Finding a tool to make more effective life? - Headway

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Finding a tool to make more effective life?


I am looking for a tool that will work with our brains to get daily life better organised using either technology tools or good paper planners to complement thinking. This is about planning personal time over months, weeks, days - covering events, projects, tasks, reminders recording notes and also setting good goals for home and work - Easy!!!! :-D I will share what I find and am keen to hear others views!

18 Replies

Hi Charlie

I think that what works varies depending on our own lives, what we are needing to plan, how much is going on in our lives etc. What works for one won't for another. I use the calendar on my phone and back up with a paper calendar too along with reminder prompts, timers etc. I also have repeated routines about how I do things to enable me to complete a task otherwise I get in a big muddle and things don't get done. I also sometimes write promos on post it notes then put them in a strategic place so I will see it at the point I need too.

I agree with Caroline on this, I used to use a daily desk planner when I was at work, I found it invaluable with spaces for things to do etc etc. At the end of the day I would tear off that day and write in or carry forward anything that needed doing next day, but now it would have limited use.

My iPad calendar and notes on my phone, together with phone alarm etc are sufficient.

The busier you are, or how badly your memory is affected will dictate your need.

Happy hunting xxx Janet

Charlieedge in reply to Kirk5w7

It is a good thought but, unfortunatly, I find I have too many things to do than to rely on smart phone and paper only. I ideally want an iPad application that manages calendar, projects, tasks, notes, goals without moving between too many applications.

This is an app that we could all use if we could get it in UK through iTunes store My Bionics Brain -

Take a look. I know it calls with people in all stages after TBI who can use an iPad but it does address most points in one app!!

Kirk5w7 in reply to Charlieedge

Looks good xx

I use My Shoppi for shopping and i dont forget anything

Hi there for things to help with easy brain life I find keeping reminders in my phone and have it to beep day before and an hour earlier on the day, I also put reminders on my wall calendar and this helps lots. When I go shopping I make a list and cross off the items as I go round.

Lisa85 xx


Husband who had a sub arachnoid haemorrhage uses the calendar on his iPad, and has given me access. He puts literally everything in it to remind him of things he is going to do, I can use it to remind him without nagging and to see what he is planning too. Works really well for him, great for me too except when I forget to look at it before planning anything!

Charlieedge in reply to Hidden

It is just a seprate list of tasks needed to iCal - I use it.

A good suggestion I got from a charity yesterday is to

1. Limit your daily main tasks (up to 3) and allocate time for them with an alarm

2. Keep other tasks as a list and get to them when you can.

Call me old fashioned but even though I do stick th8ngs in my phone my lifelines are my calendar and a 'to do list' notebook.

I plan every month at the beginning of the month, create a 'week sheet' that goes up on the wall and in my handbag and from there to my phone as reminders every Sunday night, and make up a 'day list' over breakfast in my 'to do' book which incorpotes stuff like 'put dark wash on' and 'hang dark wash out' (it is the only way to avoid stinky washing).

Works for me. To do book is a bit like my second Bible....

SAMBS in reply to malalatete

Oh if only my life was that busy, I can't even organize myself indoors anymore on a daily basis.

Charlieedge in reply to SAMBS

I am sorry to hear this SAMBS but an overwhelming lesson for me - (supported by comments this week on the forum) indicate the need to find a balanced life.

SAMBS in reply to Charlieedge

Yes I read those and agreed with all.

my life is virtually non existent on a daily basis, I'm indoors, mostly all day everyday. if I go out its for a 2 minute walk to the one shop/cafe in my village to see other human beings and talk to them. I get taken to an expat quiz once a fortnight, ha ha can't remember many of the answers even though I know them :-) or shopping when another English person I know, is going out for themselves. the French here are lovely but all keep themselves to themselves. I'm the mad femme anglaise!

malalatete in reply to SAMBS

Ooops I may have made that sound more busy than it is, especially at the moment as I am resting to get the ME symptoms under control ahead of my brain op.... 'wash in' and 'wash out' are often the sum total of it as far as my activity goes - much of the rest is about organising 2 very busy small people and the man in my life 😊

Hi Charlie,

I use ical which allows me to do everything I want to to in the planing department. Its Apples set calendar and scheduling tool and its fantastic. Syncs with my phone and laptop but as I'm Apple based its a really fantastic application and I use it all the time. Have a look here:


Charlieedge in reply to MXman

Hi MXman,

I am 100% Mac based and use iCal on all Apple devices. It is great for that but does not manage task lists. After some thought I have started to use my FranklinCovey paper planner to plan my days. This combination should do it.

One message I am receiving from this discussion is to "keep it simple" and I think I have overcomplicated my approach!


I think as life can be varied so to are yhe aids for remembering events.

Personally my phone has replaved my diary. I use a diary to record what has happened rather than planned events.

Along with a white board for that days activities and a general note board for pining up letters or genaral seperate paper reminders.

I tend to throw everything at a new venture and see which works best and use that one.

Good luck with the plannig


Even your post now sounds complicated to me!!!! I use to find various notebooks, is all I can say! sounds like what you want is to stop yourself being distracted while doing something you shouldn't have been, so you continue doing what you should have been.

I must currently be the worlds worst time and motion manager! however I do now use my mobile as my daily calendar and it all goes in there. for something important I use a reminder alert set to an hour before. the timings of reminder alerts obviously you'll need to Suss out for yourself! good luck!

I can't even decide which tone to use on the iPad as none seem loud enough so don't use the calendar. I'm not getting on too well with iPad now, I think it's been hacked and I know Apple are very proud of their 'security' but it didn't work for me! I've even covered the camera, as one day someone's face from the expat forum I use, using FaceTime just appeared on the screen, he spoke to me, but I wasn't prepared for him just arriving without my accepting the FaceTime. it doesn't work the same as I was used to .skype working. the FaceTime app disappeared from iPad not too long after. Took it to an Apple reseller/service company last week. they didn't speak much English and I thought my French was passable but after fiddling about on screen for a while, the assistant just shrugged her shoulders and said désole . her only suggestion was that I download all my info via cloud to another computer, which I don't now have, the one that was repaired an Asus notebook, went pear shaped when I was putting Avast on, a paid for Internet Security etc., even Avast who I emailed from iPad don't know what that should have happened

so my advice on organising wouldn't be worth the paper it would be written on.

I want to thank everyone who has made a contribution to this question. My thoughts are much clearer.

- I will choose a simple approach keeping written lists on paper weekly and daily.

- I will use my smart phone and iPad to manages my calendar to stay on top of events

- I will work on 3 "Top Priority" tasks per day maximum and avoid being overwhelmed by tens which has happened.

- I will set a timer on the other dide of the room to work to keep me focussed on the big things. This will help me get over distraction. On completion of each Priority task I will take a 10 minute break and look at a lower easy going fun thing to do.

- I will work out a balance daily and weekly plan so I am not overwhelmed.

Everyone is different but I think this will help!

Thanks again,


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