I love the ability to organize, categorize and optimize all parts of my life. Throughout 2017 I’ve had the opportunity to sample different productivity systems. Adjusting to full-time work was a challenge and then entered my productivity tools. With my latest resources and new perspective, I have a list of tools that I plan to optimize in 2018. These will help you organize your life as well, or at least spark the interest in doing so.
My first tool, Pocket, is an online application that allows me to save articles and read them later. Pocket provides organization to your articles with tags and archive options. I researched Google Chrome plugins when I started to read 10+ articles at a time. This became harder to manage when I had work to do as well!
Now I “pocket” all interesting articles and categorize them for later. Most of my articles are personal development/reflection, writing tips, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Pocket provides an easy system to collect pieces of writing that I plan to reference down the line.
Pocket is a free app that includes audio playback on their mobile app!
I tested the Passion Planner free download for a semester while I was in graduate school. I printed a few months of the A4 version and put the sheets into a binder. Being able to see most of my weekly goals and plans in a single spread was the best feature. For some time, I developed my own planning system with simple compact style notebooks. Since starting my “big girl” job, I found myself attracted to the Passion Planner again. My “downsized schedule” needed some structure.
The Passion Planner empowered me in unexpected areas of my life though! I now track professional accomplishments, key dates and spending. Thanks to a simple color coding system, my planner has become a beautiful daily journal.
The Passion Planner ranges from $15-30, going on sale all the time. I recommend signing up for their email newsletter to receive the free downloads.
Habit Tracker app
About halfway through the year, I had a renewed dedication to living a healthier life. Part of that commitment was to incorporate new habits. Someone recommended I download the “Habit Tracker” app on the Google Play Store. My initial goals were: Daily Hydration, Exercise, and Daily Bible Study/Reading. Later on, I incorporated Clean Eating and Daily Writing tracking.
These habits are very important to me and my journey to a healthier lifestyle. So, I decided to track them to determine my consistency. Early on, I noticed that my consistency was terrible. I would not have known that if I didn’t take the time each evening to track my daily tasks. Those reminders served as motivation and I plan to keep up with them until I have progress every day each month!
Water Intake app
This app is also in the Google Play Store. I use it as a supplemental app to my Habit Tracker. Since I am terrible with my water intake, I downloaded another app that reminds me each hour to drink. It also updates me on how many ounces I have left for the day.
This app instilled a sense of “thirst” for me. Since I’m always dehydrated, my body learned how to “want” for water again. This app has been a huge help and I plan to continue to use it until my water intake is up to par on a daily basis as well.
A gym membership may seem like the first thing to cut from a budget, but not when it’s contractual! I immediately registered for the discount when I got my new job in June. There were “dry patches” when I wanted to give up and cancel my membership, but thank God that I’m locked in for a year. Once I saw the membership as an investment, I have been taking advantage of it even more.
With a goal to visit the gym at least 4 times per week, I incorporate equipment only works. That way, I had no excuse to go home. Taking advantage of these items remind me of the membership benefits.
B Chic University Budget Template
Lastly, I plan to use the budget template I created in 2017. When I started my new job, I wanted to prepare for my new income and expenses. I knew my income would skyrocket, but my expenses would too. To avoid the shock, I planned out a super detailed budget before even receiving any money. Since June 2017, I’ve been using this budget and staying on top of all my expenses.
For 2018, I plan to use the B Chic University Finance Workbook to better manage my money. I’ll be taking the time to cut unnecessary spending, beefing up my savings, and slashing my debt. This won’t all happen at the same time, but I’ll be on a great path to healthy money management.
Do you have any productivity tools in the wings for 2018? Let me know and I’ll try them out!