Getting my sh*t together

I am not a very organised person. I have a chaotic creative brain that doesn’t respond well to admin or accounting. Organising a Direct Debit payment is enough to bring me out in a cold sweat. But recently, I’ve felt the need to exert a little more control over my life. So, I’ve turned to technology.

I have an iMac desktop, an old iPhone and a MacBook Air. This means I can access the same files from all three devices. So, I now have a calendar and a reminder list I can refer to and update anywhere (with calendar appointments colour coded for work, social, home, birthdays, etc.).

I am also making use of the Notes app. I have various folders into which I can type story ideas, keep a list of my favourite Instagram hashtags, and generally download anything I need to remember. This is especially handy when an idea strikes while I’m out and about: I can make a note on my phone and know it will be there waiting on my desktop when I get home.

One of the biggest changes I’ve made has been downloading apps for my bank account, PayPal, and HMRC. Previously, I’ve recoiled from anything to do with money; now, I can easily keep track of what’s going in and out of my account.

And to top it off, I’ve even started using the Health app to track the number of steps I walk in a day and the amount of sleep I get.

I told you I was getting my sh*t together.

However, it’s not all a technological wonderland. For some reason, I find habit tracking easier in a paper journal than on a spreadsheet. So, I’m still tracking my daily tasks–writing, reading, alcohol consumption, housework–in an old school bullet journal. Something about colouring in the little squares by hand feels more satisfying than putting a tick in an Excel box. I don’t know why, it just does.

Are there any productivity or admin tools that you couldn’t live without? Let us know in the comments…

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Author: Gareth L Powell

Writer

4 thoughts on “Getting my sh*t together”

  1. Maybe we need something that is hooked up to Notes.app and whatever is used to write with so we can close a virtual ring of words written daily along with steps, exercise, and standing. Hey Apple… yes…. I’m looking at you 😉

  2. Almost all of my life (work and personal) is organised using Trello. Can’t speak highly enough of it, used extensively for 8+ years and couldn’t do without it [no connection, just a user].

    Google Keep also great for notes, reminders, lists. And put every single thing (one-offs, recurring things, reminders, birthdays, etc.) into a calendar app like Google Calendar.

    Consider also Zapier or IFTTT (both very good) to hook up automations between apps.

  3. Last summer I got my shit together by leaning heavily on Trello. I have to say, I’m still a big fan of notebooks, and started my first bullet journal at the same time (you mentioned it and I looked into it). I like working with something physical, and I get to use my hoard of pens to create colour-coded pages full of doodles.

  4. Thanks to your posts, I’m now a big fan of the dot journal for tracking health and productivity.

    Backing this up by trying consolidate my many, many avenues for taking notes.

    Cheers for helping me get my own shit together!

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