In the age of ubiquitous smartphones many of us organize our lives through our phones -which are really more like mini tablets.
You can do you banking, shopping, scheduling, and fitness monitoring all from the palm of your hand. It is a great time we live in. I wish my own Mom and Dad had this convenience available to her while she was raising a family. I get a lot accomplished through my phone while waiting in lines, a passenger in traffic, or just about anywhere when I can find some time to be productive.
I realize I have curated a collection of apps on my phone that are incredibly useful. A small handful of those relate specifically to my life as a military family member. I am sharing my list of top 5 apps for military life.
1. Doing Time
This app is extremely simple. That is precisely why I like it. It is a countdown app. What set it apart from other countdown apps is that is shows you a pie chart of your time and how much of your countdown has passed and how much is still ahead. This allows you to place what percentage you have completed. When going through a deployment or extended time away from your loved on it helps to know how much you have already gotten through. This Alexandria Software app is available for iphone users for free.
The USO has long been a useful resource for people in the military and their families. They are keeping up with the times by offering a free mobile app for Apple and Android phones. The app has multiple uses, such as assistance with planning a transition out of the military, but what we find is the most useful function is locating your nearest USO resources! It can point you to your nearest USO center and detail what services it offers. This is especially useful when traveling. With major travel holidays coming up you might want to download this onto your phone now.
This is both a website and an app. The app is not specific to the military, but it is definitely useful! How many times have you found yourself and your family packing into the car for a long road trip for a PCS move, a trip to see family for the holidays, or a vacation trip to celebrate a long weekend, post-deployment leave, pre-deployment leave, a Babymoon, or any other great reason to get out and see your surroundings? Military families are often on the move for a lot of reasons. The Roadtrippers app helps you plan your road trip from establishing a route and then finding attractions along the way. You can filter your searches to look for hotels, restaurants, and all kinds of natural and cultural roadside attractions. I like to plan my trip on a computer from the website and then follow along the itinerary we create while driving on the road. The app is available for Apple and Android phones.
If you shop at your military Commissary you may already know there is a rewards program you can sign up for. If you haven’t done so already ask a customer service representative for a rewards card on your next visit. You can download digital coupons onto your account and apply them to your grocery shop with the swipe of a card. The Commissary Rewards app makes it easy to download the coupons onto your card. It also allows you to add extra coupons to your account while waiting in a long checkout line if you happened to find yourself grocery shopping at the commissary on a payday.
This app is branch specific, which is revealing of this writers military affiliation. This app is useful for anyone serving in the Marine Corps or their family. It is available to Android and Apple phone users. This is the only app on our list that costs money. It is $1.99 for purchase. I get a lot of use out of this app and find it very informative. You can look up the rank structure for any branch of service -so if you are at a social function and need to know someones appropriate title you can take a discrete peak at your phone and match the branch and rank to know how to refer to someone. It also has a list of every military medal and ribbon and allows you to select you own and see what order they should be placed on a dress uniform. It has a link to the official USMC publication, the MARADMINS as well as quick notes on USMC and military history and more. This app is my secret back pocket weapon to keep myself up-to-date on all things military protocol when I am out and about. It is well-worth the cost.
I hope you found this list helpful! Are we missing any essential military family apps on our list? Do you already use any of our 5 essential military family apps?