I have always been a list maker. I just like how a list makes the unsurmountable seem so do-able. Yes, I have a paper planner and when I have multiple big projects on at the same time, a physical resource is brilliant. Plus my paper planner is beautiful and decorative and I love that I can stuff all the paper for a project (like paper invoices) in there too. But when it comes to daily life, a physical planner is bulky and heavy to cart around. I have looked for apps to help me organize but none of them had quite the right qualities. Sure, there are apps for lists like Evernote but they didn’t have the visual appeal that makes these things work for me. I’m sorry but for me, pretty is a motivator.
Mr Ask introduced me to Google Keep when I was looking for a good app where we could share a shopping list. It was pretty new at the time, like it launched a couple of days before, but Mr Ask is nerdy and that is very handy! Basically, I use the list feature and add images to add a header to each list and I share some lists with others. I use the iPhone app (there is also Android) and the desktop version – it synchs across devices. There are tons of features I don’t use, because I am into simple, which others may love. Like colour coding and geo fencing and stuff, check out the Wiki for the full explanation of features. I just want pretty lists!
Over time I expanded my list from just shopping lists to what amounts to a bullet journal. The guy who made the bullet journal popular has a short but comprehensive beginners guide to bullet journalism in this video. And this video shows you how to pretty things up and tailor things to your own needs. But the beauty of a bullet journal is that it is flexible and can fit your needs. To understand how I use everything, here are my lists and what I put on them…
- Get Stuff Done – Daily to do lists, upcoming events and appointments
- Blog Posts To Write – Any posts that are unfinished or I am planning
- Emergency Shop List – Things to pick up next time I’m at the shops (shared w Mr Ask)
- Shopping List – Fortnightly online shop (shared w Mr Ask)
- Chemist Needs – Anything to grab from the pharmacy (shared w Mr Ask)
- Kick Ass Sister – Jobs my sister & I are getting to (shared w Sister)
- Kmart/Target/BigW – Things to buy when I’m there or when waiting for a sale on something
- Weekly Meal Plan – Anything I’m planning to eat that week
- Heat Transfer Vinyl Ideas – Things I want to make with the silhouette
- Project Planning – Used when I have one on the go and need to track it
- Sewing To Do – A never ending list of things I want to make
- Recipe Ideas – Future food thoughts before I forget
- Potential Movies – Things that might be good to watch before I forget
- Bright Ideas – Middle of the night thoughts…
- Measurements – Dimensions for that blind that isn’t a standard size, just in case I find it or the size of the space for the new whatever so I have it when shopping
In a bullet journal you would have some date/calendar based stuff. I use the calendar on my phone for things like birthdays and stuff. I don’t actually use anything date oriented but I will use the notes function on Keep to remind me of hairdressing type appointments. This combination works beautifully for me!! I feel super organized, I don’t miss stuff anymore and everything is on my phone, which is surgically attached to me lol. I have a tendency to run into shops with my phone inside my purse, which would totally mean that my planner would be in the car. But since Keep is on my phone it’s with me. When I am working at HQ, Keep is right there on my laptop. I am sharing it in case it works for you too. I’ve wasted so much time and money on apps that ultimately disappointed me. I know that this seems like a straight up ad for Google (I wish I was getting paid!) but this is just what I have discovered and what works for me. Busy Bloggers and Mummas and Workers and Kick Ass Career Makers and Stay at Home Cat People (Oh Yeah!) – this is my way of surviving life with flair! We ALL have stuff that needs doing and things to remember. I hope this post has sparked your inner organizational geek! If you have a system that you love, I want to hear, so let me know!