Total Baby iOS App

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During Robin’s first month, we were using the Total Baby app several times a day to keep track of how many wet/dirty diapers she had, how often she ate, her weight, etc. I blame being an engineer and having to record everything, but it was useful to have the numbers ready when we went for doctor visits.

I like that the app lets you keep track of wet and dirty diapers, feedings (breast, pumped, formula), which side you last fed on and for how long, naps, weight gain, shots, pretty much everything. I didn’t go that crazy and mainly used it for diapers and feedings for the first month. It was certainly easier than having to write it down with pencil and paper each time, since most of the things I wanted to keep track of only required me to hit a button once or twice in the app.

For those who like looking at lots of graphs, the app also generates a ton of them for you. I didn’t find them that useful other than seeing the pattern of when during the day she tended to eat more often.

Another reason I got the app was that it could sync between devices, but that was sort of a misnomer. The synching is pretty clunky since you’ll need both apps to be in a syncing mode instead of just having it done automatically. It’s a minor inconvenience, but when you’re juggling that and a newborn, it becomes a major annoyance.

For $5, Total Baby is probably the most expensive thing I’ve purchased from the App Store, but it is well worth it. I don’t use it much now, other than keeping track of how long Robin naps, but it was valuable for the first month when we were still worried about her losing too much weight.

Just a warning though, if you’re data-minded, keeping such minute track of everything might end up driving you crazy.

RunKeeper Review

runkeeper1I’ve started running a lot more often to try to keep my girlish figure from exploding thanks to the massive amount of delicious food I eat.  My goal is not to be stick-thin, but just to fit comfortably into my jeans. ALL my jeans. I never was much of a runner before.  I hated running in highschool, never was that fast, and never really got the fabled ‘runners high’ that everyone talked about. After running about 1-3 miles each time I jog these past few months, I think I finally got it!

I’m sure my enjoyment of running now is attributed to a lot of different things, but one of them is definitely an iPhone app called RunKeeper.  I used the free version for a long time before feeling guilty and finally buying the Pro version of the application. The only difference between the two that matters to me is that RunKeeper Pro has audio cues that tell you when you’ve run a certain distance and what your pace is.  Not really a big deal. The Pro version is $10, which may seem like a lot for an iPhone App, but it’s worth it if it keeps me running.

At the beginning of my run, I just start the app and it loads my location. Then, I strap the phone onto my arm or hold it and just run.  The app keeps track of time and does GPS voo-doo to calculate my pace, elevation, as well as map out where I ran.  Later, I can log onto the RunKeeper site which keeps a history of all my runs. It’s pretty neat to see a google map of my run each time.  It helps me plan out what paths to take to extend my distance.  RunKeeper also has the option to share particular runs, so when a co-worker asked me what path I took on my jog, I could just link them to the map.

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The only other feature I’d like is some sort of ‘achievement’ setting. Maybe I’m playing way too many video games, but it’d be neat to have a goal to work towards and then getting a pop-up in the app that says, “Achievement Unlocked! Ran 5k under 25 minutes!” or something.

There’s another program on the market called Nike+ that does the same thing, but I’d rather not have to buy another gadget or attach some dongle to my shoe.  Since I already have a phone, it’s pretty convenient to just fire the app up for my jog. Don’t let the name deter you either. The app could also be used for biking, which I haven’t tried yet.