It’s become a January tradition to see the words “new year, new you” plastered pretty much everywhere. But setting new goals doesn’t mean you want to be a different person — it’s about becoming the best version of yourself. The first step is to find effective ways to plan and organize your valuable time. Here are five tools to help do just that.
Perpetually forgetting to buy butter? Always emailing yourself new books to read and restaurants to try? The Wunderlist keeps your to-do lists in one place, whether it’s a task, shopping list or notes. It allows you to add comments and attach files to each post to make sure no detail goes amiss. If needed, it can also be used as a calendar, with options to set reminders and due dates. But the best part? Lists can be shared with and edited by friends, families and colleagues. A household grocery list, book club reading list and life goals list are just three ways to use it in the new year.
What you need: download Wunderlist app for free on your phone, tablet and web browser.
Bullet journaling skyrocketed to stationery stardom in 2016. Fans claimed it made them feel clear-headed and less overwhelmed. New York designer Ryder Carroll, who invented the organization method, described it as a way to “track the past, organize the present and plan for the future.” In a nutshell, the digital-free technique combines a planner, notebook, journal and to-do list into one single book by using an indexing system. It can be personalized to suit your needs — some relish in making their diaries beautiful and detailed, while others prefer a quick, practical and sometimes messy approach.
What you need: a pen and a notebook (a Leuchtturm dotted journal is most popular). Follow the instructions below to start yours.
Struggle to think of what to cook for dinner every night? American home and lifestyle blogger Ursula Carmona has invented a system that enables her to plan meals effortlessly. She jots down every dish she loves to (and would like to) eat on individual sticky page markers, using a different colour for every food group (for example, yellow for pasta dishes and blue for legumes) to ensure she’s getting a nutritionally-balanced diet. She then organizes them on a menu according to meal type such as: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and drink ideas. At the start of every week, she picks a variety of dishes and populates her weekly planner page with the sticky notes. At the end of the week she’ll return them to the menu. To go one step further, The Little Fox blog suggests using larger sticky notes to write down the name and ingredients of each dish. This shaves off time usually spent on digging out recipes.
What you need: a plastic folder, pen and Post-It page markers.
If technology had an equivalent for a comforting cup of tea, the Momentum app would be it. The free extension for web browsers transforms your homepage into a personal dashboard that ignites motivation, eliminates distraction and boosts productivity. Every day it features a new personalized greeting, a soothing photo, the weather forecast, the time, an inspiring quote and your goals for the day. The idea is that every time you open a new tab, you’ll see an inspiring reminder of what you want to accomplish. The app went from zero to 100,000 followers in its first four months after launching and now boasts millions of users.
What you need: download the Momentum app for free on Google Chrome or Safari.
If you continuously find yourself sifting through piles of paper in search of that one key note you hastily jotted down, Evernote could be your saviour. The app allows you to store and search for handwritten notes, typed memos, photos and audio files across multiple devices. It also automatically saves anything you enter into it to prevent loss of work.
What you need: sign up to Evernote by downloading the app or registering on desktop.