Tech Tips to Ring in 2014

The following post is from Lauren Rothlisberger of Get Me Geeky:
Tech Tips to Ring in 2014
Here we are, half-way through January, how are your New Years Resolutions going? I am not really one to set resolutions, but instead put out new goals and challenges for myself in the new year. Mandi wrote about her method of doing this by choosing one word to focus on. She chose “LIVE”. Her in blog post really struck a chord with me. I think this idea of picking a word to rather than setting lofty goals allows for more success than failure.

In fact, I like it so much I am “borrowing” her idea and her word. I hate feeling as though I live in survival mode all the time. Last year was an incredibly full and inconsistent year. With two deployments, one new baby, three other kids to care for, and many other balls in the air it can be very difficult to just “live”. But having an infant around is a constant reminder of just how fast the kids grow and change. Much like Mandi I want to ensure that I am focusing on my personal goals, but not at the expense of the most important thing to me, time with my family.
The best way I know to make this happen is to live very intentionally. With so little time in the day I really need to set out with a plan and streamline my day as much as possible. And even more difficult, I need to do that while remaining flexible to the needs of my family, especially with baby Will.

Mandi put together a nice list of actions she is going to take to support her word, LIVE. I would like to take a look at a few techy tools that might help us out in our quest to simplify and live more intentionally in 2014. Hopefully whether you set goals, resolutions, chose a word, or don’t buy into this at all, you might find a handy tool below.

Plan & Organize

This past fall was a great reminder of just how important keeping with a daily plan is for me. I got way off track when the kids and myself all came down with the flu. That led right into the holidays. and I spent almost two months scrambling to keep up with everything. I personally keep a daily portfolio of all my tasks. This is nothing impressive, but my helpful tip is to do it the night before. That was you hit the ground running when you wake up.

For my daily portfolio I use Evernote to maintain a list broken down by category (work, home, school..).
Also take a look at Wunderlist . Wunderlist is the premier to-do list app. Sometimes you just want an app that does one thing really well, in this case lists.

Part of planning your day and remaining organized is keeping a calendar. Most of us have a lot of balls in the air, put the burden of tracking all that on the computer. There are a lot of calendar options, but I have become particularly fond of Fantastical. It integrates with iCal and takes your instruction to add events through your voice better than any other app. Just tell you phone the event and Fantastical gets it on there.

Health & Fitness

In order to LIVE, we must take care of ourselves and reduce stress. Exercise and eating are an important part of fueling our body so we can tackle the day in our best condition. If I wake up dragging I never seem to have the energy to get both what I need to do, and what I want to do, done. MapMyRun and FitBit are both very helpful in tracking your progress. There is no need to set lofty fitness goals. Just get moving and while your at it try and eat right. Meal planning is both a huge help in eating healthy and staying organized. Trying to figure out “what’s for dinner” at 5 wastes a lot of time. I know because I am guilty of it. Plan to Eat is an awesome meal planner, and True Food helps you make the right choice on what to eat.

Money

We also must reduce stress, and while there are many causes of this, money it at the top of the list. Take this new year to re-access your finances and perhaps give yourself a better pulse on the situation. You can keep it simple and write down your financial goals in an Evernote note, or keep a little more detailed and start using Mint to track your finances.

One Last Tip

My last tip is to “read it later”. We are constantly distracted by our computers and smartphones. Those things can easily get you off track from either getting your tasks done, or spending time with your loved ones. All a distraction from LIVING. While there are many apps out there that allow you to save it later, lately my favorite has been Safari’s reading list. You can easily add a link to the reading list from any device and it is right there.

I hope a few of these apps help you stay on track in the new year.

What app would you contribute to this list?

Lauren Rothlisberger blogs and consults over at Get Me Geeky. As a military wife and mom of three girls five years old and under, she loves focusing on technology and productivity and finding new ways to simplify her life. She recently started putting together MacMinis, which are easy to follow videos for Mac users, and also wrote an ebook, Evernote for Moms.
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