organisation

Keeping your shit together… Tools to make busy mums life easier

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Life can get a bit crazy and out of control for busy parents!  With scheduling playdates, weekly swimming, remembering dress up days, feeding your kids moderately healthy food, remembering your MOT or to pay your bills all whilst trying to keep up a half decent social life or perhaps hold down a job – that old adage of juggling too many balls is clearly no over statement!  Personally, after starting back in the office full time a month or so ago and forgetting an important birthday (my nephew’s first one), I feel the time has come to get my shit together!

juggling-balls

I’d love to share some tools and techniques, I am trying out to lighten the load, get on top of things and make more time for what really matters.

1.Cosi:

This is a new one for me but basically, it’s a joint family calendar that holds each family member’s appointments all in one place.  The best thing is that now keeping an overview of the family diary is a shared task between me and my partner!  Also, we don’t have to spend ages asking each other silly questions about what is in each other’s diaries – my partner and I both link our g-mail calendars so we have visibility of who is around to look after the kids or do pick up and drop offs.  Cosi also allows you to allocate meals to certain days of the week, have shared task lists and a birthday reminder – all in the free version.  (Birthday reminder – clearly something I could have done with this year!)

2. Todoist:

I’ve had Todoist for a while now – I use it to manage all my personal to dos and my top 5 to dos of the week.  It’s easy to use, you can sort tasks into coloured folders, give them due dates and and I sync it across my laptops and two phones so where ever I am I can easily see what needs to be done and capture a few notes.  I use the free version but still find the functionality just what I need.

3. Stylebook

This app allows you to photograph and record your whole wardrobe and create it into outfits!  Sounds frivolous!  But if you follow me and my blog, you will know, I am really trying to make more of an effort, especially at work (check out my last blog on this #21daysofstyle).  Daisy introduced me to this great app, it allows me to save outfits down from my wardrobe and then schedule them against days of the week!  It’s not as much work as it sounds because if you shop the high street it has all the current fashions already saved down (removing the need to take a photo yourself), you just pop them into your online closet.  It’s a lifesaver if you look in your wardrobe in the morning and can’t decide what to wear!  It costs a few quid but is only on the iphone – I think other similar things are available.

4. Sunday night planning

A bit boring but sitting down once a week to ensure there’s a plan in place can give a real sense of control and make sure things don’t get missed.  Every Sunday night after dinner, I sit down and overview the week, check off key appointments in Cosi with my partner, check all the meals are planned and my online shops are good to go.   I also use this time to update my 5 larger to dos for the week and to ensure I can see where I can fit in a bit of me time fun or relaxing just for me!

 

get-organised

As a paper notebook lover – it’s all a bit of a new world for me and I have reluctantly ditched my old kikki-k organiser but I genuinely feel being phone based is going to help me have what I need when I need it.  I haven’t quite managed to move over to Evernote or Onenote yet and still do carry a paper notebook for meetings though!  How do you keep your shit together?  Are you a love of pen and paper or an online kinda girl?

It would be great to hear about anything you are using to simplify, organise your life and generally get sorted out!

Cat Haigh is the founder of Sorting Self, an on & offline community aimed at empowering and inspiring busy mums to be their best selves.  Currently Sorting Self holds monthly talks with expert speakers and a monthly self-development book group in North London.  The next event is the book group on Monday 21st November in Muswell Hill.  For more information and to join the mailing list go to https://sortingself.com/

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Family meal planning – why bother? Guest post by Sam from Happy Eaters

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Back to school!! Where did the summer holidays go?

Is it just me or is September a time of New Year-style resolutions?  New School Year resolutions I guess! Whilst I am not a fan of making promises you can’t keep at the beginning of a year, it is sometimes a good time to ‘get your house in order’, if only to make you feel in control after 6 weeks of madness! So what better time to start planning the meals your family are to eat this week? I can guarantee that you will feel like ‘Super-Mum’ in no time!

Menu Planning – why bother?

OK, so it may sound a bit boring and like something your Granny would have done, but there are massive advantages to planning what your family are going to eat.

– Less stress for you – simply because you have thought, planned and shopped prior to 5 pm with 3 hungry kids and a short temper!
– Less scope for fussiness as you have already decided what to cook, so potentially no negotiations.
– More chance that everyone in the household can eat the same or similar.
– Less waste means saving money.
– Potentially more variety than if you are having to be creative on the spot.

The main reason though? – It will make you feel in control and a smug Super-mum!  Maybe Granny did have it right after all!

If you need inspiration, meal ideas or help with a fussy member of the family (husbands included), come along to the next Sorting Self event with guest speaker Sam Perkins from Happy Eaters:

Tuesday 13th September, 8pm at The Clissold Arms.  It’s £8 with the code blog100

https://familymealplanning.eventbrite.co.uk

Sorting Self organises expert talks for busy mums on a range of topics from personal style to nutrition or wine tasting, for more info and interesting articles sign up to the mailing list at www.sortingself.com