As a caregiver, you know how important it is to squeeze some “me time” into the week. In a previous post, guest blogger Laura Laing showed us how to calculate the amount of “me time” a caregiver has per week. If your total was zero, you need to retool your schedule. Time management is the key to freeing up some time for yourself. Here are three free tools you can use to take control of your caregiving life.
- Cozi Family Organizer. Cozi is a free online calendar and family organizer. I first heard about this from the indubitable FLYLady, and it’s the tool I use myself. I love the fact every family member (or caregiver, if you have a team) has his or her own login and is represented on the calendar by a unique colored dot. I also love the integrated to-do list and the fact I can download the app to my Android phone. Cozi is easy to use, with plenty of features, so I give it a hearty thumbs-up.
- Remember the Milk. This cool app pretty much reinvents the to-do list. As the site says, RTM lets you “organize the way you want to.” If you love lists, make lists. If you prefer tags, you can convert your tasks to tags and then view a “tag cloud” to see what things need to be done. You also can attach notes to tasks, share tasks, view appointment locations on a map, and much more. Feature-rich hardly begins to describe RTM, which could be a drawback for the caregiver who wants something simple for time management. On the other hand, if you love to play with apps, RTM might be your perfect solution.
- Jorte. Don’t be put off by the charming attempt at English translation on the website (the software designer is Japanese). Jorte offers a very good calendaring and task app that was designed specifically to evoke the look and feel of a paper personal organizer. With Jorte, you can color-code appointments so they stand out at a glance. Jorte interacts with Google maps and can be controlled by Google voice, which might be handy if you need to use it on the road. The app also offers a variety of styles or looks, allowing you to customize its appearance to suit your taste. Like a personal organizer, Jorte integrates task lists with the calendar. I haven’t tried Jorte, but it looks interesting and useful.
You can’t take good care of others if you don’t take good care of yourself. It’s not a sin to put your own needs first – at least once in awhile. So try out some of these free tools to help you find time to pursue your own hobbies, take a hot bath, or even just watch TV. All of us caregivers need a little downtime now and then!
Weigh in: What’s your favorite time management tool for caregiving?