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Back-to-School Mini Series: Online Organizer for Busy Moms with Busy Kids

My husband and I are known for our punctuality. You can ask any of our friends and they will tell you “the Morris’ are never late, in fact, they are always early.” That is actually how we met. We both regularly showed up to Cross Country practice 15-minutes early and a bond was formed. Now that I have a LO that 15-minute early arrival is getting shorter and shorter. I hate to admit it, but I have even completely forgotten about some meetings and events that I promised to attend. If it does not get put on my calendar right away, with a bunch of alerts, there is a good chance I’ll miss it. I get overwhelmed just thinking about all the activities and events that will be added to our schedule once DD is enrolled in school and sports. Apparently, 1 in 3 parents have messed up picking up/dropping off their kids from extracurricular activities because of disorganization. Oh geez, that is definitely going to happen to us. I try to keep all of our appointments and DD’s playdates on a Google calendar that is shared with my husband, but I can guarantee you he either a) has forgot how to access it or b) has it disabled so that it does not send him alerts. This is going to be a real problem in a few years and I think I’ve found a solution.on-the-go-planner.jpg

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Nikki Sacks, the co-founder of PodKeeper, an online organizer for busy parents with busy kids. Nikki told me a little bit about her family and what inspired her to create PodKeeper. Nikki and her husband both have successful careers along with two school-aged kids. Go ahead and add room mom and a youth soccer coach to their resumes and you’ve got a very busy family. Nikki said they wanted a better way to manage all of the day-to-day activities so they came up with PodKeeper. PodKeeper is a game changer for parents as they can easily access the schedules and details for many groups from a single dashboard.

Who here hates group texts and emails?? EVERYONE! They become so cumbersome the more people you add to them and the more details you try to flesh out. Something always gets mixed up or completely overlooked. My husband absolutely hates group emails. I’m pretty sure he just stops reading them after the first reply all. I don’t blame him, but that leaves me sifting through emails looking for important details. Through the PodKeeper web app, parents simply create an online group called a “Pod,” invite other parents to join, and finally have a place to stay on top of all the details. They can also manage household details with their spouse or a co-parent by creating a family Pod. PodKeeper acts as a personal planner app and syncs with online calendars.

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Here is a screenshot of a discussion board for one of the Pods

PodKeeper is geared towards anyone who is in charge of organizing an event, team, class, etc. or who wants to be informed about said event. As an organizer, all you have to do is add the email addresses of the people you want to contact and they will be invited to join your “Pod.” I am excited to share PodKeeper with my family. Just this week, my aunt sent out an updated family contact list with 44 email addresses on it! (We have a big catholic family.) You can imagine how insane those email chains can get when we try to plan family events. When we start using PodKeeper, we will be able to easily schedule events like “pumpkin carving” and “ornament exchange;” create sign up lists for food and party supplies; store files and photos from the events; and even provide important last minute updates. I can already tell you some people in my family (*cough* *cough* my husband) will not join PodKeeper. I asked Nikki if this will be a problem for the group or that individual. I worried that if he does not accept the invite he will be left out. Nikki assured me this would not be the case at all. As long as their email address has been added to the Pod then they will be up-to-date with all the information via email. It also syncs with Google calendar, Yahoo calendar, Apple iCal and Microsoft Outlook.

If that hasn’t already convinced you to give PodKeeper a try, I am not sure you are involved in enough activities. Go volunteer to organize the next playdate and introduce PodKeeper to your group; you will look like a genius!

Learn more by visiting http://www.podkeeper.com, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,Google+, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube.

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