I have spent alot of time on this over the years, I have always been interested in making my “life Admin” as easy as possible, mostly because I am lazy. This little journey to optimise my life admin started with a thought, during a business meeting. Someone mentioned the importance of implementing tools that cut admin time such as marketing automation, CRM and autoresponders, which got me thinking. Hang on a minute. When running a business, we implement grand plans, Marketing plans, business plans, Cashflow plans, negative gearing plans and not to mention the variety of systems that we implement, CRM, CMS, RMS. We’ve even got a system that manages all the systems. Ah-ha!! Harajuku moment.
What if we implement systems to manage one’s life PMS (personal Management systems) Yes, I know!
In Australia, it is pretty much mandatory for a business to have an accounting system. For those wondering my choice is Xero for a small business, Myob for those who want to do more, SAP for more extensive businesses and Rounded for Freelancers. There are not many people I know that have a personal finance management system, yet we have the same number’s of outgoings and incomings as a business. More on this subject later.
Given the above argument, I officially took it upon my self to seek out the best tools, that would help me optimise my life. In this particular article, I have only included online tools, software and free to use tools. However, I am working on different plans that one could implement in their life. Below is the list of programs, software, online tools and systems that are readily available to anyone.
Please note: Most of these tools listed below are free to use and the some are available for a minimal investment. No tool on this list will break your budget, given that you have one. 😉
Calendly: Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails. Calendly is free to use so you can play around with it, but there is a paid version available for those who want to do more. In case you don’t need to book meetings, Calendly can be used to book time with your friends and family for a catch-up or for that long-overdue coffee with that one friend. I love Calendly it has saved me many, many hours of work and my friends are always impressed when I send them a link, that lets them choose the time they like based on my availability.
Evernote: Evernote is, by far, one of the most incredible tools that I have come across. A single place for your notes, ideas, lists screenshots, document scans and everything in between. Evernote can read your handwriting which means you can scan your handwritten notes and search for them. Evernote is the solution to the problem that you don’t even know you have. Evernote basic plan is available for free.
Dashlane: Dashlane is a password manager. Which means you will never forget another password and you can stop using Password1 for everything. Dashlane syncs across all your devices and saves all your passwords. Dashlane lets you know when one of your passwords is compromised. Once again, you can use the free version; however, it doesn’t sync across your devices. The paid version is $56.00 charged annually. It’s worth every dollar.
Google Keep: I’ve already talked about Evernote, which is also a note management system. But I use Google Keep for dropping down those quick notes, a random quote that i heard in a movie or shopping list anything below 100 words. It’s lightweight and fast, making it easy to capture things you want to remember the exact moment you think of them, wherever you are at the time. Google keep syncs across all your devices and is completely free with your Google account.
IFTTT: IFTTT is the mother of all automation tools; you can use it to automate simple things or build more complex triggers and actions. IFTTT integrates with smart home devices, phones, emails and much more. Here is an example of automation that i use; “Automatically unmute your Android when you get back home.” IFTTT is free to use unless you would like to build ultra-complex automation. Note: Almost all tools on this list integrate with IFTTT.
Todoist: Todoist is an excellent task and a project management app. Todoist is available on all devices and integrates with IFTTT, GMAIL, Google Calendar and with much more. It lets you easily organise and prioritise your tasks and projects so you’ll always know exactly what to work on next.
Google Calendar: Google calendar, at this point, I think everyone is using google calendar for one reason or another, but not many people know the real power of google calendar. Google Calendar has alot of integrations and is available on all devices. Integrate google calendar with Calendly, Todoist, IFTTT, and you will see the real power of google calendar. Check out this article by Hubspot to learn more about the power of google calendar.
I want to mention two more programs that I have used but may not be relevant for everyone, Notion & Coda.io, and both programs allow you to build advanced personal management systems but maybe a little complicated. And how can i forget google Sheets but more on that later?
Also here is a list of other tools that I use:
- Google Photos: for backing up all my photos and syncing across all my devices.
- Calm: for meditation.
- Fitnotes: for tracking all my workouts.
- Shurfshark: VPN.
- Google Drive: to sync all my files across all devices.
- Drivvo: for car logs.
- Moneybrilliant: for tracking bills and payments.
This is a great read by Coach Tony: How to Configure Your iPhone to Work for You, Not Against You
Think of these tools as training wheels for the brain. All these programs can help you get more out of life and make life admin significantly manageable, but the key is to do less not more so choose carefully and if you are interested in reading this book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
And always, thank you for reading if you have made it this far! I wish you all the luck on your productivity journey. Please take a moment to let me know your thoughts, and if you would like me to cover a particular topic.