6 Apps I love to use to simplify my life
As busy women, we already use our smartphones for everything… keeping in contact with co-workers via email, family members via text, friends via Facebook and Instagram, news via Twitter and drool-worthy recipes via Pinterest.
But do you also use these apps that can help to simplify your life?
Imagine a virtual file cabinet containing all of your important documents, notes and life details — and having the ability to access it anywhere, online or offline, at any time. That, my friends, is Evernote! An app available for your desktop, tablet and smartphone that allows you to create notebooks in which you place your "notes," which can be created by typing text into a new note, taking a photo within Evernote or clipping an article from the web. All of your notes become "searchable" so it's super easy to find anything you've stored in any notebook. And Evernote allows for collaboration — so you can share notes and ideas with co-workers and family members. You can even create presentations from your notes!
Here are a few ways that I use Evernote:
- Create task lists for projects I am working on. Add checkboxes with one click (because nothing is more satisfying than being able to check off a completed task!)
- Maintain copies of all family members’ medical records by taking a photo of the physical exam document. (Which kid was it that had strep throat last spring?)
- Build a notebook for our upcoming family vacation and add all hotel and airline confirmation info. Clip ideas from web pages for fun restaurants and attractions that we won't want to miss. Share that notebook with my spouse so he has all of the details too.
- Notes from meetings and conferences are typed and filed directly into Evernote. I don't even carry a notebook anymore!
- Email templates for my business, screenshots of business proposals, notes for presentations.
Calendar (iCloud, Google Calendar)
The best way to simplify your life is to have every appointment, task, to-do and reminder in one place. Most smart phones come with a built-in calendar app that allows you to add events and tasks and then view those items in a calendar format or as a list, and also allows you to share calendars with co-workers and family members. iCloud calendar is the one that comes standard with iOS, and Google Calendar is available as an app for Android and iPhone, but you should also know that you can use either one of these apps to view a calendar that is created and maintained in the other simply by sharing that calendar.
But are you getting the most out of your calendar app? Here are a few tips:
- Within your “calendar app” you can maintain separate calendars and color code them. This makes it so much easier to manage your life by keeping personal, family and work related commitments separate. But be sure that you are selecting the correct "calendar" when adding a new event to the system!
- Do you consistently arrive late to pick up the pup from the groomer? Add a notification to your appointment with an audible alarm to remind you to get moving!
- Subscribe to a weather "calendar" for your area. I love being able to see the forecast for the coming days built right into my calendar app! (Looks like the soccer game is going to be rained out… I should just go ahead and book a mani/pedi appointment instead!)
A fantastic way to simplify your financial life is to use Mint, which allows you to view everything related to your money- your bank accounts, investments, budgets, and expenses. Mint syncs to nearly every financial institution that's on the web, and it only takes a few minutes to securely hook up your bank accounts, bills and credit cards. Mint helps to categorize all of your spending so you can understand exactly where your money has been going — information you can use to construct a budget to help you better manage your money! You can check your progress each month on the app and set up notifications to alert you when you are over-spending in a particular category.
Want to eat healthier? Exercise more? MyFitnessPal is one of the best apps to help you achieve that goal. With a food database of over 5,000,000 items, it is easy to track what you've been eating, including calories consumed, and compare that to calories spent exercising. I love how it keeps track of my meals and snacks!My Fitness Pal is compatible with practically every fitness tracking device made, so you can easily integrate your step counter and more.
If you are like me and sign up for every rewards and loyalty program offered in the hopes of scoring coupons and deals, then you already know it is a ridiculous notion that you would actually attach all those plastic tags to your keychain (I'd never be able to find my keys on the ring). Key Ring allows you to put all of those loyalty cards right on your phone, and they can be scanned at checkout right from your screen.
To me, simplifying is about cutting through the clutter and organizing things, but it is also about creating some inner peace. And for me, nothing creates a sense of calm and control more than spending a few moments reflecting and appreciating all that is in front of me. This app gives you that space to write down five things you are grateful for every day, add images and journaling as well as the ability to share what's in your heart with your social media accounts. This is truly one of the greatest ways to end each day!
This post is part of a sponsored collaboration between Perfectly Simple bars by ZonePerfect and SheKnows