Since I was younger I always had an organizer in hand, whether it was a paper organizer that featured the Ziggy cartoon character or a weekly/monthly appointment book.
Over the years, I slowly switched to a digital organizer because I found it inefficient having to manually write the to do tasks I didn’t complete to the following day. I also liked that my information was always backed up to the computer. I started with the Apple Newton device right out of high school and later switched out to a PalmPilot, then a Sony CLIÉ, then a Palm Treo, and finally to an Apple iPhone.
I know that I’m a visual person and that’s why Pocket Informant (Pocket Informant for iOS and Pocket Informant for Android) is my go to app to view my calendar and to do tasks at a glance. This goes way back when I was using my Apple Newton. On the Newton, I loved that I had all my calendar events AND to do tasks listed by the week. I love that Pocket Informant still gives me this weekly view. You can’t tell how busy you really are until you combine both events and to do tasks for the day. Because I see both categories in one view, I’m able to allocate time to help me complete the tasks that need to be completed based on my priorities. You can also add your location to view the weather on your calendar which helps with planning your day or week.
Nowadays, I use the “Focus” view a lot (which shows your events for the day and tasks that are due today or tasks that haven’t been completed and are overdue). As you can tell I’m not into cleaning. I haven’t been using the humidifier so that task has been sitting in the overdue section for 179 days. Maybe I should clean the humidifier so I can get this task off my list. I definitely need to “condition the leather furniture” though since it has been over two months since I last did it.
I use Pocket Informant to sync with mine and my kids’ Google Calendars:
- My older daughter’s calendar is light ORANGE
- My younger daughter’s calendar is PINK
I don’t sync my husband’s calendar since he doesn’t use it. He’s mainly at work and doesn’t have many changes in his schedule. For his calendar, I manually input the biking races he plans to ride.
I also sync my to do tasks from ToodleDo. The best part is that both Google Calendar and ToodleDo are free accounts (I use the free version of ToodleDo). My information is synced in the cloud and I have access to it for backup purposes just in case I ever loose my phone.
Now that my older daughter is a teenager she also has access to her Google calendar and can view it on her tablet and add events to it. What’s great is that her Google calendar is always current when I view it on my computer or on Pocket Informant.
I also use the month view a lot when planning vacations or deciding whether to add a new activity so I can see the big picture of my entire family’s schedule. It’s great to see what we are doing for the month. I generally try to keep weekends free. The different colors used for each event and icons help me to easily scan through the monthly calendar.
- Anything light blue is a cleaning to do task
- Anything red is a bill that needs to be paid
- A dog icon is an appointment or task regarding my dog
- A piano icon is an event or task that has to do with piano lessons or recitals, etc
I make sure to list all the bills (autopay or not) so I can double check to make sure the bill was paid. I take the due date of each bill and schedule the due date two weeks before it is actually due. I also make sure all the cleaning activities are listed and input if it is a weekly, monthly, or quarterly task that needs to be done. As you can tell I procrastinate when it comes to cleaning but try to get it done eventually because I like a clean house. You can also apply reminder alarms for each task or event so you don’t forget an upcoming task or event.
You don’t have to customize your calendar like I do. You can keep it simple with few colors or go all out with icons, various colors, and create repeating tasks and events with reminders like I did. Pocket Informant is customizable to fit your needs.
Overall, I’m very happy with Pocket Informant. It works for me and my visual needs. This app helps me to stay organized and prioritize tasks that I want to complete.