I always have my iPhone to hand but not so that I can mindlessly scroll through social media, play games or respond immediately to every text my friends send.
Instead, my phone acts as my very own little PA, helping me to be organised, structured and on top of things so I can focus my time and energy on other, more important things.
To help you get organised and simplify your life, read on for my favourite 5 ways I use my phone to organise my life.
#1 GOOGLE CALENDAR AND ALARM
Google Calendar – I use Google Calendar set up on my phone to record every single appointment. This includes after school clubs, playdates, dentist and doctor appointments, school holidays and more. If I need to do something or be somewhere, then I put the date in the calendar immediately.
My husband and I both use Google Calendar as our main calendar and we have shared access so that he and I can both make and see each other’s appointments and entries. That way I know when he’s free and vice versa so we don’t accidentally double-book ourselves.
I also set alerts on the calendar so I get a reminder when I need to be somewhere. You can set the alert to go off say half an hour, or an hour before the actual appointment. Always handy if you’ve completely forgotten about the appointment and you need time to prepare and/or get there.
Alarm – I use my alarm not just to get me up in the morning but throughout the day as well to remind me to do things. For example, a reminder for the girls to do their piano practice or for me to take the dog for a walk.
Don’t set too many or you’ll end up switching them all off because they get annoying, but they’re good for the things you need to do daily but forget or put off without a reminder.
Unless I’ve got my bag with me, I don’t ever have a notepad and pen. But, I always have my phone so I use the Notes A LOT! It comes in handy for a variety of uses including:
- Shopping lists – when we run out of something I put it down in my Notes. When I do the weekly shop I always look at my Notes to see if I’ve written anything down to buy or if I pop to the shops I take a quick look at the Notes to see if I can pick something up whilst I’m out
- Things I’ve forgotten to do but need to jot down if they randomly pop into my head
- Brainstorming titles and content for blog posts
- My goals and targets – change over time so helpful to make a note when I change direction
- On my bedside table in case I remember something in the middle of the night and don’t want to forget it by morning
- Anything and everything that I can get out of my head and onto a list. This way I won’t forget it, I can free up my brain to think of other things and I can refer back to what I’ve written if I need to
You can create different notes for different things, save and organise them into folders on your different accounts or on your phone. You can send them on by email and text and print them out. Very flexible, easy and quick to use.
I take photos of everything, not just endless snaps of my gorgeous kids! I take photos of important documents that I need to keep. I take a shot of the original document and save it to my phone. I also take photos of important letters that come through the post.
Once a week I go through the photos and save them all to my computer. I use Google Drive to store all my photos and personal documents, arranged in different folders so that I can find and sort them quickly and easily. This way I don’t get a buried under a load of paper and it reduces the amount of filing I need to do and the physical storage space required.
I do use my phone to listen to music but I’m a bigger fan of podcasts because I love learning new stuff! I can listen to a podcast whilst I’m doing other things – whether it’s the housework, gardening, taking the dog for a walk, sitting in the car waiting for the girls to come out of school or even lying in the bath.
I don’t have my eyes glued to the screen so I can be getting on with other things, with or without earphones. There are loads of podcasts available on many different subjects. I choose various topics so that I can learn new things and broaden my knowledge.
I think it’s a good example for the children to hear mummy learning new stuff and hopefully will inspire them to do the same. You can build up your own podcast library, browse for new podcasts and start listening all at the click of a button.
#5 TRELLO APP
This little gem deserves a post all of its own as the Trello app for my iPhone has changed my life!
Trello is a fantastic piece of software that helps you keep track of your life and get organised. You can set up an account, accessible on your pc and through an app on your phone.
Using a system of virtual boards you can create a series of to do lists and ongoing projects, set up calendar alerts for reminders and due dates, attach notes, documents and downloads.
You can also share boards between multiple users so you can share your to do lists with others.
It is completely customisable, easy to use and very flexible. I have boards set up at work which I use and share with my employees. I have personal boards set up for myself and another board that I share with my husband so we can create, view and amend any joint tasks.
Trello helps me organise my life at work, my blogging life and my family life. I’m really busy but Trello helps me through it! I also use Trello personally to set out goals and targets for myself and hold myself accountable.
No matter where you are, as long as you have the app on your phone, you can see what you need to do and when. For more information go to www.trello.com.
WANT TO GET MORE ORGANISED?
Here are some other blog posts I’ve written which you might find helpful…