Thursday, January 7, 2010

Organization Schmorganization ...

I have always prided myself on my strong organizational skills. Being unorganized made me stressed and unable to relax, so I organized everything. Coupons. Receipts. Cars. Cabinets. My desk. Even my DVD collection is in alphabetical order. My closet is color coded and separated by sleeve length. OCD about organization? Absolutely.

People would laugh and tell me how that would all change once I had a baby, but I refused to cave to that. I convinced myself that I'd stay organized no matter what. However soon after Riley's birth, I noticed some of my skills were lacking. The checkbook wasn't being balanced as frequently as I cared for. Bills were scattered throughout the house. The car started getting littered with toys and blankets and other new baby items. "As soon as I get past this sleep deprivation, things will get back to being organized", I told myself.

Then Riley started getting mobile. My time that would have been spent getting that organization back in order was spent chasing her around the house, making sure she didn't get herself into any dangerous situations or spots, etc. I couldn't possibly organize at night because after dinner and bedtime routines were through, I needed to wind down and get sleep to do it all over again the next day. "As soon as I get into more of a routine, things will get back to being organized", I told myself.

What I should have been saying all along was, "Once I get an iPhone, things will get back to being organized". I hate to use this forum as an iPhone pitch, but I can't help myself. This thing is fantastic. I feel SO organized. And everything I could possibly need or want is at my fingertips. In case you're an iPhone user looking for some new apps ... or if you plan to be an owner in the future, I just have to share what I feel are my top four "Mommy-Helper Apps". I have more to add, but will limit it to four at this time ...

Checkbook - Remember that checkbook that I told you wasn't getting balanced anymore? I couldn't stand the thought of not knowing exactly what we had in the bank - and by this I mean down to the very penny. This app has saved my sanity and (seriously) made it easier for me to sleep at night. It is simple - just a checkbook registry app that allows you to track your bank balance. But I can also set certain debits or credits to be recurring ones. So each month I don't have to remember to record my mortgage payment that is auto-pay. This app simply enters it into my register on the selected date each month. It even tracks and analyzes spending for me. Basically, this is Quicken for the iPhone ... however now I can deduct something from my "checkbook" immediately as I make a purchase. No more needing to collect receipts and enter information later, from my laptop at home. This is the best $1.99 I've spent ... and you can bet that I immediately recorded that debit in it.

Keeper - Never again will I have to dig to the depths of my brain to remember what username and password I selected for my gas company's website so I can pay my bill (and then record it in the checkbook app). Keeper allows you to enter information about any of your accounts. It requires a password in itself, so there is no risk for someone getting your personal log-on information. It allows you to enter you username, password, and any additional notes that you need. This has allowed me to remove all those little post-it notes off of my desk telling me what information to sign in to what site with. What's better? It's a FREE app!

Cardstar - I don't know about you, but my wallet has been ready to explode for months. Unfortunately, it isn't because I have loads of cash in there - it's because of all the loyalty and membership cards I tote around with me everywhere I go to get those discounts and rewards we all want. This FREE app allows you to enter in your membership card number and it translates it into a barcode. The barcode can be scanned from your phone just as it could be from your membership card - but now you can do away with the cards! This app is ingenious. I have been able to remove eleven cards from my wallet! I have cards that range from my CVS card to PetSmart to AAA to my local library! This is a 'must have' in my opinion.

Wheels on the Bus - Gone are the days (for now) that I have to worry about a wiggly, screaming baby while waiting in a long grocery line or at the doctor's office. This adorable application is modeled after the well-known Wheels on the Bus song. It has fabulous artwork, music and interactivity - all tailored to little kiddos. This app was created by parents, for parents. You can climb on board the bus to spin it's wheels as they go 'round and round', swish the wipers, pop some bubbles and more! You can listen to the song in five different languages and can even record yourself or your child singing it! "Your little one will be able to touch, explor and discover fun surprises in the captivating, interactive illustrations". Your sanity in a long line, on a car ride, and many other places is just $0.99 away!

And p.s. ... through the sleep deprivation and chasing of a toddler, I am proud to say my DVD collection has always remained in alphabetical order. If you remove one, please put it back in the spot you pulled it from. Or I won't sleep. ;)

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