I have days where I’m coasting along getting a ton of work done then I have days like today where the day totally gets away from me and I’m frustrated I didn’t finish as much as I wanted. Such is life. Some days you accomplish much, other days, you’ve got to close up shop, relax on the couch, recharge, and tell yourself in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, “Tomorrow is another day.” Since I didn’t get much done today beyond the morning dishes and responding to a few emails, I thought it the perfect time to answer a FAQ I get a lot: “How do you manage to do so much?” Oh the irony!
Here are the five tools this full time momma blogger relies upon most for time management, organization, and all that jazz.
1. The “Mom Binder”: I make one of these every year, it’s often called a Command Central binder, but it’s the one that’s filled with the school calendar, PTA information, homework policies, contact list, and sports schedules. I store it in the family room computer armoire when I need to look something up!
2. The Blog Checklist: I just started using a checklist last month next to my home office computer for managing what I’ve done and where I’ve been that day, from posts and comments, to emails and social media. I write for three blogs now (and this month four blogs!) so if I don’t have some sort of checklist I forget where I’ve been!
3. The Editorial Calendar. I started using one of these calendars over a year ago and it tells me what I need to do each day. And I need to be told! There’s a saying in my house: if I don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen, meaning if it’s not on this calendar, it gets forgotten. This is my most important organizational tool and it keeps me sane.
I schedule posts and essential daily tasks working with a basic Google Calendar that is synched to my email and my iPhone so I get both an email reminder and a pop up reminder on my phone – which I consider totally essential since I often need to be reminded three times, yes please do remind me three times, there is a soccer game tonight!
4. Apple Products. Can I get an Amen? Seriously, they’re brilliant. I’ve had an iPhone for two years and I absolutely love it. It’s how I check email, Twitter, or Facebook when I’m on the go or waiting somewhere and have a few extra minutes. We also have a shared iPad in the house which I use to catch up on social media or the news when I’m exercising. Some of my favorite apps are listed here. The iPhone and iPad are two of my key multitasking tools that I rely on everyday.
5. Dry Shampoo. For real, dry shampoo is one of my biggest time saving tools! I have longer hair which I wear in a daily ponytail, and I only wash my hair 3 times a week. That combined with my 3 minute makeup routine (which includes these favorites) plus some stretchy yoga paints and I’m quickly out the door to run errands.
Other time savers and sources of support and in my life? My husband for sure. I’ve got to give Matt a lot of credit, he is self employed like me and also works a full time job. He still takes time to drop the kids off at school in the morning and coach their soccer games at night and on the weekends. And he tolerates my long hours spent in front of a computer and the announcements I drop on him that “we” are starting a new DIY project this weekend!
I also have help with some housecleaning once a week and we’ve hired someone to mow the lawn too. Hiring a little help around the house gives us more time to be together as a family. I don’t have an online assistant yet, but I’ll be hiring one soon, and I do have someone else to help me with technical blog stuff when I need it (like that time I crashed my own blog two weeks ago, oops! or when my server gets wacky on me…)
Other organizational and time management posts from the past:
I’m curious, all you busy moms out there, what do you rely on to manage or save time? What organizational tools keep you sane? .