The Very Best Tools for Busy Homemakers

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Today I am bringing you some of my favourite tools and resources that I have found super helpful in my homemaking. They’re not just any old tools either, they are specifically geared towards increasing productivity and helping towards time management – which I’m sure you know by now is a huge passion of mine.

For ease of reading I have split these resources up into 5 main categories: Tools, Courses, Books, Podcasts and YouTube channels.

So grab yourself a cuppa and get ready to get super productive in your homemaking! As a wise man once said, any job can be easy, as long as you have the right tools.

I also recorded this blog post as an audio podcast. Click play below to listen!

by HIA #3: The Very Best Tools For The Busy Homemaker | The Homemakers In Action Podcast

^^ Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes so that you don’t miss an episode! ^^

TOOLS

  1. Unroll.me

This is a service that helps you to clean up your email inbox. If you have thousands of emails sitting in your inbox where you’ve subscribed to different newsletters and just never had a chance to read them, this service could really help you. It basically lists all of your newsletter subscriptions onto one page, and you can just go through and click ‘unsubscribe’ on any newsletters you no longer wish to receive. It’s so quick and easy and it saves you the hassle of having to go through each email one by one.

Fancy seeing how I organise my emails and keep it at inbox zero? Get my free video training here!

2. Cozi

This is a planner on your phone that is really good for organising your family. It helps coordinate and communicate everyone’s schedules and activities, track grocery lists, manage to do lists, plan ahead for dinner, and keep the whole family on the same page. You can link up other members of the household so that they get notifications from your Cozi account, and it covers everything from shopping lists to to-do lists and reminders.

There are free and paid plans, but personally I think the free plan is pretty awesome so I’d recommend starting with that, and then if you really love it you can upgrade if you want.

3. Trello

This is a fun, visual way of planning and managing projects. You use ‘cards’ almost like post-it notes stuck up on your wall, and you can rearrange them and assign them to different people. Trello can be used for so many different things, but to give you an idea of how you can use it for your homemaking, here is a snapshot of one of the boards from my friend Abby’s course that she teaches on Trello.

As you can see from this image, Abby has used a Trello board to organise her home projects. In her course she also shows you how to use Trello for your to-do lists, your routines, your meal planning, your important information and so much more. To find out more about Abby’s course head on over to Trello For The Rockstar Homemaker.

4. Sleep Time

Sleep time is an alarm clock app that monitors your movement to establish your different sleep phases. The science behind it is that if you’re in the deep phase of sleep and you get woken up by an alarm, you’ll feel super groggy (you know that feeling when you just hate the world and everyone in it???) but if you get woken up during your lighter phase of sleep you’ll feel more bright and refreshed. Now, I don’t know if there is anything on this earth that will help a tired mother bounce out of bed feeling bright and refreshed, but it can’t hurt to at least try to wake up at the right time for your body. You get to set a half an hour buffer so it will wake you up any time between the time you set and half an hour before that. So give it a go and who knows, maybe you’ll stop hating the world first thing in the morning?

5. Audible

I’m sure you’ve heard of this one, but if you haven’t you are seriously missing out! It’s a service that lets you listen to audiobooks. So if you don’t have the time to sit down and read a book (which, let’s face it, who does?) this service could be really helpful to you. You can listen while you’re washing up, while you’re cooking, while you’re driving. It gets in that reading time for you without actually having to devote any extra time to reading. It is multi-tasking at its very finest!

6. The Homemaking Ministries Home Management Binder

This is the binder that I use to organise my home, and then I kind of mix it up and add in some of my own printables that I have released on this blog. It’s super affordable for what it is, and because it’s a digital download it means you can pick and choose which pages you want to actually have in your binder. It has things like meal planning sheets, birthday lists, to-do lists, calendars, prayer requests, books to read, important information, cleaning checklists, a monthly budget… basically any sheet you would need to be able to run your home efficiently and effectively. And, just as a little cherry on the top, it’s really pretty 🙂

COURSES

I’ve just picked out 3 courses here because I know they can take some time to go through, and they tend to be a little bit more expensive, but these are courses that I truly believe will benefit you. If you can actually take the time to sit down to do them for maybe 15 minutes a week they will really work wonders in your life. Invest a little time now and save tons of time in the future… that’s my motto when it comes to courses!

