Technology Thursday – Wunderlist

Wunderlist iPad
Wunderlist iPad (Photo credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta)

It’s Thursday again and that means revealing another one of my favorite apps!

Wunderlist is one of my all time favorite apps for list making – next to Evernote that is, and the one that I am featuring today! (You can find more apps under The Write Plan tab.)

Like Evernote, it syncs across my devices so if I am on the computer and need to jot down a note or add to my grocery list, it’s just a click away.

 

Wunderlist iPad
Wunderlist iPad (Photo credit: Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I downloaded and tried many different list apps before deciding on Wunderlist. I have been referred to as the app Queen by a couple of my friends – and I think I’ve earned every bit of the name calling in this case! Haven’t decided if that’s good or bad yet.

While I had to upgrade to Evernote Pro – that’s how much I love it – I have not upgraded to the paid version of Wunderlist. With the free version I can upload three docs or photos a day and I find that is enough for me.

2012 09 11 10.52.23 e1347375350407   Wunderlist   The Best To Do List Application On The iPhone [iOS]

I am a list maker. I’m a pro at making lists. Did I mention how much I love lists? Wunderlist is great for making lists. I have a list for me, a list for Hubby, a grocery list, a to do list, and an errand list. I love that the lists are checklists. We list makers LOVE checking things off. We do not want to delete our tasks until we can visually see that all the tasks have been accomplished. Wunderlist gives me the freedom to do this. It allows me to flag important items on my lists and with a swipe, delete items. I enjoy being able to add sub-lists (in the form of check-lists) to my lists and with a simple movement/drag re-order them.

Wunderlist App
Wunderlist has an extremely high number of 5-star ratings. The app allows you to organize your life and your business all in one place. You can add important details – pictures, documents, notes, reminders, due dates and subtasks to your lists. You can share your list with any of your contacts and access your information from anywhere – iPhone, Android, PC, iPad, etc.  Wunderlist Pro is $4.99 a month and allows even more sharing as well as making comments. When you think of the cost of paper and the number of list you hand write and toss out, I would say that is quite a bargain.

2012 09 11 10.52.42 e1347375421915   Wunderlist   The Best To Do List Application On The iPhone [iOS]

It is important to remember that your phone isn’t just a phone, it’s a computer and should be utilized as such. Our phones are such amazing little creatures and can help us stay organized. Do you use Wunderlist? What is your take on it?

Wunderlist iPad

 

https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/donnamcbroomtheriot1008

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding the perfect planner setup

I have posted several different inserts that I have been trying out in hopes of finding the perfect one for me. I think I have finally developed a system that will work for me. I have gathered the pages that I use most frequently and I am keeping them close at hand as you will see in the video.

Links to the products that I use:

Southern Charm Planners on FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Day-Timers: http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Distressed-Leather-Free-Form-1%22-Planner-Cover-Desk-Size-/45014?searchClickId=0171103771%2C716&catId=&prodId=45014

Polka Dot Posie: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PolkaDotPosiePrint

Pembroke Papers: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PembrokePapers

I Heart Organizing: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/free-printables.html

I hope you enjoyed your visit and stop by again. As always, thanks for visiting and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment.

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Setting up a planner is a journey where there is no destination…

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As I was helping a person in my planner group – Southern Charm Planners – I realized that the information was important to anyone wishing to set up a planner.

It used to be there were only a few options to choose from when setting up the “guts” of a planner. Now, the world (internet) is your oyster. Just visit Etsy, an online shoppers paradise, and search “planners.” You would be amazed at the number of hits. Not having a system already established, the results would intimidate even the seasoned veterans of planner organization.

Every color of the rainbow can be found and just about every possible conglomeration of pages are available. Want the columns verticle in your week at a glance? Sure, no problem. Or, would you like them horizontal and divided into categories? Yep! You can have that served up too. You can have it in red or purple or pink or a combination. You can choose lines or lineless (just made that word up). Maybe you would prefer a day to a page or two pages per day.

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I, myself, like a week at a glance. After a lot of searching, I found the page that I currently use. It features a Time Plan with a place to check off tasks as I complete them. This week I have outlined each day in pink so it shows up better. I like having a priority section and phone calls and email section.

I also enjoy having my daily page with my Time Management Schedule mapped out for me. I have a real problem with my attention span, or lack there of I should say. It’s about the length of knat (for those of you who live in the South.) For everyone else, it’s zero. I can get distracted like nobody’s mama. You can read about my time management system here http://wp.me/p1nV7v-ub     It also gives me space to add a To Do list. I have even added a third page (behind the daily page) where I record all of my blog activity for the week (book reviews, posts, etc.)

