Are you using these apps yet?

Do you recognize these two logos???

Evernoteloseit.com

Well, they just so happen to represent two  apps I downloaded this week and I’m really excited about them!

Evernote

The first is Evernote.  I have heard about them for a while but this weekend I was reading one of my favorite organizing blogs and I decided to take her advice and check out Evernote. Now I’m wondering, “Why didn’t I get this app sooner?”

I love technology and helpful apps but in a lot of ways, I still prefer writing things such as to do lists and shopping lists on paper!  One big problem with paper lists for me is that I have a darling little girl who likes to steal my notebooks to draw in and once she get’s her hands on them, I usually lose my lists and start again in a new notebook, only to have the process start over again, and again and… well you get the point.

I have only been using Evernote for two days but so far I have 4 notebooks:

  • Check it out:  Things I want to look up when I have more time.
  • To Do
  • Shopping list
  • Writing Ideas

I always have my phone with me so I always have my lists with me to either refer to or to add to.

I also downloaded Evernote to my desktop computer and have it set up to automatically sync.

Evernote really seems like it will truly be a useful productivity tool for me! There are no distractions on it such as on Pinterest or Instagram.  Don’t get me wrong! I love those apps but I love them a little too much and the goal here is for me to make better use of my time!!

Evernote has other tools and one I’m looking forward to trying is Evernote Food which I can use to download recipes or keep a list of restaurants or recipes I want to try.

Loseit.com

The other app I want to tell you about is called LOSEIT.com.  I found it when I was looking around on Pinterest for weight loss ideas.

Again I just started using LoseIt this morning but so far it seems pretty easy and straight forward and I am hopeful it is a tool that will really help me reach my fitness goals.

I signed up and answered a couple of questions about my weight and height and age and how much I wanted to lose and it gave me a goal date and told me how many calories I need to stay within. I also found a two week wellness challenge on it that starts today and I joined!  So far today I burned 700 calories at the gym and have logged about 400 calories for breakfast and pre-workout snack.

I’m not good at counting calories at all and have always resisted it but I have also read how helpful it is to keep track of what you eat.  I can already see how this will make me more conscientious about decisions I make!   Writing down what I’m eating is a  good reminder that it’s not true that what I eat on the weekends doesn’t count!! The program tells me I should reach my goal by March 10th!  That’s less than 5 months away!!! I’m very motivated and hopeful!

Again, since I always have my phone with me, keeping track of my food and excercise should be a lot more convenient!

So there you have it! Two free apps that I really believe will help me reach my productivity and fitness goals!

apps

Have you tried these apps? Do you have any tips or tricks about them you would like to share?  If you haven’t, it’s definitely worth checking out!

…waking up for homeschooling

I am not a naturally structured and organized person.  I tend to fight routines… but the fact is, I need structure and I need routines.

I have been homeschooling my kids now for 5 years and I have tried various ways to get our school work done.  I still have not found a routine that works for us and I think I am starting to realize why.

One of the “benefits” of homeschooling is that you don’t have to stick to the typical school schedule.  I especially appreciate this benefit considering that when my son was 5 years old, I would have to drag him out of bed every school day at 6:30 am so he had time to wake up, adjust to being woken up, eat, get dressed, and catch the bus by 7:20 for a 40 minute bus ride to a school that is only a 4 minute drive away. (Yes, I could have driven him, but let’s just say that getting in and out of his school’s tiny drop-off lot was a bad situation.)

Since we started homeschooling,  I’ve made many schedules that said we would start school by 8 or 9 am everyday.  Reality: it has been an extremely rare occasion that we have.  I usually let them sleep until they want, and then I make breakfast and we start by 10:30 or 11am. I’ve justified this for years internally because my kids just aren’t what you’d call “morning people”.

The other day, an acquaintance was telling me that her home-schooled daughter sleeps all morning and they usually start school around noon.  When I heard it coming out of someone else’s mouth, I really had an issue with that, especially when she said that it was because it was just impossible for her daughter to do school in the morning.

Anytime anyone says the word “impossible”,  the analyzing part of my brain goes to work. I started wondering how she expected her daughter to someday function in the real world, where a boss may require her to be at work at a morning hour. Sure there are plenty of jobs that you can start later in the day, but let’s get real.  What is really going on here? Is it really impossible for kids that are not “morning people” to adjust to a schedule where they are required to be awake in the morning?

I decided this year, things were going to change. I decided that after I got home and showered from my gym routine, I would wake the kids at 7:30 so they would have time to get up and have breakfast and be ready to start school.

Well, here we are, near the end of our second week of school, and though we have been pretty routined about getting the kids to bed early on school nights, I have yet to start school earlier than 9:30 am.

I was talking to another friend about this on the phone this morning and trying to figure out why this is such a task… especially because we know that if our kids were in traditional school, there would no option but to have our kids up and ready to catch the bus to be at school on time.

The truth became clear as we talked  and I realized the real reason this 7:30 am wake up call is not happening….. I ENJOY MY QUIET TIME IN THE MORNING!!!! (Ta da!!! Ding ding ding… we have a winner!!)

Yes, there it is! I love that time where everyone in the house is either gone or still asleep. I am too tired to do anything super useful, but it’s my time to just chill and do whatever it is I can’t do when everyone is up and demanding my time and attention.

Well, today after our conversation, I decided that I’m still determined to start school at a set time and I am still going to go for the 7:30 am wake up call, starting next Monday.  I think that quiet time for myself is very important, but I also know that personally, if I get those tasks that require more work out of the way … (e.g excercise, homeschooling, paying bills, etc) I will have more time later in the day to do more things I actually want to do and probably more brain power to do it than I do in the morning.

For the record, I don’t fault or judge anyone else’s decisions regarding how they set their schedules.  This is just me talking out loud about what I think will (hopefully) work best for my family.

We shall see!