1. Make Over Your Mornings by Crystal Paine

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll already know that I love this course because I literally cannot stop raving about it. I’ve been through it twice already, and I’m gearing up to go through it for a third time this year because I think reviewing your routines and making sure they still work for you is so important! This course takes you through how to craft a morning routine but it doesn’t just talk about fitting in as much as you possibly can in the mornings. It talks about the real reasons behind needing a routine; how to wake up feeling refreshed, how to take some time in the morning to breathe and have some quiet time in the Word or journalling or reading, how to really take advantage of those morning hours to set yourself up for success. It also doesn’t revolve around getting up early. So if you’ve been putting off getting this course because you can’t fathom getting up any earlier than you already do, don’t worry. You can get up at your usual time and still craft a beautiful morning routine.

Pssst… Fancy getting ‘Make Over Your Mornings’ for FREE?! Head on over to iTunes and leave a rating and review on my podcast to be entered into my latest competition!

2. The Stay At Home Mom’s Guide To Life by Abby Barstow

This course is more geared towards new stay at home mothers. So if you have just had kids or you’ve just started staying at home with them, I highly recommend this course. It can be so easy to get confused about what you should be spending your time on when you stay at home, because you don’t have the structure that comes with going out to work. Rather than having a schedule set for you, you have to set your own which can be really overwhelming. Abby takes you through how to set priorities in your home, how to create a family mission statement, routines, finances, making friends, getting hobbies and even the mysterious legend that is… self care.

3. My Homemaking Mentor by Jami Balmet (and others)

This isn’t just a course. It’s an academy run by 12 (yes, 12!) Titus 2 women who all teach classes on their area of expertise. It’s slightly more expensive than the other courses but it is oh so worth it. Just as an example of the amazing women teaching in this academy, you’ve got Jolene Engle teaching about marriage, Marci Ferrel teaching about routines and Hillary Bernstein teaching about housekeeping. The best part is you get lifetime access and there are constantly new videos and new trainings being added to this academy, so you’ll always have something new to dive into if you find yourself with some spare time.

Ahem… Did you know I also have a course? You can find out details of my time management program ‘From Frazzled To Fabulous’ right here and… ahem… if you want to be in with the chance of getting it for free head on over to iTunes and leave a rating a review on my podcast… ahem 😉

PODCASTS

I highly recommend podcasts for busy homemakers because it allows you to learn and grow as a homemaker, without taking up any extra time. Like with the audiobooks you can listen to a podcast while you’re washing up or cooking dinner or driving – it’s the perfect option for someone who has little time for reading books.

Did you know that I have a podcast? I give out a free download with every single episode so what are you waiting for? Start living a balanced life today by heading over to the Homemakers In Action Podcast 😀 

1. Homemaking Foundations Podcast by Jami Balmet

This podcast focuses on Gospel centred homemaking and it revolves around having one foot planted firmly in scripture, whilst also delivery tons of practical tips and advice.

My favourite episode: How To Make A Digital Homemaking Binder Using Evernote

P.S. Jami also has a podcast with her husband called Our Work At Home Life. If you have a business from home or would like to one day, definitely check this one out as well!

2. Married & Tired with JK and Charlie

This one is a little bit different, and if you live in America you’ve probably not heard of this one since it is by a couple living in good old England, but it is just so funny. They talk about topics that are sometimes kind of cringy to talk about, but really need to be talked about. So if you’re looking for a bit of light relief and the funny and honest side of parenting and marriage, definitely head on over and check this one out.

My favourite episode: Crazy Laughing, Anniversaries and Alison Perry (they actually mention my first anniversary in this episode haha!)

3. The 5am Miracle by Jeff Sanders

This one is not aimed specifically at parents (though he has had Crystal Paine and a few other mothers on talking about parenting)  but I still highly recommend it. It’s a productivity podcast that has taught me pretty much everything I know about time management and productivity. It does involve tailoring what he talks about to your own circumstances and life, since obviously training for marathons and having super strict schedules are not applicable to most parents. However, if you can look past that and just pick out the useful information and find a way that you can apply it, you will come away feeling so motivated.

My favourite episode: Forget Annual Goal Setting and Do This Instead

4. Cultivating The Lovely by Mackenzie Monroe

I first found Mackenzie on Periscope and instantly fell in love with her. She oozes joy and has such a unique way of helping you to find the happy in the everyday. A lot of the time homemaking can feel mundane and repetitive, and Mackenzie is really good and getting you to look at things from a positive perspective. So if feeling unsatisfied in your life is something you are struggling with right now, definitely check out Cultivating the Lovely.

