Whether you're looking to organize, streamline, inform, or entertain, that smart little gadget in your hand has an app to address your need. Here are five great apps to download to your phone that will help with the back to school transition:


This free app makes it easy to keep track of your family's appointments and daily schedules. Sign up for Cozi's shared family account to stay current on what's happening, where it's happening, and what's needed to make it happen. Features include family calendar and journal, shopping and to do lists, meal planning and compatibility with multiple devices. (Free; available for Apple, Android, Nook and Blackberry.)


Back to school means volunteering and searching for volunteers to help with events and projects. With VolunteerSpot you can use your smart phone or iPad to coordinate sign-ups and keep track of all event details in one place. Use this tool to plan your class party or potluck and you'll never have more potato salad than brownies again. Or get more people pitching in to help at your school fundraisers. And never, ever sift through a long chain of Reply-All emails again. (Free and premium versions; available for Apple and Android.)


Remember when you wrote down that paragraph that was going to be the next big thing for work? Or that great idea you had when you were waiting at the doctor's office? How about the chicken recipe you found at lunch? Now, if you could only remember where you put those notes. Use Evernote for notes, which can be synched and accessed from all devices so that notes on your computer will be available on your phone when you're on the go. (Free or paid versions; available for most mobile devices and computers.)


Not sure what to make for dinner, much less how to actually make it? If meal planning isn't your gig, let someone else do it for you. eMeals' subscription service offers up dinners for the week complete with recipes and shopping lists. Best of all, there are several plans to choose from. You can choose plans for classic, low-fat, paleo, or my personal favorite — crock pot. ($21 for 3 months, and you'll save that much by avoiding one take out meal this week!)

Bonus: TED Talks

OK, so TED Talks is not technically an app, but it's a great addition to your routine. Back to school means busy days and random moments of downtime. Make the most of "hurry up and wait" moments with a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk. You'll be inspire by some of the world's most accomplished and fascinating people on a wide range of searchable topics that turn the world into your classroom. All while waiting for the dentist or applying mascara. (Free; anywhere with Wi-Fi.)

What are your secret weapons in the war on back-to-school stress?