Essential Tools for the Essentialist Life

stress

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At this time of year, I’m always feeling rushed and a bit worn down. I recently read the book Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. While some of the essentialist lifestyle seems a bit impossible in this day and age I was challenged to think about the essentialsin my life.

I love technology (I blog for LITA!), but that doesn’t mean I want to be or should be using technology all the time. It is amazing how technology use can creep into all areas of my life, causing me to work weird hours, look at my Twitter account instead of talking to the people I am with, etc. I work hard to create a buffer in my life to allow time for sleep, leisure, and to minimize stress.

To create this buffer, I have discovered that there are tools to assist me in both my professional and personal life. Here are a few of my favorite technology tools (yes, technology tools!) that allow me to stay organized and ultimately, help me to minimize stress to create more time for other things.

Electronic Calendars: I use my work calendar extensively to keep track of meetings and appointments. On my phone and iPad I sync my personal and work calendars for easy referral.

Wunderlist: I recently started using Wunderlist to help me keep track of everything from shopping lists to what I need to bring to a meeting. My favorite thing about this app is that I can share my lists with people! The shared feature makes tag-teaming the shopping so much easier!

Instapaper: This app helps me keep track of all the articles I want to read, but don’t have time to when I see them. I send articles to Instapaper from Twitter and then read them when I have more time.

Feedly: This is my favorite app for keeping up-to-date with all the blogs I follow. It has both a web interface and an app that I use on my iPhone and iPad.

vacation

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The next book I hope to read is The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer.  I want to tackle this one over the holiday break.