One of the most common questions I get asked (aside from “are they ALL yours??“) is, “how do you get so much done in a day?”. Initially that was a tough question to answer. Then, over the last few years I've realized my most productive days can ultimately be boiled down to one main thing…
For better or for worse, actually. Whether my phone was a distraction all day, or whether it helped keep me productive and moving, my phone is the answer! Today I've teamed up with Todo Cloud, an app that is great for making lists, and I'm sharing with you the 5 simple ways I use my phone to help keep me organized and productive. So let's jump into it shall we!
1) Grocery List & Meal Planning
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Keep. Your. Grocery. List. IN YOUR PHONE! I know writing it on a cute paper on the outside of your fridge is tradition, and heck, maybe even helpful. But… how many times have you gone to the store without your phone? Ok, now how many times have you gone without your paper list?
I, personally, don't even go to the bathroom without my phone. (TMI I know, but hey, that's my “browse Instagram time! Don't judge me. You know you do it, too.) If you keep your list in your phone, you are 97.9% more likely to shop with a list, thus saving you time and money. (Yes, I made that statistic up. Again, don't judge me. You know you do it, too.)
Todo Cloud is an app that is super easy to use for lists (and makes a pretty little noise every time you add an item to the list, which is an added bonus!). Make a grocery list in seconds and you're good to go. (If you want tips and tricks on how I grocery shop, boy do I have the post for you! Check out How I Grocery Shop to get the inside scoop!)
Meals are a HUGE time sucker-aren't they? Well, I have found they can be quick, easy, and effortless if you use your phone for meal planning! Each night before you go to bed, pull out your phone (trying hard not to get distracted on Pinterest…) and make sure you've thought through – and physically written down – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the next day. Slow cooker recipes have saved me more times than I can count, I have a huge collection you can check out on this post! Or if freezer meals are your thing, this post is a gem!
2) To-do list
I'm a big believer in a to-do list, as you probably have noticed. Yet…so many people STILL don't use them! I am obsessed with writing down my to-dos, and on days that I don't, I am far less productive.
A paper list is great, but I'll admit, it's a hassle to lug around. Keeping your to-do list in your phone is a sure way to 1) always have it with you, and 2) be more productive with it.
One nice feature with the Todo Cloud is I can set it up to notify me when I geographically arrive or leave somewhere. Like maybe it reminds me when I leave my house, that I need to fill up with gas. Another cool feature with their $1.99/month version is you can write a todo and share it, or assign it to someone. So if I need Bubba to grab Hutch's ear infection meds from the pharmacy on his way home from work, it will not only assign it to him, but it can also geographically notify him, when he leaves his office for example.
If you've got older kids (…cough…or husbands…he'em…honeydo list…cough…), chances are they are past the “chore chart” phase. But they still need to pull their weight, am I right, parents??
Ditch the chart and make a chore list in your phone and share it with them. Set up their tasks for the week, and a deadline, then let them get to them on their own time. If they wait until Saturday night to get all their chores done, then they will be scrubbing toilets while all their friends are off having fun. Put the responsibility in their court! You'll be able to tell if the chore got done or not by not only looking at the shared list, but by looking at the toilet, too. (If you need some outside advice on how much to pay kids for chores, checkout my post Allowance 101!)
There are many options for this You guessed it, you can do this with Todo as well.
4) Homework assignments
One thing I started doing was putting Hutch's spelling words in my phone. I'll pull out my phone and will quiz him as we are out and about, without having to worry about a paper list.
It's not just for spelling words though! Book report coming up? Keep it in your phone so you can set reminders and remind your kids! You could also glance at the homework list when you have time waiting in the doctor's office, or in the carwash, or in traffic, and use it as an opportunity to talk through the assignment with them and brainstorm.
This will help you stay one step AHEAD in the homework game and it will pay off immensely!
I love having a paper planner, but let's be honest, DIGITAL CALENDAR FOR PRESIDENT. I can't live without it, especially as my family gets busier and busier.
Bubba and I each have our own Google calendars. If he has a work meeting, will be working late, has an event I need to know about or what not, he puts it on his calendar and adds me so I can see it on my own calendar. He also does this for the date nights that he plans.
I do the same with the kids' game day schedules, parent teacher conferences, etc. Digital is the way to go when coordinating several schedules. We can set up reminders for each other, can delete/add/change events and it instantly shows up on the other person's calendar, can add an exact address, and notes about the event. It has saved our marriage, let me tell you!
Again, if you have an iPhone feel free to give the Todo app a try, and use it to help make your life more organized (an awesome Android update is coming very soon… so hang tight you Droid users!) It's a download you won't regret!
How do YOU use your phone to keep you organized??
Have a great weekend!
This post was generously brought to you by Todo Cloud. All opinions and the entire idea behind this post were my own.