Thursday, April 18, 2013

Impressing People W/Technology (The new Sitterati App)

My iPhone is my window to the world, it's my date book, it's my phone book, it's my social life, it's my emergency plan, it's my entertainment.  I know this isn't big news to anyone.  I am a cliche.  

But every now and then I marvel at this small electronic device that manages my life.   I channel the same 90-year-old lady inside me who can't believe planes can really fly.  It's an amazing world we live in, it really is.

There's An App For That
Lucy's piano teacher, my friend Lisa, told me how she went "birding" with her smartphone.  Even though nature scares me, I was fascinated by the idea of using a phone app that mimicked bird calls.  Lisa was excitedly telling stories about birds (supposedly rare birds that are hard to call) that flew right onto her back porch upon hearing the smartphone's literal tweeting.  That is a pretty cool use of modern technology that even some of the tech haters (and self-proclaimed nature haters, with mantras like "I support it I just don't like it") couldn't find an argument against.  

While my friend is communicating with birds, I found a new app that helps me communicate with my babysitters--the newly launched Sitterati (  There are dozens of apps for the bird-watchers out there, but the brilliant folks at Sitterati saw an identified gap in the market when it comes to scheduling and booking sitters.   

This free app for iPhone is not only helping sitters and parents communicate it is pioneering parent-to-sitter mobile payments.  How many times have you been on your way home from an event or a date night and you have no cash to pay the sitter?  I once paid a sitter in loose change I found in my car.  And you know with four kids, even being gone a couple hours cost me a lot of nickels and dimes.  With Sitterati I can pay the sitter with the ease of my phone--no change, no hassle.

They are really cute, wonderful, fabulous, adorable kids, but sometimes (a lot of times) they can be a handful and I need to find just the right sitter.
We've Come A Long Way Baby
Years ago, when my oldest kids were babies I remember looking for sitters and not having much luck.  One day, a friend told me to come into her kitchen.  She took a deep breath and opened a small drawer next to the sink.  "Here, it's time," she told me dramatically.  "You need to see this."

She handed me a stack of papers stapled together.  It was an Excel spreadsheet of babysitters, or more like the Holy Grail of Referred Babysitters in the Area.  This spreadsheet was copied and shared with desperate mom after mom.  The pages were torn and tattered.  There were coffee stains on some of the pages.   Notes filled the columns like "she's studying to be a teacher, loves to help kids with homework" or "available on Saturday nights!" and "has 5 younger siblings so understands chaos."  

I promised to protect the spreadsheet and only share it with the next mother when the time was right.

Well, nine years later we've come along way baby.  All of that information can be stored in the Sitterati app on the marvelous small electronic device that is an iPhone.  Parents can keep sitters organized in one place, create jobs and send to all the sitters at once (rather than individual phone calls or text messages); book sitters and pay right from the app too.

The babysitters also benefit from all this technology.  They get easy access to jobs from parents they know and see all the jobs they're booked for in one location.  Win-win.

The app is easy to use and helps even the most unorganized parent (um, me) feel on top of their game. 
Smartphones are for more than just taking pictures of yourself.  Hey use the word "selfie" when talking to your teenage babysitter to impress her with your knowledge of smartphone slang.

Impressing People With Technology
My first trip to the Apple store a few years ago was a pretty heady experience.  It was like walking into Disney World.  Every character employee smiled and seemed genuinely happy to be there, assisting you on your journey into Apple-mania.  And just like Disney World, I fell in love with everything.  When it was time to check out, the awesome guy in the blue shirt helping us, Dane, thanked us and told us we needed to sign on the dotted line.  

"Do you have a pen?," my husband asked.

"Dude, you don't need a pen," Dane smiled explaining the cyber signature.

My husband and I laughed and looked at each other with the cheesiest "this is soooo coooool" expression on our faces.

Well, folks, the too-cool-for-pens tech awesomeness isn't just for the Apple store anymore.  With an app like Sitterati even your teenage hipster sitter will think you are pretty cutting edge when you tap the screen on your iPhone to pay her.

To learn more about Sitterati click here:

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I've been a parent for seven and a half years and have never hired a sitter. We've been lucky that way (or maybe we don't go out much...whatever). This app sounds pretty awesome.