IFTTT, the tool that lets you automate your digital life, can help any parent whose mental load has reached max capacity—and you kind of feel like a tech magician every time you use it. Here are some great IFTTT applets that can make parenting easier. (If you’re new to the service, check out our beginner’s guide to understand the basics.)
Start a livestream in your home after school so you know your kids arrived safely
You can see if they brought home a friend (or five).
Uses: Date & Time, Manything
Text kid-related calendar events to a co-parent
When you use the word “kids” in a calendar event, a text with the event URL will be sent to your spouse, co-parent, ex, nanny or whomever else you choose. It gives them an extra heads-up, which helps if they’re not the type that will constantly check a shared calendar.
Uses: Google Calendar, Android SMS
Flash the lights when Mommy or Daddy are almost home
After work, when you are exiting the freeway and close to home, the applet will trigger your Philips hue lights to flash. Your kids will squeal in excitement—or possibly scramble to put away that game they weren’t supposed to be playing.
Uses: Location, Philips Hue
Color loop your lights when it’s time to get ready for bed
It’s hard to negotiate just five more minutes of Mario Kart when the lights say it’s time to start their night routine.
Uses: Date & Time, Philips Hue
Keep track of when your kid’s big projects are due
Just type in “Report on the world’s grossest bugs due on April 10″ and the event will show up on your calendar.
Uses: Note widget, Google Calendar
Get a text if your kid ever calls 911
If your child calls 911 for whatever reason, you’ll know immediately.
Uses: Android Phone Call, Android SMS
Text your kid when your BMW is near their school
They’ll know to get ready and meet you at their designated pick-up spot.
Uses: BMW Labs, Android SMS
Mute your phone at bedtime
Your soundly sleeping children will never again be accidentally woken by your “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard …” ringtone.
Uses: Date & Time, Android device
Remember places to revisit with your family later on
When you come across a neat park, museum or hike and think “I should bring the kids here one day,” email yourself a photo and the location. Then, on those days when you need to get out, you’ll know where to go for ideas.
Uses: Camera widget, email