Bringing the Family Address Book into the Digital Age

Bringing the Family Address Book into the Digital Age

Remember that dog-eared, scribbled upon family address book that used to live in the kitchen drawer? It worked great, unless you happened to need a phone number or address when you weren’t home or someone forgot to put it back where it belonged when they were finished using it!

Now Bievo gives you a family address book for today’s digital age that’s always available and accessible to everyone in the family, wherever they happen to be when they need it.

Bievo’s Family Contacts feature is great for having everyone you might need to get in touch with right at your family’s fingertips – your child’s friends’ parents, caregivers, coaches, teachers, doctors, and even the school bus driver. On our mobile app, you can call contacts directly from the Contacts screen. To help you stay organized and find contacts quickly, you can even filter your contacts by which family member they belong to.

Adding contacts is easy! On the Bievo mobile app, simply click on the Contacts link on the home screen. Then click the “+” at the top of the screen to add a new contact, enter the contact details, and click Save. Once you save a new contact, every member of your family will have access to it from their own mobile devices.

Not a Bievo member? Register at mybievo.com or by downloading the mobile app from the Apple or Google Play stores.

Five Reasons to Celebrate Your Own Independence This Fourth of July

Five Reasons to Celebrate Your Own Independence This Fourth of July

Holidays are great times to take a breather from the routine of our daily lives, reflect, and spend time with those we love. And for those of us who are divorced, separated, or never-partnered, Independence Day isn’t only a day to celebrate the achievements of our American forefathers and foremothers’ righteous thinking and bravery, but a day we can celebrate our own status as a strong, independent person.

Though it’s not always easy to be a single parent in what often feels like a world of couples, there’s plenty to celebrate about the status! Here are just a few ways you can celebrate being independent this year:

  1. The kids will be alright

You know how awesome and well-adjusted your own kids are, but now the studies back up what you already know: kids of single and divorced parents turn out just fine, thank you very much. A recent publication by Psychology Today shows that any difference in outcomes between children of single parents and married parents are either non-existent or miniscule at best. Read more here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/living-single/201507/10-ways-the-children-single-parents-defy-all-stereotypes

  1. Every other weekend to yourself

If you’re divorced and sharing custody, having regular weekends to yourself can be a major perk (if you let it). After years of dedicated childcare, this can mean travel for some parents or simply time to rest for others.

  1. No more fighting about chores with a partner

When you’re independent, who cleans the bathroom, takes out the trash, and cleans the litterbox is a moot point – it’s you! Remember all that arguing about chores with your former partner? Gone!  But don’t let the older kids off the hook. You can keep household chores under control by assigning them as tasks on your Bievo task list.

  1. The ability to set your own rules

You insist on a 9 PM bedtime, but your partner was always willing to let them stay up until 10 PM. Now that you’re independent, when the kids are with you, you make the rules without argument or negotiation.

  1. More time to explore your own passions and interests – alone or with your child(ren).

When you’re part of a couple, free time can be a never-ending juggle between your wants, needs, and interests and those of your spouse. When you’re single, you have the freedom to explore what sparks your passions: trips to museums, new activities, cultural landmarks, and great new restaurants. Keeping your soul nurtured isn’t a luxury – it will keep you and your kids happier and healthier!

Adding Family Members To Your Bievo Account

Adding Family Members To Your Bievo Account

It’s happened to every family – missed pickups, forgotten practices, and disjointed weeks when it feels like everyone is on their own planet because no one is on the same page. Life can get hectic and sometimes it feels impossible to keep everyone in the family organized.

It doesn’t have to be this way! With the Bievo Family Organizer, you can easily keep everyone in the loop. Bievo’s shared family calendar color-codes each person’s events so you can quickly see conflicts and deal with scheduling challenges. The family task list organizes the chores and lets the kids update the status when their chores are done. Family contacts make sure everyone has access to the people that are most important to your family.

To use Bievo’s family sharing features, simply add your family members to your Bievo account. Every family member will receive their own login, where they can add events to the family calendar, update tasks on the family task list, and more. And with the Bievo mobile app, all your family’s important information will always be at their fingertips. No more texts back and forth, missed phone calls, or forgotten items at the grocery store.

Having access to a shared family calendar is also a great way to get kids into the habit of being responsible for knowing their schedule and tasks.

Ready to add family members? It’s super easy with the Bievo mobile app. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Family Link on the main screen.
  2. Click the “+” at the top of the screen.
  3. Enter your family member’s information (name, email, and birthdate), and click Save.

