The MyMilitaryLife APP puts answers at your fingertips!
The military is a great organization for creating paper jams – reams of power point slides, SOP manuals and pamphlets on all aspects of military life. You no doubt have a stack of pre-deployment briefing papers sitting in a drawer at home. The problem is that all those papers never seem to fit conveniently in our purses, diaper bags or glove compartments, so answers to problems we might face each day are never handy.
National Military Family Association has recently unveiled a free IPhone and Android APP – MyMilitaryLife – that can clear the paper jam from your life and make finding important information a little easier. This non-profit organization works tirelessly on behalf of military families and this latest innovation may be their best work to date. As explained by communications director Michelle Joyner, the APP is designed to be a central resource for families. “You can be connected to solutions or preventative programs that are local and matched to your life, based on the profile you establish,” Joyner explained.
I admit to being the least technically oriented member of my family. My daughters are on speed dial to help me navigate through the endless features of my new smart phone or managing my Facebook page. But even I found using the APP easy.
Without an IPhone, I had to enter the APP from the NFMA site, www.militaryfamily.org, using the convenient guest log-in feature. When you register with the APP, you establish a detailed profile that better targets the information links and answers to your needs. NMFA has created Life Path portals as a way to break down the enormous amount of information out there. The first three Life Paths available are Spouse Education, Deployment and Separation/Retirement. By the end of the year they hope to add eight more: Survivors, Caregivers/Wounded Warriors, Basics (a Spouse 101), Having Kids, Raising Kids, Moving, Spouse Employment, and Reintegration.
Joyner explained that the APP provides family members with resource information that has already proven successful. “When you do a Google search, how do you sort through the 1000’s of responses you find? We are able to vet the resources for military families and the APP makes more pinpointed recommendations based on your profile,” she said. The APP also features customized to-do lists, due date reminders, push notices of new programs and emergency phone numbers.
In a simple test, I established a profile and clicked on the Spouse Education path. There was a list of the most frequently asked questions, such as how to find money for school, or how to find the best school. Clicking on a question brought up more detailed answers, with links to resources. “There is so much more flexibility using these mobile device tools,” added Joyner, “and you are getting connected to the most up-to-date information.” Another nice feature is that the APP is always on, a 24/7 answer source. “So many spouses work, with little free time, or (like Guard and Reserve families) aren’t linked to a base,” she noted. MyMilitaryLife is a 24-hour a day resource.
Joyner told me NMFA is working to make the APP available for tablets and Windows phones also, and hopes to add a social sharing feature next spring. “We want to have a feedback ability, where families can recommend or review resources they’ve used,” she said. Family Readiness Groups could also use the APP to send out notices to their members, she suggested.
Technology may be scary for some of us, but in this case, it is a helpful tool. For more information about the APP and the National Military Family Association, go to www.militaryfamily.org. Then set up the APP on your phone, and begin ending the paper jam in your life.