As more and more gets added to life-- kids, The Brunette Bobbin, the blog, activities, play dates, family time-- I've added organizational tools and processes to make our life easier and more streamlined. There are tons of apps, programs, planners, binders, etc. that are available, but the organizational tools that I'm going to discuss today are pretty simple. And they are all free, which is always a plus!
1. Google Calendar: This has been a game changer in our house. No more questions about what our plans are during the weekend or confusion about when things are going on. All activities, appointments, holidays and anything that impacts our schedule gets put on our shared Google calendar. It can be synced with anyone else's calendar, viewed on your phone, provide alerts/reminders and best of all, it's easy. All you need is a Gmail account.
2. Dashlane App: This free app is where I store all of my passwords and log in information. I used to keep them all in a note on my phone or on random pieces of paper that I would always lose. Super secure, right? Now I can use Touch ID or my master password to
access all of my account info. There is a paid version that offers some added bells and whistles, but the free version has suited me just fine!
3. Weekly Menu Board + Meal Planning: I know meal planning isn't for everyone, but it's a huge time saver and organization cornerstone for us to have our weekly dinner menu written out in a visible place every week. It tells us what meat we need to thaw that day, if one of us will be out that evening, and of course, what to make for dinner. Plus, by planning our meals for the week ahead of time, there's none of the "what should we have for dinner?" chatter that takes a lot of time and we avoid scrounging for ingredients because we already know what we're making.
4. Google Drive: Can you tell I love my Google products? Google Drive has been a great solution as I've gotten busier with my sewing business, started this blog and just have more to keep track of. We have a shared spreadsheet with our expenses and budgets, I keep track of who has paid for their orders, and I can store blog graphics and other ideas in one single place that I can access through Gmail, my desktop on our home laptop or my phone. Having access to everything on my phone is key, since I'm often trying to do blog stuff on my phone while at work!
5. Auto pay, auto pay, auto pay: When I first got out of college, and didn't make much money, I didn't sign up for auto pay for my bills right away. I think I was worried that I would overdraft if I would forget when payments were coming out of my account and I wanted to have more control (and make sure I had money to go out with my ladies on the weekend, duh). Now, we auto pay errr-thang. Student loans, mortgage, utilities, daycare, phone bills, cable, credit card payments, car payments, insurance, etc. It's so nice, and a great time saver, to not have to worry about going to many different sites to make payments every month, and great for peace of mind that we won't be missing any payments.