The turkey has come and gone and you survived the family gathering around the table.  However, there’s still much to do in the next few weeks.  With the help of technology and a few good systems you will be able to survive the holiday season with much less pressure and stress.  From shopping, to meal planning, to entertaining, there’s an app or a system to make your holiday season easier.

The Christmas List & Hannukkah Gift List – Manage all your gift recipients with these handy apps.  You can import contact information directly from your iOS device, plan gift ideas, create shopping lists, set budgets, share your lists, and more.  What a great solution to ensure you don’t double buy items or overspend.  Manage gift lists for family, friends, teachers, and your other favorite service providers.  These apps help anyone trying to manage a budget, but still make the holidays special for all the people you care about.

Red Laser – Despite the hype and large signage, how can you be really sure you’re getting the best deal on an item?  Red Laser‘s simple to use bar code scanner let’s you know the price of a product at stores near your current location as well as online.  You’ll be sure to get the best deal without running around, saving you time and money.  The app is available for the iPhone, Android, and Windows platform.

Decide – The number of choices available to us has made shopping an overwhelming experience.  Decide helps narrow your choices so that you can focus on the product(s) you want and need.   They cover electronics, appliances, as well as home and garden products.  The greatest feature is that there is a price predictor that comes with a price guarantee.  Never again suffer from buyer’s remorse for paying too much or not getting the features you want in a product.

Food Network In The Kitchen – Are you a better shopper then you are a cook or simply looking for fresh holiday recipe ideas?  This app has all your favorite recipes and Food Network stars together in one place.  You can create shopping lists directly from the app and easily search by ingredient or type of food.  Take the stress out of holiday cooking once and for all.

ZipList – Another recipe and shopping list app that acts as a consolidator for all sorts of recipes across the web.  Search for dinners, snacks, holiday ideas and more.  You can save your favorite recipes in ZipList and add ingredients to your shopping list with the touch of a screen.  Simple to use and packed with features, it’s an app you will come to rely on at holiday time and beyond.

Mixologist – Sometimes the drinks are just as important as the food if you want to create a festive atmosphere.  Search over 7,000 drink recipes, get ideas based on the liquor you have on hand, save custom drinks and more.  Unleash your inner bartender and serve up your favorite drinks at your next occasion.

Google Calendar – At holiday time it’s especially important to enter all your hard appointments in your calendar (no keeping things in your head), so that you can look for pockets of time where you can do holiday shopping, plan your meals, or just check a few items off your to-do list.  There are many electronic calendars available, but this is still my favorite.  With the addition of the Calengoo app on my iPhone (it’s also available for Android), I know where I need to be whether I’m sitting in front of my computer or on the go.  Check your calendar often so you can plan ahead and be prepared.  When your schedule is busier than usual, you don’t want one late meeting or longer than expected errand to throw off your entire schedule.

To-Do List & Reminder Apps – During the busy holiday season you cannot afford to keep things in your head if you truly want to get them done.  A to-do list can help!  In the past I’ve recommended several different apps, yet the market continues to saturate with more.  There are many good one out there and what you use is largely based on personal choice.  Do you like color coding, a folder system, the ease of entering a task, how it syncs with your various devices, etc.?  Whatever app you choose, use it and stick with it.  Make sure to set the reminders you need and that you don’t ignore them as you rush about your day.