Diane Stone - CENTURY 21 Commonwealth



Posted by Diane Stone on 5/7/2017

Keeping up with household chores and maintenance is difficult, especially when juggling them along with a full-time job or childcare. Luckily help is likely sitting right in your pocket or pocketbook.

Smartphone apps for organization and productivity have come a long way in a few short years. With features like scheduled reminders, syncing between devices, and sharing with family and friends, it has never been easier to use your phone to help you keep up with household tasks.

There is one problem, however--there are hundreds of apps to choose from.

How can you find the right app in the App Store (or Google Play for Android users) without wasting hours downloading and trying out each one?

We’ve done the legwork for you. In today’s article we’re going to cover the best productivity apps to help you out around the house with things like cleaning, maintenance, and everyday tasks.

1. Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a productivity app that lets you create, share, and sync between multiple devices. It’s good for people who bounce around between using their phone, iPad, or laptop, or even smart watches.

In Wunderlist you’re able to create deadlines and automatic reminders. This is great for remember things like bringing the garbage bin out, or cleaning tasks that you only do once a month or so, like cleaning windows.

Another great feature that Wunderlist uses are subtasks. Say you want to clean the bathroom on Tuesday. To make sure you remember everything, you can add subtasks for things like “clean the bathtub,” “scrub the toilet,” “mop the floor,” etc.

2. Chorma

Chorma is a great app to motivate everyone in the family involved in household maintenance. It lets you create rewards for each user. As users perform chores and check them off, they’ll earn points. Once they get a certain number of points, you’ll be notified and they can earn their reward.

Things like a new book or video game, or a trip out for ice cream are all great motivators for getting kids to complete chores.

3. Todoist

Todoist is much like Wunderlist in that it allows you to create, manage, sync and share tasks. However, it goes a step further when it comes to creating teams. If you live in a big household and want to split up chores, creating teams could prove to be helpful.

Todoist also incorporates a simplistic and elegant interface that is easy to navigate. Plus, at the end of the day you get to see how many tasks you completed.

4. Hours

Hours is first and foremost a time tracking app. If you’re the type of person who needs to constantly know where their time is going, Hours is the best app for you. Once you start a task, simply press the clock button and you’ll begin tracking time. This is a great app for people who work from home or anyone trying to control how much time they spend on each task.

A great feature incorporated within Hours are the detailed reports. They’ll tell you how much time you spend on each task in the form of simple charts and graphs. If you have a maintenance or home improvement project that you’re working on and want to spend at least an hour each evening, Hours will let you know if you’re meeting your goal.




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Posted by Diane Stone on 7/3/2016

Smart home technology is an innovative trend in residential home construction. Innovative advances in technology are forever changing the way we live our lives and build our homes. Smart home technologies once available only in the most luxurious of homes and requiring specialized expertise to design, install, program, and set up, can now be found at all price levels of new home construction. Is the growing rate of burglaries and home invasions a concern? Do you want to be able to anonymously look in on the nanny or see what your teenagers are up to when you are away? Homeowners, due to growing security concerns, are embracing the many new or enhanced safety and security features that smart home automation systems can achieve. Busy professionals are expressing safety and security concerns for aging parents and young children. Smart home technology can relieve concerns with state-of-the-art remote monitoring equipment and technologies. Energy efficiency is another motivating factor behind the increase in smart home technology. The home construction industry is embracing the energy efficiency trend and incorporating home automation systems to meet the ever-growing demand for energy efficiency and reduction of home heating and cooling bills. Convenience and ease of operation drive the technology marketplace with new gizmos and gadgets appearing weekly. Did you fail to turn down the air conditioning when you left for work? No worries. With a touch of an app, you can turn up the heat, turn down the temperature, arm the alarm system, start the slow cooker, water the lawn, or turn on exterior lighting. From a laptop, tablet or smartphone, today’s homeowners can control security systems, lighting, HVAC, entertainment equipment and so much more. The latest innovations in smart home technology can include tank less water heaters, geothermal features, and solar power. Green innovations include the use of recycled materials, advanced framing techniques, tree conservation, and infill projects. When “smart home” owners closely monitor energy and water consumption, they save money. Green Is Good Builders and home buyers are realizing that today’s green technology can give a return on investment must faster than in the past; the concern of additional upfront costs overshadowed by long-term savings from efficiency. Imagine! With a smart home, you are only limited by your imagination. If there is a function in your home that operates electronically, your electrician or technology consultant, working with your builder, can incorporate it into your smart home design. Not only does incorporating green building materials and techniques save money, but it also results in better quality construction practices that result in structures that often hold their value better. We all want to do our part to protect the planet. Green building techniques and technologies make homeowners feel good about minimizing their impact on the environment.