That’s it! Bievo will send an email letting your family members know they’ve been added to the family account. Adult family members will need to register for Bievo to acquire access. Family members under the age of 18 can simply log into their new accounts using your password.

Not a Bievo member yet? You can register at mybievo.com or by downloading the Bievo mobile app on your Apple or Android devices.

5 Creative Ways to Keep the Kids Hydrated in Summer Heat

5 Creative Ways to Keep the Kids Hydrated in Summer Heat

As the summer heat sneaks up on us, so can dehydration if we’re not mindful about giving our bodies the fluids they need to stay healthy. By the time your brain is thinking “I’m thirsty,” your body is already in dehydration mode! Just reminding the kids to grab their water bottles and drink up doesn’t always work, so here are some creative ways to keep them hydrated and having fun all summer long.

  1. Soak your chia seeds

Those little seeds that pack in so much protein and other nutrients have a secret identity – super hydrator! Chia seeds soak up 12 times their weight in water, and provide sustained energy to boot. The trick is to soak them in water for about 15 minutes until they develop a gelatinous coating. You can easily disguise this tasteless gel in smoothies or a delicious coconut “pudding.” Check out the recipe here: http://wellnessmama.com/59344/chia-seed-pudding-recipe/.

  1. Stock up on watermelon

What kid doesn’t love watermelon? It’s delicious, packs tons of nutrients (surprisingly!), and is almost all water. If they get tired of cut pieces, throw some in the blender to make beautiful, instantly hydrating juice. Looking for more ways to get watermelon on to their plates? Here a ton of creative watermelon recipes to chose from: http://greatist.com/eat/healthy-hydrating-watermelon-recipes.

  1. Eat your (raw) vegetables

Since they are made mostly of water, veggies are the perfect way to get extra fluids in the summer months – as long as you eat them raw. If you have kids that shy away from raw veggies, try cutting them up small or grating them to add to salads. Need some more inspiration? http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306725,00.html.

  1. Pile on the cucumbers

Ubiquitous and fresh in the summer months, cucumbers are 95% water and completely kid-friendly. When cucumber sticks get old for the kids, try slicing them up and adding them to sandwiches. Keeping a pitcher of refreshing cucumber water in the refrigerator is another great way to keep everyone hydrating all day long.

  1. Berry-good smoothies

As sweet and delicious as ice cream but with none of the bad stuff, smoothies can turn ordinary ingredients into hydration superstars. Try blending one up with hydrating and potassium-filled coconut water, banana, and frozen berries (92% water).

Have fun hydrating!

Keeping your school community together over the summer

Keeping your school community together over the summer

As amazing as it is, summertime can be tough for kids who miss seeing their school friends regularly. With Bievo’s Community feature, you can keep your school community on the same page as easily as your family. Schedule regular playdates in the park, carpool to the beach, and plan movie outings, all with Bievo’s Community feature.

Bievo’s Community feature was designed to help you coordinate schedules and information with people outside of your immediate family. Best of all, your community schedules appear on your Bievo family calendar, so you can easily see everything that you have going on all in one place.

Here are a few great ways to simplify your summer and keep everyone connected with Bievo Communities:

  • Summer Carpools – If you are like most parents, summertime means driving kids to camp, swim lessons, and more. But who wants to spend the summer in the car? Create a carpool community with Bievo, and invite the families with children participating in the same activities. Then you can create a carpool schedule that works for everyone. If something comes up, simply update the schedule or send an email to your carpool community directly from Bievo.
  • Neighborhood Fun – Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get outside with the neighbors for cookouts, backyard pool parties, movie nights, and more. The possibilities are endless! Create a Bievo community and invite your neighbors to join. The next time you feel inspired to throw a block party, you can simply add it to the community schedule for everyone to see.
  • Parent Time – Bievo’s communities aren’t just for kids! You can set up a Bievo community for book clubs, sports teams, or just about any other group of people that share a common interest and event schedule.

Ready to create a Community? Here’s how:

  1. Log into your Bievo account at mybievo.com.
  2. Click on the Community icon at the top of the screen to access the Bievo Community Dashboard.
  3. Click Add on the top toolbar, then click Create Community to open the new community screen.
  4. Enter details about your community so everyone knows what it’s about.
  5. Click Save to create your community and open your new community page.

Once you’ve created your new community, it’s time to invite others to join! You can invite others into your community by inputting their email addresses on the Members screen of your community page. We’ll send them an email letting them know that you’ve invited them into your community. Then you can all start planning events, sharing schedules, and making the most of summer!

Not a Bievo member yet? Create your account today at mybievo.com or by downloading our mobile app to your Apple or Android device.

