People who know me or who have worked with me would generally say I am naturally organised. But, the truth is, I have fooled them all! People who have known me all of my life, are aware of my scatterbrain tendencies. I would pretty much leave my latest toy behind at my Aunts’ house, every time I’d visit. It got to be such a significant behaviour that she nicknamed me ‘Forgetful Jones’, after the loveable Sesame Street character who would forget EVERYTHING (that’s him above). I do love Sesame street even now, but I would rather have been associated with another character for a more endearing trait.
At the age of 18, I determined that I was done with pulling all-nighters to get assignments done. I was so fed up with myself, that I read a book all about life/priority management and committed myself to CHANGE. Prior to reading the book, I felt like being organised was something you SHOULD do, but it just looked so dreadfully constraining. Once I read the book though, I realised that planning and prioritising is about IMPACT. It’s about achieving those long term dreams, by MAXIMISING TODAY. Now that spoke to me because I had BIG DREAMS!!!
As time and technology has progressed, I have come to use Apps instead of paper to assist me in reaching my goals and ticking off my daily to-do list. It was a difficult transition from paper to app, but it has been well worth the effort. Apps are able to create automation, that I can’t achieve with my paper and pen.
So since we are still in January, and no doubt refreshed with new possibilities, I thought I would share with you my favourite apps for general organisation and goal attainment:
Todoist is a classic task management software. It’s one of the apps I check first thing in the morning so that I know what I have happening each day. The beauty of Todoist (as opposed to a handwritten diary), is that because I have my phone with me almost all the time, I can write a task in wherever I am. It then automatically syncs, which means when I get to my desk, it’s all there and I don’t need to re-add. It appears to have been designed with the “Getting Things Done” philosophy in mind (if you are really keen to grow in being organised, this is a helpful book to read). It operates on the principle that good organisational systems have a:
- Catchment point and;
- An easy way to sort.
Now I can’t get into detail here about the above 2 concepts, but I’ll keep you posted of some workshops I am looking to run about life management that will explain these ideas in detail.
This app is considered a habit tracker. Which means it is more helpful for things you want to do every day. I personally don’t find a task management app like Todoist useful for these kinds of tasks, because it can get overwhelming (as in once you have ticked a habit-based task, it immediately lists it again for tomorrow…..I personally love that feeling of having a fully cleared task list, hence why I opt for a habit tracker in these instances). I have pretty much ended up using Productive mainly for prayer points particularly when I started doing my 30-second prayers (don’t worry, blog to come explaining this). However, it is really helpful for any tasks: Devotion, exercise, drinking water….I generally check this app in the evening before I go to bed, but it doesn’t really matter. As long as you pick a consistent time to check it, that is easy to maintain.
I would say that I opt for Google Calendar over other calendar apps. It’s just incredibly user-friendly! And because I generally manage my daughter’s activities, my own and the households, the ease of Google Calendar in setting up new calendars and creating repeat items, is right up my alley. Something that I have been doing for a couple of years is setting a new calendar titled “201_ Goals”. This is for those goals that I can schedule in (ie. I started scheduling in solitude days from 2017, and I would add it under ‘2017 Goals’). It just helps me see very quickly TIME that I have allocated for my goals, which are really important to me. The other cool thing is that you can hide the calendars if you don’t want to see them all the time.
Honestly, I haven’t looked into many other apps like this one, so I’m not sure what else is on the market. But in a nutshell, its a mindmap app (ha! It rhymes). Because I am often overseeing many moving pieces (particularly when I was working), I will often sit down and draw a mind map to ensure that I see EVERYTHING. When you are really busy, you will prioritise what seems urgent at the time. Unfortunately, it can mean you forget about the ‘non-urgent-incredibly-important’ tasks. I would suggest that most of the kids/spouse related tasks/activities tend to fall into the ‘non-urgent-incredibly-important’ task category. Forgetting the important stuff, like family, is the equivalent of forgetting about a ticking-time-bomb in your basement…..It will eventually become urgent and it will no doubt be a very messy cleanup with the potential to damage the entire structure! The Mindmap has always helped me to keep abreast of the important and urgent so that I can activate a higher level decision-making process AND not be ruled only by external forces when planning my time.
I started using Evernote when I discovered that it has the ability to search photos for keywords. This is a massive time saver! Needless to say, I have almost gone completely paperless because after I pay my bills, I take photos of them and upload to Evernote…and then if I need the bill again, I can just search for “Commbank” or “Home Loan”. My Home Office is thanking me for how tidy my desk has become!
Well, there you have it!
As I mentioned, I am looking to run some workshops about life management……if you would like to express interest, you can message me via the Pressure Points facebook page. Otherwise, I hope it’s been helpful.