My favourite episode: De-Cluttering Your Life with guest Stacy Myers (This one is my favourite because I find Stacy Myers absolutely hysterical)

5. The His & Her Money Show with Talaat & Tai

This podcast tackles the issue of finances and how to have a healthy financial life within your marriage. They have a lot of guests on who share their own financial journeys and struggles, and provide some really good, sound advice. If money is an area of your life you want to get under control I would highly recommend this podcast.

My favourite episode: How Carrie Used Her Side Hustle to Replace Her Day Job in Just 4 Months

BOOKS / AUDIOBOOKS

1. Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine

This book honestly changed my life, and that is no exaggeration. You know the feeling… you wake up and you’re instantly in survival mode, you’re rushing around straight away putting out fires, and then bedtime rolls around and you wonder what you actually got done that day. I was exactly like that until I read this book. I’m pretty sure it was reading this book that got me started on my time management / productivity journey.

2. Living Well, Spending Less by Ruth Soukup

This is a finance book where she dives into how she started to spend less in her life, and yet hasn’t had to sacrifice. She still leads a beautiful, fun, wonderful life without having to go out and spend tons of money which, let’s face it, is something we all need to get better at.

3. Women Living Well by Courtney Joseph

This is a Christian book that goes into how you’re spending your time, and whether or not you are spending your time on the right things. It focuses on faith, marriage, parenting and personal fulfilment.

4. The 5 A.M. Miracle by Jeff Sanders

This is the book that inspired him to start his podcast. Unfortunately it is no longer available for free by signing up to his email list (boo!) but you can still purchase it as a book or audiobook on Amazon. I still think it’s well worth a read even with the new price tag, but remember it isn’t aimed specifically towards parents, so just be mindful of that as you read it.

4. Everyday Hope by Kayse Lee Pratt

This one is a collection of essays rather than a book with a narrative. Each chapter stands alone so you could read Chapter 5 before you read any of the others and it won’t make a difference. It’s just everyday reminders for the mother who feels weary and tired and simply run down. It’s a really quick read and you could read a chapter while your waiting at the school run or the doctors, and just get a little bit on encouragement on those weary days.

YOUTUBE CHANNELS

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel? Whilst this blog and podcast focuses on providing actionable advice, my channel is what I use to provide more a personal insight to my life so that you can get to know me better. So if you’re interested in seeing footage of my daughter and days in the life and all of that fun stuff, head on over to my YouTube channel 😀 

1. Clutter Bug

This woman is so down-to-earth and real. She talks about organisation but she fully admits that she is not an organised person. She’s actually a clutter-bug (Get it? Get it?) who is simply trying to organise her life and is sharing her journey as she does so.

My favourite video: Family Command Centre

2. Love Meg

I am obsessed with this channel and regularly binge watch her videos. She’s a Southern lass and makes videos all about her lifestyle. Sometimes she goes into beauty and things like that, but the videos I really love are her cleaning videos. She is a domestic goddess and keeps her home spotless with two kids underfoot. If you’re looking for some cleaning motivation definitely check her out.

My favourite video: 5 Steps To Love Cleaning

3. At Home With Nikki

Nikki loves all things classy and white and minimalist. She is seriously stylish and has some fantastic organisation tips. She also has a channel called At Work With Nikki which shows you how she organises her business, so that’s also a good one to check out if you work from home.

My favourite video: Organised Kitchen Tour

4. How Jen Does It

This is another organisation channel, but she goes into a lot of cool hacks and unique ideas. A lot of them are budget friendly too so I really love this channel when I don’t have a huge budget and I don’t want to go out and get loads of organisational materials, but I just need a few new ideas for different spaces in my home.

My favourite video: How To Beautify and Love Your Home More

5. Clean My Space

This channel by Melissa Makers shows you how to clean every conceivable area of your home, right into the tiny nooks and crannies. She goes into a lot of natural cleaning solutions and shows you how to get your home clean with minimal effort, and she actually makes cleaning fun!

My favourite video: 6 Easy Habits for a Cleaner Home

6. Home Organising by Alejandra.tv

This woman is full on crazy. Her house is so organised – to the point where it is slightly insane. If you are looking for organisational inspiration then this is the place to come. She has every single corner of her home organised with some really cool and quirky ideas.

My favourite video: Most Organised Home In America

That’s all for today. Don’t forget to grab your free video training on how I organise my emails and stay at inbox zero and please do share a picture of your email inbox with me over on Instagram. You can tag me @homemakersinaction or use the special hashtag #myhomeinaction 🙂

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