My Favorite Life Management Apps

 In Life, Military, PCS

My Favorite Life Management Apps

Being able to organize my life was an obsession for me from a very young age.  As a child, I stole my mom’s palm pilot when she stopped using it.  Not sure what appointments I had to keep as a seven or eight year old.  None the less, the idea fascinated me. In college, my life was literally planned out in color coded 15 minute increments in my beloved planner.  When I look back, I realize I was a little intense, but it was what worked for me and helped me graduate in 4 years with three degrees and a full rap sheet of activities while also working full time (I don’t think I slept those four years).  

Needless to say, I have always had a way to centralize and organize the information that fills my everyday life.  This is mostly because if it isn’t written down, I won’t remember. Since then, my life organization has shifted significantly and I no longer live and die by my planner, but by my smartphone.  

The internet amazes me.  I truly believe that if you have a problem, there’s probably an app to fix it.  From meditation to picture archives… there’s pretty much something for everything.  Below I’ve listed the couple of apps that have truly changed how I organize my time to keep the wheels from coming off the wagon… because let’s be honest between work, school, kids, self-care, social activities, mandatory fun, spouse events…life is bananas.  

 

Siri

The voice to text option has been something I’ve started using more often in the last few months, and I’m shocked I didn’t start using it sooner.  You can ask her to remind you to do something at certain times, or locations. If I had a dollar for every time I told her to remind me to do something when I got home…I’d be a rich lady.    She can also add things to your calendar, including recurring events. I tend to be the spouse on the receiving end of comments like “remember last week when I told you about (insert social event)?”  Being able to have her add things to my calendar in the moment is super helpful.

Google Calendar

Remember when I said I had my life planned out into color coded segments of time?  Well, I still like being able to see that. I need a birds eye view of what I have planned for the month. I don’t want to have to click on a date to see what’s going on that particular day like with iCal.  However, I didn’t want to have to carry around a paper planner.  Realizing this, I started searching for digital calendars that give you an easy overview of all your events on a monthly basis. For a while I was using PocketLife, which was ok, but Google Calendar eventually won out for a few different reasons.  

First and foremost, I love the monthly overview. I can open my calendar and see what different events I have without having to go poking around. The second is that Google plays well with others. The integrations that Google Calendar has with other apps, are hard to beat. Not to mention, I can share calendars with people really easily since most people use gmail as their email platform.  I have shared calendar with my husband and best friend, and it has been a Godsend.

Google Drive

I swear this is not a Google affiliate post!  I honestly just love the simplicity and easy integration of their products.  If it’s not simple, it’s not for me. I don’t have time for complicated in my life.  I’m too lazy…*cough…I mean* efficiency driven for that. The thing I love about Drive is that I can keep documents organized and still have access to them on my phone.  This is super important, particularly when we are PCSing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed to forward orders, or pet vaccinations and not had my computer around to do it.  Having the ability to attach documents to emails, while on the go, has been extremely helpful.

Cam Scanner

So what do you do when you’re on the go and you have a paper document that needs to be sent somewhere electronically?  Cam Scanner can help with that. You basically take a photo of your document and it will automatically edit it and convert it to a PDF, making it super easy to save or email.  I like this not only when I have to send a document somewhere, but also to save an electronic copy in case I lose it… because no one in the history of PCSing has had a document go missing, right?  Especially not me! *looks away with a guilty look on my face*

Wunderlist

Did I mention that if something doesn’t getting written down, it won’t get done?  Well, as much as I love Google’s products, I didn’t have to stray on them for a list app. Wunderlist is maybe one of my favorite apps of all time.  List are sort of my thing.  That being said, being able to create as many as I want, then organize them in to folders and share them with people as well as set reminders and add notes to tasks, has been AMAZING.  Best part is that the app is free. Yes, friends. Free.

This app is particularly helpful with keeping my husband and I on the same page. When we move, we have a common PCS to do list that we can both add and check things off as we accomplish them.  When you’re both moving at the speed of light trying to get all the done, it helps to have one common document that syncs without having to communicate every single detail to the other person.

Best thing is that we can reuse the same list every time we move.  We just go through previously completed tasks and “uncheck” them so that they show as live again. Talk about a time saver, not to mention sanity saver. It’s become a collection of all the things that could possibly need to be done for a move, so things are less likely to slip through the cracks.  Other great uses are for grocery lists or daily/weekly to dos. Need something, but aren’t going to the store for a few days?  Add it to the list and then whoever ends up going, knows what the other one needs.

Same thing with daily or weekly to dos. Going to be out and about running errands?  You can look and see that maybe the dry cleaning needs to be picked up or a prescription is ready at the pharmacy.  It helps streamline the communication about the “stuff” so we can talk about more meaningful things when we’re together.

 

There you have it friends.  The 5 apps that help me keep my life *somewhat* together, particularly when we PCS.  Do you use these? What am I missing? If you’ve got a secret weapon app, I want to hear about it!  Tell me how you keep your household running smoothly by leaving a comment below!

 

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