Life Tools - 2014

There are certain resources that are essential to managing the business of your personal life.  When I started working, personal computers did not exist.  So, the minimum things I needed to mind my own business "back in the day" went something like this.

  • A checking account (and the knowledge of how to keep it balanced)
  • Some notebooks.  Spiral bound and loose leaf binders.  These were for:
  • Keeping track of important notes, ideas.
  • To do lists
  • Loose leaf binder for address book to track contact information.
  • An accordion file to keep track of insurance papers, tax returns, receipts, etc.
  • A calendar to note appointments.

How technology has changed things.  What would be the basic starter kit for someone beginning to manage their personal life now?  You need applications that will work across platforms (Windows, Android, Linux, ...) so that the information will be easily accessible from a variety of devices.  The applications need to have a version that is free.  With that in mind, here is my life management starter kit recommendation for an interconnected world.

  • Still need a bank or credit union, one that allows online access and the ability to pay bills online.
  • Mint - track where your money is going, create a budget.
  • gMail - There are a lot of good online email applications out there.  For this, I recommend gMail.  It is one of the best online email applications, and once you have a google account, many other essential google tools become available under the same account.
  • Google Drive - allows creating documents and spreadsheet as a start.  Can also be used to share files and documents with others.  Also, print or scan important documents to .PDF files and upload them to drive.  This is your accordion folder.
  • Google Calendar - Track appointments, school schedule, meetings, etc.
  • Evernote -  manage notes that are synched across all my devices.  Not only is it easy to write notes, they are easily organized and searched.
  • Wunderlist - A brain dead simple to do list applications that has just enough features to make it perfect.
  • Lastpass - with all of these accounts, you need a good way to create complex passwords and keep them organized and secure.

The ones listed here, I have proven by using them on a daily basis.  They have worked out very well for me and I continue to use them.

While these applications are simple to use, they do have a lot of power and depth.  So, take the time to learn the application, hunt down tips and tricks for getting the most out of them.  It is much better to have a handful of applications that you know well than to load up with a ton of similar apps.