“What else was I supposed to do today? I am pretty sure I got everything. Do you remember the address of the holiday party we are going to tonight?”
I’ve been using Informant on my Android phone for years now and haven’t uttered those words since, especially during the holidays. Creating a simple task list and calendar system is important in order to keep stress at bay and our family organized.
This time of year the pressure is mounting to get it all done, be there or be square, and hope you don’t miss something. I can’t say much for sitting through a holiday dinner with your in-laws, but you won’t forget to pick-up the wine before you go at least. There are so many ways Informant has helped get through these times (as well as the rest of my crazy life) that I just couldn’t do without it.
Event planning is hard enough. Do you have enough time to go everywhere? Are you going to remember the when and where’s of each event, party, and get-together you want to go to? I’ve got several ways of helping you use Informant to keep your sanity during the holiday season and beyond.
I put every event in Informant. My phone is basically attached to my hand at all times and I can see at a glance what’s planned at any time. I even know right away if there will be a conflict between event times as I am putting in a new event. Even my husband can plan his work schedule around what’s going on with our family by looking at Informant on his phone to see the calendar we share with our Informant Sync account. If something repeats daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, etc., I can have it multiply on my calendar without wasting my time writing it over and over again. I still have a paper calendar on my wall though. It’s from 1991 but it has a cute puppy picture on it. I should get that framed…
We love to go to holiday parties, craft fairs and special community events in our town this time of year. Since I put the time of the event in Informant and address in the location section, no more searching through emails, texts, or that little piece of paper I am sure I dropped in my purse to find the details. And navigation is so easy, tap the event to see the details then choose the show on map option to have it open navigation for you.
Tasks and checklists
I will admit that I have a short attention span. If I don’t write it down, you may as well forget about it getting done. Task lists and checklists are a lifesaver. When I am in a hurry I use the natural language parsing feature and the microphone option to dictate a quick task to Informant that I need to get done. (like that bottle of wine I need to pick up for dinner with the in-laws). If I have a little more time I will add a little flair to it – tags; icons; colors; attachments, location alarms – just a little something to make it stand out. But no matter how big or how small the task might be and how much special stuff I add to it, I can always see it in my calendar. Now actually finding the time to get it done is a different issue, but at least I will remember it.
I usually take a few days a week to try to get all my errands done preparing for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. I could have a billion little tasks but for these types of things I make a checklist. I name it ‘Errands’ (so original right?) and then create a checklist for all the places I have to go. Once I get to that place, it gets checked off the list. There’s another checklist for grocery’s too (‘Holiday Grocery’, I’m on a roll with these titles) and I just keep adding and checking off all the things I need to get. And let’s not forget the gift list checklist. (Can you guess what I named it?) Each line of the checklist is someone’s name that I need to get a gift for. But I do a little something different with this list. Once I purchase a gift for that person, I edit the list and add the gift behind their name. So Aunt Becky changes to Aunt Becky – scarf. Then I don’t mark that person in my checklist complete until I wrap their gift. I haven’t forgotten someone or a gift yet.
I should add my name to that list. A few times.
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