Some useful tipps for managing your time and schedule.
Have you ever felt that it seems impossible to stay on top of all your work appointments, deadlines, meeting agenda as well as on your personal appointments, all at the same time? Well, you’re not alone.
I have all my work-related stuff in Outlook, then I have a handwritten agenda, my personal stuff is on my phone, then I have to figure out vacations with my husband and family, my weekends with my girlfriends, conferences to attend, … it all just feels like a jungle sometimes. So I decided to share four apps I (and we) use to stay on top of things and avoid double-bookings.
1.) TO DO LISTS ON THE WUNDERLIST APP
The Wunderlist App is probably one of my favorite Apps ever, because it not only allows you to set up smart, digital to-do-lists with reminders and attachments, but it also lets you share them with your significant other, your friends, your colleagues. As an example – my husband and I have a shared “grocery list” so we can both add stuff in there. Quite frequently, you’ll find me browsing for recipes at work and adding the ingredients into our list – his office is right above a large grocery store, so he’ll take care of the shopping on most days. Another good one is our list of “films we want to watch” – so anytime one of us sees a new trailer or gets a good recommendation, we add the name of that movie into our list. No more time wasted browsing IMDB at night! And we can just tick them off once we’ve watched them. Wunderlist also has a desktop version so you can log in at work, too. And if you’re using it for to-do lists in the office, the print version of the lists is pretty spot-on, too.
Some of my collagues swear on the Evernote App, but I haven’t tried it (yet). Any thoughts from your side?
2.) SHARED CALENDARS ON THE SMARTPHONE
These days, you don’t want to be the kind of partner who’s being asked for a dinner appointment and who has to reply: “sorry, I’ll have to check back with my wife/husband/partner/whatever first”. These days, just make sure it’s all online and accessible from anywhere! We use iPhones and iCloud, so one of us just added a new calender in our calender App, selected a color, and “shared” it with the other (click here for a quick and easy guide on how to do that).
Now, let’s say I’ve booked a weekend away for us. I just add a new calendar entry on my phone and select the shared calender. Once I hit “save”, the entry will appear on my husband’s device(s) automatically. Easy-peasy! To make sure we always know when one of us it booked, I also put in an entry if I know I’ll be attending a business dinner so he knows I won’t be home that night, and vice versa. No more double-bookings or stressing about appointments!
3.) PLANNING TRIPS WITH TRIP-IT
Another App we love to use to organize our travels is Trip-It. Especially for bigger vacations with multiple stops, it’s so convenient. The way it works is you just create an account within the App and from that point on, you can forward all your email confirmations of flight bookings, hotel and restaurant reservations, etc. to the Trip-it email. Their system will create a new entry in your account containing all the relevant informations such as booking numbers, vouchers, times etc. – and then it’s all in one place, sorted chronologically. For entries with no email confirmation, you can create additional, manual entries. Let’s say on day 3 of your trip, you want to visit a certain National Park in the morning. You can just add a new entry called “Visit National Park xy” with a date and a time frame, and add all useful info such as the address, how to get there, reminders on what to bring or things to remember. It’s great to have your full schedule and everything you planned in one place, and offline too! You can also manage your account via any browser on www.tripit.com.
4.) SHARED ONLINE SPREADSHEETS WITH GOOGLE SHEETS
Maybe it’s because of our jobs, but we love organizing things in excel spreadsheets. During wedding planning, we had a spreadsheet for everything – the guest list with addresses, the seating charts, vendor lists, budgets, you name it. For planning our vacations throughout the year, we make a rough draft in excel to calculate how many days we have and how to spread them across the 12 months. But instead of sending documents back and forth and never knowing who has the latest version, we just set up a shared email (something like firstname.lastname@example.org) and opened a GoogleSheets account with that email. So now, we can both log-in anywhere (at work, on the app, wherever) and access our shared documents. You can even edit them both at the same time without messing it up! So convenient. Also, you can share individual sheets with friends.
So those are my favorite digital tools to help with my planning and organizing. If you have a favorite yourself that’s not mentioned or any further tipps, I’d love to read your comment down below! xo