The Best Family Movies to See This Summer

The Best Family Movies to See This Summer

Summer nights (and hot days) are perfect for taking the kids to the movies for the theater experience and fresh popcorn! Summer 2016 has some very promising releases that look fun for the whole family – from classic book adaptations to sequels.

While official ratings are a useful guide, you know your child’s likes, dislikes, and fears better than the raters. Check Commonsense Media for in-depth child-friendly movie reviews. (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/)

Finding Dory (Friday, June 17) PG

The long-awaited sequel to Pixar’s beloved 2003 Finding Nemo focuses on everyone’s favorite forgetful fish who’s back for a new adventure to find her own family. Starring Ellen Degeneres as Dory and Albert Brooks as Marlin.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGWv91YZua4

The BFG (Friday, July 1) PG

Steven Spielberg brings to life Roald Dahl’s magical story of a Big, Friendly, Dream-Catching Giant who befriends a young orphan named Sophie and saves the children of the world from a posse of evil giants.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fZg0hhBX8

The Secret Life of Pets (Friday July 8) PG

From the director of Despicable Me 2 comes the adventure of a privileged inner-city terrier who helps prevent an army of abandoned pets from staging a massive uprising. Starring Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, and Louis C.K.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWI_Jsw9qUs

Ghostbusters (Friday, July 15th) Not yet rated

The 1980s classic is back, but this time with a gang of kick-butt women fighting off the pesky spirits invading NYC. Starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth. Cameos by original Ghostbusters stars Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, and Sigourney Weaver.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3ugHP-yZXw

Ice Age: Collision Course (Friday, July 22) Not yet rated

The fifth full-length movie of the Ice Age franchise finds Scrat accidentally setting off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the Ice Age World – all for the love of the elusive acorn. Starring Adam Devine, Jennifer Lopez, and John Leguizamo.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyLquKn3Swc

Star Trek Beyond (Friday, July 22) Not yet rated, but more appropriate for mature tweens and teens

The latest in the new Star Trek adventures finds Captain Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise encountering a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation represents to the test.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sml23ogwy4w

The Little Prince (Friday, August 5) Not yet rated

An animated retelling of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic story of a mysterious space traveler. Encouraged to prepare for life as a grown up by her demanding mother, a little girl discovers an extraordinary world of imagination through the stories of her neighbor, The Aviator. Starring Jeff Bridges and Rachel McAdams.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEPqgSNLfK8

Pete’s Dragon (Friday, August 12) PG

Disney’s remake of their 1977 story about the adventures of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, and Robert Redford.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlUkOid3TYc

Using the Bievo Calendar to organize your family and caretakers

Using the Bievo Calendar to organize your family and caretakers

Shared calendars are great, until there’s the inevitable oversharing. Do the grandparents really need to know about your dinner date tomorrow? Probably not.

Don’t worry! Bievo has you covered with a nimble calendar that lets you share what you need to with only the people who need to see it.

Bievo’s Calendar Sharing feature gives you the flexibility to share select events with other Bievo users. Here are some great ways to use it:

A shared work calendar that only you and your spouse can see.

Now your spouse will know when you’re in the office or on the road so they can reach you, and the kids won’t be overwhelmed with the details of your daily schedule. Simply import your work calendar into Bievo (we supports CSV, Excel, iCal, and Google Calendar imports), then use the Calendar Sharing feature to share your work calendar only with your spouse.

A grandparents-only calendar.

Grandparents love to be involved in the kids’ lives and schedule, but you may not want to add them to your family account and give them access to everything your family has going on. Set them up with their own free Bievo account instead. Then use the Calendar Sharing feature to share your kids’ events with them so they’ll know when to pick up the kids from school or cheer them on at the game.

A caretaker calendar.

Keep the caregivers on the same page without adding the babysitter, nanny, or other caretakers to the family account. When you set the caretakers up with their own free Bievo accounts, you can use the Calendar Sharing feature to share just the kids’ events and keep everything else within the family circle.

Ready to get started using this feature? Here’s how:

  1. Login to your Bievo account at mybievo.com.
  2. Click on the Calendar icon at the top of the screen to access your Bievo Calendar.
  3. Click Communicate from the top toolbar, then click Share a Calendar.
  4. Enter the email address of the person with whom you would like to share your calendar, then click Next.
  5. Select which calendar events you would like to share with this person by checking the boxes next to each of your Bievo calendars. This is where you can select your kids’ names to share just their events with grandparents or caretakers.
  6. Click Share to share your events and return to the main screen. Your events will be added to the Bievo calendar of the person you designated for calendar sharing. If they are not yet a Bievo user, we will send them an email with instructions to register for an account so that they can access your shared calendar.

