24 Apps that Simplify Deployment

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Can you even do deployment countdowns without a cell phone?

I'll be honest- I’m pretty attached to my phone in regular life- so during deployment, while I’m waiting for my husband to finally call me, that little Google Pixel 2 may as well be my best friend. (Confession: I call her Pixie and I’m going to be actually sad when she eventually dies!!)

During deployment your phone can either become a security blanket or a tool. What I’ve found is that Pixie and I have become besties not just because I love to flip her over and see if I’ve gotten a message from my deployed soldier (full disclosure- I have to stop myself from doing this too often) but also because she is one of the most powerful productivity tools that I have. I’ve curated her with my favorite apps to keep the ship sailing smoothly during deployment, so she becomes an essential assistant for my countdown.

Today I’m sharing my 24 favorite apps for deployment- and there’s something for everyone! Whether you want to streamline your to-do list, grow your relationship or get out of doing the grocery shopping there’s an app to help you make it happen. Keep reading to see which ones Pixie and I love, and where you can get them!


  1. Instacart
    Whether you hate grocery shopping or are just short on time, instacart is a great solution for getting groceries into your kitchen with minimal effort on difficult deployment days.  Download, choose your grocery store and make your list- for as low as $5.99 you can have it delivered straight to your door.
    Android | iOS

  2. Asana
    This app is the perfect way to keep track of all the random “things to do” that you’ll be taking care of while your spouse is deployed.  Plan ahead by scheduling tasks like vehicle maintenance or household tasks for the whole deployment. The app will remind you when it’s time to get those tasks done (PLUS you get the satisfaction of physically checking each task off the list!)
    Android | iOS

  3. Google Calendar
    While you might have a giant calendar to track your countdown, keeping your daily schedule on your phone can really help cut down on chaos during deployment.  Just add an event to your calendar as soon as it’s scheduled. You can even add notes, attachments and set a reminder alarm each time you add to your calendar!
    Android | iOS

  4. Pinterest
    It’s not just for care package inspiration!  Pinterest is a powerful search engine that allows you to visually organize your searches.  Try using pinterest to search for meals, find deployment bloggers, and plan your next DIY project while you count down.
    Android | iOS

  5. Meetup
    If you’re counting down deployment at a new duty station, one of the biggest struggles is often finding a new community of friends who will walk through deployment with you.  Meetup allows you to search for local groups who meet together for a common purpose or interest- the perfect way to get connected in a new city!
    Android | iOS

  6. Stitcher
    If you’ve ever been sucked into a Netflix-Binge-Black-Hole during a deployment this app is for you.  When the house is too quiet, instead of turning to Netflix try listening to a podcast. Stitcher gives you free access to thousands of podcasts and allows you to create playlists and save episodes so that you always have a next show to listen to.
    Android | iOS

  7. Audible
    Similar to “Stitcher”, Audible allows you to download and listen to endless audio-books in an instant.  While your spouse is deployed you may find yourself restless during the moments that you would typically be chatting in person or on the phone.  Having an audiobook ready to go is a great alternative until homecoming.
    Android | iOS

  8. Calm
    It’s no secret- deployment countdowns are stressful.  The “Calm” app is a perfect tool to help you to relax just a bit while you wait for homecoming.  With guided meditations, soothing music and video tutorials for mindful movement, this app will help you make mindfulness a daily practice during a particularly difficult season.
    Android | iOS

  9. WhatsApp
    Fast, simple, secure calling and messaging- all totally free.  “WhatsApp” is a tried and true favorite of seasoned military spouses for deployment communication.  The WhatsApp screen mirrors a texting platform and will even allow you to send video messages and create group chats so the whole family can stay in touch.
    Android | iOS


  10. Deployment Tracker/ Doing Time
    There’s a reason that countdown walls are so popular- seeing movement can really help deployment feel like it’s moving forward.  These apps are slightly different but both accomplish the same purpose- a visual tracker that shows you how much time you’ve completed compared to how long until homecoming.

