When you can’t think clearly from exhaustion, you’ll be soooo glad that you were organized enough to type in that super-important doctor’s appointment into your Google calendar.
Life with kids can sometimes leave little space in your brain for another other than babytalk. “Be organized” is easy to say, but harder to do.
We’re sharing some of our favorite ways to keep life organized:
1. Get a family calendar—in paper or online
One of our Motherly mamas swears by Google Calendar for keeping track of her family’s busy schedule. She’s got multiple, color-coded calendars set up — some shared with her husband, but some just for herself. You can also try the digital Cozi family calendar for getting all of your crew’s action items in one place.
Keep it classic
Another one of our Motherly mamas still loves paper calendars and some fun colored markers. Her favorite is by Orange Circle Studio.
2. Make budgeting simple
There are quite a few options out there for keeping track of your finances, everything from good old Excel to bank-provided tools to some great apps. One of our favorites include You Need a Budget, which in addition to providing budgeting software has online classes to help you better understand the decisions you’re making.
Mint, which was created by Intuit (the people behind TurboTax and Quicken), is another great budgeting tool that allows you to set a budget and see all your financial balances in one, secure place.
3. Meal plan to save time + money
Plan each week
My husband and I like to sit down each week and plan out the menu for the week to help devise our grocery list. However, when my son hit six months and started solids, I found myself scrambling at each meal to figure out what to feed him.
One of the things that helped me get organized was Gerber Menu. It allows you to customize a plan based on your child’s age, stage (such as newborn, sitting or crawling) and what type of milk your baby gets.
4. Do a to-do list
Be a master of getting stuff done
I’m a color-coded paper to-do list girl myself. I try to have a master list of things I need to get done, and recently, have started each day with figuring out my top five priorities for the day.
I only add other things to the day’s list once I’ve crossed something off so that there are never more than five things on my list. It’s helped me stay focused and not get overwhelmed, especially during the dreaded four month sleep regression or after a night of teething related wake-ups.
Try one of these online tools
If you’re a Google Calendar user, check out Tasks, which is already integrated into your calendar. Wunderlist and Todoist are also great apps for the electronic list inclined. What’s most important here is to find what works best for you.