If you are new to Bievo, register for an account at mybievo.com. To unlock the full potential of Bievo’s Calendar Sharing feature, be sure to add your family members to your account. Family members can see all events you add to your Bievo family calendar.

Once you set up calendar sharing, you and your family and caretakers can access all your information and events on the go with the Bievo mobile app. Download it from the Apple or Google Play store.

This Summer’s Best Sunscreens for Kids

This Summer’s Best Sunscreens for Kids

Whether they’re at the beach or the playground, sunscreen for kids is a must for preventing sunburn and long term skin damage. But choosing one that works well and doesn’t contain toxic ingredients can be daunting.

Sunscreens that have an SPF of at least 30 and block out both UVA and UVB rays are the best picks for kids (and everyone else in the family!). All of the products listed here are mineral based, and should leave a whitish tint when used properly.  But remember, don’t depend on sunscreen alone! Limited sun exposure, shade, and clothing (especially UVA/UVB blocking) should be the first line of defense against sun exposure.

All products listed here have an EWG rating of 1, the highest level of safety and effectiveness. For the full analysis, check out https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-kids-sunscreens/.

Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+

With 100% natural/organic ingredients such as zinc oxide, this highly rated sunscreen is safe for babies, children, and the entire family. It has broad spectrum protection UVA/UVB 30+ coverage and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. Plus, it’s cruelty free.

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$34.99 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Adorable-Baby-Sunscreen-Non-Nano-Oxide/dp/B005FSR9OW

All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33

This sunscreen provides excellent UVA/UVB protection in relation to the SPF with a combination of natural ingredients, including 22.5% non-nano particle zinc oxide.  Certified organic and hypo-allergenic. Biodegradable and safe for our reef ecosystems.

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$16 All Good Products http://allgoodproducts.com/kids-sunscreen-spf33/

Badger Kids Sunscreen Kids, SPF 30

With only six simple ingredients, this 95% certified organic sunscreen is safe and effective for all ages. It has broad spectrum protection UVA/UVB 30+ coverage and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes.  As with the other safest choices, this pick is zinc oxide based and hypoallergenic.  Biodegradable.

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$15.99 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Badger-Balm-Sunscreen-Cream-Ounce/dp/B00BYC1RBE

Garden Goddess Kids SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen

This titanium and zinc oxide sunscreen provides spectrum protection UVA/UVB 30 coverage and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. Filled with natural ingredients such as aloe vera and sunflower oil, it is also biodegradable, cruelty free, vegan, and non-GMO.

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$19.99 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Goddess-Garden-Kids-Natural-Sunscreen/dp/B002BPRTOC

Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

This non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen is filled with natural, organic, and non-GMO ingredients to offer excellent UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection. Completely baby-safe, biodegradable, and cruelty free.

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$20 Jersey Shore Sun http://www.jerseyshoresun.com/jersey-kids-petrochemical-free-all-natural-organic-sunscreen-ewg-org-top-rated-score-1-721.html

Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30

This yummy-smelling sunscreen combines superfruits with zinc oxide for an extra layer of sun protection. Hypoallergenic and water resistant for up to 40 minutes. Broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 sun protection.

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$14.99 Kiss My Face http://www.kissmyface.com/product/item/121

Five Awesome Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Dad with Everything

Five Awesome Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Dad with Everything

T-shirts? He has plenty of those – many of which are left over from his college days and will never again see the light of day. Ties? Check, one in every conceivable color, shape, and pattern. How about cufflinks? Even though he’s only worn them once (at his wedding), he still has a tidy collection left over from Father’s Days past.

If you’re coming up short on what do get for Dad this year, here’s a few ideas for awesome Father’s Day gifts that won’t end up at next spring’s yard sale.

(Need to schedule some shopping on your task list? You can create a private task list in your Bievo mobile app, so he won’t discover your surprise!)

  1. Revolution USB Turntable

If Dad is just getting in on the vinyl craze or still has his original collection, he’ll love this portable but powerful little turntable. Powered by USB or battery, the Revolution will let him enjoy his 7” or 12” disks, whether he’s outside camping or working from home. Bonus: It also lets you convert the analog vinyl tunes to digital storage so he can keep the music going on his iPhone or iPad.

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$70 Available at Nordstorms http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/crosley-radio-revolution-usb-turntable/3721092

  1. Clip Bluetooth Speaker

If Dad isn’t the vinyl type but still loves his music and podcasts, give him a Bluetooth Speaker he can take anywhere. This tiny (four inches high and three inches wide) speaker has a carabiner clip for easy attachment to his bag or belt loop. Choose from 10 colors and patterns, including several sports team logos.

