I know you will find this hard to believe, but technology has not always been my best friend. (Ok, there are still days where we have to be separated.) I was a late bloomer on Facebook, not joining until 2009 and even then I never checked it. I’ve always hated email. And I didn’t get a smart phone until 2011.
I remember the day I got that phone. We were going to pay for the smart phone price regardless, so it seemed silly to get the flip phone. I figured I’d never use it for anything but calls and that was true for a few years. I hated texting even because my fingers were too fat to type in the right letters.
It’s funny thinking about the fact that it was just a year later that I started this blog. God does have a sense of humor, doesn’t he?
The truth is, I may not love technology, but it’s here to stay. AND that’s actually a good thing. Once I let go of the crazy stubbornness, I learned to really like my phone. I also learned that this technology thing can really make my life a LOT easier.
So I thought I would share my favorites with you today.
5 Digital resources that will simplify your life
This one app has saved me more hours than I could even calculate. Basically it’s a place to keep lists. I use it primarily for my grocery lists. In the app, I have created a list for each store I go to: Publix, Walmart, Target, Costco, Whole Foods, etc. This is very convenient as there are particular items that I buy at each store in order to get the best deals, but I don’t go to each store every week. Keeping a running list makes my monthly trips more productive.
I also keep a list for errands that I need to run as I like to do as many as possible on each day, but know that it helps to plan those out. I simply enter each errand into the list then drag and drop them into the order that makes the most sense. At Christmas, I make shopping lists for each of my kids. And I also have a packing list for when we are going on a trip.
Many people use this app as a daily to-do list, too. You can set up alerts and reminders for tasks, as well as drag/drop to rearrange tasks in order of urgency. It’s a great basic tool for remembering all the things you need to accomplish. Personally, I have found that if I can take an item off my mind and put it on a list, it frees me up to think clearly about whatever I am working on.
One of the best features is that I can download the app on my computer as well as my phone. Since I’m not super fond of typing things in my phone, using the computer for meal planning and such is really nice!
This is a well-known tool in the business world, but I think it’s very practical for moms, too. I use this free tool to organize notes for events like birthday parties. I also used it to organize our RACK service project this past Christmas. When I think of ideas, I simply open up the Evernote app and add my notes in there.
I also use this app to take sermon notes on Sundays. The thing I like about using this is that my notes are searchable, so I can always pull up a sermon when I want to go back and reference it. Often I don’t remember the title or date, but can search keywords and find the right one.
3. Google calendar
It took me a long time to give in to Google Calendar, too. I love paper planners. But honestly, paper is a silly option now. With the access to a calendar on the computer and on my phone, I can add more details such as the address I need to be at. I can also add reminders because I am prone to forget.
Instead of writing all the details of how I use this to make my life easier, I thought it would be best to show you a video! This video not only shows you how I do it, it will help you set up something similar for yourself.
4. Google Drive
Google Drive is another one of those tools that everyone raved about forever, but I refused to try. (Are you noticing a trend here? Bet you didn’t know I was really this stubborn!) First, Google Drive is a great way to save and BACK UP important files and documents. I keep everything from tax returns to weekly menus in the drive. This keeps all of my important files and papers in one place regardless of what computer I am on. No fear of crashing here!
Aside from business uses, I find Google Drive to be most helpful when it comes to my homeschool resources. I keep all my digital downloads in there for easy access and organization. When I need a copywork assignment, I go to that folder and find lots to choose from. Sure beats digging around in my saved documents wondering where I put stuff. You can see a video on how I use Google Drive to manage digital resources here.
I searched for a program to budget and track expenses for a very long time before finally landing on EveryDollar. It’s absolutely awesome. You can use it on your computer as well as the phone. The program itself is free if you just want to budget manually, but I pay for the premium service which syncs with my bank and lets me drag and drop expenses into the right categories.
It also has a great feature for helping you save money and get out of debt. So many competing products are complicated or require more info than I really need to track. EveryDollar is clean and super easy to use. Not only do I know exactly what is in my accounts, I know exactly how much money I have available in each spending category. Each time I enter a transaction, it reduces the available amount, making it easier to see how close I am sticking to the budget.
Your turn===> So what’s your favorite? Do you use some of these? Something different? Share your secrets with us!