Five Things I Like (October)

This month I found five things that help me manage and improve myself, my time and daily tasks.

1. “Worry-Free Money” by Shannon Lee Simmons

I read great reviews about this book and decided to buy it. I am glad I did, because this book has changed all my current views about my personal finance and budgeting. According to Simmons, budgeting is not the only answer for healthy finance. All we have to do is to not spend more than we earn. Pay your bills first, then save some for rainy days and spend the rest of it as you wish. In general, she creates four categories for our total income: Fixed Expenses, Meaningful Savings, Short-Term Savings, and Spending Money. Spend whatever amount you want on things that make you happy as long as you don’t exceed the hard limit on your Spending Money. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially if you’re struggling in managing your income, or keep on wondering how to replenish your savings and at the same time tackling your debt. Even if your financial situation is great, it’s always nice to have a new insight. I am a freelancer and I find this book really useful in helping me manage my finance and irregular income. Simmons is a successful financial planner and has helped many people overcome their financial troubles. Everything she writes in this book is based on common sense and straightforward. She doesn’t preach and implore us to make impossible financial goals and plans. Well of course, to each their own, but to me this book is the best in its field.

2. Google Calendar

I’d been using built-in calendar app on my phone and laptop for quite some time before I found Google Calendar. I decided to use Google Calendar because it’s simple, it can connect to my professional email account and website. The simple layout and rich features enable me to embed files, add goals like reading or workout, even reminders! No kidding, this is the most appealing feature to me since my phone’s built-in calendar doesn’t have this feature. So I guess I’m going to stick to Google Calendar for now 🙂

3. Google Tasks

OK, this post is not sponsored by Google :). Right after I settled my choice on Google Calendar, I found out about Google Tasks, and the rest is history. I use Tasks to manage my personal and professional daily to-dos. Just like Google Calendar, Google Tasks offers simple layout and features. I can create lists of tasks depending on my needs, and add subtasks. It also enables me to add dates for each task. Hands down, this is the best productivity app for me, at least for now.

4. Duolingo: Language Learning App

Learning Spanish is one of my goals this year. It’s rather difficult to find an offline Spanish course around my place (I think it’s just me who’s too lazy to find out :p) I browsed the Internet for language-learning apps and found Duolingo. It’s a freemium app, where you can use it for free and pay subscription fee to make it ads-free. I’ve only used it for a week now but I find it easy to use and makes learning fun and less stressful. I can learn anytime, anywhere and it has features to save learning progress. The lessons are graded and learners are presented with pictures to help them make sentences and memorize structures. If I want to make it more fun, I can join language clubs from the app and practice with other learners.

5. Feedly

Since I started using Feedly, I no longer use various apps for news portals and blogs subscriptions. I just open Feedly and read all my favorite news, websites, and blogs there. It saves me so much time and memory on my device. I used to have news portal apps and open so many tabs in my browser to read news or my favorite blogs and websites. I just had my reading habit simplified by using Feedly (*wink). There are options to save articles to be read later and share to social media.

What’s your favorite this month?

“Good words are worth much, and cost little.”

— George Herbert

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Desi Mandarini

A translator and interpreter who loves music, books, journaling and movies.

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