I don’t know if it is just me, but I often find my week getting away from me. With so many plates to spin on any given day, staying on top of everything is a real struggle. Fortunate, I bought an iPad recently, and I love it! I want to get the most of my new gadget now.
It is full of apps to help pass the time, or stay in contact with friends. But putting it to use as a way to help me organise my life has been it’s greatest contribution so far.
In fact, that was the main reason I bought it. My iPhone is perfectly capable of doing little things here and there, but I’ve actually found it a little inconvenient sometimes. It’s small screen is anything but ideal when you are trying to organise something big. So, here are some of the apps I’ve found that have helped me so far. These aren’t the only organisational apps I have, but they are the ones I’ve used the most.
First things first - expenditure. I had a real tough time of keeping track of all of my monetary comings and goings. Without an app to track everything, it is very easy to lose track of everything. That is where Mint comes in. You programme it with information about pay days, bonuses etc., and any money you spend. Mint can then quickly and simply show you how well you are balancing the books.
Start to slide towards pre-set expenditure limits, and you’ll get a warning. It requires honesty, and the patience to type in every single expenditure you make, but I’ve found it very reassuring. If I’m deciding to buy something or not, a quick look at Mint will tell me within seconds if I can afford it.
Next up, I found an app to tackle my constantly problem of “I forgot to buy ____!”.I often find myself having to make return trips to the shops to buy something I hadn’t remembered to pick up on a previous trip (more often than not, it’s the very thing I set out for). Grocery IQ is custom made for me!
You tell the app what you want, and it saves it into smart categories. From then on, the amount of effort you put in can be reciprocated. You can get Grocery IQ to scan barcodes, send reminders, and even remember custom information you input (“I’ve collected 3 of 12 special edition cups). Better yet, on the money side of things, it comes complete with a coupon directory that will spring into life if it contains a coupon that could save you money on your current shop.
I confess - I’m not a clean freak. I like my house to look neat and tidy, but I’m hardly the first person to spring into action when it needs cleaning. So I utilise HomeRoutines to break everything down into weekly essentials.
Sounds like a small step, but since it gives structure to the week, I have found it easier to keep up with. You tell the app what you want doing and when (“Wash the dishes every other night”), and HomeRoutines will organise them into groups. You simply tick tasks off as you go. You’ll have the everyday tasks that need to be done, right the way up to monthly jobs like cleaning the oven. At least my house looks like a human being lives in it now, as opposed to a pack of feral cats.
I’ve saved the best until last. Fantastical has completely replaced all other calendar apps on my iPad, including the default Apple one! It has done this for one reason alone. Whereas with the other apps you are required to manually input times, dates, and other information in a strict fashion, Fantastical allows you to use plain English. So if I type in “Lunch at 2pm tomorrow with Lisa”, Fantastical will put an event on my calendar the following day at 2pm with the text “Lunch with Lisa”!
It also seamlessly integrates maps and information sourced from other apps (weather, work schedulers etc.). It really is everything I was looking for in one app. It isn’t free, but is £3.99 all that much for efficient organisation this sleek and helpful? I don’t think so!