And this brings me to the point of this posts. If you are a newbie just setting up your planner, or perhaps a more seasoned veteran looking for something new, remember to take your time. Setting up a planner is a journey where there is no destination. It should always be a work in progress. Take your time and look at the many different setups available and think about how each system would work for you in your own planner. Download a free month at a glance and add plain hole punched paper in your planner until you figure it out – rather than spend unnecessary money. Draw the system that appeals to you and play with it for a week or two before making a decision.

Ask yourself a few questions and think about your everyday life and what you would like to track. Is it appointments? Phone calls? To Do lists? Exercise or medications? Your children’s activities or the bake sale? Do you want to log everything on the same pages or would setting up sections in your planner work better. Keep in mind that everyone is different and needs a different system to track the important aspects of their life. This is what I mean by setting up a planner being a journey.

This is a quote by Judy Garland – “Always be a first-rate version of yourself and not a second-rate version of someone else.” 

You don’t have to use the same planner (Day-Timer, Filofax, Day-Runner, Franklin-Covey, 3-ring binder) or the same dividers (Financial, calendar, menu, medical, etc.) as someone else. There is no reason to try to outdo or keep up with the next person. Setting up a planner is a personal endeavor and one you should enjoy. It shouldn’t cause you undue stress. Don’t be persuaded by bright lights and flashy colors. Get off the boulevard and explore the side streets. Keep your needs and your budget in the forefront. Your planner needs to work for you, not the other way around.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and found a little something you could take away. As always, I would love to get your take on things, so feel free to comment and join the conversation – or start one. Remember, if you have any questions, just post them in the comments and I’ll be glad to write a post with additional information on the topic.

Southern Charm Planners – https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/
Day-Timer – http://www.daytimer.com/daytimerstore/mwv/product/Distressed-Leather-Free-Form-1%22-Planner-Cover-Desk-Size-/45014?searchClickId=0169751530%2C3519&catId=&prodId=45014
Polka Dot Posie – https://www.etsy.com/listing/170968988/2014-small-polkadotposie-signature?ref=related-5
Pembroke Papers – https://www.etsy.com/listing/176148796/downloadable-2014-12-size-a5-week-o2p?ref=shop_home_feat_1
I Heart Organizinghttp://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/p/free-printables.html
Southern Charm Planner’s Charm – https://www.etsy.com/transaction/180298065

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It’s been a busy week afterall!

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On Monday I instituted a brand new time management schedule and then life outside came to a standstill. Southern Louisiana saw snow and sleet! Hubby was even forced to sit this one out at home. And, when that happens, any schedule I have seems to fly out the window. After a short recess, I got back on schedule and I have to say, my week was a lot less stressful when I followed my schedule.

I am an organizer and when I say my favorite saying is everything should have a place and everything in its place, you can be sure I mean it – even time. Yes, time! That’s where my schedule came in. Everything had a place and everything in its place. Exercise and tidying up the house had a place. Sitting down and writing had a place. See where I’m going with this? I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but if you tend to have a zero attention span the way I do, it works.

I didn’t even feel stressful today when I deviated from my schedule and used my work and writing time to grocery shop. I even found a little time to play. I have become obsessed with every card or sticky note in my planner being something other than what it is – and that is straight lined! I came up with the idea of using one of my many Martha Stewart punches and making eyelet tracks down the sides of my sticky tablets. As you can see in the photo, I haven’t quite mastered matching the sides. I’ve tried upside down and right side up and turning it over while punching the second side, but for some reason it isn’t working. It’s not that important, but sooner or later, I’ll figure it out. Meanwhile, aren’t they cute? Also, you can see by my planner, the week ended up being quite busy despite the adverse weather conditions.

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Other than working on three book reviews that I’ll have up before the weekend ends, that was my week. Hope you’ve had a great week as well.

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Time Management Follow-up

Is that a catchy title that makes you want to read this post? No. I guess not. But, in my defense, my brain is a little fried from doing the number thing all day. My business computer crashed a couple of weeks ago and spent some time visiting the Geek Squad. While it was having a vacation, I was having to pay bills and conjure up make-shift invoices.

Now, the computer is back, safe and sound, and with its data fully restored which means I’ve been hard at work inputting numbers and more numbers, and did I say NUMBERS?!! I am a confessed numberfobic (I think I just invented that word.) I do not even count change, I break a dollar – yes, I am one of those. Please do not ask me to do math without a calculator and someone to help. Seriously!

