I have three kids in various activities, I coach roller derby, volunteer, work full time in communications and spend some spare time freelance writing. Yup, I’m busy. My secret to being busy and not feeling too busy is staying organized.
Apps. Apps are my not-so-secret secret.
I like being organized because deep down, I’m actually pretty lazy. When I can get away with it, I’ll spend hours binge watching Doctor Who on Netflix, cross stitching rude sayings onto pretty linens. You know what I like to do in December? Read all evening. The last place I want to be is in a mall, a place I loathe on a good day.
My idea of torture is scrambling to find a photo of my kid reading that needs to be tucked into said kid’s backpack in 12 minutes, or having to leave early to stop on the way to an open house to pick up a bottle of wine, or worse, to have to buy a gift and card and wrap it in the car on the way to a birthday party. I hate forgetting things, misplacing things or having any sort of dread hang over my head.
Apps are my best friend – here’s a round up of my favourites.
This family calendar app lets my husband (Blackberry) and I (iPhone) sync our calendar, To Do and grocery lists, and note addresses, attendees, etc. I don’t know how we lived without this app.
This app lets me track the last time I did something – you can use it to track household chores, acts of kindness, traditions with your kids – I use it to keep track of the last time we saw friends. It lists from least recent to most recent, so each time I open the app I can see which friends I need to schedule time with.
I’m an all year gift shopper, and use this app to keep track of gift ideas, gift’s I’ve bought, how much I’ve spent, etc. It’s a super functional app, and you can even note where you hid the gifts!
I do have some personal rules outside of these apps that help a lot too. We keep a bin of gift cards, gifts, wrap and cards at hand at all times, replenishing as necessary but generally keeping enough in there that we can avoid specific last minute gift shopping. When the kids get a note to bring something to school, it’s immediately prepped and placed in a bin by the front door (with a note in my calendar app reminding me which day to pop it in the backpack).