Mental Health, Project, Research, Wellness Journey

Using Technology to Escape My Depression 2: The Need for New Tools

Last time I explained a little about my mental health journey, so this time I am going to skip right to the fun part: the technology!

Still regret not re-enacting this scene on my wedding day

In order to make sustainable lifestyle changes, I’ll need the right tools and systems in place to make keeping up with healthy habits quick and easy. Not only that, they need to be largely automated, and simple for me to use without needing to be at a computer.

The first place to start were my finances, since financial health is a critical part of a full-picture healthy lifestyle.

I’ve already written more than intended on this topic, so from here I’ll try and keep it simple by making a bullet list of each financial requirement I had followed by the tool I decided to use.

Financial Tools: Mint, Simple, & Goodbudget

  • Monitor all bank, credit card, investment, loans: Mint
  • Debt reduction calculator: Mint
  • Loan and Credit offers: Mint
  • Automatic Spending Budget Tracking: Mint
    • This automatically tracks my budget for just my Chase card where I do all my daily spending (for rewards points, I pay it off at the end of the month with cash to prevent finance charges)
  • Mindful/Manual Spending Budget Tracking: Goodbudget
    • This is to make sure I am being mindful when I spend money, and to give me a slight deterrence every time I order something
    • The automatic tracking in Mint is helpful to catch any transactions I forget to log or catches unexpected expenses I was unaware of going across my Chase card

Goal Tracking Tools: Monday

Now that my finances are in order and largely automated, I can move on to the goal tracking needs for my holistic wellness strategy. This will allow me to document everything floating around my head and consolidate them into one place. Not only that, it will allow me to see what my wife has floating around in her head, so we can visualize our mental loads and better understand each other’s priorities.

MentalLoad_cover.jpg

While I realize the idea of implementing project management tools into everyday life may seem odd, it’s been done before by MUCH smarter people than me. In fact, executive and Agile coach Frank Saucier at FreeStanding Agility was interviewed by the Harvard Business Review about how he applies his methods in his home life.

Rachel last night when I pulled up my new household project management tools. She’s such a good sport ❤️❤️❤️

I decided to go with Monday because it is extremely simple to use, colorful, accessible by web & mobile app, and best of all FREE. It did not take long to make a “wellness board” and a “to do” board to help manage the myriad of plans that my new wife and I have for our futures.

Now that I have a place to store my holistic wellness plan that can keep me on track, I can continue investigating and implementing new technology solutions gradually over time. So I don’t forget to update, I’ll add writing more on this topic to my “The Cat Geek” to do list! 🙂

FINALLY a place to keep track of all my in-process content!

Alright, time to get back to writing goals and making plans!

Update 11/12/19: I ended up using Monday as well for creating daily checklists. Now my wife and I can ensure we have done our daily tracking activities and chores without having to remember what all needs to be done. I simple made a board that had the task, owner, a checklist column for Monday – Sunday, and then three extra columns to determine frequency, weekday and time of the activity. Every Monday I make a duplicate of the master and we filter by “blanks” for the given day during the week.

It’s been a great way to ensure the household workload is shared, and it has helped us schedule chores more evenly throughout the week so they don’t pile up for the weekend. Monday is not a free tool, but I have found it to be worth it for the peace of mind and accountability it is offering us. I highly recommend it for personal use, and if you want to save money then just google for free alternatives.

There is something so satisfying about checking an item off

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