We all have increasingly busy lives and staying on top of everything can feel like a chore.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be, and as we’ll show there are some simple and fantastically easy ways to get yourself organised and feeling ready to tackle anything life might throw at us.
1. Take control of your inbox
Does your inbox have a life of its own? All it takes is a few years of neglect and you can end up spending more time wading through newsletters, promotional emails and spam than reading the email you were looking for in the first place.
Fear not, there’s still hope. Put aside just 15 minutes and you’ll be amazed at how much digital housekeeping can be accomplished. Make a list of the worst culprits - weekly emails from brands you once bought something from, for instance. Find their latest email, scroll right down to the bottom and look for the word ‘Unsubscribe’ in tiny tiny writing and click on it.
To get rid of all your old emails from the sender, copy and paste the email address into the search bar at the top of your inbox. If you’re using BT Yahoo Mail you’ll see a Select All option, otherwise on Gmail there’s a small tick box in the top left-hand corner. Tick it, then press Delete. Feels better already, doesn’t it?
2. Never forget your password again
The more online services we sign up for, the more passwords we need. Remembering them all can be a chore at the best of times but when they’re supposed to contain letters, numbers and symbols, it can become an impossible task.
A password manager app like True Key (free for BT Broadband customers) can create and then securely store all your passwords. All you have to do is remember one powerful password and that’s it, everything else can be stored safely inside True Key.
3. Stop those pesky notifications on your phone
Tired of your phone buzzing every time one of your apps wants to sell you something? Or maybe you just want a break from WhatsApp? Cutting down on notifications not only helps you stay less distracted but also helps you focus on what’s right in front of you.
To stop notifications, follow these instructions:
Settings – Notifications: Now simply scroll through your apps and decide which ones you’d like to make a fuss and which ones you’d rather stayed silent. Find out more at Apple's support site.
Settings – Digital Wellbeing – Manage Notifications: Android actually helps list the worst offenders for you so if there’s an app that’s going off a lot you’ll see it. Tap on the app and then adjust the notifications.
4. Save time by using a voice assistant
Voice assistants are a fantastic resource for helping you get stuff done and yet many of us rarely take advantage.
Whether it’s Siri on Apple, Alexa on Amazon’s Echo speakers or Google Assistant on Android phones, there’s a voice assistant out there for you. Here are some useful tricks to get started with:
Remember the wake words are: “Hey Siri”, “Hey Google” or "OK Google", and “Alexa...”.
Start your day: [Wake word] what does my day look like?
Reminders: “[Wake word] remind me to pick up some milk when I leave work”
Timer: “[Wake word] set a timer for 15 minutes”
Shopping list: “[Wake word] add eggs to my shopping list”
Send messages/email: “[Wake word] send an email/message to John.” You’ll then be asked to dictate the message.
Split a tip (Siri only): “[Hey Siri] split a £90 bill four ways”
5. Use apps to organise your life
Apps can be incredibly powerful toosl in helping you become more organised, especially when they work across all your gadgets from your laptop to your smartphone.
For just getting your head down:
Look no further than Bear Focus Timer, an adorable hand drawn bear who gets grumpy if you don’t put your phone face-down.
For a more hands-on approach to productivity:
Trello is your all-in-one project manager. Whether it’s planning an extension on the house or a major project at work it uses simple drag-and-drop cards to show how you’re progressing with each task.
For grocery lists, event planning and general list-making there’s Wunderlist, a simple but powerful app that lets you create lists, set reminders and best of all it’ll work on Windows, Apple, and Android gadgets.