Last week I embarked on a journey to save myself time by managing some aspects of our life online. Thanks to British Gas and the challenge from A Modern Mother I have managed to accomplish pretty much every task I set out to do. I have also thoroughly enjoyed using the iPad that we were generously gifted with to help us in this task. A year ago I couldn’t be bothered with the iPad…now, I wouldn’t be without it. It has made a big difference to my daily time management which is wonderful for our family. Want to see how I’ve done then? Right…here goes!
My tasks that I was aiming to streamline through online management were:
- Grocery Shopping: A week ago I had only done online grocery shopping twice in our family life. I was still going to the supermarket on a weekly basis and hating it. The Result: I downloaded the Tesco Shopping app on my mobile phone and have arranged for 2 grocery deliveries. I LOVE shopping online now and it is my goal to never have to step foot in a supermarket again. I have also downloaded the Ocado app and may try placing an order with Ocado to see the difference. A friend recommended using My Supermarket.com to do my shopping and then the app chooses the cheapest store for you. We’ll see about this one!
- Banking: I have always managed our bank account online but due to extensive security measures (which is very good, don’t get me wrong), it’s always been a bit of a faff to access the account. I’ve always got to have my details with me and it’s a mish mash of password palaver so I rarely did it. Also, I was never terribly keen to know our bank balance or lack thereof. However, determined to do better for us, I downloaded our banking app (NatWest), waited for my access permission and have been able to check our bank balance daily if necessary and see a mini-statement of the latest charges which has been extremely helpful. Now if I could only find a way to increase our bank balance!
- Photo Sharing: I am now Instagram-ing like a rock star and LOVING it. In addition to uploading pictures to Instagram, I am also on Google+ so my pictures immediately are available for sharing and upload to my Google+ account which is then a virtual file folder for al of my images. Thanks to the wonders of apps like Instagram, I have been able to share my images through my social media channels with ease which means that friends and family can take part in our days. I have also downloaded Dropbox on the smartphone, iPad and laptop which means that everything I do (pictures too) is saved in a virtual hard drive and is accessible at any time, anywhere. How very productive and time-saving of me!
- Social Media: I now have the Google+ app on my smartphone and iPad, have my other social media channels on both as well and have downloaded the Flipboard app which pulls all of my social media channels together into one handy platform. As a result, I have been able to share more through my social media channels, comment on and read more blog posts and be more aware of what is going on in the world around me. I’ve seen the light…so to speak! It’s so helpful and I feel much more “clued in”!
- Reading: I have downloaded the Kindle app on both my Smartphone and iPad. I have also managed to download 3 books into my “library” and have actually been READING for the first time in AGES. One of the nice things about the Kindle app is that it will keep your place, almost like a bookmark, if you read on 2 different devices. How handy…you don’t have to remember where you left off! I will definitely keep purchasing books to download through the Kindle app going forward. I can read a few pages while rocking Sam to sleep at night or while waiting for a train or when I manage to grab 5 minutes to myself in the bath. Delightful!
- Blogging: I have been set free by the Blogsy blogging app. I can now create blog posts, save to draft or publish immediately to either of my blogs and I don’t have to be tied to my laptop. This has been extremely helpful if I need to write a post after bedtime as I don’t need to fire up the laptop and spend time sitting away from Mark writing. I can easily do a post while sitting on the couch next to Mark and publish away. Easy, fast and efficient. I also have the WordPress app on both my smartphone and iPad so I can check the dashboard end of either blog and respond to comments easily. I HIGHLY recommend Blogsy for any busy bloggers out there…it is exceptionally user-friendly and makes blogging on the go a doddle. Huzzah!
There we have it! A HUGE step forward in managing our family life and time online! Thank you so much to British Gas and A Modern Mother for challenging me to break down some time management barriers. I am really looking forward to taking more steps toward further online time management and will continue to set myself little goals to achieve over the next month and will report back. #BGSaveTime has been a great challenge for me and I do believe that I am a pretty #clevermama now! Thanks British Gas!
Ella has also REALLY enjoyed the iPad which has been a big time savings for me as I am able to occupy her from time to time so I can get some work accomplished. Everyone benefits from online time management, don’t they?
**Disclosure: I received an iPad for my participation in this campaign. All opinions, words and activities are my own and were not influenced by British Gas in any way.**