Part of living a deliberate life is the work of mindfulness, of choosing the best over the good, and of working to align our decisions and behaviours with our values.
Another part is the practical day to day of living it out.
That’s where the right tools can make all the difference.
In this post I want to share 4 apps that I find incredibly helpful in allowing me to filter, process, action and organise the stuff of life, deliberately.
Unroll Me helps me filter the ocean of content that seems like it is trying to overwhelm my inbox every day. Basically, it bundles all your subscription emails into one daily round-up, and allows you to insanely easily unsubscribe from those you don’t want. It has a super-easy to manage dashboard, and has pretty much made my email life significantly better. Plus, because all my emails run through Gmail, their back-end arrangement with them means they don’t have direct access to my log-in details – that stays with Google, who already know everything about me anyway.
One of the things that matters most to me, and about which I try to be deliberate, is nurturing relationships. One of the practical tools that help me do that is Doodle. I love. this. app. It short-circuits what can become a long and complicated thread of text, emails and fb messages involved in getting a group of busy people together in one place at one time, and simplifies the whole process. Here’s how it works:
- Create a new event, either in the web browser or through the app. Select the various time and date options people can vote on.
- Send the link for the poll via text, fb, email, whatever…
- Let people indicate their availabilities, then just pick the option that has the most votes. Easy!
No painful back and forward emails chain required!
Strides is an app that help you concretely track, and therefore more effectively action, your goals. Because you can set them up as different types of goals – Target, Average, Milestones or Habit – you can design the system of tracking that you know will most motivate you to stay on top of your progress. Whether you are more motivated by not breaking the chain of a habit, or by small, regular progress, or by achieving certain key milestones, you can design the tracking of your goal to match your own internal drivers. I have 5 habits I’m tracking through strides, and it reminds me mid-morning every day to check in on how I’m going. It’s a great touch point in the middle of what can rapidly become a busy day, week or even month, not to lose track of the progress I’m trying to make in crafting a deliberate life in key areas.
I’ve been an Evernote convert and evangelist since I first started using it in 2010. The free version is brilliant in an of itself, but I upgraded to the premium version for $49.99 per year a few years ago, and I’ve never had any regrets. Evernote is a one of the main ways I organise my life (probably a tie for first place with Dropbox, which still beats out Google Drive in my opinion).
In a nutshell, evernote is my fully-searchable repository for clipped webpages, meeting notes, records, conference notes, ideas for speaking and writing pieces, book quotes and notes copied across from my kindle notes, and a plethora of other content. Finally, it makes all of that accessible and fully searchable across all my devices. The premium version even makes the content in any pdfs searchable too. Evernote is my go-to for any content, notes or ideas that pass through my mind or fingers that might ever be useful to me again. I love, love, love it.
One of my favourite bloggers, Michael Hyatt, has created a number of posts on using Evernote effectively, which you can access here.
These are just a handful of apps that may help you manage your life more deliberately – I hope some of them might help you filter, process, action and organise the day to day stuff of life in a way that releases you to more effectively pursue the things that matter most to you!
NB: This post has been updated from its original content, replacing the now-defunct ‘The Best Day’ with ‘Doodle’