Which would you rather: a life where you have too much to do, or too little?

I prefer being busy rather than being bored! But being busy has its challenges. It requires me to organize everything so I don’t forget things and so I can get as much as possible completed in the most efficient way possible.

Here are 5 FREE tools that I use to help organize my busy life, and you can too:

1. Organizing schedules with shared Google or iCloud Calendars

There are many shared digital calendar apps in the world. I use a combination of Google and iCloud calendars.

For my business, I use Google calendars because I run my emails through the Gmail platform and use their whole suite of products. It’s just easier to make and share business appointments through the same platform. I also share my work calendar with my hubby so he knows when I’ll be home late, or when I need him to watch the kids while I go to a meeting or have a speaking/workshop gig.

For my family, I track our appointments, important dates, and bill due dates in shared iCloud Calendars (we’re an Apple family so it easily syncs with all our devices). We have shared appointment calendars, and even a calendar dedicated to our meal plans

It all boils down to something my mom used to say: “If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist!”

2. Organizing work with Trello

The nature of my business is that I have a LOT of clients to-do items and wishlists. I love using Trello (free version) to organize client projects, business projects, and to use as a “dumping ground” when I think of a crazy idea in the middle of the night and I don’t want to forget it

Trello is a mix of a to-do app and a sticky note board. You can create different boards, and within those boards you can create columns of different lists. Each list can have cards, tasks, links…etc.

For example, I have a board for work tasks. Within that,I create a list for each day of the week, and I put “cards” under each day of the week – one card for each task I want to do that day. I also have boards for my social media planning (with lists for different types of content I post), monthly project launches, and even one to manage my list of speaking opportunities that I want to pursue in the future and ones I’ve applied for.

3. Organizing my “Hunny-Do” list with Wunderlist

Well, it’s not really a 100% “hunny-do” list. We use Wunderlist as a place for my husband and I to write down our shared task list for household “stuff.”

For example, I have shared grocery lists with my husband, one for each store we shop at. We can then BOTH add items to these lists and whomever heads to that store next, most often me, can grab whatever is on the list.

We also use it for planning packing and to-do lists for vacations. We’re heading to Disneyland with the kids this year so we’ve already started a Wunderlist board to track what we need to do before the trip, what we need to pack for each person, what goes in the front seat of the car, what can packed in the back…etc.

4. Organizing my passwords with 1Password

So first, this is not a free one, but it’s super cheap (a couple bucks a month). I know there are many password managers out there, I just started using this one with a family plan and we just stuck with it.

With 1Password I can have all my passwords easily accessible on my phone and on my computer so I never have to remember one of those silly $hfd9jkdf89^(fdjkfdsl passwords ever again! (Note: this is NOT one of my real passwords so please don’t try!)

5. Organizing files and pictures with Dropbox or OneDrive

Cloud storage is a GAME CHANGER! I’ve used both Dropbox and OneDrive for personal stuff (like sharing birthday party pictures with family) and client stuff (sharing logos, branding files, and content). They’re both easy to use and the free versions are more than enough space for the “average” users among us!

So these are my 5 favourite free organizing tools. I used each of them every day, but I must confess that I’m not always an uber organized gal! I like to say my life is an “organized mess” some days…but I’m only human, right?

I also need to have one other resource up my sleeve to find success: my friends, family and colleagues. They unconditionally support me in all my crazy schemes, ideas, and dreams! They are my cheerleaders, babysitters, drinking buddies, and shoulder to cry on when I need it.

So these are my tools, tell me your favourite organizational tools in your life!

About Ashley

Ashley “WriterGal” Doan inspires entrepreneurs and women to action through humour and authenticity. As CEO and Caffeinated Copywriter of her business WriterGal Marketing Services, she helps businesses learn how to make content marketing easy, sustainable, profitable, and fun! Ashley is also a public speaker who speaks on various content marketing topics, and a motivational speaker for entrepreneurs and working mothers.

As a mother of toddlers, she has a passion for supporting mothers and female entrepreneurs. Ashley is the founder of the Caffeinated Working Mom Club, a Facebook peer group of working moms craving connection, comradery, and fun.

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