When I wake up in the morning, my inner dialogue immediately kicks in. It sounds something like this: "Coffee. Must make coffee. What am I doing today? Do we have Bible study tonight or is it tomorrow night? What's on the menu for dinner? Do I need to make part of it this morning? Do I have time to go on walk before lunch? Gotta remember to ask Matthew about our plans this weekend. Oops, I forgot to do laundry yesterday!! Did Katie text me in my sleep? Did I reply? I told Nannie I would call her today. When will I have time for that?" and so on...
Can you relate to any of that? How do you keep track of all your "to-do's?" In college I was planning out my day on notebook paper and hoping I wouldn't lose it in the depths of my backpack later in the afternoon. I also used to write things on my hand or arm or place sticky notes all over my desk. Other times, I didn't know I had forgotten to do something like clean my room until my mom scribbled "CLEAN ME" in the dust on my dresser! How embarrassing! I've also tried to be a planner girl, but it just never took.
All that was before Matthew stumbled onto the Wunderlist app. Y'all, this app is a lifesaver, a brain-power saver, and a marriage saver. I'm not being over-dramatic here, just telling the truth. Wunderlist leads us to manage our time well and helps us stay on the same page in all areas of life. You can download the app for free, add your spouse (or business partner or whoever you make lots of plans with) to your account, and then start planning! You can add as many list categories as you need. We have 8 shared lists and I have 3 private lists that Matthew isn't included in. Here's a screenshot of what our home screen looks like:
For each bullet point, you can set a reminder date, time, schedule how often you need reminding (one time, weekly, monthly, etc), and even assign the task to the right person. Maybe that's too much organization for you, but it helps me keep my head screwed on straight. It would work great for college students who have massive workloads to keep track of in addition to jobs and social lives! I definitely could've benefited from it back when I was in school.
Here are some ways we use the app:
- TO-DO List: Maybe most helpful, we use it to schedule chores. This way I don't have to remember when the last time I vacuumed was or how long it's been since the shower got a good scrub down. One of our lists within the app includes every chore that needs to be done and when. For example, every other Wednesday at 9am I get a reminder to swiffer the floors. We find that it works better for us to do a few chores at different times during the week rather than reserving an entire day once or twice a month to try to get it all done. There's no way to let something slip through the cracks with the app.
- Talking Points: When Matthew is at work during the day, we don't do much communicating. He's focused and I'm busy. That doesn't mean things don't pop up during the day that I want to talk to him about though! However, if I want to have a real conversation with him it's best to wait until he gets home. With everything else going on in the day, it's easy for me to forget what I wanted to bring up. That's where the Talking Points list comes in helpful! I keep a running list of topics for us to talk about as they pop into my head during the day. The topics range from important things to thoughts like, "There was randomly a huge turkey in the backyard today!"
- Groceries: Instead of writing my grocery list down and trying to keep track of it throughout the day, I add all the items to my list in the app. That way I can check them off as I go through the store. This is also great because if Matthew thinks of something he'd like me to get while he is at work, he can just add it to the list and I'll see it while I'm at the store! The date reminder feature is helpful here too. If I have already done my normal grocery shopping earlier in the week, but need to pick up fresh guacamole for the game on Saturday, I can set a reminder Saturday morning! (Who am I kidding, I would never forget about guacamole!)
- Bills: All the bill's get assigned to Matthew, and while I'm 100% sure he would never forget to pay a bill anyways, it's helpful to see it right in front of us all the time. This kind of list would come in really handy for roommates! Anyone else remember having to collect roommate money? Sometimes it's a breeze, sometimes a disaster. This way, every one you shared the list with could know a week or a few days in advance that the rent was due!
- Some other random lists we have are: Adventures, Movies to Watch, Packing (used on occasion for trips), and Matthew has a few personal lists he uses exclusively for work related tasks. Anything you need to remember throughout the day can find a home in the app.
Even if you are the woman who considers her planner to be one of her vital organs, I'd give this app a try. It's better than a planner because it can be shared. No more spats about who should've paid the water bill or when was the last time we cleaned the fridge. They say good communication is what makes relationships healthy, and Wunderlist sure does help us communicate well. It's totally free, so give it a whirl!