Life is made up of component parts. Specifically, your life is comprised of eight specific areas, known to as your “areas of focus.” The eight areas of your life are: relationship, time, financial, career, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional.
These eight areas are all interconnected. Forget to nurture one and the others will suffer. If you lose focus on your physical health, for example, it harms your mental and emotional well-being. Placing too much attention on the financial area of your life causes your relationships lose value.
Sometimes it feels like we’re juggling eight balls without any hope of catching them all. This is normal. Still, it doesn’t give us an excuse to neglect any one area, which means we have to be smarter about our approach to our lives and its component parts.
Rather than relying on yourself, a life well lived is one that’s automated. People who live fulfilling lives do so in a systematic way. They understand that it’s impossible to focus on all eight areas of life at once.
Instead, they rely on the below tools for automating specific areas of life, and so can you. This can help you allocate your focus more efficiently and effectively. Below is a list of the top automation tools for living a better life.
- Automated Calendar Invites – All online calendars can automate recurring meetings. It doesn’t matter if you use a Google calendar, Outlook calendar, or something in between. If you value someone, make a conscious effort to see them consistently. This might be as easy as creating a monthly recurring coffee meeting between you and a friend. The beauty is that online calendars allow for quick and easy rescheduling. So, even if your recurring invite is only convenient half the time, you still have the ability to change the date, time, and location.
- Insightly CRM – Insightly is a CRM service that’s made to scale from a sole proprietorship to a multinational corporation. You might then wonder why a CRM is under the “relationship” area of your life. Well, Insightly’s CRM allows for automated reminders, helping you keep in contact with friends and family. For example, you can enter a list of friends and set the CRM to remind you to send a monthly email to each person on this list. So, even if you can’t see a friend or family member once a month, you can use a CRM to ensure you remain in contact.
- Streak for Google – Streak is a similar – albeit smaller scale – tool to Insightly’s CRM. It’s a Gmail plugin that integrates right into your existing account. Once activated, Streak gives your CRM capabilities from within your Gmail account itself. This makes it really easy to create lists and add reminders. If you have specific friends and family members you want to keep in contact with, Streak can help you do it with automated reminders.
- 1-800-FLOWERS – 1-800-FLOWERS offers the automated, same-day delivery of various flower arrangements. The service has a bouquet for birthdays, love and romance, sympathetic occasions, and more. All you have to do is order off their website and the delivery is taken care of. Services like 1-800-FLOWERS are great for automating gifts and other things that make the people in your life feel special. For example, 1-800-FLOWERS can automate the delivery of flowers every month, quarter, bi-annually, and annually. Never miss another anniversary, birthday, or special event with automated flower delivery.
- Schedule Once – This is a lifesaver for people who attend or host meetings. Schedule Once cuts down the back-and-forth emails when two parties try to find a convenient time for a meeting. Instead of asking for a list of available times, Schedule Once lets you send a link to customers, colleagues, prospects and more, allowing them to pick a meeting time from a list of available slots. It’s the most efficient way to schedule a meeting.
- WunderList – This app boasts that it “keeps your life in sync.” WunderList creates task lists that help you manage your to-do list, groceries, and more. The app sends automated reminders for each item on a list you create. This helps with due dates and keeps you informed regarding your schedule. What’s more, you can collaborate with anyone, sharing lists and integrating with existing lists. The amount of time you save moving from one task to the next is staggering.
- Wealthfront and Betterment – Robo advisors have become the trend of late, and for good reason. Robo advisors automate all the tasks needed to effectively and efficiently invest your hard earned money. Specifically, robo advisors can automatically help you with capital asset allocation, tax loss harvesting, and more. The two industry leaders are Wealthfront and Betterment. Both are great automation tools that can help you invest your finances better. All you have to do is open an account, set up a monthly direct deposit with one of these services, and the robo advisors will take care of the rest.
- Acorns – Acorns is one of the most innovative personal financial automation tools on the market. If you have an Acorns account, every time you make a purchase, the app rounds up to the nearest dollar and automatically invests the rounded amount. For example, if you purchased something for $1.50, the Acorns app would round up your purchase to $2.00 and invest the extra $0.50 in a target date fund you previously specified. It’s a great way to invest without even realizing it.
- Mint – Mint is a perfect tool for managing your monthly budget. The service helps you create a monthly budget, integrate your bank accounts, and then sends you email alerts when spending categories are reaching their limits. Further, it helps you automate your bill payment and automatically pulls your credit score every quarter.
- LinkedIn – The most important network for your career is found on LinkedIn. For example, this platform, now owned by Microsoft, allows you to join groups that fit your interests, and then sends you automated emails with group updates and information. It’s a great way to stay automatically informed with people, jobs, businesses, and industry trends. LinkedIn also updates you when people you follow post a new blog or article, and helps you stay in the loop with company updates.
- Meetup.com – Meetup.com is another way to automate the act of networking. Similar to LinkedIn, it’s possible to join meetup groups that meet to discuss various topics. If you’re a marketer, for example, you can find a meetup group that meets once a month to discuss new digital marketing trends. Emails are automatically sent to your inbox, alerting you about these meetings.
- Asana – Task management systems are great for automating your job and career. Asana is one of the leading task management tools on the market. With Asana, you can increase personal and team productivity with a web and mobile app that tracks your work. You can set up tasks, projects, and teams, all of which automate the workflow of your job and the trajectory of your career. The tool doubles as a communication service, keeping conversations organized within larger tasks and projects.
- Blue Apron – There are a ton of options nowadays for automated food delivery. The industry leader, however, is Blue Apron. This service works with farmers to create delicious dinner items, delivers dinner ingredients straight to your door, and provides instructions on how to cook recipes from scratch. The entire service is automated so you know you’ll get a new dinner entree each and every night – or as infrequent as you like!
- ClassPass – ClassPass is an innovative approach to physical health. The app connects you to thousands of “in-network” workout classes, of which you can choose to attend a specific number per week. Classes are easily searchable and members can access classes in 38 participating cities. It’s a great option for those who travel a lot.
- Runtastic PRO – Personal trainer apps have become reliable tools for physical health automation. Runtastic PRO, for example, tracks your daily runs, walks, or cycling routes and gives you information on performance. The best part is that the app talks to you and acts as if there’s a trainer in your ear. As you run or bike, it’ll tell you your pace, distance, speed, and more. Your data is shareable so you can challenge friends.
Mental, Spiritual, Emotional
- Headspace – The point of Headspace is that it makes meditation simple. The app guides users through specific meditation courses and practices. It starts at novice level and reminds you each and every day to complete your daily meditation practice. Over time, it creates a positive habit that increases your mental, spiritual, and emotional health.
- Sleep Cycle – Sleep Cycle is a mobile app that helps you sleep better. The science behind it is that we get our best sleep when we’re in a REM state. However, if we’re in a REM state when our alarm clock wakes us up, it causes us to become groggy. Sleep Cycle solves this problem by tracking your sleep quality and finding the best time (within an hour span) to wake you up.
- Day One – Day One is an app that helps you journal and get your thoughts down out of your head and onto a page. Automated reminders can be set, but ultimately, it provides a safe place where you can continue to make sense of your thoughts, dreams, and desires.