My Favorite Productivity Resources for the Large Family

posted in: Large Family | 0

{Before I launch into my post…does anyone else find it ironic that I post about one of my goals in 2018 being to write three quality posts per week…and then I post nothing? At all? Welcome to my life. First I was having some work done on the backend of my website, then, well, life happened. My life. Which is often controlled (or not) chaos. So here I am back. Yay me!}

Post contains affiliate links.

The best productivity resources for large families

My Favorite Productivity Resources for the Large Family.

The big reason that I like to set goals rather than make resolutions is, goals are something you are working toward whereas resolutions feel something that you make but are easy to give up on. Goals, to me anyway, feel more ongoing.  As I mentioned in my last post one big goal for 2018 is to do a better job of managing my time.

I read recently that you should focus your goals on actions you can take (eat salad twice a week) rather than specific goals you have less control over (lose 20 pounds). Does that make sense? Therefore, this year I am focusing on actionable goals rather than specific results.

Now here are my best resources for productivity in my large family.

Using Google Calendar for Productivity

This one isn’t exactly a secret but it sure is a game changer. Why Google Calendar? Because everyone in our family can log in and add events. This means Kalina and Enoch can add events while they are at school and they instantly show up. When I am booking sessions or making plans a quick check of our Google Calendar lets me know when I have availability and whether or not my teens will be home.

Google Calendar also give you the option to add different calendars (for instance we could have a school calendar, work calendar, etc) and with the click of the button, you can view these as well. You can also color code events. I know plenty of people who have a color for each family member. With 11 of us in the home right now that isn’t very efficient, but I do mark my most important tasks in RED so I can’t miss them.

Best of all? It is FREE!

Using Trello for Productivity

Have you heard of Trello? It is a free productivity resource that is perfect for visual people like myself. You can use Trello both on your computer and as an app on your phone.

Basically, you set up lists and cards. I use this regularly in my business. As a birth photographer, I often meet clients once in a coffee shop and don’t see them again for six months until they call me at two am to tell me It’s Time! When I have multiple clients due around the same time (and I am awakened in the middle of the night) it is absolutely essential I get up to speed immediately. I use the Trello app on my phone to keep the important details about my clients handy.

I obviously have more detailed records in my files. But when I client calls, I can check my app where my basics are lined up: name, husband’s name, due date, important notes about the birth. All of this is to simply jog my memory but it has been a real lifesaver more than once!

Productivity resources for the large family. Erin Condren Planner.

Using My Erin Condren Planner for Productivity

Okay, friends. For two years in a row, I ponied up the money for big, fat, fancy Erin Condren planners. Then the next year (2017) I decided I needed to cut back on business expenses and, after all, I didn’t really need the pretty, fancy planner with all the extras. I headed to a local office supply store and bought a smaller, basic, calendar. Which (shockingly) still cost me over $20! I regretted that decision from day one. This planner was so small I could barely write in it and I found I was lost without the weekly planning pages in between. I tried to make the best of it and decided to buy a new Erin Condren planner in the new year.

Welp. I couldn’t do it. I finally bit the bullet and bought an Erin Condren planner in September. Since they are fully customizable I was able to start my calendar in September 2017 and get on with my planning. I am not an affiliate for Erin Condren and get no kickbacks for sharing about it. I just really can’t manage my business without it.

Use Canva to make a FREE planner.

If you don’t want to spend the money on an Erin Condrin planner you can make your own for FREE at Canva. Canva is what I use to make all of the graphics and pinnable images for my blog. Did I mention it is FREE?

Productivity resources for the large family. Bullet Journal.

Using my {Very Simple} Bullet Journal for Productivity.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you have probably heard about the Bullet Journal craze. There are a jillion ideas out there for Bullet Journal layouts. I even have a board on Pinterest with ideas. But honestly? My bullet journal (the Leuchtturn 1917 lined) simply contains lists and notes. The lists are things like a daily to-do (my most important), meal plans, blog post ideas. The notes are from any appointments I have. The beauty of this system is that all of my notes and lists are in one place. This has been life-changing, friends. I no longer find my self frantically searching the house for “the yellow paper with the corner torn off and a stick figure drawn on the back”. I take my bullet journal with me everywhere.

Using Podcasts for Productivity

I have just discovered podcasts in the last year (probably because we didn’t have wifi before) and wow, has it rocked my world! I load up a few podcasts while I’m cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry and I am so much more productive. This has helped me get more steps in (I love my Fitbit) and keeps my house cleaner.

Once I discovered podcasts, I also realized I needed to buy some headphones. For one thing, it was hard to get my phone volume up high enough to hear with water running or the general household noise. The second reason is I like to listen to True Crime podcasts which definitely aren’t kid-friendly. This idea was cemented the day Apollo said, “I know what podcasts you listen to, Mama! Part-Time Genius, Pro Blogger, and True Crime Garage.”

Yep, it was time for some headphones. After some research, I purchased the Aftershockz Trekz Titanium headphones. They are wireless and use bone conduction (so nothing goes in or over your ears). That means your ears are left open for other sounds. I wrote a full review over at Large Family Reviews if you are interested in reading it.

Listening to podcasts during the day actually has me looking forward to doing mundane household chores!

Well, those are my secrets for productivity. I will follow up soon with a post about my favorite podcasts.

What are your favorite ways of keeping productive around the house?

 

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