts you really want and have your friends and family write their own and allow you to give gifts that inspire genuine happiness. This year, skip paper and save your lists in an application: you can easily share them and even update them when someone buys an item for you (so you do not end up with two things the same) ..
If you make a lot of purchases through Amazon, You can create and manage several wish lists through your application. Start by asking your gifs and friends to install the Amazon application (for Android and iOS). On your own phone, open Amazon and go to your wish list. Then touch List actions followed by Share to send it to someone else. This works particularly well because, when a family member or friend clicks on and buys a gift, that item disappears from the list so no one else can buy it.
If you prefer a simpler approach, or you want items that are not available on Amazon, a basic note application will take care of your list. Try the Apple Notes app (for iOS only) or Google Keep (for Android and iOS). Through these, you can write your list and easily share it with anyone.
Maintain communication with Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp
Organizing a party or family gathering during this season should not be a feeling like a military operation. But the whole organization – communicating with all the attendees, reminding them to confirm their attendance, and finding out who will contribute what – can do just that. To keep everyone on the same page, set up a group conversation thread in a good messaging application.
Fortunately, you have several options, such as Google Hangouts (for Android and iOS), Facebook Messenger (for Android and iOS) and WhatsApp (for Android and iOS). If you're wondering about the Messaging app built into iOS, that's a good alternative, but it loses points because, if any of the group's chat members use Android devices, the conversation will be a good old SMS again.
All three options allow you to share your location, which is useful when organizing meetings and shopping trips. But the process to do it varies from one application to another. In Hangouts, touch the GPS icon. In Facebook Messenger, tap the plus button and then Location . And on WhatsApp, tap the attachment button (on iOS, it appears as a plus sign, on Android, it appears as a clip), and choose Location from the menu that appears.
Prepare the Perfect Dinner with Yummly or Pepperplate
When you are preparing a big festive dinner, you need all the help you can get. So take a look at the Android and iOS app stores, where you'll find a lot of kitchen apps and recipes to design each step on a screen in front of you. While the best application for you depends on your level of cooking experience, we have two favorites to recommend: Yummly and Pepperplate.
Yummly (for Android and iOS) not only provides access to more than one million different recipes, but also includes useful functions to plan your meal. You can filter through recipes based on your preferred tastes, dietary restrictions and allergies, then work with the application's shopping list administrator to make sure you buy all the ingredients you'll need to make them. If your meal is successful, you can store your favorite recipes in the app as well.
We also like Pepperplate (for Android and iOS), which comes with fewer recipes but more planning tools. You can help him choose the ingredients and adjust his shopping list for between 2 and 20 people. Then, once you enter the kitchen, provide instructions and timers to make sure you do not overcook.
Plan your trip with Apple Maps or Google Maps
Even if you know how to get to all the events. you are attending, you must map each trip in advance. Both Apple Maps and Google Maps can adjust their route to avoid traffic and calculate how long any trip will take, by car, on foot or by public transport. If you do not plan to use these applications to navigate, they will allow you to anticipate obstacles and tell your family what time to wait.
Entertain guests with Spotify, Heads Up or Just Dance Now
Smartphones are badly needed to prevent social interactions. But if you install the right applications, your devices can also unite all.
Take music: during this festive season, no entertainment is complete without Christmas tunes. You can start Spotify (for Android and iOS) and take suggestions for a playlist. If other people have Spotify on their own devices, share your playlist with them so they can directly add their favorite songs: touch the three dots next to any playlist and choose Make Collaborative .
Applications can also punch your party games. A common challenge is for guests to carry a piece of paper on their foreheads to show a name or a scribbled animal, but they can not see what it is. Then, each person has to guess who or what they are asking questions of others. To watch the game by saving trees, try Heads Up (for Android and iOS). On Android, it's free and has in-app purchases available for $ 1, and on iOS, it costs $ 1. This game becomes particularly fun after a few glbades of wine or egg.
Meanwhile, if the people in your family imagine themselves as dancers, then download Just Dance Now (for Android and iOS). The application is free, but the song packages cost $ 1 or more; We recommend buying the one-hour party pbad for $ 1. For everyone to participate, you must transmit this game to a television so everyone can follow the moves.
If you have an Android device, you can mirror Just Dance Now or any other game on your TV through a connected Chromecast and Google. Home application On an iPhone, you can achieve the same trick through an Apple TV or any AirPlay device.