Top 5 Tech Hacks for Families

My husband is a tech guy and is all about all things technology and home automation. I used to roll my eyes when he would show me a new gadget he purchased, but I have to admit, technology has helped us run our household more smoothly, especially with the kids. Here my top 5 tech hacks for families that make my life as a busy mom run a bit smoother.

1. Smart(ish) Watch

I am opposed to buying my son a cell phone or even a real smart watch at this age, but we have found the Garmin Vivofit jr. to be a perfect tool for tracking steps, sleep, and chores. On the mobile app, we create a list of chores which are worth varying amounts of coins. Those coins can then be used to transfer to money or extra rewards or privileges. As an added bonus, there are built in lessons about budgeting and saving through the process of issuing and cashing out coins.
Screenshot of chore list on smart watch app.
Screenshot of chore list on Garmin Jr. app

2. Smart Lock

I hate digging in my purse trying to find my keys, especially when I am carrying groceries, mail, or things my kids have dropped in transit from the car to the door. Key-less entry for the win! At my house we use the Schlage Smart Lock, a key-less entry system that allows everyone in the house to enter their own code to enter the house.

This is particularly great if you have teenagers. Not only does our teen not have to worry about her losing her house key, since we have it linked to our Aeotech Smart Home Hub, we know exactly what time she enters the house and get a text message alerting us. This is great for latchkey kids or kids that like to push the envelope on curfew. As an added bonus, you can issue a code to someone like a cleaning person that only works on certain days of the week.

photo of smart lock

3. Google Calendar

I’m sure almost all of us are using some type of online calendar to keep track of schedules. But did you know in Google Calendar you can also create and assign tasks with deadlines? Not only is this feature great for older children, but it’s great for a honey-do lists as well. Does it ensure that my husband completes every task…well no. But it does provide documentation that I at least made the ask in the first place and sometimes that in itself is the win. I also make my teenager enter all activities and both for school and fun in the calendar. It serves as a way for her to:
    1. Ask permission to go somewhere
    2. Let me know if she needs ride
    3. Ensures it is on all of our calendars

4. Smart Speakers

There are countless ways you can use these devices to improve processes at home. Here are just a few we use at our house using Google Nest Speakers:
  • Calendar reminders— remember that honey-do list I mentioned, you can have Google remind your spouse of their list of calendar items and reminders/tasks for the day when they wake up!
  • Shopping list— have you ever thought you were going to make a recipe only to realize someone used the last of an ingredient and you didn’t know when you last went to the store? It is a rule at my house that whenever you use the last thing you must tell google to add the item to the shopping list. Even young children can say “ok google, add jelly to the shopping list”. Caution, this can lead to extras on the list like cookies and and candy, so for this reason, I do not recommend using Alexa to add to your Amazon list, because you might find yourself surprised by items coming to your home.

5. Google Routines/Google Family Bell

This might be the best tech hack for families of all time, establish routines on your smart devices! When my son wakes up in the morning, Google tells him to make his bed, get dressed and go have breakfast. When he gets downstairs, Google tells him when he finishes his breakfast, that he has six things he needs to do, starting with brushing his teeth.

At 7:35 every morning, Google tells him a joke on the device in his bedroom, so he is incentivized to get back upstairs quickly after breakfast. After he brushes his teeth, Google tells him to wash his face and add lotion. Google then plays his favorite songs as he gets through the rest of his morning routine.

Using our Google Nest Hub, he physically checks off items off of his morning routine checklist. And since it is Google bossing him around all morning instead of me, it leaves us with space to have pleasant mornings and keep our interactions positive. Bonus, Google tells him when it’s time to take a shower and go to bed at night, so there is no one for him to argue or negotiate with, it’s such a win.

Screenshot of Google Family Bell alerts
Screenshot of Google Family Bell alerts
So what tech tools, apps, and gadgets are you using to make your life easier? Share your tech hacks for families in the comments!


  1. This is a great list. Now I’m going to ask Le Hubs why we don’t use Google. 😂

    We use Amazon echo and I have it programmed to let my little one know it’s shower time and then time for bed. I’m going to steal some of your routine for the morning. She LOVES jokes so def adding that. Thank you for sharing.

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