Friday, September 29, 2017

Mom Tech Products to Stay Organized to Survive Another School Year & Daily Family Life


MBE partnered with the Consumer Technology Association Showcase for this post

Now that the kids are back in school and our hectic lifestyles have resumed for fall, it's time for us harried moms to take a moment to catch our breaths. Juggling that endless to do list of  PTA meetings, driving carpool, kids extra curricular activities, homework sessions, play dates, kids doctor appointments, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and more is looking pretty overwhelming. Thankfully there are some great new tech products out there to lend a hand to help mothers do it all with grace and sanity intact.

To survive another busy academic year of family life, here are my picks for essential tech tools to keep you calm, collected and most importantly, organized in the months ahead.

  • Google Home
  • Knomo Elektronista Digital Clutch, Briefcase & Backpack
  • Tile Pro  Collection
  • HomeKit-enabled Sylvania Smart+ Light Bulbs
  • HUAWEI Watch 2
  • Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Security Camera & Thermostat
  • Monument Personal Cloud Device
  • Epson Expression ET-2650 EcoTank printer
  • Kwikset Premis & Kevo Convert
  • Cozi Family Organizer App
  • HumX by Verizon
  • Anova Precision Cooker WI-FI
  • LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ Robotic Vacuum Model CR5765GD

Google Home

I don't know how I survived raising four very different kids before installing this gem at our house: the Google Home personal assistant ($129). This voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant is perfect for average moms like you and I who only have two hands. What a great hands-free way to do so many things and manage your busy household. This is the foundational tech tool every modern mom needs to build your home management empire. Good thing to know: it's so affordable and easy to use, too.

Knomo Elektronista Digital Clutch, Briefcase & Backpack

Who says moms who are dependent on our tech gadgets can't carry them in style? Why look like a geek or dig through an overstuffed handbag, especially when you can have the Knomo Elektronista Digital Clutch ($269) by your side to organize and store everything you need when you're on the run? This finely-crafted, detailed 10" beauty comes in classic black plus five on-trend colors in soft full-grain leather, has all kinds of well-placed pockets and compartments, and even includes a built-in 5000mAh battery so your devices always stay powered. This great for every day, business meeting as well as more formal occasions.

Another find which is going to become the key accessory in my personal wardrobe this fall is the Knomo Audley Fold Down Briefcase ($349), petitely but practically sized at just 14". When you walk into a meeting with this briefcase which almost looks like a luxury large handbag, don't be surprised if the other women compliment you and ask where you got it. Equipped with RFID blocking, a padded laptop section and detachable strap, this very lady like briefcase is all about business and comes in your choice of black, brown or chili red leather, the latter being my favorite style in this collection.

Here's a good quality, stylish backpack moms will appreciate, whether you're using it for your daily commute to work or ferrying kids to sports activities. Meet the Knomo Berlin 14" Backpack ($99). From a padded laptop section that will fit up to a 15" laptop to well-placed storage pockets and padded straps, to being constructed of splash-resistant material this is incredibly functional and versatile. Available in black and several colors including a fun geometric print. All I can say about this one is that, watch out your child may want to replace their own backpack with this one!

Tile Pro

It's Murphy's Law at its best: What mom doesn't lose or misplace keys and other essentials at the worse possible times? Then you cannot be caught without this new line of Tile products including the Tile Style in satin white or the Tile Sport in dark slate ($35/each or combo pack with one Style and one Sport for $60). Attach either of these in advance to your keyring, bags, and other stuff and you'll have this smart little tool helping you find missing items quickly when you're dashing out the door to drive early morning carpool or get to work on time. Using the corresponding app, your items can be found in a flash because this homing device style gadget has double the range and ringer volume of previous Tiles and is waterproof in case it drops in a puddle.

HomeKit-enabled Sylvania Smart+ A19 Full Color Light Bulb

Now, with the HomeKit-Enabled Sylvania Smart+ A19 Color Light Bulb ($44.99) you can control the lighting in your home with your smartphone, syncing it with the Home app using an Apple device and Siri.  With the push of a button, you'll be creating the best light for the kids homework time and date night in front of the television with your significant other after the kids go to sleep. Best of all, easy-to-install Sylvania Smart+ Bluetooth-enabled lighting and electronics set the right mood in your home and save energy too.

HUAWEI Watch 2

This is a solid, reliable smartwatch and personal trainer in one, to help you manage your busy family life, as well as coach you through your fitness routine. With the HUAWEI Watch 2 (starts at $248.91) you will be able to enjoy the full features of a sports tracking device built in to this stylish wristwatch available in various sporty and stylish options. Leave your phone behind and tap into this wearable device's high-definition customized display, integrated antenna and standalone 4G connectivity. It even features a built-in GPS chip so you can use independent apps like Uber, Foursquare and Telegram on the go.

Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Security Camera & Thermostat

Manage security at home with the Honeywell Lyric C1 Wi-Fi Security Camera ($119) via the corresponding Lyric app on your mobile device while you're away from the house for hours or on a family vacation. You can even check the live video and screenshots to make sure pets are behaving and the kids are doing what they're supposed to while you are out running all over town doing errands -- and prompt animals and little humans alike if they're up to no good using the two-way audio feature.

Another connected smart home gadget families will appreciate is the Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat ($149) which assists you to be sure your home doesn't get too hot or too cold using your smartphone. The device and app allow you to schedule a traditional 7-day schedule or vacation mode. But what I like best about this is it also cleverly integrates geofencing by tracking your smartphone's location to automatically turn on or off your heating or air conditioning for you. Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings and others, you can also use your voice to adjust the temperature and more.


Another cool and helpful tool is a personal cloud device called Monument ($149) which syncs and backups photos from family members' smartphones and cameras, organizing them by who took the image and what it depicts. Using key words you can quickly search the device to find a specific photo from the collection everyone has uploaded. Best part: there are no monthly fees and a high level of privacy is provided. What could be better than everyone from kids at college, to your uncle that loves to travel around the world to any other member of the family sharing their photos in a central place that you can all access on smartphones, tablets and televisions? 

Epson Expression ET-2650 EcoTank Printer

I'm all about making sure my family lives as efficient and eco-friendly a lifestyle as possible, which is why I love the new Epson Expression ET-2650 EcoTank Printer ($299.99). Not only can you print wirelessly whether at home, office, school or on the road from connected computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Even more importantly, instead of spending a fortune on buying disposable ink cartridges, this printer features large ink tanks that you can easily refill with ink bottles. Just think: no more running out of ink when your child is pulling an all-nighter printing out another last-minute big assignment!

Kwikset Premis & Kevo Convert

Smart keyless secure locks for your house are the wave of the future that's available right now with Kwikset Premis ($229) which works with Apple HomeKit to provide you with home security which you can control from iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch using Siri. You can also let the kids or maid in remotely if they're locked out or if you're busy in the kitchen. I'm sure you can think of lots of other times something like this would making life so much more convenient and secure.

Transforming Kwikset and other manufacturers' deadbolts into smart locks affordably is a dream come true with the Kwikset Kevo Convert ($149). This product, running with the Kevo app, is a no brainer to use, turning old-school door deadbolts into modern keyless state-of-the art smart locks. Upgrade to Kevo Plus for an additional $99.99 and you'll be able to lock and unlock this smart lock conversion kit from your smart device from anywhere in the world via the internet.

Cozi Family Organizer App

The aptly named Cozi Family Organizer app (Free; In-app purchase option offered) is a must-have for busy family living, keeping parents and kids in warm, fuzzy and cozy perfect harmony. With this app running on both iOS and Android, there's a central place to manage everyone's daily schedules. That way, everyone's on the same page, and all family members with smartphone access know who's picking up who, when the next doctor appointment is scheduled, or if the calendar is free for you to book some me time at a spa or a girls' night out. With 20 million registered users as of July, this is definitely worth checking out.

HumX by Verizon

Have an older car you'd like to update with the latest technology? Then consider HumX by Verizon ($99 with 2-year contract or $150 with no contract) is an option to consider to easily enable your vehicle with its own Wi-Fi Hotspot capabilities, powered by Verizon's 4G LTE national network. Worth noting: HumX isn't just limited to Verizon customers, it's available to everyone.

Anova Precision Cooker Wi-Fi

Dreaming of cooking at home from anywhere, monitoring the status of your meal cooking now and coming home to a fresh hot meal? Yes, now you now can, if you own the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi ($169). Cook using your voice via Amazon Alexa and Google Home. If you ask me, this is the perfect solution for moms who almost always have both their hands full. This kitchen appliance uses the sous vide method of cooking that seals food in airtight bags, submerged in water a a low, regulated temperature for consistent preparation every time. 

LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ Robotic Vacuum 

If you get as annoyed as I do vacuuming up the trail of mess kids leave behind around the house, you are going to want to check out the new LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ Robotic Vacuum Model CR5765GC ($999). This is one smart robotic vacuum from the trusted brand LG (as in Living Good). Using a sophisticated system of cameras and wi-fi enabled technology, you'll have the cleanest floor on the block. Forgot to vacuum before you left to pick up the kids at school? If your maid calls in sick, no problem, just use your smartphone to start and monitor this vacuum from anywhere and come home to a clean house every time. Also handy for those of us who love to travel and who hate to come home to dust-covered floors after a trip -- as long as you have this high tech smart vacuum and wifi you are good to go.

With so many great technologies to keep you organized and help you be the best mom ever, what will you do with all that extra energy and time on your hands? Guess it's time to make an all-new to do list that's a whole lot more fun for everyone!

FTC Disclosure: I disclose I was hosted by Consumer Technology Association for the CTALA Showcase event and received some of the products featured in this post. However opinions here are my own. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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