Connecting and having access to productivity applications is no longer limited to the type of phone or computer that you use. There are options available for those high energy moms that have overwhelming schedules and agendas to maintain . And there are also minimalist options for moms who just need the basics to keep things in balance. Whether you’re a smart phone geek or a novice to surfing the internet, there is a tool that you have and most certainly can use to maintain getting things done throughout your day and in your life. In this post, I’ll share a few (Yes 10 is a few, lol) of the tools that support me keeping things together in my minimalist lifestyle.
A Note App on your phone OS/Microsoft Notes:
Ok, who else is a note taker or list maker? I have been writing lists for longer than my oldest child has been a reality in my life. Back then, I was overloaded with unorganized papers that didn’t really have any direction or purpose. Although I was glad to get them out of my head, they just gathered dust in my desk or bag until I remembered they had been written down. For this reason, I am loving my phones (Apple IPhone 7 IOS) Note App! I use it everyday, in every way. It supports me in balancing every task I want to complete and allows me flexibility in the parameters I set to do. I create separate notebooks for creative, personal and family tasks and projects alike. I have set up a Bullet journal type system that works for me with migration, completion as well as future goals. It has options that support sharing my notes with others and sharing them in other applications. It also includes many features that I’m still exploring and it’s free. The only drawback I can see is not being able to access them in certain formats when I email them to others, so copy and paste is my solution.
Calender App/ Google & others:
Calender applications are used to set reminders for events, tasks, schedules. It can support note taking habits by allowing the user to include notes info into reminders and events for themselves and others. I use my calendars( creative, personal and family) to keep reminders of upcoming events in all areas of my life. I love the features of inviting others to events and recurring tasks, etc… Once I got familiar with it, I was able to prioritize what I really wanted it to pop up to show me was important. Those pop up notifications can be overwhelming at times, so knowing that you control the flow and frequency of reminders, etc… is good to remember. The only Obstacle for me is that The Google Calendar app and many of its offerings can be intrusive and try to intercept your content across different platforms. I limit this by deactivating many if the data collecting features they utilize to “better serve their users”. I often use my phone OS Calendar to maintain privacy of personal stuff and Google for everything else.
A Music App:
Music is the melody of many life experiences. For me, music is an important part of my life. Having access to mobile music options besides my car radio( I don’t own a home audio system) allows me to infuse my days with the positive melodies that inspire and encourage me. And I know many others use them in the same way. There’s an app for almost every taste and genre out there. They are many that are free with an upgrade option. I have just a few on my devices, so they are available as needed. There is 1 platform that I pay monthly for because it’s reach goes beyond music and my entire family can use it. The ads on the ones that are still free can be annoying but I can always upgrade to get rid of them.
Search Engine: Google, Bing, Yahoo
If there is something you need more information on, then search engines are a great place to start. Having access to this feature expands the potential of learning any and everything you want to know more about. Just type in a search parameter or ask a question and the results will become presented to you, just like that. My only reservation is the efficacy of the results and how relevant they are to what you need to know. Also, the search engines can use your search results to cross market products, services and information to you specifically. So do your due diligence with the information you find and set data collecting limits on your search engines that support what you want and don’t want to see. The internet is a wealth of information that can and should be used in combination with your own offline fact finding practices. So you know the validity of the data you’re collecting for your own personal use.
File Cloud Storage:Google Drive/OneDrive/ Dropbox:
You’ve collected a lot of data, important information that you want to use for a project or to create a plan of action for a goal. Now what can you do with it? For me, file storage systems such as Google Drive, ICloud and Dropbox come in very handy. I don’t have a personal computer and do most of my creative works from my IOS phone and Android Tablet. Being able to upload and download documents to use when I need them saves me time in trying to find a computer to use etc…. The only drawback again would be cost, while most are free, when you reach the free limit, upgrading is required. This can be bypassed by purging any unused documents that you haven’t used in over 3 to 6 months. This will make room for new projects and documents. There are many cost effective file storage options available as well. So finding one that fits your budget and needs in available.
While making one note taking application can seem enough, there are more options available. Evernote has been an option for Moms on the go, small business entrepreneurs and project managers alike. Evernote’s Basic plan offers many features that are just a step above a phones note taking app. I’ve used there Basic and Business plans for almost 8 years consecutively. It is great for directly gathering information online and saving it in its original format in Evernote. It also has extension functions such as Google Calendar add-on (which I use to set reminders to use the information in the note) as well as many others features that can be useful to moms who do a variety of things. From baking, crafting, homeschooling, planning family adventures and future goal planning, the list is endless. I don’t like that you can’t change your original login setup, original email etc… It can be a long process to do so. But I’m still learning more of how Evernote can meet my needs overall.
Email Service: AOL/Outlook/Gmail:
Email applications kind of started it all. They were a gateway to connecting and building relationships over the World Wide Web. They allowed us to reach out research and stay connected. The most consistent ones for me remain, AOL, which I’ve had for over 20 years and Google for the last 10 plus years. You can set up various emails for personal and creative endeavors. The features allow you to stay connected in a way that works for your needs. I stay plugged in to my AOL for personal use and Google and Outlook for Creative use. The only drawbacks are SPAM! Nobody likes spam. Some of the platforms gathering data from your emails to market and sell things to you. And having to upgrade when you run out of email storage. So, set your spam restrictions for the email addresses you use. This can be done in the options or setup features.
App for Cash Cards for You and Kids:
When I decided that I wanted to support my children in building a relationship with money, I did not want to go to the Bank. I didn’t want them to be overwhelmed just yet, with Bank fees, account limits and everything that goes with a Bank account. Cards for Kids are safe, controlled and easy to maintain as a mom on the go. I have a cash card app that allows me to set limits on what my kids spend , how much I transfer to them and the frequency of those deposits. The only drawback with the Cash Card application I use is they can transfer funds without your knowledge. So you must set up your frequency of your transfers that work for you. The only other challenge is getting my children to manage how they spend there money, a beautiful work in progress.
Photo App for making memories:
Taking pictures is a part of Today’s culture that allows us to cherish and share the moments that matter. Having an app to take store, edit and share images we create is important to many moms. It offers the option to create albums for family moments, selfies that everyone loves and images of nature. You can import images from other platforms as well as sharing them too. The photo app can get overwhelming if you don’t organize your images for later use. By creating separate albums this can be maintained. I haven’t experienced many drawbacks with the photo app I use since I just use it for taking pics to create memories of my family moments and for use in future creative projects.
These apps are great and available to you to start using today. You may even have access to them already but may not have considered there full potential before. Are there any applications that you use in your life flow to support you in your 2020 vision? Let me know. Continue to use the tools that best serve your daily habits as a mom on the go, entrepreneur and all around creative being.