5 FREE APPS for Keeping Organized and On Track
June 23, 2020
Have you ever thought my life is a mess? Ever been one of those people late to everything? Are you drowning in past due bills? Are you struggling to manage your time between work and home or maybe school? Have you ever been so overwhelmed and so stressed with everything that needs to be done and you have no clue how or when you will complete the task? ME TOO!
Let me start by saying this blog post is not sponsored. The apps I have chosen I searched on the app store downloaded and started using them. Some of them I used daily others as needed. Now before we get on into this blog post. I want to thank you if you are a return reader. That means a lot to me. If you are new here then welcome to my lifestyle blog. If you want to get my blog in your inbox then click this link, https://www.theofficialmrp.com/blog then the "email me" button on the page, and fill out the google form. It is quick, simple, and best of all free. Okay, read on my awesome people!
I was at a breaking point about a year ago. I had so many things going on and I just didn't have enough time to do it in. I was so stressed out that I had times when I was ready to quit. I was ready to give up. I had moments when all I could do is worry about something not being complete or what I needed to do. I was working a full-time job as a Media Technician or a techy librarian as I liked to call it. I loved this job and all the opportunities it brought me. In addition to that, I was taking online classes as a full-time student to finish my bachelor's in science - geosciences. Do you think I am crazy yet? Well here is some more; in addition to that, I coached two extracurriculars and sponsored two other clubs. Yes, I was tired every day and didn't feel like doing anything on the weekends or after work. While I did take some of my classwork with me to work and worked on it as much as I could; I still had to do some after work and on the weekends. This was stressful and exhausting. I had to stop playing video games and limit my time on social media and television. I was also trying to make new content for my YouTube channel. (Which I still need to do.) I honestly felt like a circus clown, juggling and I didn't think I was good at it. I was exhausted on holidays and hateful most of the time. By the time March rolled around at the height of both my online classes and competitions, I seriously wanted to throw my hands up and walk away from everything. But my roots of scheduling kicked in and while still stressed and hateful I was able to finish everything on time.
So the real reason you are here is to learn about these five apps that have changed the way I do things over the past year or so. I am an Apple product person meaning I mostly use Apple electronic devices. I do actually remember my first Apple product. The Apple iPod Nano. I date my pre-teen and teenage years to iPod Nanos and wired headphones with a mix of the iconic razor flip phone. Yeah, I am that old. But I also am a google product type of guy. So It should come as no surprise what three of these apps are.
App number one #Googlecalendar
As I stated I love the google apps to place on my iPhone. I actually deleted the Apple calendar app from my iPhone and iPad. The Google calendar has so many features I am sure to miss some of them. Google calendars, calendars are how I keep organized. I have 17 calendars on my one Google calendar and I think I have covered pretty much everything. Although I can add more if I need to. These calendars are color-coordinated. You can use these calendars to keep track of appointments, work schedules, ball games, and practice schedules, tests, and assignment due dates. You can even create a chore chart calendar and give each kid or person a different color. The possibilities are endless. You can also share these calendars with other people making it great for work, church, family, school sports, or clubs. Just to give you an idea here are some ways I use my calendars. The first calendar I have is the "Holidays in United States" calendar already on the google calendar list under the other calendars section. I sell Avon so I have an Avon calendar to help keep track of when I need to take orders, place orders, send orders out, receive orders, deliver orders, and social media posting. Next is the Ball Games Calendar; I use this to help me keep track of when the school I work at has a ball game, I also use it for the University of Kentucky, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angles Lakers, and the Miami Heat. My Bills Calendar we need to talk about a bit. So I use this calendar to put all the bills I have and what days they are due on. I have customized each one of these to fit my needs. Let me give you an example. My Student loan bill is due on the 28th day of each month. So I just placed the loan company name followed by Bill Due in the title and I chose red for the calendar color. (I actually think it's called tomato.) I like to check this as an all-day event. I change the repeat to Monthly on day 28 so I will always repeat. The next thing I do is add 4 notifications. You can choose between notifications and email whichever works best for you. For bills 2 weeks before at 9 am, 1 week before at 9 am, 1 day before at 9 am and 0 days before at 9 am are the times I selected to get notified. Bills are important to pay and life gets in the way so it is easy to sometimes forget if we need to pay them. Next, I make sure that the calendar is set to bills then I change it to private. Finally, I type the address the bill needs to be sent to in the description box. I am old fashion and still use money orders and sometimes I will send in my bills before I get the statement. Having the address there means I don't have to hunt a past bill or money order. I will also add to the calendar when I sent a bill out to be paid and when they have received it. I do use the apps for the compies that I have to pay bills with and those help keep track of it as well. Some other calendars I use that are self-explanatory are Birthdays, church events, payday, school events/assignment due dates, and work events/schedule. I also use Blogs, YouTube, and Book calendars to keep track of what I need to do for those; whether it be to write, do character profiles, record, share, promote, etc. I have one for practices but since I am not coaching right now I don't use it. TV shows, yes I don't like missing TV shows and I can't keep up with them, so I pencil in America's Got Talent. I have a calendar for appointments and meetings. Reminders and Task calendars which I don't use that often. Finally, the last one is my Orders calendars. I use this one to keep track of things I purchase online and when someone purchases something off of me. I know that is a lot but Google Calendars is the one I use the most.