Did I mention I had my computer back with all its data? I think I did. That’s all it had. I’m not complaining, well, maybe a little. It has been an adventure to say the least to get my computer up and running – even with all its data. I had data, but no Quickbooks to pull the data into any order. I had data, but no Microsoft Word, in which to read the data. I was on a mad hunt for several days trying to locate a Microsoft Office 2007, which is the only thing that would work on my computer. Someone finally located one for me on eBay and it is now ensconced on my computer and I’ve been updating lease agreements and excel spreadsheets for the past two long days.

Considering the amount of time that I spent googling trying to find something compatible (I can beat a dead horse like nobody’s mama), please do me a favor and do not tell me of an easier way that I could have installed or located Microsoft Office. I truly do NOT want to know. It would NOT make my day.

I digress. Getting back to the topic at hand – time management – it sort of worked today, or would have worked today – had it not been for Hubby needing to stop at the bank on his way to the job site, and him not deciding that until this morning. So, instead of getting up at my set time and doing my morning routine before sitting down at the computer, I was immediately thrust into a work environment and have been there ever since.

Since I spent most of the day doing business work and not writing, I am taking a break and writing. It is so nice to be finished with numbers for a couple of days – it’s Southern Louisiana and if you haven’t heard, we are in the midst of a winter storm. This is unusual for this part of the country, so the area is virtually shut-down – at least says the sheriff and parish president.

There is a curfew and I think the only reason people are adhering to the curfew is because it is actually frigid outside. People are out in hurricanes around here so you can safely say it must be the cold keeping them in. Even my two German Shepherds are nesting down in the garage. They wouldn’t even go out to potty!

Texting and Facebook and Tweeting haven’t taken a break though! I’ve had friends and family texting videos and pictures of snow to me all day long. lt’s a virtual winter wonderland elsewhere while here it is a sleeting frozen mess. That’s how I  know I’m finished with numbers (did I mention how much I hate numbers?) for a couple of days. No one is going anywhere, unless it’s an emergency.

UPS dropped a pillow off yesterday. Keep up now. I change subjects fast – whether writing or talking (ask anyone who knows me. It doesn’t mean I’m not waiting for your answer, because I am, but while I wait I have a hundred other things I need to say.) I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what I had ordered that could come in such a big box. Turns out it was a pillow, a heavy pillow. I had forgotten that a company had contacted me to review their pillow. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to review products on my blog, but after they contacted me for the fourth time, I figured why not. It’s a free pillow and the emails will stop. I have to admit, I will be reviewing this pillow. I had the best night’s sleep last night – ever.  (So companies? Keep those request coming in.)

The Emily + Meritt Icon Needlepoint Pillow
The Emily + Meritt Icon Needlepoint Pillow (Photo credits: PB Teen)

I normally sleep on a feather pillow. I love to punch and push and fluff my pillow and then sink into it to sleep. I am hard on pillows. This is a pillow that is made of rubber pieces and made to feel like a feather pillow – only much MUCH heavier. I smashed and punched and fluffed and then sank into it for a great night’s sleep. I like this pillow. So…I’ll be promoting this pillow quite soon!

My electric blanket quit working this fall, or more accurately, my control (dual controls) stopped working. I have always been very careful with the controls, making sure they didn’t knock against the bed posts (four poster bed), etc. Then, one day it happened. The control literally barely knocked the bed post. Evidently, it was looking for a reason to take a nice long rest because it quit working.

The blanket is old enough now that replacement controls are non-existent – so says the abrupt woman who answered the phone at the company I called. She then informed me I could purchase the same product directly from them for a cheaper price that I could purchase the same blanket (which they sold) from Lands’ End. She was a little pushy and asked me why would I want to purchase from LE when she would give me the website and a 20% coupon off of a new blanket. Because of her attitude, I was really leaning toward hanging up the phone not ordering the product, but I took down the information and headed over to the website to check out the products.

I’m kind of glad I did. Instead of purchasing another blanket, I purchased an electric heated mattress pad. Oh My Goodness! This is so much better than a blanket. Because the heat is between you and the mattress, once you turn it off, you stay warm ALL night. Seriously! The blanket always cooled off quickly and I am thinking it is because it is exposed to the cool air. I look forward to going to bed at night when it’s cold. The heated pad also acts like a heating pad and that feels great on my back.

That’s about it for me today. Tomorrow, I am back on the wagon as far as the Time management Schedule. I really enjoyed my schedule on Monday. I had my day mapped out and it wasn’t stressful. I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to, even with the chaos caused by the business I had to take care of.

