May 5, 2022 - Business

Screen Time: Aura president Kelly Merryman

Photo illustration of a grid of smartphone screens, the center one showing an image of Kelly Merryman.

Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo courtesy Aura

Newly minted Austinite Kelly Merryman has her hands full.

Details: She's president and chief operating officer of Aura — a seller of digital safety tools — and mother of three kids under age 5.

The big picture: Aura plans to open an office in the Austin area in late September — adding to its offices in Boston, New York City and Mountain View — and the company currently has 17 employees here.

What they're saying: Merryman previously served as VP of content partnerships at YouTube and VP of content acquisition for Netflix, so she knows her way around devices.

  • Ahead of Mother's Day, Axios caught up with her about how she uses her phone, as part of our Screen Time series ...

👇 First tap of the day: "My text messages."

☕️ Favorite app: "A toss-up between Starbucks — so I can pick up my mobile order: Chai tea latte with almond milk every morning on my way to work — or Strava."

📓 Best tech tool for staying organized: "I am pretty old school. I like Apple's Notes app or my Mark & Graham spiral notebook."

📽 Streaming: "Right now my husband and I are watching Season 2 of 'Yellowstone' and are loving it. We recently finished 'Mare of Easttown' and the third and final season of 'AfterLife.' I want to get back into 'Ted Lasso' next."

📷 Must-have tech tools for parents: "'Disney Storyteller Collection' on Spotify; YouTube Kids Peppa Pig Channel; Apple Clock — we set a timer when my kids both want to play with the same toy so that when the ducks quack they know that their turn is up and they have to share; iPhone camera — my kids have to take pictures around the house of something that begins with each letter of the alphabet and then show me the pictures; Better Sleep App — a white noise machine on my phone for long car rides and airplane rides."

🎶 Music on heavy rotation: "We listen to a lot of Super Simple Songs and the Laura Berkner Band. Some favorites are 'Waiting for the Elevator' and 'Here Comes the Firetruck.' And when the kids go to bed I listen to Blake Shelton radio on Spotify or any jazz by Maceo Parker."

😴 Last tap of the night: "Apple's Weather app — we recently moved to Austin after spending almost two decades in Los Angeles. I am still getting used to each day not being the same temperature outside!"


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