My List Of Must-Have Apps For A Hong Kong Mum


I am a full-time Mum which simply means that for this period in my life, my work revolves around my family and my 11 year old daughter’s hectic tuition schedules.

Some think I am a tai-tai! Those who do are clearly deluded! I clarify that tai-tai dom is when you can afford to farm out your duties to an efficient network of maids, drivers and chefs.

I am no tai-tai – just tired, most of the time. But, my weariness is joyful, as this is indeed a privilege to be able to spend this short few years with my child when she most needs me to be around and involved.

So what’s a busy mum who is everything – from Chef, Chauffeur, part-time tutor and full-time friend got in terms of personal assistance? I have an army of useful apps on my trusty iPhone and iPad. I call them my Mummy Go-Tos. All self-respecting Mummy have a list and here is mine.

HK OBSERVATORY – Helps me decide how I should dress for the day especially since Hong Kong malls are freezing, the outdoors are actually more humid than hot or cold and everyone around you tends to overdress in the Winter just because it’s ultra fashionable to wear the many layers they have just bought at the last SOGO sale.

PLECO – English to Chinese Dictionary that you need when you are desperate to understand what exactly the Chinese tutor wants your child to do or your child’s composition comes to a complete dead end because that missing word to describe a feeling, just does not exist! Or when you are tearing your hair out because you just can’t make sense of her Chinese class teacher’s ultra-complicated email instructions.

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GOOGLE TRANSLATE – When all else fails with PLECO!

CS – Cam Scanner that allows you to shoot a picture of homework or any document from certificates to forms to text book pages and you can jpeg, PDF them and then send them out via what apps, fax, facebook or twitter!

HK TAXI – when you have no car and Uber is just too expensive because its peak hour surcharge or you actually see taxis roaming around you but no one wants to stop and you are too cheap to pay the full UBERX price and too hot to stand in the sun and flag down that cab!

HK TAXI CARDS – when you actually find a cab but don’t know the name of the place in Cantonese and it was just your luck to get a taxi driver who is grumpy and can’t speak Mandarin or English and is not bothered to try and decipher your broken Cantonese!

OVERDRIVE – when you are too lazy to take the kids to the School Library or Neighbourhood Library, just get yourself an online account (which is normally free) from the Library of your choice in any part of the world (yes, really) and borrow e-books or audio-books online – NO KINDLE needed as the books download into your Bookshelf as PDFS or JPEGS and they dissappear magically after 2 to 3 weeks when the borrowing time comes around. So NO LATE FEES! Yippee!

COLOURING BOOK FOR ME – when you are scolding the older one and the younger one keeps interrupting – you give them the phone/ipad and go to Colouring Book. Hours of fun without the mess to pick up and no sharpener or paper necessary!

MAGISTO – when you want to impress other parents with your so called video editing skills and can’t be bothered to spend time on iMovie doing the full deal. This links the videos you have shot of junior on Sports Day and you add royalty free music, comments and you pick the style of the template ie LOVE, SIMPLE, NOSTALGIC, FASHION etc etc with free music to match SNOW – this is SNAPCHAT for kids, Get an account and see what you child posts on line

MUSICAL.LY – same deal as SNOW – get online and see if your kid has an account and make sure its PRIVATE unless you don’t mind a whole lot of ugly videos showing him in his pyjamas in your very messy living room, with his little sister or worse – you, in the background in your nightie – dancing and mimicking the words to the latest pop songs.

FACEBOOK – hahaha … I am are kidding — have you not already heard that Facebook and to a large extent INSTAGRAM is for OLD PEOPLE – thats right, oldies like you and me!

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