My Daily Essentials

I have a busy life. 

Those are words I really thought I'd never write. I hate that tendency of bloggers (especially full-time bloggers) to always write or post about how "busy" they are--when, in reality, they're probably not that super busy. Not that this is the busyness Olympics or anything.

But now that I'm legitimately busy, I feel stupid for all the times I thought I was busy in the past. A combination of sleep deprivation (although that's coming to an end), working a full-time job in half-time hours, and taking care of an entire small human has made me realize what it actually means to be "busy." 

The past few months, I've found a few ways to keep myself organized and on top of things, while effectively doing all my different jobs. These are my absolute daily essentials 

1. Bullet journals

I'm a list maker. I always have been and I always will be. I find it easiest, for all the various hats I wear, to keep a running calendar or list of deadlines, things to do, and notes. I started bullet journaling at work 2 years ago and it has worked wonderfully. I keep my bullet journal very simple: I have an index and then a full month master calendar for each month. Each day gets its own page where I record notes, things to do, and deadlines to add to my master calendar. I keep one notebook for my job and one notebook for home and it works really well to keep me feeling sane. 

I also have a "fun" bullet journal where I can do whatever list pages I want--and I don't do daily pages. I keep track of habits, saving, and all the lists I need, from books I want to buy to home improvement projects. 

2. Meal Planning  

Every Wednesday, I sit down and plan meals for the week. I know this seems like a strange day to do it, but I typically go grocery shopping with Forrest on Thursday or Friday morning. I don't use anything fancy: I use Pinterest and make a list in my journal. Then I create a grocery list out of all the recipes and add them to OurGroceries. 

3. OurGroceries

Have you guys ever used this app? I've used all kinds of different ways to try to organize my grocery lists. For a while, I used the basic Notes app on my iPhone, but I needed something better. OurGroceries can sync across different phones, so if Danny and I had the app, I could add a list of things I needed him to do on his way home from work. If I'm grocery shopping with Forrest, I don't necessarily have the ability to carry a notepad (and pen to cross things off). I can, however, hold a phone and tap to cross things out. And I never forget my list at home because it's already with me. 

4. Google Calendar & Reminders

I have an increasingly terrible memory. I used to be able to remember anything without writing it down, but those days are gone, clearly. Just like OurGroceries, it helps me to write things down in a bullet journal (usually my work one); but then I also add everything to my Google Calendar and iCalendar on my phone. I set reminders for 30 minutes and 5 minutes, just in case I forget. If I don't do this, I forget--like the doctor's appointment I completed spaced on at the beginning of June. Oops. 

What do you use to keep yourself organized? Share with me on Twitter!