Tools are designed to make life easier for us.
As busy Parent Bosses, we all have tools that we use to keep track of life. Some work wonderfully for us, and others are so-so, meaning we are always looking for that ‘thing’ that is really going to make life easy.
There are a million and one programs and apps out there that can help. Some stick for some people and others work for others.
As a true pen & paper girl, I often find it just doesn’t ‘stick in my head’ the same when I tried electronic options. I tried different apps (Evernote and Wunderlist were just two) and I couldn’t find one the really felt like the answer.
What did I already have that could really work for me?
So I looked at the tools I already had to see if I could make one of those actually work.
And I did. And simply, it’s my phone.
We’ve all got one and we are very rarely without it. For me, there are 3 tools on that phone that work really well to keep our crazy Parent Boss Life under control.
Here are the tools I use every day and I hope that they can work for you too.
1 – The alarm on my phone.
I have 97 different alarms saved on my phone!
Some are for specific things, like picking the kidlets up from school.
Some are only 5 minutes apart, as they are the ‘get your butt out of bed Ted’, then the ‘really get your butt out of bed Ted’, then the ‘get the f*$k up woman!!’ alarms! 🙂
Others are timers that I have set to give me 15 minutes, or 30 minutes etc to do a task.
I use it like a Pomodoro app when wanting to concentrate on getting something done. I don’t have to worry I’ll get into something and lose track of time.
Some go off every week day, like school pickup reminders and banking reminders.
Others only go off once a week, like reminder to send out rosters and ask about lunch order numbers.
I have a different ring tone for my alarms during the day. I don’t want the mental trauma of hearing my wake up tone to freak me out during throughout the day!
What I like about these alarms is that I can set and forget them. It frees up my mental space.
I’m not worrying about forgetting the kids, or forgetting to post the roster.
Or getting so concentrated on a task, that I totally lose track of time. This works for me.
2 – The calendar on my phone.
I’ve tried other apps to remind me to do things and for some reason, I just give up trying to put everything on it.
Yet I always check my calendar to see what I have on before I say yes/no to anything.
So I just thought I might as well use my calendar for everything.
It is shared with my husband, so we can see what it going on with each other. We can chat about everything coming up and who is doing what.
The best tool I always use the reminder function – days before and minutes before, so I don’t forget anything.
Setting these ahead of time also gives me some time to get sorted.
EVERYTHING is in there – bills, appts, weekly and monthly things that are due and even when to put the rubbish bins out!
In looking to make life easy and simple, I realized I need reminders all over the place, so that I don’t forget anything with so much going on. And you can do this with your calendar.
Give it a try and see if this fits for you too.
3 – Focus modes
Personally one of the things I find the hardest about being a Parent Boss is being interrupted all the time!
Whether it is by the bakery or by our kidlets or the phone ringing, it can be very hard to have a complete thought. It can be almost impossible to get the time to actually sit down and get stuff done.
(Like writing this blog post – I have had calls from the bakery and Leigh while trying to write this! 🙂
So I use focus modes a lot.
You can program times when they run, so you can set and forget. Or you can just turn them on as you need to, when you have something that you need to work on.
You can also program who can break through these modes, so you don’t have to worry about missing important calls.
I have Leigh, the bakery and our kidlets school allowed to break through. (Though I may need to change that too, as they keep calling! 🙂 )
I have found the setting a timer for say, 1 hour, and hitting focus mode, gives me the time & the mental space to get things done without interruption. (Most days!)
These can work for you, as you can personalize them, so they can really fit in with your Parent Boss Life.
Here are 2 Bonus Tools you can also use on your phone
The iOS update 16.0.2 has introduced 2 new features that I also find really useful.
I am just getting in the swing of using them too.
- Ability to mark a text unread, so you can action it later.
- New remind me function on email
Remind me function on email
I often leave emails unread, as a way to remind me that I need to take action on them. With this new remind me function, I can program when I want a reminder to pop up, and push that email back to the top of my inbox.
It reminds me to take action on it, without having to leave unread emails. The benefit of that is the number of unread emails is lower!
So instead of seeing 83 emails sitting there, staring at me, I only have say 50. Along with a heap of reminders to do stuff popping up when I want them to. Lower stress levels! Yes!
Mark as unread text function.
The mark a text as unread function works along this same vein. I have been known to forget something on text, because there was no reminder that further action is required once they are read.
With this new function, I can leave it as unread, then go back to it when I have the time to read it properly.
Apple is hearing people when they are saying that they are busy and need reminding of things. These 2 new updates certainly provide new tools for people to use and I think they will become invaluable.
Your Parent Boss Life, your way.
I hope that you find these tools helpful. Considering that you already have these available to you on your phone means that you don’t need to download something else and learn a new system.
And while I have an iPhone, I am sure that Android has its own equivalent.
At the end of the day, it is the use of reminders, safe guards through alarm alerts and the ability to block out interruptions for a period that really seem to work for me in our busy Parent Boss Life.
If you need support in your own busy Parent Boss Life, be sure to join our FB group – PB Network, where you can connect with other Parent Bosses.
You can see how we share tips and tricks like these, and gladly accept any tips you may have on what is working for you on your own PBL journey. Come and join us today.
Or if you’re looking for more personalized 1:1 help, book a call with Leigh & I, and let’s chat!
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