care . grow . strengthen
How many times do you download and app, use it twice, and then forget about it after 2 weeks. Yup, that's me too! I'm always searching for ways to simplify and organize my life so I can keep all the moving parts actually moving forward rather than spinning in and endless cycle of whoops, forgot that.
In the last 2 years, there are 6 apps that have made their way to the first screen of my phone (and integrated onto my computer as well) and have been game changers for time management, getting things done and feeling strong and balanced. I use an iphone so only know how these work from my experience (most of them are the built-in apps) but I'm confident android devices have similar built-in capabilities to use. No matter if you are working full-time, part-time, these apps help organize any busy schedule and get more items off your list.
1. Reminders (built-in iphone app)
I use the reminders app to keep track of my to-do list. I went into detail about how I use it earlier this year, and it's still providing me the structure I need to ensure nothing falls off my plate. It's effective for me to track my action items from meetings directly on my computer (I use the cloud sync with my mac), or running between meetings via my phone, or if I think of something I need to add to my list while walking Stella, I can just add it onto the list. You can also use Siri to set the reminders too which is helpful while driving.
Basically, I use the Reminders app as a dumping ground for all the things I .need to do and then either weekly or daily (depending on how long the list is) I prioritize the list. I keep the top 3-5 items on my "Hot List" and then keep the remaining items on a "backlog" list by category.
This system has been a game changer in helping me remember things. I can write them down once and then check them off as they make their way up the priority list. Things as small as, order more dog food, or as big as, record podcast. I can keep them in one place and don't clog my mind with trying to remember those tasks that we don't want to do, but still need to get done.
This is another one that I use on my phone and computer. You can download the GoogleDrive so that you can save files directly from your computer to the cloud and be able to access them from your phone from there. This is especially helpful for photos, but I also use it for updating and tracking excel or jotting down ideas for a post or project so they are always stored and accessible from multiple locations.
Thanks to using autocorrect on my phone forever, I often don't catch a spelling mistake when I'm in a rush sending an email or writing a blog post. I recently discovered Grammarly and I LOVE it. It allows me to write my entire stream of consciousness and then identifies areas to improve spelling, grammar and syntax. I had no idea I was using so many shortcuts in my emails until I started using it and I feel like it just makes my writing seem much more professional and well thought out without me spending hours re-reading things.
Slack is an amazing communication tool for teams. It's basically like instant messaging but has search, file sharing, and gifs/emojis on turbo mode. One of my favorite things about slack is "Slackbot". I use slackbot to remind me to follow-up on emails, and best part is that it's free!
As a project manager, you are coordinating a lot of communication and follow-up to get the information is key. I used to check something off my list once I emailed someone, however, I quickly learned that if they don't respond within a reasonable time and it's off my list....it gets lost.
I started using Slackbot to set reminders. You can ask it to remind you on a day and time to follow-up with something. The reason I like this better than the using the Reminders app on my phone for one is because it keeps the list of reminders you've set hidden. This way, you can keep the task related items on a list format like the Reminders app and keep the communication reminders/nudges hidden in Slackbot. This way they don't clog up your to-do list which really helps prevent that overwhelming feeling that your list is getting too long to deal with.
Slack is another one I use on both my phone and computer. What can I say, I like to always be able to access . something!
5. Podcasts (built-in iphone app)
For this, you can really use your favorite app for listening to podcasts such as Spotify, SoundCloud or any others. I typically use the Podcast app on my iphone and save my favorite podcasts in my library. The reason I love podcasts is that you can learn so much while multi-tasking. I listen to podcasts on my drive, walking the dog, or cleaning the house. I find so much inspiration for developing my business, my career, and making my family stronger.
Also, I like to have a few downloaded before a long flight. The podcast app on the iphone will automatically download a few of the most recent ones from the podcasts you are subscribed to so it helps remove a step before packing for a big trip and I love not having to remember another thing!
The final app for productivity may seem a bit counterintuitive since it isn't directly related to business, but I strongly feel that keeping an active body helps dramatically improve an active mind and keep you at the top of your game. I generally love going to a live class like barre or OrangeTheory (see my list of favorites here), but with a busy schedule, it's hard to make certain class times or to fight the traffic to get to a class. This is why I love the Beachbody On Demand program. I can use it literally anywhere, traveling, at home, or at the park and they have classes that range from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours, with and without weights. All these options readily accessible makes it nearly impossible to skip a workout (although I am human and it does happen). Once I have a workout done, I'm almost always recharged and ready to get more work done and that is why it made the list for productivity apps.
There you have it! These apps are about as simple as it gets but using them effectively can make transformational changes for your productivity and help make time management and getting things done so much easier. When you have big goals, you likely also have a to-do list either on paper or running through your head that is a million miles long, utilizing tools like these helps remove the feeling that you are missing or forgetting something, get it on paper, and create systems to help you remember, execute, learn, and feel good while doing it.
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