10 Apps to Help Manage Time and Stay Productive

Apps

AppsSticking with the theme of productivity this week, I thought I’d share with you the Apps that I’m loving right now. Working full time and running two blogs/a business is hard work. I need to be as organised as possible all the time. As I’m out and about a lot, I rely on Apps on my phone to keep me organised and make the most of my “free time”.

So, in no particular order, these are the Apps that help me manage my life:

Calendar

Okay, okay, I know this isn’t really an App as it just exists on your phone but I couldn’t live without the calendar on my phone. It’s linked through to my work emails and Outlook calendar too which means that everything is shown centrally here. That makes it perfect for planning nights out and for scheduling blog posts – knowing what commitments I have at work on any given day will give me an indication of how much time I’ll have in the evening to blog.

The Social Networks

Another really obvious one but I have Apps for all my social media accounts on my phone. Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are my main ones. Being able to keep up to date with what’s going on throughout the day means that I don’t have to dedicate hours on “catching up” in the evening. It’s also good practice to stay engaged with my readers regularly throughout the day to avoid simply spamming them with automated messages.

AppsHootsuite

This is more of a peace of mind App for me. I schedule all my social media updates for the week ahead on a Sunday using Hootsuite but I like having the App on my phone so that I can check what is scheduled whilst I’m out and about just to make sure none of my “natural updates” clash with, or take the attention away from the scheduled marketing posts.

WordPress App

I usually get inspiration for new blog posts at the strangest of times…on the tube, when I’m out running etc. I used to just jot some notes down in the notepad on my phone and bulk them out into full blog posts later on. Then I realised that I was just wasting time so I downloaded the WordPress App and just made the notes as a draft post.

WordSwag

WordSwag is an amazing for making images with text that are perfect for Instagram. You can select from the image library on there or you can use your own photos. Then you can add your own text or choose quotes from a catalogue that’s split out into different themes. Finally, you can edit by choosing between different fonts, text layouts and colours. This app lets you save the image to your camera roll or upload it to your social media accounts directly.

Kindle 

This is was isn’t necessarily an app that will help you get stuff done but, if like me, you find it hard to find time to sit down and read, having the kindle app in your hand at all times is a dream come true. Nothing to do during your commute? Waiting in line somewhere? Get some reading done love!

AppsEvernote

I primarily use Evernote on my laptop but I also have it on my phone. You can use it to take notes, create to-do lists and save things you find online. The best part is that the app syncs with your laptop so you can access everything everywhere.

1password

1password has to be one of the most useful apps ever invented. You can store all of your login details to everything in one place! Whilst I try to stick to the same password for most things, there’s lots of variations of it depending on what the site required my password to contain.

Bloglovin

As a blogger, I love to keep up with my favourite blogs when I’m out and about. Bloglovin also helps me track my stats and new followers (which I’m a little obsessed with). It’s a super easy app to use and means that I can read and save blog posts as and when they are published . This beats trying to trawl through my Twitter feed to find them when I get home.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a beautiful organisational app. You can create to-do lists and manage tasks all in one place in different categories and folders. What’s also great is that you can share your lists with other people and you can both work on and tick off things from the same list (fantastic when it comes to your food shopping list and the OH gets to the supermarket before you have chance!)

You probably have most of these apps already but to make the most of them you have to use them. And I mean really use them. Research the functions of each app and utilise every part that is helpful to you.

Do you swear by any apps to get you through life? Let me know in the comments below.

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How to Refocus After an Unproductive Day

Unproductive Day

Unproductive DayHad an unproductive day lately? Yesterday I wrote about how much I struggle with productivity due to depression but sometimes I’m just generally unproductive. There’s not a huge amount you can do about it at the time, if you’re not in the mood, you’re not in the mood! What you can do however, is bounce back from your unproductive day(s) and not let it drag out. 

Here’s my top tips on how to refocus after an unproductive day:

1. Forget about your Unproductive Day 

It’s in the past now, just leave it there. There’s no point in dwelling on the fact that you took a day off. Yes, you didn’t achieve what you wanted to but there’s nothing you can do about that now. Spending time worrying about what you didn’t do yesterday is taking time out of today that you could use to smash your goals!

2. Create a To-Do List

Write down what you wanted to get done during your unproductive day, as well as what you want to achieve today. Prioritise that list and be realistic about you think you can get done today. There’s no point in putting too much pressure on yourself. You might have to let go of some of the things you wanted to get done if they’re not important so that your bigger goals don’t slide.

