I’ve become a fairly organized person, which completely shocks my friends and family, considering that I was the ultimate wasted eighties head-banger. Spontaneity was my middle name. Actually, I just liked to think of it as spontaneity. It was more like flake, as in Teri Flake Foreman Brown.

Having children was my first organizational kick in the ass because, let’s face it, spontaneity is more difficult with toddlers and you only have to flake off the diaper bag a couple of times before you get a clue.

When I began writing articles to make some extra money while simultaneously homeschooling two kids, I realized that organization was key to success-cough-survival. Now I’m kind of a fanatic. Maybe underneath the stoned, cloud watching, poetry writing, barefooted hippie was a organizational wannabe waiting to get out. Who knows?

The more I added to my life, the more organized I needed to be. Because if I didn’t it was sort of like this: pulling out

And then of course, electronics came to help me out and I was hooked. My life is a combination of Apps, computer programs and paper files/folders. For instance, I’ve learned that I hate electronic to do lists. I love the idea of them, but would rather have the satisfaction of actually crossing off an item. On the other hand, I live by my outlook calendar.

Here are a few of the Apps I’m using this year:

Akrutosynch: This little program finally did the one thing I was missing… it synchs my old outlook calendar that I refuse to give up, to my android calendar. I’d tried a few other things that didn’t work and I always felt like such a luddite when I told people I would have to get back to them after I checked my calendars… at home. This handy dandy little app synched up the calendars with just a few clicks. There was a seven day trial period but after I had it for a couple days, I bought it. Happily. I’m not really fond of my android calendar, but at least it has everything on it and I can set dates with people in real time. What a blessing!

Pepperplate: As many of you know, I love to cook. LOVE. But with my schedule, I have to be organized and get as much stuff prepped and planned ahead of time  possible. Pepperplate works on both my PC and my phone and is incredibly user friendly.  With just one click you can add a recipe to your account. A couple more clicks and it’s added to your weekly menu plan and with another click, it generates a grocery list. Delete what you already have  and voila, a grocery list that you can print out and take with you. Forgot your grocery list? No problem because it’s also on your phone. It took me about 45 minutes to add all my go to recipes, (I only plan dinners), and have a grocery list for the week in hand. I’m LOVING this one.

Runkeeper: I’ve been using this one for a while and though I’ve had a few problems with it now and then, it mostly runs a like a top. (Pun intended.) It tracks my mileage, my pace and my elevation. I can friend people, see what they are doing and helps me set goals.

Headspace: This is my guided meditation app that also tracks my meditation stats… average length, how many total hours, and what topic I’m on. I know, it seems a bit odd tracking your meditation, but I’m sort of odd, so it’s fine. Plus, Andy Puddicomb’s VOICE. This is another app that I happily pay for.

Lose It!: Lose It! is my calorie tracker. I don’t track my calories all the time but like to do it every once in a while as a wake up call. It basically helps me make better choices. It’s easy to use and free. I like free.

Next blog, I’ll go into detail on what I organize the old fashioned way!