Hubby has just finished peeling and chopping apples. I think I’m being summoned to the kitchen to cook something good, so that’s it for tonight.

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? I just love when readers leave a comment, so feel free to say hello!

In the event you are interested in purchasing an electric blanket or mattress pad, this is the information I used. I am not affiliated with the company, nor do I receive a commission. I just like the product – so far.

Pillows, Pads, and More

8501 Tower Point Drive
Charlotte, North Carolina 28227
United States
Phone866-522-7219
Web site:http://www.pillowspadsandmore.com

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Time Management – Formulating a schedule

With the new year underway, many people are still trying to conquer that elusive schedule. Well, I’m no different. I’ve been perusing blog posts about setting up schedules and there were a number of them that I found quite helpful.

I’ve always followed a makeshift schedule of sorts, but felt it was time to really lock in a more productive time management system that worked for me. Flying by the seat of my pants just isn’t working anymore. As organized a person as I am, my lack of attention span is forever getting in the way. I am a person who needs structure, and I found myself really needing to lock down a timeframe that allowed for my attention to be corralled for periods of time in order to get what needed to be done, done, yet something that would allow some flexibility as well.

One of the blogs I was looking at was Organized Jen. She has developed a great chart. It actually looks like a chore chart I came up with a few years ago. Using her model, I developed my own schedule. Keep in mind that it is not a schedule that is set in stone and it doesn’t mean I won’t deviate from it on occasion – I plan on working friend time into each week in place of work – it simply gives me a picture of my week. Also, there are days when I have meetings or unexpected things come up, so it definitely is not a do or die schedule. It will also no doubt go through some primping before it’s done, but for now, I think it will work for me.

Keep in mind, when planning your schedule, my schedule will not be perfect for you, but it might be a perfect prototype from which to tweak. We are all different people with different needs and various things going on in our lives. You may not even need a schedule. With my lack of attention span getting in the way of productivity, I desperately needed to try something different.

I am generally a person who looks at minute details (as in list everything), so coming up with broad weekly goals was a bit different. After much deliberation, these are the goals I came up with.

Weekly Goals

Work Goals

 Maintain a regular posting schedule (I’ve become lax here)

Stop work by 4pm (let something other than my blog have a front seat)

Less/no work on weekends (other than reading) (I’m a book reviewer too)

Work on home improvement projects weekly (Hubby and I have loads of these)

Personal Goals

Daily chores (I have a break-down schedule already)

Exercise 45 minutes five days a week (really trying to be good about this)

Family Time (Hubby and pets)

Keep up with household duties (no procrastinating – lots of !!!)

After coming up with the big picture, I was able to develop my weekly time management schedule to work with my day. To further harness my inattentiveness, I gave myself blocks of time in which to complete my tasks, and then set up a schedule to accomplish these tasks. I then studied the schedule to see if it was doable – for me.

After completing my new time management schedule, I sat down and transferred some of the information to my planner so that on Monday (today) morning, I had a plan I could work with. So far, it’s working really well – but then it’s only been one day. I know – you are laughing – but probably not as hard as I am.  You have to start somewhere and today was mine.

I’ll be reporting back each week with little tweaks as needed to let you know how my schedule is working for me. And, as I said, it has been working today. I didn’t sleep well last night so I was a little late getting out of bed, but everything has gone smoothly. I used to sit down first thing at the computer, but this morning, I followed my new routine and it has been truly delightful. I am not feeling stressed at all. I am doing exactly what my schedule says I should be doing. The photos below are not the best, but they will give the general idea of what my schedule looks like. I couldn’t figure out how to bring a word doc in. The actual information is not important to anyone but me, but the form might be helpful.

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Time Management – Weekly Schedule
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Work Schedule and Weekly Goals

Here’s a look at how it translates itself to my planner.

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The right hand page shows the blocks of time to coordinate with my chart. 
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On the left is my weekly schedule which already includes appointments to be worked into the schedule.

Hopefully, I’ve inspired some of you to develop your own Time Management Schedule if you don’t already have one. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know what is working for you.

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Organizing my week and Bullet Journaling (Video)

I’ve been hearing a lot lately on bullet journaling. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, so I decided to Google it. After all, doesn’t Google know everything?

I was quite surprised to realize I already a use bullet journaling technique. I am a list maker. I like making lists. I like my lists – get the picture here? I used to make lists with little dots in front of them – never knowing that people actually teach this sort of thing. To me, it was an easy way of distinguishing each task on the list.

