Mum shares her 5 productivity and organisation apps that have changed her life.
"For me apps are mini assistants that simplify my life."
Jo Burgess, organisation expert, tech entrepreneur, app founder and Mum is a self-confessed tech nerd. She wears so many different hats during the day and technology helps her manage her life and get the job done.
Jo says: "As app creator myself, I sure can appreciate a good one when I see it. I know the HUGE AMOUNT of work it takes to get an app over the finish line (mind you, they are never really finished)! You might not think it, but so much blood, sweat and tears (literally) goes into creating an app that takes less than a minute to download.
My life wouldn’t be the same without the good ole Uber eats and Netflix apps on a night in with the fam, and I absolutely could NOT live without my organisation and productivity apps. They keep me sane and feeling in control of my crazy-busy life.
That’s why I’ve crafted this list of my top 5 organisation and productivity apps that will make your life easier in 2019. These apps are the ones I use religiously to help me to get my Life Sorted ."
1. Instagram planning, scheduling and analytics app – Plann
One of my favourite places to hang out and connect these days is Instagram. And, I love making my insta grid look pretty and inspiring. Using the Plann app makes it so easy to curate a beautiful feed and plan out my posts and stories in advance. Plann is an Australian app (go aussie!) that will literally change the way you tackle your Instagram game! It allows you to design, arrange and schedule your instagram posts by simply dragging and dropping images around till you’re happy with how it looks and feels. I’m a bit OCD, and I’ve definitely spent hours re-arranging images on the Plann app. Plann also has killer analytics built-in so you’ll always know when the best time to post is and what suggested hashtags to use. You can even peep at your competitors strategy… how COOL is that!?
The founder of Plann, the gorgeous Christy Laurence, and I met in the app world. She’s the sweetest CEO founder you’ll ever meet. Once over a video chat we discovered that we quite had a lot in common – both kiwis, both have the same dimples and both are mad enough to create a tech product!
Trust me, after downloading this app your Instagram feed will be forever changed! The desktop version is also being released very soon – I’ve had a sneak peek and it’s amazing!
2. Design app – Canva
Being a business owner and content creator, I always need to create graphics. Many designers use software like Adobe Photoshop, but always thought this was such a confusing piece of software – I never picked it up. Then along came Canva which was a total game-changer for digital and print design available to everyone (not just graphic designers). There’s no need to start from scratch (but you can if you like) – the easy-to-use cloud software makes it simple to create graphics from gorgeous, professionally designed templates using Canva images or your own. Whether it be an invitation, logo, social media image or a photo collage Canva has you covered! I usually use the web version, but the app version is handy when I need to design a quick Instagram story or Facebook post.
Canva is one of Australia’s biggest exports in terms of tech as it’s made graphic design accessible to everyone and there is a FREE version! Canva was founded by Melanie Perkins, another Australian female tech rockstar! It warms my heart to see so many women in tech changing the game!
3. Organisation and assistant app – Google Home
Hey Google, can you drop the kids to school and fold the laundry?
Google can’t do that but it can do a whole lot for your family you never thought was necessary. The Google Home app requires you to have the Google Home device. It’s minimalistic design fits well in my recently de-cluttered living room! To activate this wonder of a machine, simply utter the two magic words, ‘Hey Google!’ followed by your request. You can frequently see me in the morning with half a face on shouting the words, ‘how long is the commute to work?’ (I never run late I swear!).
Google Home is linked up to the gargantuan search engine Google (DUH!) so no request is too big. You can ask it to play music (I linked mine to my Spotify account #winning), set a timer or alarm. You can even tell it to turn on your lights if you have a smart home! It’s also great for the kids – ask it to play trivia and the children will be in fits! Home automation is the future, so if you’re looking to increase property value maybe consider making your home SMART-er!
4. Relaxation and productivity app – Calm
Calm is the best way I know how to ‘calm’ down.
Calm is an amazing app that will help you regain your mindfulness amongst the chaos of daily life. This app will teach you how to meditate and restore your sleeping patterns. I can assure you since downloading this app I have experienced the best sleeps and have been feeling more energised during the day!
But that’s not all – we all loved being read bedtime stories when we were younger so why stop once we’re all grown up? Calm’s ‘Sleep Stories’ feature is simple yet powerful. It will read you soothing stories to help you unwind and fall into a deep sleep, even try it with your kids!
Need to calm your breathing down? Don’t worry Calm will EVEN guide you through this.he app will instruct you how long to breathe in and exhale for! I can’t wait for you to try this one as it’s definitely made my life more calm!
5. Family organisation app – Life Sorted
Life Sorted was an obvious choice for this list. This powerful app will organise your hectic family life so you can spend less time organising and more time doing the things you love with your family! I use it every day and so do my kids and hubby, it really is so simple to use and packed full of features! May I mention the co-creator of Life Sorted ‘Vince’ made sure the app is so easy to use that even his young daughter frequently uses it on her iPad to add things to their shared family shopping list like ‘skittles’ or her favourite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
The combined calendar is a stand out feature in my eyes, as it allows you to see what every family member is up to at any given time (or even turn a blind eye to your teenagers social life by momentarily choosing not to integrate into your calendar). Ever had an event where you had a gazillion tasks to do? Well with event to-do’s the app will let you create to-do’s tied to events so you can assign tasks and reminders to family members. So no more forgetting the bag of ice for that family BBQ!
Want to discuss details about an event, voila! The integrated chat allows you to chat with family members about the details of an upcoming event like who is dropping off or picking up!
Oh and did I forget to mention, this is not just a mobile app, it’s cross-platform, meaning you can use it on your phone, tablet or desktop at no extra cost!
I could go on and on about the countless features of this app, but let’s just say you won’t regret downloading Life Sorted today!
Jo concludes: "For me apps are mini assistants that simplify my life, I like to think that with each app my life gets a little easier and I have more time do the things I love, like spending time with my family or having a little bit of ‘me time’ at the end of a busy day."