What’s in my tool bag?

January 20, 2016

What do I actually use to stay organized and on track? Well it’s an ever evolving cycle of items as I continue to learn what does and doesn’t work for me. I always have more organizational tools going at once than I strictly need which I don’t think is a bad thing. I also don’t think that I’ll ever get to the point where I’m done perfecting this system. To be honest that idea excites me to no end. Continue getting more and more efficient as life progresses, being in the mindset that it’s okay that life changes and that I have a broad array of tools to help me cope with that. I actually really like that idea.

At any rate here is what I use now

1. Thrive Book.

Obviously. This is my baby. It’s my main goal for the year. It’s what keeps me sane. It’s also constantly changing in terms of layout and function. I start off really liking something and using the crap out of it and then quickly realize that feature could be better distributed and move it else where. I’m constantly changing the layout, the number of spaces I devote to certain aspects. I’m struggling with the wording being too specific or not specific enough. This thing is supposed to be so much more with a date book and it’s really helping me figure out how to express all of my coping mechanisms in actual words that would be helpful to other people. But how do you get all of that across without writing a book to go with every page? I’m working on it and slowly but surely it will happen.

2. Google Calendar

I deleted my Sunrise Calendar app this week after I realized google calendar does everything I want Sunrise to do and more. Not to mention I have so many google calendar widgets and functions available on my phone I really don’t need yet another calendar to deal with.

3. HabitRPG

When the new year came around I reformatted all of my habits to more accurately reflect what’s important to me and what I want my days to look like. So far so good. I’m trying really hard to be honest with myself and to not lie to the thing. That was honestly a problem I had because I’m always on quests with my party and I didn’t want to hurt them too! But then that was just me avoiding my responsibilities. No more cheating!

4. Various MayDesign Notebooks

I have three that I keep on me at pretty much all times: My regular lined paper notebook that is my budget planner, my meal planner insert (old format, I am eyeballing the new format so hard right now!), and one of the new inside page layouts: the colorful hexagons, which I use as an idea keeper. I love these notebooks. I have had my budget journal and my meal planner for well over a year. I think I’ve had my budget journal for two years, and they are keeping up flawlessly. I’m not kidding either. These things are always in my purse or in my work bag. They aren’t falling apart, nothing has torn, the pages have been spilled on and still hold up. I definitely recommend hitting up their sales when they happen because while these little guys might be expensive, they are worth it. Not to mention there are new inside pages all the time and new cover designs coming out constantly. I love it!

5. Google

Seriously. I got a new phone, an LG V10, and it has so much integrated google functionality I could die. There is the Google Now Widget which I love, the calendar works with my phone notifications flawlessly, and the voice feature (Google’s Siri) does everything for me. I mostly use it to remind me to do things and when and IT DOES. My new phone is google widgeted out. How do iPhone people live without widgets honestly? Telling google to remind me of things is the greatest idea ever. I’m not always around my planner, and I’m not always wanting to stop what I’m doing to take the time to write it down in my phone calendar. When I’m at work I have sticky notes, when I’m not, I don’t. This works for me and I’m really excited and also just a little embarrassed that it took me  this long to use this function on my phone.

Those are the main things I use in my everyday life to keep my on track. I also have sticky notes. Shout out to sticky notes, you da real MVP. For real.

Aside from those I’m mostly just trying out new apps and new journaling techniques. I’m working on my mindfulness and reflection and so far it’s working. Writing is my number one way to do that but that’s an integrated feature in the Thrive Book too. So I’m working on my organization, I’m working on my mindfulness, I’m working on kicking ass.

What do you use to keep your life in shape?

Until next time,


  1. Reply


    I can’t believe I’d never heard of these May Designs books before….This is amazing!! Also, your write up here has inspired me to take better stock of how I’m trying to stay organized. Great stuff, Meagan. Looking forward to see more of the Thrive book stuff 😀

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      They’re an Austin company too! I want to hit up their office workshop one day when they have an event. It’s so cute in there! And thanks!

  2. Reply

    Kayly Nyman

    I’ve been thinking about using HabitRPG (now Habitica?) again…I used to use in in 2014, then fell completely off the boat and have been inactive ever since. But I remember it being pretty cool, and it would help me keep on track with daily chore stuffs. Currently I use a combination of my Passion Planner, a blog planner I won from Hilary Joyner (blogs at The Cutie Life!), and a variety of notebooks and lists within them. It’s not perfect but it’s working for now! I’m sure I’ll continually modify throughout the year.

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      You should start again and join my party! I’m not actually too into the questing/rpg portion (weird I know) but I love how flexible the to do lists are and the different categories. It’s the best app i’ve found so far for real time habit tracking and forming , especially in regards to building rituals. And ooh I need to check The Cutie Life out!

  3. Reply

    Meghan @ Hayes Days

    What’s a thrive book? I’ve never heard of that.

    1. Reply

      Meagan Crowe

      You probably haven’t because it’s my pipe dream! haha hopefully more than that. It’s a planner i’m developing that incorporates goal setting and self care/mental management into it. I’ve used planning as my primary means of self care and managing my anxiety and depression for years now so i’m funneling all of that info into a planner. It’s my big goal for the year to get it ready for public consumption 🙂 Right now it’s still just a bunch of publisher files.

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