Writing everything out will also ease any stress you have around *just how much* you have to do and catch up on.

3. Take Your Time 

Don’t rush and try to get everything done in half the time. The more you rush, the more mistakes you’ll make. That either means you’ll be sharing half-hearted work or you’ll be spending hours on end trying to fix your mistakes. Take your time, do it right and do it well first time round.

Rushing will also increase any feelings of stress and anxiety you might have.

Unproductive Day

4. Do the Small Tasks First 

This is just one of those mentality things. If you do the small tasks on your list first you’ll find that you’re ticking loads of things off your to-do list. It’ll put you in a really good positive mood and you’ll feel super productive. By the time you get on to the bigger, more substantial tasks you’ll have forgotten all about your unproductive phase.

5. Reward Yourself 

Bouncing back from an unproductive day is hard. Once you’ve made it through your first day back, reward yourself with something – a new notebook, a coffee, a bar of chocolate…whatever you like, you deserve it!

So, if you’ve had an unproductive day don’t despair, just get back on the horse and start again!

Planning My New Adventure – July Update

AdventureIt seems like I missed the June update. Sorry! But that’s OK, I made very little progress in June so it would have been a short post anyway!

In my May update I said that I was feeling much more in control of things and that is still true – yay! We all know that it’s really hard work to get a handle on things but crazy easy to let it slip again. So let’s just take a minute to say “well done” to ourselves for being here right now.

I’ve got two main updates for you so I’ve split this post into two parts just in case you’re only interested in one of them! This month, I have updates on finances and…drum roll please…actual travel plans! Yeah buddy, I’ve actually started making travel plans!

Finance 

Why do I have to be a grown up????? It sucks doesn’t it. Seriously, bills, housework blah blah blah blah blah. I just want to be a kid again running around in the sun with no pressure to have a life plan. But the fact is, I’m closing in on 30 and I need to sort my shit out. 

Back to the plan…I’m plodding along with paying off my debt but it’s slooooooooow progress. I’m in that crappy place where as fast as I’m paying money off, I’m getting charged stupid amounts of interest. It’s made me feel a little bit defeated but I’m trying to focus on one card/loan at a time and pay as much off that as possible rather than paying a little extra off all of them. Fingers crossed that by Christmas I’ll be able to see a real improvement on my situation. I know that it will be a bit of a snowball effect because once I’ve paid more off, the interest will be lower and therefore easier to pay off…well that’s the theory anyway! Again, why do I have to be a grown up?? 

I’ve been trying to follow my own advice from my Top Tips for Saving Money post – I’ve been making my own lunch and planning evening meals ahead. I’m not going to lie, it’s boring but it’s saving me so much money! I’ve also limited takeaways or eating out to no more than twice a month which I think I could probably cut back to once a month but I don’t want to restrict myself too much.

Remember I mentioned my new blog in the last update too? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Don’t worry though, I’ll tell you all about it now! Well, not all about it as a lot is still under wraps but I’m feeling pretty confident about it at the moment. I’m starting to pick up the pace on freelance writing and I’ve been working on a blog to help people who want to do the same. I’ve been crazy busy trying to get the new blog up and running and I’m really hoping that next weekend will be the big launch!

Now on to the really exciting stuff…

Travel Plans

I’ve realised that, in order to make sure I’ve saved enough money to set out on my adventure, I really need to start thinking about where I want to go and what I want to do. I don’t want to plan every single day down to the exact minute but I think I need to have a rough idea.

I want to start my trip off a little bit like a holiday to give me time to wind down from my 9-5 life and get back into the swing of travelling. So this is my itinerary so far:

Days 1 – 4: Iceland

Days 5 – 9: New York (hopefully over New Year)

Days 10 – 12: Chicago

Days 12 – 43: Route 66

Day 43 Onward: The plan is to fly to Rio after I’ve finished Route 66 and chilled in LA for a while – I should be there in time for Carnival which coincidentally is happening at the same time I turn 30!

I’m planning on doing some posts with a more detailed itinerary and I’d love input from you guys. So watch out for those posts and if you have any recommendations of things to do, places to see and places to eat and drink at, please let me know!

That’s it for my July update for now, so until next time, ciao!