Embracing Technology

You’ve heard me say it before…USE YOUR PHONE!!

It’s about time you put that device that you already feel lost without, to better use! Let it enhance your life and give you more time, rather than just stare at it or scroll through social media!

I have to admit, I LOVE PAPER!

I love notebooks, calendars, planners and of course my list paper! I love pens, fancy markers, and of course all of the colours they come in! I am WAY more of a paper person than a tech person. My husband can assure you, I am the first one to want to throw my phone through the window the moment it causes me frustration, which is truly too often! But honestly, I have been so much more organized as a person, since embracing technology! Why not take advantage of the access to all of the apps! Make use of automated reminders, easy to edit notes, calendars that you can check from anywhere, and easy meal planning!

Any area of your life where you feel disorganized, I guarantee you, there’s an app for that! Sometimes it takes some trial and error before you find the one that best fits your personality and efficiency. I urge you to keep trying different ones until you find the best fit. Sometimes I will go through 5-8 apps before landing on the one I like best.

I should preface the list below by saying that I use an Android phone. That’s not to say that you cannot get these apps if you use an iPhone, but I cannot guarantee that they are available across all devices out there. It is definitely worth checking for them though, if you don’t already use them!

I have compiled a list of my top 10 apps:

Famcal – It is a basic calendar app, but it’s very versatile! It works like google calendar really, but I think it stores more integrated information. It works well to share multiple calendars, coordinate schedules, any family member can add or edit events (assuming you give them permission in the settings!), share kids schedules whether it’s their extra curriculars, their work shifts, or even piano recitals. Save birthday dates and create reminders so you never forget. Do the same with anniversaries (even your own!) Share basic to do lists and shopping lists. Even create a “person” called chores to organize all of your household chores! This app has it all.

Pinterest – How else would I organize all of my crafting ideas/recipes/meal planning/home renovations/kids learning activities/party planning/holiday decor ideas if it were not for Pinterest. I would be absolutely lost in magazine clippings, or screen shots on my phone or notebooks with random pages of ideas!

Flipp – This app has all of my local flyers! I use it to create my grocery list, find the best deals for price matching, or even search specific potential buys, rather than going to each store’s website (though it only searches the actual flyer).

Stocard – I am not a purse person! Or a wallet person! I have never been. I don’t know why, I just could never enjoy shopping carrying a heavy purse, or having it slip off my shoulder or having it swing at things as I bend over. Wallets? I have to carry in my hand or have on my wrist, which really, wastes a whole hand of being able to examine a product. I actually have an amazing phone case which holds my ID and 1 credit card. It’s all I need most of the time. But then, occasionally, I go to checkout at a store and the clerk says “do you have a points card with us?” Dah! It’s sitting right at home, in my PURSE! Enter Stocard! It holds barcodes for all my points cards! Just enter the card number or scan the barcode from your points card into the app and boom! No more wallet necessary!! The app even has a list of cards you may already own, just update the barcode!

Anylist – My all time favourite recipe keeper and meal planner to date. And, I have tried many! I am a crazy meal planner! More on that in another post. This app does have a pretty hefty subscription fee, but I think it’s totally worth it. I can easily add a recipe to the meal planning calendar and then move it around with a ‘touch and drag’ to a different date. I can pull up a recipe and add all of the ingredients to my grocery list, then can remove what I already have. I find this app very intuitive and user friendly. I have hardly even opened my older meal planning and recipe apps, I just want to put all of my recipes in this new one. I have a ton of recipes on paper still, but I use my Pinterest to find an online version so that I can import the recipe with one button! It’s so darn easy!

Chefling – This is my pantry app. I still have a bit of a love-hate relationship with this app. Well actually, its more me, the app is great. You can scan the barcode on your home goods (like I said I use it for my pantry, so for things like soups, stock, sauces, syrup, coffee….you get it!) then it will enter the item into your list. You can edit the quantity and add an expiration date. It really helps me meal plan when I am not at my home to see what I have. So great right? The trick, is to keep it up to date! That’s the part I hate. If I am making dinner, I want to run down and grab what I need and use it. Sometimes I don’t have time to change the quantity in the app. But then I no longer know what is true. The app is great, I just need to make time for it, so that it serves me even better!

Onenote – Oh one note, how I love you so! I use this app to track all kinds of details. Packing lists (so that I don’t have to rethink every time I go somewhere), gifts given to people throughout the year, or gift ideas, random ideas, work outs, reading lists, wine lists, and more. I use it for basically, everything! Onenote was the main program that I used for my class notes while I was in school. I love that it autosaves, so no more losing your work because of the program shutting down. You can capture screen clippings, insert pictures, make your own drawings, write text, add checklists, and so much more. If you know Evernote, this app is very similar. The main difference that I have noted so far, (I do use both) is that I can have all of my devices synced to Onenote without paying a subscription fee. So far with evernote, I can only have 2 devices sharing at once before paying.

1password – Set one crazy password, then let the app remember the rest. Who can remember the hundreds of passwords we need for life anyway! Really any password keeper will work, this is the one my husband likes, so I use it too so that we can share passwords. Even if you share most passwords, you can set some to private so only you have them if that’s what you prefer.

Time table – Block scheduling. Set your blocks and stick to them with a notification reminder of what block you are currently in throughout the day. I am much more likely to walk around the block if my phone tells me that it’s fitness time for the next 1.5 hours! Or pick a chore or two off my list if my notification is telling me that its chore time! You can colour code like blocks so that when you see the colour, you know exactly what you are supposed to be doing! Whether that’s racing around or sitting on the couch…sometimes ya gotta rest that tush!

Google Opinion Rewards – This last one doesn’t really help me stay organized, but it gives me money to pay for the apps that keep me organized (especially my Anylist subscription). You collect a certain amount of cents by completing short surveys periodically. The pay ranges from $0.10 up to $1.00 per survey. You really don’t have to do much with it. You get a notification from time to time that there is a new survey, you answer a couple of questions then you get paid by accumulating the money in the app! Just like that. After you get paid, you can use that money to pay for new apps! It has covered way more than 2 years of my Anylist subscription. We have also been using the money recently to rent movies online! I currently have $25.00 just sitting in there! Eventually the money will expire (it takes one year) so I will sometimes search for productivity apps, even if they cost money!

Since using these apps, I have found that I can set and forget a lot of my obligations. Then I get automatic reminders on my phone of the things that I have to do. It does take some time to set everything up, but once you do, you’re set!

I can free more of my brain clutter to focus on the real clutter!!

What are your favourite apps? Have you tried any of the ones I listed? Maybe try them out for the New Year!

Thanks for coming home!

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