    Android | iOS

  11. GrubHub
    Who can make it through a deployment without the occasional dinner delivery?  While there are tons of delivery options, GrubHub stands out as the one of the easiest to use, with the largest location options and lowest delivery costs.  Often restaurants that do not typically offer “take out” meals will use GrubHub, which means you can break out of the typical Pizza or Chinese Food” options.
    Android | iOS

  12. Amazon Shopping
    When you’re taking care of all the things during deployment it can be tough to get in extra errands- even a quick shopping trip.  Amazon Shopping makes it simple to order anything you need from your phone immediately- no need to write it down and hope you remember to buy it later!  PLUS, if you’ve got an Amazon Prime membership you’ll get the same fast, free shipping.
    Android | iOS

  13. Cookpad
    This recipe search engine is like Pinterest for recipes- but also way better.  Add your own recipes, track changes you make each time you create a dish using the cooking log, and organize mealtime with the daily meal planner.  Cooking for one (or one plus kiddos) can be less than enjoyable- Cookpad helps take back the joy in cooking by leaving you inspired and excited for that next recipe.
    Android | iOS

  14. Mint
    Managing shared budgets over a long distance is tough.  Mint makes it easy to plan and track your family budget even if your spouse is on the other side of the world!  No more wondering who spent what and why. Mint automatically imports your expenses and categorizes them to give you an overview of your budget at a glance.  Financial miscommunication can be an added stress during deployment, so it’s wonderful that Mint keeps everyone on the same page!
    Android | iOS 

  15. Swift Keyboard
    You’re probably spending some time texting or emailing your deployed spouse from your phone.  Swift is the swipe-to-type keyboard that saves you time by predicting the next word you’ll want to use in a sentence.  Because the app is constantly analyzing your typing styles it quickly adapts to accurately intuit your next word (or emoji or gif!).  As an added bonus- the Swift Keyboard autocorrect is out of this world- no more accidental word replacements!
    Android | iOS

  16. Noonlight
    What if your apps and smart home devices could help keep you and your family safe?  With security as a regular concern during deployments, Noonilght uses the apps and smart home devices that you’re already using as a tool for you to request help if you need it.  Trigger a help alarm from your Alexa, Google Home and SmartThings devices as well as through apps like Waze and Facebook.

    Android | iOS

  17. Greenify / Battery Life
    Save your battery!!  Having your phone battery die can be seriously distressing if you’re waiting for a call from your deployed spouse.  The Battery Life and Greenify apps analyze which apps are using your battery so that you can turn them off before they turn your phone off!
    Android | iOS

  18. Handy
    Repeat after me: “I cannot do everything on my own during deployment”. Great!  Now that we’re on the same page with that you’ll want to check out the Handy app.  Handy connects you with local cleaners, handymen, and other home professionals in your area.  The secure app handles your payments, allows you to leave reviews and read other customers experiences before hiring.
    Android | iOS

  19. Zombies, Run!
    It’s easy to feel like everything you’re doing during deployment is just another task on your to-do list - even self care practices like working out!  That’s why the Zombies, Run! App is the perfect solution to turning your exercise time into a fun game. This ultra-immersive running game prompts your run through a spooky zombie story that makes exercise fun again.
    Android | iOS

  20. Sleep Cycle
    Getting a good night of sleep without your spouse there to cuddle with can be difficult, so making sure you’re getting adequate (quality) sleep is critical during deployments.  The Sleep Cycle app analyzes your sleep, makes recommendations for improved sleep quality and even wakes you at an ideal time for your individual sleep cycle. 
    Android | iOS

  21. SplitWise
    Hopefully you’re replacing some of your regular date nights with girls nights out during your deployment countdown.  At the end of the night, make paying the check simple with the Settle Up app. You can split bills or track IOU’s. Plus, the app does a great job of tracking shared expenses during trips so you can settle up at the end of the weekend!
    Android | iOS

  22. Zedge
    Personalize your phone with wallpapers, ringtones and alarm notifications.  This app is great for finding wallpapers that inspire and uplift you during your deployment countdown.  You can even turn your phone into a mindfulness tool by downloading song ringtones that prompt you to be reminded of a positive memory or gratitude.
    Android | iOS


  23. TouchNote
    Send custom cards and photos straight from your phone to your deployed spouse.  Send unique cards using your own photos to design and personalize a note that will remind them they’re loved and missed.  PLUS your first two cards are totally free!
    Android | iOS

  24. Couplete
    Maybe the ultimate app for long distance lovers like us! The Couplete app gives you one place to share conversations, notes, photos, important dates and countdowns. Use this app to countdown to homecoming as a couple. Gather all your shared photos from Facebook, Twitter or Email and share secret love notes and “wishlist” to-do lists.
    Android | iOS

  25. Skype
    You don’t need to be at a computer to video chat with your deployed spouse- even if the only thing they can access is Skype. The Skype App is surprisingly simple to use, and could even stand in for chat-based apps like WhatsApp if needed. The phone app version of Skype means that you can stop for a quick video call no matter where you are.
    Android | iOS

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