7 Little Random Ideas (and Apps) to Simplify Your Life in a Big Way
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life – Wu-Men
Practically everyone multitasks in some form or another, day in and day out. We lead hectic lives balancing work, volunteering, education, training, and career development, along with family time. It just makes sense to seek out ways to make our lives calmer, safer, and more productive.
One good way to achieve this is to simplify as many aspects of your life as you can.
7 Little Things That Can Make a Big Difference
1. Get a reminder app for your smartphone.
You already know what a best friend your smartphone can be. It can light your way in the dark, connect you with your emails, and help you figure out the correct tip in a restaurant. But a reminder app on your smartphone is really useful. If you need to remember to do something important, set the app to remind you and it will vibrate to life on cue!
Our personal favorites are Due for iOS (it is super-simple, quick, and won’t let you forget a thing because it constantly nags you about it until you complete the task) and Omnifocus for Mac (a complete and powerful task manager). Windows and Android users should check out Wunderlist and this article: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/11-alternatives-to-omnifocus-you-can-use-to-get-things-done.html.
Trello is also worth mentioning if you haven’t heard of it. It is a useful online system that has the concept of boards. Within the boards, there are cards (which represent tasks). However, Trello is much more a workflow and project management program than a typical to-do app, which makes it overwhelmingly robust for those looking to jot down their shopping list, but worth mentioning as it has amazing real-time collaboration and is free for unlimited users.
2. Take notes.
Don’t try to retain everything in your head. You can carry an old-fashioned pocket-sized notebook in your purse or pocket, or use a note app on your smartphone.
3. Upgrade your car supplies.
We all keep a lot of stuff in our cars that we know we should have: a spare tire kit (throw in some WD-40 while you’re at it), a toolkit, a first aid kit, and a USB mobile device charger, to name just a few. But here are a few more items that can really help in an emergency and give you peace of mind in the meantime:
- Battery operated portable car jumper (jumper cables are good too, but they rely on someone coming to your rescue). Just remember to keep the battery charged — your reminder app on your smartphone comes in handy here.
- Seatbelt cutter and window breaker (naturally you’d want to keep these upfront with you and not in the trunk).
- Mylar space blanket. Should you have car trouble in the cold, this can be a real lifesaver while you wait for help.
- Your auto repair shop business card, the phone number of AAA or a reliable towing company, and in case the need arises, car insurance claim forms.
- Ice scraper.
- Kitty litter. A lot of people swear by this when you’re stuck in snow and you are trying to gain tire traction.
For more information on car essentials:
4. Make business travel more enjoyable.
We all know to arrive at the airport early, travel as lightly as possible, and stay hydrated. Here are a few other tips.
- If you travel frequently, consider prepacked bags always ready with toilet items, and your travel clothes in separate kits.
- David Lavenda, writing for Fast Company, advises arranging for voice and internet access ahead of time, “… buying an international data plan for your mobile device may be cheaper than paying daily local rates. Then, use your mobile device as a hotspot for data. Check with your carrier or with an international telecom service before you go.”
- Get a SENTRI card from the Department of Homeland Security. Having this card allows you to reduce your wait times while traveling. For information on how to apply for a card go to: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-progra...
For more advice on business travel:
5. De-stress your home.
Go around your home from the cellar to the dome, and eliminate anything you no longer need. If you donate your reusable items, you may also get a tax deduction. Pay particular attention to any hard copies of documents, which should always be at your fingertips — tearing the place apart at the last minute looking for a particular document is needlessly stressful and exhausting.
For more tips on home organization:
6. Create a calming office space.
For inspiration to get you started on rethinking your office environment at home and at work, check out these sites.
7. Rethink your attitude.
Sometimes we all need to take stock of how we’re feeling and whether we’re focusing on what really counts in our lives. Check out these sites for some food for thought.
What do you think?
- Are there areas in your life that could use some retooling?
- What changes have you made recently that you’d recommend?
- Whose life would you step into if you could swap places?