When I made my Christmas Wish List for my husband, I threw the Apple Watch on there as the very last thing, never actually thinking he’d get it for me. I didn’t even know if I truly wanted it, but my list needed more stuff for him to choose from. I wondered if maybe it was more gimmicky than practical.
And then he got me one- a beautiful 38mm rose gold with lavender band. I love her, I love her, I love her! Not just because she’s gorgeous, but she makes my life easier. No gimmicks. Definitely practical.
Here are just some of the ways my Apple Watch makes my life as a multitasking, work at home parent easier.
I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me already. Most days I get so immersed in work that I used to look up at the clock and couldn’t believe my 2nd grader was going to be walking through the door any minute. No more surprises, and no more moments when I see a strange number calling through and suddenly remember it’s time for an important call. Whether I accept a meeting invite for a business call, or a set a reminder to go off 10 minutes before my son gets out of school, the watch alerts me with a gentle buzz that’s impossible to overlook.
Beyond the alerts, it’s easy to access and scroll through my calendar, and even input new events via voice dictation. I hardly ever use Siri on my phone, but she’s a natural extension of the watch and she does a pretty great job of understanding me.
Weather at a glance
The current weather, including temp and chance of precipitation, is displayed on my watch face. Seems small, but it’s nice to glance down and know whether I need to wrap the toddler in his warm coat or if a jacket will do before we run out the door.
It’s SO nice to immediately receive all texts and reply quickly without having to keep my phone on me. Our two oldest spend their afternoons running up and down our street, playing with all the other kids (best. street. ever), and all the parents keep in touch by texting to let each other know where they’ve all landed. It’s pretty key that I get texts on time, especially when someone is looking for their kid or letting me know mine is at their house. I can reply with the quick phrases that are already in there (you can add your own too) or I can use voice dictation.
Love me some Evernote. The best marriage of Evernote and the Apple Watch that I’ve uncovered is the list function. Make a grocery list in Evernote, access it from your phone, check off items on your watch as you pick them up in the store. AMAZING.
I think everyone realizes you can take a call on your watch. That seems like the most obvious use. BUT did you know that your toddler can be on your phone playing a game or watching YouTube and you can still make a receive calls from your watch? I’m just saying this really comes in handy when I’m grocery shopping, checking off my Evernote list, and my husband calls to tell me to add a few more items to the list. No need to rip the phone from the toddler’s hands, causing a meltdown in aisle 9.
Directions while driving
I try very hard to keep my hands off my phone while driving, and take distracted driving seriously, especially when my kids are in the car with me. But sometimes I need directions to places, and I use my maps app on my iPhone. With the Apple Watch, the directions pop up on my watch face, and it buzzes to let me know a turn is coming up. Far safer than holding my phone in one hand while I drive, or looking down at it on the dash.
The watch comes with an activity tracker that tracks your daily steps, calories burned, distance walked. It also reminds you to stand up every hour, and gives you a goal of 30 minutes of exercise a day (you can adjust that, that’s the default). Throughout the day, I get gentle buzz reminders to stand or encouragement to keep moving, along with a visual of where I am for all my goals for the day.
In addition to that, I’ve added Seven, a 7 minute workout app, to it. I try to do at least one 7 minute circuit a day because it’s just 7 minutes, right? Meanwhile, while I’m doing that, my activity tracker is counting all of it.
Just like the iPhone, it’s great for getting a whole lot of nothing done, which comes in handy when I find myself rocking a nosy toddler to sleep who is too distracted by my phone these days. I’ve downloaded the Rules! app- a game (though I think I hate how panicked it makes me feel), and have some apps I like to browse, like Zulily and Craigslist. They are really paired down in comparison to their phone counterparts, but still fun.
Distancing myself from my phone
Yesterday I saw an important email come through via watch notification. I could tell from the first sentence preview that I needed to reply ASAP, so I asked the kids to sit tight for a minute and hopped on my computer. Most of the time, though, my emails can wait. It’s nice to know I can leave my phone behind and still know when/if something urgent comes in.
ALSO RAD? If you have the BabyRabies app (and I mean, you do, right?) you’ll get notifications every time I put up a new post. You can get notifications for a lot of your apps that are already on your phone.
I’ve only had my watch for a few weeks, so I’m sure I’ve yet to unlock loads of potential. And some of you who have one, I’m sure, probably have some other cool ways you use it to make your life easier, so PLEASE tell us in the comments!