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$41 at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/JBL-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-Black/dp/B00KH636V2

  1. So Many Tools in One

This multipurpose device might be the last tool he ever needs! The Sheffield 14-in-1 Hammer Tool features a Hammer Head, Nail Claw, Linesman Pliers, Regular Pliers, 3 kinds of screwdrivers, a Drop Point Blade, a Serrated Blade, Can Opener, Wire Cutters, Wire Stripper, Soft File, and Key Ring. Best of all, the tool is only 5 ¼ inches long so he will always be prepared.

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$8 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NJUU94

  1. Brewery in a Box

Does homebrewed beer taste better? There’s really only one way to find out! Help Dad take his love of beer to the next level by brewing it at home with this simple kit. The kit combines a simplified brewing process with easy-to-use equipment, giving first time brewmasters a great tasting beer on the first try.

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$89.99 at Northern Brewer http://www.northernbrewer.com/essential-brewing-starter-kit

  1. The Art of Manliness Book

From survival skills to social skills, this new classic of modern manliness offers advice, tips, and pointers on such essential skills as shaving like Grampa, giving a dynamic speech, giving a man hug, raising resilient kids, and living a well-balanced life.

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From $9.99 up at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Art-Manliness-Classic-Skills-Manners/dp/1600614620

10 simple ways for parents to beat end-of-year stress 

10 simple ways for parents to beat end-of-year stress 

 

With its flowers and fragrant breezes, late spring is certainly one of the most beautiful times of year. But for parents with school age kids, it can also be one of the more stressful. A full schedule of recitals, sports games, testing, and planning for summer childcare can make even the most organized among us feel stretched. Beat back the stress with these simple, proven techniques.

1. Pick up a coloring book 

Coloring books geared towards adults are hot right now for good reason – they’re a mindless and healthy way to zone out, reduce stress, and bring more color and creativity into your life. Studies show that any simple, repetitive action can help our minds become quiet and focused, so pull out the kids’ markers and colored pencils and get coloring!

2. Do yoga in your pajamas

You know how well yoga softens those edges and makes you feel human again, but getting to a class can be expensive and time consuming. Set your alarm a half hour earlier and do some asanas before the kids get up with the help of a DVD borrowed from the library or through a number of free or inexpensive online yoga classes.

3. Take a walk outside 

Doing any physical activity is proven to reduce stress, but you don’t need to run to get that runner’s high! Try taking daily short walks, and instead of thinking about what’s worrying you, pay attention to your senses – what you see, hear, feel, and smell. Taking time to immerse yourself in nature can make a huge difference in your emotional and physical well-being.

4. Meditate on it

The wonderful thing about meditation is that it can be done anytime, anywhere. Spending even a few minutes in meditation can help bring back your calm and inner peace. Whether you’re walking, sitting in the doctor’s office, or watching the kids’ soccer game, try focusing on your breath as you inhale and exhale deeply. Your body will thank you!

5. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude 

Stress often happens when we let our thoughts spiral out of control. If you get to that place, spend a few minutes focusing on what you are grateful for – maybe it’s your family, your health, or the job that puts food on your table every day. Studies show that people who feel gratitude are happier, more satisfied with their lives, and feel less stress.

6. Join the kids in the pool 

Remember that feeling of floating in the ocean and how relaxed it made you feel? It turns out that simply floating in water for a few minutes can sooth your brain waves and reduce your stress considerably.

7. Fill up that glass

While we’re on the subject of water, don’t forget to stay hydrated! The link between drinking water and stress reduction is well documented. All of our organs – including our heart and brain – need water to function properly. Becoming even a little dehydrated boosts the level of cortisol, a stress hormone.

8. Crank the tunes 

According to a study published in the British journal Heart, slow or meditative music is a proven stress buster, so load up the iTunes with relaxing tunes.

9. Write it out

If something is worrying you, try writing it down to lessen the load on your mind. Studies have shown that simply writing down your worries and fears can help reduce them. No one ever has to read them (not even you!). When you’re done writing, throw the paper away or delete the document. It’s not the end product that matters, just the simple act of writing.

10. Get organized!

Few things are as stressful as being unprepared. Take a few minutes at night to get organized for the next day, including writing out a task list and looking over your calendar for the day. Knowing you have everything covered and in-control will set a positive and productive tone for the day. Try using an online calendar and connected mobile app such as Bievo so you always have your family’s calendar and task list handy wherever the day brings you.