We also have a shared calendar each—but the other person has read access to it. This way, my girlfriend can add all her shifts in practice, lecture times, and assignment due dates, and I can make sure she doesn’t forget—slash, plan my naps around her schedule.

One advantage of this setup is we can both use whatever calendar app we like. My girlfriend sticks with the stock Google Calendar app, but I’m a big fan of Fantastical on macOS and iOS.

A Trello Board

Even before the productivity overhaul, it wasn’t that hard to keep on top of the urgent fires—the dogs got fed, my work (mostly) got done, we didn’t go too many days without showering. The problem was we never really managed to sort the things we wanted to do, like agility lessons for the dogs, a film photography course I was interested in, or having a spa day. Once or twice a week we’d have a conversation about one of these things, but we’d never actually take action. Which is where Trello comes in.

Trello fans are really annoying. Sadly, they’re also right. Trello is a great way to keep track of lots of different moving pieces.

If you’re not familiar with Trello, it’s basically a digital white board with everything sorted into columns that you can configure however you need. We have columns set up for different household tasks, the dogs, ourselves, trips we’re planning to take, and other stuff that’s relevant to our lives.

Each task, plan, or potential whatever gets a card in the appropriate column. There’s one for those agility lessons, another for my course, and a third for that spa weekend away. We can then add comments, share links, and generally just plan things properly.

There are loads of more advanced Trello features we aren’t using yet so we can get by on the free plan, but so far it’s meant that the things we want to do are happening more often—and with less hectic last-minute rush.

A Central Notes App

As important as future planning is, we also have an incredible amount of stuff going on right now that we need to keep track of—like the names of our favorite baristas and bartenders, or how to make our go-to Mexican chicken salad. For that, we needed a central notes app, database, and info dump location.

We use Craft, which I love for its flexibility, but it’s currently a macOS and iOS exclusive (though a web app is coming soon). It’s part of a new kind of notes app built around linking notes to other notes that are linked to other notes. You basically create your own personal Wikipedia for your life. Notion and Obsidian are two of the other standout cross-platform options you could try here, but you can also use any app that allows you to share notes with someone else.

We use our notes app as a dump for anything that doesn’t fit neatly into a calendar or Trello. Some of the stuff we’ve thrown in there include: