I love finding ways to save more time.
It is like a game I like to play.
Today, I'm going to show you my top 5 time-saving apps that I use on a daily basis. By using these apps I have automated a lot of things I used to do every single day and by using these apps, I have saved my self an average of 1 1/2 hours a day!
Mind blown, I know.
Here it is, if there is a way that I can save more time, I'm going to try it. If I start saving time in the process great if I don't, well then I know that it just isn't for me. I've tried about every app out there. There are some great ones, and so not so great ones.
I'm going to walk you through my criteria for picking apps, why I love them, and how they help me out. I've also put together a list of these apps and how they will benefit you too, so stay tuned to the end!
There are tons of apps out there. How can you decipher what is good and what is bad? What makes these apps better than the rest? Don't worry, I've done all of the heavy lifting here. There are a few criteria that need to be met in order for the app to pass my test. I'm looking for:
- ease of use
- save me time
- allows me to automate something
- does more than one thing
If all three of these criteria aren't met, well then I will just cut my losses.
Ease of use, the app cannot come with an instruction manual here. Yes, maybe I'm aging myself here, but I want to know exactly what it does when I download it. If I open up the app and it takes me through a tutorial and after the tutorial, I'm confused...Delete!
Saves me time, the app needs to save me time somehow. It needs to fix a problem I'm having. If it doesn't, or it takes me to long to use...Delete!
Allows me to automate something. Oh yes for sure!!! Why do we use computers, smart phones, and apps? To automate! I've become quite good at figuring out how to automate my life as much as possible. The big reason why I've been able to be because of apps.
The app needs to do more than one thing! I do not want to fill my phone with an app for every little thing that I do. I want a more all in one type of app. Something that will do more than just one thing.
I've tried those grocery list apps...Ya, no. I'll just use the note pad that is already installed on my one for that.
It's about being as efficient as possible. Almost minimizing so you are not overwhelmed with 500+ apps to use.
Here are some other things I look at when I'm looking for a time-saving app...
- pop ups
- laggyness (is that a word?)
Oh man, am I the only one that HATES commercials on EVERYTHING? Seriously, when I download an app I would rather pay a buck or two (if I love it) then deal with commercials.
Pop ups, that is another thing that drives me nuts. If I'm working on something, in the app, and there pops up an announcement, I'm completely turned off, interrupted, and ready to delete the app.
Notifications are a great thing, but if I can't turn off the notifications when I don't want to be disturbed then it is not helping me.
Phone notifications is a huge time waster, and I'm all about creating a life with as little distractions as possible.
We are already being distracted by our normal life happenings, I really don't want an app to override my wishes.
Now on to lagginess (I'm still not sure it's a word, but I'm going to use it). You know the slow operating app, the app that you never know if it is going to work correctly. I've run into some amazing apps that just had too many bugs so I just had to let them go.
Now that you know my criteria, it is time to show you which apps passed my test, it's time to introduce my favorite time-saving apps.
But before we begin, I would like to say that I am not in any way affiliated with any of these apps/programs. These are my opinions, and I am sharing this with you because I truly believe that each of these apps/programs will save you time like they have me!
Oh, let me count the ways! This app has become my lifeline for sure.
What Todoist is, is an online to do list. You can use this on your desktop computer and you can use the app.
This program allows you to create repeating tasks, create priorities to your list so you know that you are working on the most important thing always. I love that you can assign due dates to your tasks.
It works almost like your calendar but it is only a to do list.
This app/program passes my test with flying colors.
Todoist has a minimal design, so learning all areas of this app was quite simple. Once you login, you are off to the races, you really don't need to learn too much in order for you to be successful using this app.
You are able to pick your color scheme and make the list your own.
This program saves me so much time. Because of this one program I was able to automate so many area of my life. For example, I created my grocery list on Todoist.
There are always those things that you get at the store each week, well I was able to create a grocery list and put those items in as a recurring tasks so they pop up each week. My grocery list is always with me!
How about the fact that it will sync with your google calendar! Later on I will talk a little bit about that feature. That was a feature that I was really happy with.
Todoist isn't just my to do list, it is my running schedule, my grocery list, my to do list, my project manager, and so much more.
Here are a few more pros, it's free to use, there are banner commercials, and this app doesn't interrupt you.
I literally could go on and on for hours about how amazing this app is. There is another post that shows you exactly how to use this program/app that you can read about below
If you are a spreadsheet nerd like me, then you've come to the right place because Google Docs is where it's at!
Bye, bye Microsoft Office, hello Google Docs! I feel like I'm using the same thing, just a lot cheaper, like free!
So not only are you able to create awesome spreadsheets on the fly, you have access to word documents, slide show, oh and forms!
Is it easy to use, well that may be questionable depending on who you are talking to, for me the transition was flawless?
I've been using MS Office since MS Office came out so I have to say that I knew my way around the word documents and spreadsheets.
It saves me loads of time. I love that I can work on a spreadsheet on my computer and if I need to leave on a trip, I can access whatever I was working on my phone or even a different computer. All I need is my google account info.
Another amazing feature of Google Docs is the sharing feature, you can send a shareable link to whoever. I didn't realize how awesome that feature was until I started using it.
Notifications can be turned on or off depending on your preference. As you can tell by now, I'm not a fan of notifications.
Google Doc is a pretty stable program/app so bugs or lag isn't an issue.
I'm sure you are familiar with Google and their ads, sure they may be there sometimes, but they can go without notice.
This is my go to the calendar. Like Todoist, this is my life line. I could not go on without this handy little tool!
The wonderful thing about this calendar, is it syncs up with so many different apps so I can automate until my heart's content!
Easy to use, yes! The only downfall is I'm not in love with their tasks list/ to do list so I had to go else where but other than that, I love it.
It keeps me on top of my days, keeps me organized, and allows me to automate so many different things!
This calendar has a sharing feature so I can share my schedule with client calls, my family so they know what my day looks like.
The fact that it syncs to my other apps is really the best part of the calendar. When I sync my Todoist account with my calendar, the tasks that are scheduled from my to do list end up on my calendar so I know exactly what I need to do when.
I'm never lost in my day thanks to these amazing apps.
This has become my new best friend. This little program alone has allowed me to automate some amazing things!
IFTTT.com stands for If This Then That. So you sync your "recipes" with programs and apps to make your life easier. That is the job of this app!
So easy to use yes and no. I have to admit that when I first was introduced to this program I was a little confused because it does so much! It was a little overwhelming at first.
What I did was start off by adding one recipe at a time piece by piece. Slowly getting to know how awesome and powerful this tool really is.
Some examples of recipes that I use are:
- An email every morning with news headlines (to help me stay on top of the news since I never watch).
- I get a notification with the weather report (this is probably one of the only notifications I get).
- When I add an event in Todoist, it is added to my google calendar.
- If an email is marked urgent, a task is created in Todoist
- Mute and unmute my phone every day during "quiet time"
I don't want to bore you with the full list, I'm hoping you get the point. There is a wide variety that can be done with this tool.
Allowing you to free up time so you can focus on more important things.
Okay so last but not least is LastPass. LastPass breaks my rules a little because it only provides one service and that is passwords and it does have a pop up, and that is it asks you if you want LastPass to remember the password for you.
However, I give it a pass (pardon the pun). We live in a time that there needs to be a password for every single website you enter. You need a login and password. How the heck are you supposed to remember all of them?
That's where LastPass comes into play! You have one master password that you remember and it does all of the rest.
I used to have to open up my password file, find the password, and then finally log in. This may not have taken a huge amount of time but, it took enough time that I was frustrated.
Now when I come to a site that I need to log into, LastPass is there to help me!
One frustrated Thursday afternoon, I came across this program and it became love at first sight. I haven't turned back since.
So, if you are struggling to find more time in your day. If you are being pulled in 100 different directions, I encourage you to try these apps out!
These are really the 5 apps that help me save time every single day. Go ahead and grab your own copy of the apps so you can start using them today!
Downloading the apps and using them is only one piece of the puzzle. Developing systems and putting them into place is the other part. That is why I created The Time Saving Busy Mom workbook.
Inside this workbook, you'll find things that will help you save time in your daily life. Go ahead and click the button below to download the free workbook.
One last note before I let you go, I am not in any way affiliated with any of these apps/programs. These are my opinions, and I am sharing this with you because I truly believe that each of these apps/programs will save you time like they have me!