Building efficiencies into your daily life with automation can make a huge difference when it comes to reducing stress levels and increasing productivity. But where do you start? There are SO many options and tools available to make the transitions and conversations of everyday life easier, that it’s well worth it to look at which ones might help you!
First off, what does automating parts of your life look like? Through my lens, I see it as letting the computer do its job, so you can get back to creating and living. The computer (a.k.a. automation) can perform repetitive tasks well, plus, it can hold onto your to-do lists and important tasks, reminding you about them later. If you fill your brain with tasks, ideas, and projects, just storing them there in hopes that you’ll remember them, you’ll be using up a lot of brain power on something that could be held by a computer instead.
Now, I just want to clarify, automation and simplifying your life is not only about using technology. It can also look like developing a system or process that becomes a part of your life. For example, when I was growing up, my family always cleaned out the car after a trip – removed any garbage, took our belongings with us, and quickly tidied the vehicle before heading off to the next thing. Having the steps laid out in advance allows you to get the task done without having to recreate how you get it done. You can create systems and routines with your life too. The tools below, while online platforms, yes, are merely pieces of a bigger puzzle that can help you get back to loving on your people.
Let’s dive in! Here are five free tools to expedite your daily tasks:
This note-taking app goes way beyond your typical note pad. With Evernote, you can create multiple notebooks, collaborate with others, and even add tags to your notes to easily search/sort them later. Evernote is also easily accessible across multiple devices, from desktop to mobile. If you like to take voice notes, there’s a feature for that. If you like to draw on your notes, Evernote lets you do that too!
When it comes to automating your life with Evernote, there’s a number of ways this can look:
- Create organized folders and a tagging system within the app that allows you to easily find your notes when you need them.
- Build a habit around always adding your notes into Evernote. I am totally guilty of have a gazillion sticky notes and papers with random to-do lists scattered around. Using Evernote to capture all your notes to begin with eliminates the need to digitize or scan your thoughts later.
- Design a workflow that integrates with Zapier (next on our list!) or IFTTT. These two tools allow you to connect apps that would otherwise not talk to each other. For instance, to have Evernote send a check list over to a to-do list app (such as Wunderlist, Todoist, or AnyDo), you could use Zapier or IFTTT.
Connect websites to create workflows with this amazing tool! You can get back to focusing on what matters most to you and let Zapier make your work process faster. This workflow builder has almost limitless options to connect point A with point B.
When it comes to automating your everyday life with this tool, here are a few ideas:
- Grow your gratitude practice by getting a daily SMS reminder to jot down 3 things you’re grateful for.
- Automatically create a to-do item from a calendar event, or connect an app like Wunderlist or Todoist that can atomically add a to-do to your calendar.
- Email your daily calendar agenda to yourself – Have you ever wanted your own personal assistant? You can have Zapier wrap-up your weekly agenda and email it to you as if it was a personal assistant.
- Get an SMS update with the weather without having to go into an app! If you’d prefer to get all of your updates in one place, you can get a message about the weather for the day so you know what to wear.
Send me a message on Instagram if you’d like to chat more about creating zaps for your life!
The G Suite works seamlessly between all of your devices. You can send documents from your mobile device to your desktop, and vice versa. I do this all the time! It allows my workflow to be from one tech platform to another. I don’t have to email documents to myself or find workarounds to get my work from one place to the next.
Here are a few ideas to help you automate your life with Google Suite:
- Install G Suite on all of your devices so you can pass documents back and forth without time-consuming workarounds.
- Integrate Zapier with your Google Suite account to create connections between your documents.
- Keep a check list, note, or spread sheet handy for when you’re on-the-go.
- Add your friends/family to the document so you can collaborate on an idea or list.
If you don’t run your own business, you may be wondering how you
could use a project management tool like ClickUp. ClickUp allows you to
organize projects and tasks, set goals, and collaborate with others. With this
app, you can combine all the previously noted tools (Evernote, Zapier, G Suite)
to organize your life in one place. It is also able to be used across multiple
devices. If you think of a to-do item while you’re out running errands, add it
to ClickUp and process it later.
Yes, it is most often used for businesses, but here are a few ideas for how you can use it in your everyday life:
- Tracking projects around the house – You likely have an on-going to-do list for items that need fixed or maintained around your home or apartment. ClickUp can function as your project management tool to hold and schedule all of those tasks with. You can create statuses to help you quickly how far the task is from being completed and what might be holding it up. Add G Suite documents that relate to a project you’re working on.
- You can integrate Zapier with ClickUp. Personally, I’m using Zapier to add my ClickUp to-dos to my Google Calendar. This allows me to block out specific times to work on that task in my calendar without needing to create a new event each time.
- Collaborate with family, coworkers, employees, and friends – If you have family members or roommates that you’re collaborating on housework with, you can add them to your ClickUp board so that tasks can be assigned to them for completion also In a business setting, you can collaborate with your team on tasks, projects, and to-do’s, easily keeping track of the status of them.
- Use it to set, track, and meet your goals – You likely have big goals with lots of tasks to get those goals completed. You can track your goals in ClickUp. Seeing your progress can keep you excited about accomplishing your goals!
This is the odd one out of the bunch but has been one of my most used apps. What is Stash? It’s a mobile app that allows you to write and schedule texts, emails, and reminders for phone calls. If you’re thinking of someone, but it’s too late to send a message, type out what you want to say, and schedule the app to remind you to send it at a different time. I often have ideas and people that I want to reach out to coming to mind late at night. It’s too late to appropriately send a message, and I’m also too tired to form a coherent note. So, I’m able to add my thoughts to the Stash app and schedule it to remind me in the morning.
In your everyday life, this app can be used to:
- Combine your text message responding time into chunks –
- Save ideas.
- Set reminders for yourself.
- Encourage a friend.
- Remember a birthday.
So there you have it! In our buzzing world today, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with everything on our to-do list. Creating systems and automation is more readily available than ever, but there are so many options. Narrowing down what can be helpful in your own life can be a challenge. Take some time (30-60 minutes) to review your habits. What are you doing manually all the time that could be delegated to a computer? How can automation allow you more time to spend with the people in your life? I’m excited to hear how your life is made better by the technology at our fingertips.
Question: What automation or system are you currently implementing that is saving time in your life?