What are some of the tools you’re using to stay organized and on top of things this year? What are some of the things you’re tracking? I’ve got some trusty things that have worked for me and my family for years, and some things I’m trying differently in 2021.
✩ TANYA PATRICE ✩
ONE+ We are continuing to use a paper calendar (like this one) on our refrigerator to track family activities, travel and appointments. The calendar is hung up on these magnet hooks – and it gets kept for a few years, so we can look back if we need to and see when we did a household repair.
TWO+ A new addition this year is this Small Dry Erase Whiteboard which comes with different color dry erase markers that are magnetic. Thanks to the recommendation from So Obsessed With this has been lovely for the family making a grocery list as we run out of stuff. We keep it on the refrigerator – and we also have a little “To Do” for stuff to get that’s not groceries – like “replace windshield wipers” for the car. The entire fam has embraced this and it’s getting a ton of use.
THREE+ Automatic, Paperless and online for paying bills and banking and money management. Set it and forget it! I’m also using eWallet to store passwords and account numbers for everything from credit cards, drivers license numbers, car license plates (never know when you might need this), health insurance information etc. I cannot tell you how MANY times I use this app – even if it’s just to get my Netflix password!
FOUR+ Keep Notes is the app I’m using whenever I’m using when I need to make lists (if it doesn’t get written down on the fridge). Sometimes they are longstanding lists – like TV Shows and Movies to watch (any recommendations?) and sometimes they’re short-term – like I’m going on vacation soon and I ordered (too much) from many places – so I have a list of “Deliveries” with the names of the places I’ve ordered from.
SIX+ And while not exactly in the organization category, shout-out to our smart thermostat, EcoBee, because it’s how I check the weather outside for the week and plan my outdoor activities.
SEVEN+ This year I went back to using a Moleskin Weekly (Dated). The pages on the left side have a weekly horizontal calendar and the page on the right side is for notes – I use this to keep track of meeting notes. I also use sticky notes like this Fake News pad and Pilot G-2 0.38mm Ultra Fine Black Ink Pens – no bleed through to the next page.
Most of my work life is online – but I find that a paper planner really helps keep me organized – I feel like I look at a screen way too much already so putting the most important tasks on paper helps me prioritize.
EIGHT+ I use Outlook app for work email and calendar – I absolutely could not live without the calendar apps on my phone – it’s literally the first thing I look at in the mornings – as I can never remember what time my first meeting is.
Notifications are turned OFF on my phone for both work and personal emails. It was getting ridiculous how many times I was checking emails on my phone – not a healthy or necessary habit for me. Personal email I check sometime during the day and at night.
NINE+ I joined Goodreads in October 2010 and have been using it to track the books I’ve read ever since. This year, we introduced a GXO Goodreads group for the 3 reading challenges we host, and I also have a Reading Challenge Plans discussion which I keep a link to on my browser for quick access to the books I plan to read for the challenges.
TEN+ I happily pay $9.99 / mth for Scrib’d in order to “borrow” audiobook and eBooks. I was a big library user, but had to give it up since I live in an unincorporated area – which means I have to pay some exorbitant amount of money to have access.
ELEVEN+ I’ve re-started using Netgalley to request advanced reader copies of books this year and using the Netgalley Shelf App to read (or listen to) the eBooks and audiobooks that I’ve gotten approved for.
TWELVE+ Kim and I use Evernote to keep our blogging calendar forever and the free version has served us well. We also use the chat feature quite a bit (here’s how we use Evernote as a blogging calendar).
THIRTEEN+ The WordPress app is what I use to respond to comments but also to add to blog post drafts when I have downtime – waiting somewhere, or when inspiration hits.
FOURTEEN+ Feedly (app and website) is how I follow blogs and keep up with all your lovely updates. I am probably in the minority but I don’t listen to podcasts much (although I have Pocket Casts app for the odd time I get around to it).
FIFTEEN+ Zwift – I’ve only mentioned this 1000 times already this year, but Zwift has been a game changer for me when it comes to in. It’s a virtual cycling platform that’s basically gamified cycling. The community around it is amazeballs – I went from not being able to do more than 15 minutes on a bike in December to now doing regular 90 minute sessions – with elevation! I am on it 4-5x / week. Best $14.99 / mth I spend. And you can use it for running too which I just started to do more of.
SIXTEEN+ My bike and runs get synced from Zwift and/or Garmin to Strava. I’m on the free plan because I’m not a huge metrics person but I can still get my weekly and monthly miles as well as workout history. Plus participate in some challenges for motivation.
SEVENTEEN+ Strong App is what I’m primarily using to track my weight training. I did start the year out with Fitbod, and I do like it, especially since it introduced me to new exercises, but I prefer to add my own exercises and record the weights myself, rather than have Fitbod do it for me.
EIGHTEEN+ FitRadio is another OG app that I’ve been using for years! I CANNOT workout without music. Periodtttt. And I love the evolution of this app – I use the timer for running intervals and I’ve used some of their coaching workouts which are also pretty decent. This might not be organization – but I’m adding it anyway.
What’s your main method for staying on top of things in 2021 – digital or paper? What are some of your favorite or most used apps?