App number two #googlekeep
Finally, app number 2! Glad you are still with me. Google Keep is like digital post-it notes. You can create a sticky note with a general topic and then add notes or checkboxes. Some other features include recordings, drawings, and taking and choosing a photo to add. Here is how I used google keep when I was taking online courses and will be using it again when I start back. I would put the class title and what week it was in the title section. For example Geology 101 Week 1. I liked using the checkboxes so I could mark off what I completed. I would list reading, discussion boards, and specific assignments or other tasks I needed to complete for that week. You also have the ability to rearrange the list order and when you check them off it drops them down to another section with a checkmark beside them and a line through them. You can also archive your notes or delete them.
App number three #googletask
Google tasks is another great free google app I use. All three of the google apps google calendar, google keep, and google task is great for both mobile and desktop. If you open up your google calendar on a desktop look to the right you will see both google keep and google tasks. So back to google tasks. Google tasks is basically your to-do list. I use this to create a shopping list with and other to-do list. You can create a new list. I did this for each of my classes. Then I added a new task under that class list to create the title and then added a subtask to that. For example List name: Geology 101 Week One, Task: Reading, Subtask: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3. Once I completed that task I just checked the circle beside it and boom it was moved to a completed section. When you're done with that list just delete it and create your next one.
App Number four #HabitHub
Do you have trouble remembering to do something you need or want to do? This app will help you not to forget and I mean it will bug you. So I use the habitHub app to keep track of taking my vitamins. As much as I like to say it is part of my routine I often was forgetting to take them or I was wondering later in the day if I had remembered to take them. I know this shouldn't be a problem but it is. Simply name your habit; for me, I titled it Vitamins. Next is the occurs section. I chose daily between 7:00 am and 11:59 pm now you can change that but since these are vitamins I am not too worried about when I take them as long as I do. Next is the reminders. I chose "Nag me until done!" And once every hour. So every hour I will get a notification to take my vitamins until I mark the task complete. You can add to a group, add a phrase for Siri to mark your habit as done, and select the tone of your reminder sound. It also has a note section. The timeline section is where you can see all of your habits. It has a progress section which shows you a graph and tracks your daily progress of taking the vitamins. It has a timer feature that you can pay to upgrade to use. But it does have a preset timer that gives you 24 seven-minute workouts. Any habit you want to get better at you can use this app for; it is great!
App number five #BillsOrganizer
Let me start by saying I don't use this app anymore because I moved all my bill tracking to my google calendar. The first section in this app is the Bills section. Here you can see a list of all the bills you add. Click the plus sign to add a bill to the app. There you can add the Account Name, Account Number, the payment URL, phone number, amount due, the due date, category, repeat bill, auto-pay, and notes. Now I never actually put in my account number, payment URL, or did auto-pay. But for everything else, it worked great. From the bills dashboard, it shows each bill and if you click on it you can pay it or view it. The next section is the calendar section. This section gives you a monthly view of when bills are due. It also shows at the bottom the amount you have due and the amount you have paid. The next section is the accounts section; which basically a list of the companies you pay bills to. The chart section tracks which ones you are paying the most to. This is great for tracking how much you are spending on your credit cards.
There you have it 5 apps to help you stay on track and organized for free. But I have two more that I would briefly like to talk about. The first one is notes. This is a pre-downloaded app on iPhones. It is great for jotting down quick notes. If you don't have this app, just go to the app store and search for notes. Tons of free notes apps will pop up and the search works the same for the play store. Finally, the last app is CamScanner. This app allows you to scan important documents and upload them to your photos, google drive, or email it to you or someone else. I hope that you enjoyed this short read on some apps that will help you be more productive and less stressed.
As always remember to PYD - Pursue Your Dreams and Be Kind To Your Neighbor! -Mr. P