Then, I graduated to using numbers. I’m the first to tell you to do your own adding and subtracting – and Heaven forbid anything more complicated than that – for yourself. I’m a writer (not claiming to be a good one, just one) not a number person. I am one of those people who freak out at counting change in public. I would rather break a dollar than count change. But, in this instance, I like numbers. Numbers are orderly, and my brain likes orderliness.

I found a video on-line on bullet journaling, and while his bullet journaling technique looks and sounds like great, it is just not how my brain works. Ryder Carroll uses boxes, circles, and dots in his journal book. I liked the little boxes and the idea of checking them off. Scratching through items is messy and too chaotic for my brain, and after a while makes it difficult to see what has been accomplished and what hasn’t. And, like him, I use the star method to draw attention to important to-dos. But, my brain likes pretty-pretty and writing in a graph book is just not going to do it for me. Also, for my personality, I need less cluttered structure.


I would love to know Ryder’s personality type, one, because personality traits fascinate me, and two, because I am interested in the correlation between his personality and his chosen methodology – bullet journaling.

I have recorded my very first video blog about my week, rather than using pictures. It’s not at all professional, but it shows my week. Hope you enjoy it.

In my planner, I have a pretty week on two pages that I love. It’s colorful and cheerful and adding colorful washi tape and stickers draws me in and makes me want to sit down and plan my week. What works so well with the particular week on two pages that I’ve chosen is each day is broken up into boxes and columns. I can label columns and put tasks or appointments relating to the column heading into the appropriate box. It allows me to compartmentalize, which in turn keeps me focused – really helpful if you have zero attention span – as I do.

I also use a daily sheet. It has a place for phone calls and a little to-do spot as well as a time frame list. This works with my brain. I jot down things on my week on two pages and each day I transfer what I need to do. I also add things as they come up. Using the daily sheet keeps me focused because I only have to look at one page. There are also weeks when my days aren’t so busy and I actually use the same daily sheet for a couple or three days. I am also able to schedule my time. I need this to stay focused and be able to accomplish things. If not, I wander around doing whatever grabs my attention and miss doing things that may be important – just ask Hubby. Poor man! I drive him crazy!

Located behind the daily page is a week at a glance where I keep my blog information. While all of this may seem redundant to some, it works in keeping me focused – remember, zero attention span. It works with my mind (as you’ve heard me say before) and not against it. I like to look at the project page (which is what I call it) and see at a glance the next book that is up or the next post I need to write. I also have space to jot down ideas for future blog posts.

And, as if all of my pages wouldn’t drive someone else insane, I recently added a card to the mix. It is ongoing information or a list of things that need to be done but don’t necessarily need to be done immediately. I can move the card from week to week, or take it out and use it when I run errands. I recently purchased a Sizzix machine and I can now make pretty little cards for this purpose. I am more likely to sit down and write my to-do list if I have a pretty place to write it down; a plain piece of paper just wasn’t working for me.

While I really liked the bullet journaling video and will probably watch it again to see if there are any additional pointers I can translate into my own system, his way of bullet journaling is not going to work for me. Yes, it is an easy system and I could see myself following his method, but it wouldn’t be fun for me. It would seem like a chore. I like my pretty papers and my cards and stickers.

So, for me, I think I’ll stick with my Day-Timer and the inserts I’ve found. It’s a good system and one that I have stuck with for many months. The important thing about choosing a planner is to figure out what system will work for you, how much information you are willing to document and how much time you are willing to devote to it. My system involves several pages, but in real-time, it doesn’t require a lot of my time to set up each week. I also find comfort in sitting down to plan my week and enjoy the creativeness it takes to decorate my planner. There is just something cathartic about putting colored ink to paper.

If you are looking for a quick, simple way to organize your thoughts and life, I encourage you to watch the video and try the bullet journaling method. I’d be curious to know how it works for you.

Looking to become part of a planner group? Check out my group on Facebook – Southern Charm Planners. We Southerners consider everyone a friend so don’t let that deter you from joining.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaPlannerGirls/

Procrastination Saturday

So…what have you procrastinated about this week?

On Monday, I mowed grass and bathed the dogs, instead of writing.

On Tuesday, I put ant killer in the yard, instead of writing. (I later wrote two book reviews and my post on “All Things Southern”.

On Wednesday, I slept late due to a late night on Tuesday, and then sat around and read, instead of writing.

On Thursday, I hopped around with a blog hop and visited, instead of writing. (I later wrote my post for “Thursdays – Where Truth is the Dare”, and wrote and pre-schedule a guest post for when I am on vacation.)


SO…what did you procrastinate about this week?

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