Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Saving Sanity, One iPhone at a Time

My husband must think I am crazy because my goal in life is to be perfectly organized all the time with every part of my life. Notice I said, "my goal." I am not perfectly anything, not even a little bit. But they say a goal is the first step, next comes the plan and then the execution. The problem is that I feel like I am forever living in the planning and execution phase of organization, but I never actually get to where I want to be. Why even go for it in the first place? But I find that when I am short on time, which is always, when things are organized and I know just where to find something, it takes less time to get out the door and I feel much less stressed. I think most of us can agree that that is the case. The big, huge question now is how to get from here to there. So I thought I would share with you a couple of my secrets for trying to stay organized with almost anything and how to from execution to done, even on a really small scale.

The most important thing to remember and realize is that you don't need to do everything all at once or find 7 hours to set aside to get something done. You can do almost anything for 15 minutes. I did not come to this realization on my own however, I am just not that enlightened. A couple years ago, I came across a website FLYing means Finally Loving Yourself and its a system to help you establish routines and build a basic weekly plan. While I don't FLY as much as I would like it, I definitely find the bedtime and morning rituals help me keep things in order and checked off my list. I have it set up for email reminders to keep me motivated. She says that you can do anything for 15 minutes and its so true. Set a timer and go, you will be surprised how much you can get done! My only issue was that I really wanted a Fly Lady App because I live and die by my iPhone but up until recently there wasn't one. Enter Cozi...

Now Cozi on it's own is fantastic. Cozi is a free online organizer that helps families manage crazy schedules, track shopping lists and to do lists, organize household chores, stay in communication and share memories—all in one place. You can find them at What I love about Cozi is that I can manage everything either online or from my iPhone app and so can my husband and kids (if they choose to). When you add something to your family calendar it is color coded by family member and you can choose to have a reminder texted or emailed to you (I  love this feature because let's face it, we don't always remember to check our calendar) Recently, I was reminded just in time that it was picture day at my son's daycare and we were able to quickly change before heading out for the day. You can easily download school and sports teams calendars quickly to your Cozi calendar without having to retype everything. As long as its an iCal, it will work. I love this feature because it used to take me literally hours to do this for 3 different schools and three different sports teams per season. And since Flylady loves Cozi just as much, they got together and now I can have my cleaning lists stored in my Cozi account. Every week Flylady offers up a new Zone in your house to clean. Evey day she offers little tasks to do in that Zone to keep away the Chaos. I can now add those daily chores to my Cozi account and they show up on my calendar. Honestly, I don't do them most days cause I just have no time but at least they are there just in case.

Most recently my parents both got iPhones and I took two seconds to download the Cozi App to their phones as well. Now, whenever they want to know when my son's next basketball game is (and where) or what I have planned for the week, all they have to do is open their Cozi App.

As we are smack in the middle of the crazy holiday season, with time being a precious commodity, Cozi will hopefully help you organize things a little better and keep the family all on the same page. Just wanted to share something that this busy mom has found to be a life savor.

P.S. - I have also stopped trying to put up a dry erase calendar each month which takes forever to get just right. Now I print this month and next month from my Cozi account and post them in our family message center. It looks so much neater, everything fits and if things change I just print a new copy and switch them out. Love it!

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