Juggle Everything Well with iStratus

In today’s world, parents are juggling a myriad of activities, responsibilities, work commitments, and family affairs more than ever before.

Life is continually becoming busier, and one thing that will make all the difference between having a relaxed and peaceful household rather than a chaotic and overwhelming one is, our favorite iStratus feature: Organization.

If you’d like to incorporate a bit more order into your family environment, iStratus has ways in which you can become an organized parent whilst simultaneously increasing harmony at home.

Everyday Life 

Let’s face it; most of us spend large chunks of our days in the car—driving back and forth to work and shuttling kids to their activities. 

Often it’s difficult to keep track. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your “To-Do List” accessible and ‘on the go whenever you leave the house. Given its portability on your device, iStratus is simply perfect for that.

You’re unlikely to forget a task or project to tackle while on the move, or waiting in line, which saves you time in the long run – and when home there’s more time for family. 

The Weekly Menu

How often do you shop for your groceries?

Are you constantly roving in the supermarket pretty much daily simply because you’ve overlooked some ingredients in that recipe or have no clue what you’re serving for dinner? 

The biggest sanity saver for any family is meal planning. It does not have to be complicated or fanciful. It can still be convenient and healthy.

Most families enjoy staple meals upon the table such as spaghetti meatballs (which you can incorporate veggies, like grated zucchinis and carrots into) roasted chicken and rice, or more relaxed foods like Tacos Tuesdays.

iStratus recommends:

  • Creating a list of about 10 or 12 meals that your family enjoys regularly and incorporate those into your weekly menu.
  • Shop with your dinnertime plan handy so that you don’t overlook any key ingredients on the list.
  • Leave nights open for leftovers, breakfast, lunch, dinner, or take out.
  • Try not to stress over “What’s for dinner?” every night

This way, there’s less stress and you will have some extra energy to spend focused on your projects, which will be of additional benefit to your family.

Resourcefully Organize a “Cheat Sheet”

As you probably well know by now, we at iStratus believe that having a calendar system is a must to keep your family organized, it’s not new news. 

However, in addition to that idea, you can create some “cheat sheets” which can be shared electronically. Information is right there in a few taps.

By all means, transition these into concrete form to be laminated and kept on the fridge or inside the kitchen cabinets, for quick access.

Include emergency numbers for police/fire and any of the following essential info:

  • Work numbers for Mom and Dad, 
  • The pediatricians, neighbors, extended family, and friends nearby 
  • Contact details for anyone who is back up in an emergency. 
  • Notes regarding over-the-counter medication dosages that are required for family members, particularly the younger ones, who have any allergies.
  • Record and safely store social security numbers on the cheat sheet, which is always required for one form or another.

Create a separate memo in iStratus, which can be shared with sitters, grandparents, older children, and so forth, 

  • Record full names
  • Age, weights, and dates of birth of your kids’.
  • Details which doctors and emergency personnel frequently request, on a need-to-know basis).
  • Document important relevant notes following each consultation/check-up – and update them regularly.

That Morning Rush

Besides meal planning, the second-best organizational habit is to checklist what helps you and your kids prepare for school the night before, like: 

  • School lunches 
  • Reminders of the outfits, and extra things needed, such as gym clothes or after-school practice equipment.
  • Library bags, reading folders, anything else needed to head out the door without feeling like headless chooks aka chickens.

Learning to Say “No”

This idea is something we’re mentioned in our previous article: “When Working and Caregiving Are Pulling You Apart” [hyperlink].

One of the main reasons people become disorganized and stressed out more than necessary is because of the difficulty in saying one word: NO. 

You name it, from over-volunteering time to a myriad of duties, too many people over-commit. 

Use iStratus to prioritize your social obligations and civic duties clearly towards multiple play-dates and birthday parties for the kids.

“This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life… the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act and in acting, to live.”
~ General Omar Bradley

Be honest with yourself in what value these things truly hold you and your family. Eliminate the tasks you can and you’ll free up time, be less overwhelmed, and feel more organized.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

When Working and Caregiving are Pulling You Apart

Sometimes, it’s hard to take the weight of everything that occurs simultaneously in our lives. 

Are you a caregiver? Perhaps you have a young child or a family member who has a disability or long-term illness that requires significant support.

If you’re someone’s caregiver, you know how tough it can be to balance the never-ending responsibilities amongst your work demands. 

You want to be at your best with both roles, but inevitably there will be days when they feel mutually exclusive. The upside is, there are systems you can implement to manage the demands upon your time.

In this article, we’ll address some of the challenges faced by caregivers, and reflect on how iStratus can help you balance your responsibilities at both work and home.

An Increasing Trend

In addition to the increasing demands of today’s world, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that a myriad of people have been thrown into directly providing full-time care for a relative for the first time. 

As schools have morphed into a hybrid process of instruction, support services for aged care and vulnerable people are at maximum stretch, and there has been minimal time to adapt.

Knock on Effects: Work and Productivity

Caregiving responsibilities can also have a significant impact on your career. At times, you may feel as though you’re being pulled in two different directions. Perhaps you have to take longer breaks during the day to care for a parent, or leave work early more often because of your other responsibilities? Inevitably, this makes you feel less productive at work.

iStratus is here to help you manage your work and home responsibilities when you’re feeling stretched/“pulled apart.”

  1. Get Organized

As a caregiver, it’s not rocket science: You have a bunch of responsibilities. Not only do you have to keep abreast of your work tasks and priorities, but you also have to invest time and energy in juggling the needs of your loved one. Thus, the ability to effectively organize your day is so significant. 

One simple way to combat this is to use iStratus as a notebook, a sort of “catch-all” for your thoughts, notes, and tasks. That way all, important information is in one place and invaluable mental energy isn’t strained trying to remember everything.

iStratus aims to help you where you feel the most disorganized:

Are you often late for appointments? 

Do you often delay meal preparation because you’re busy trying to finish off work? 

Is your inbox a mess?

Start every day with iStratus using: 

  • A new, dated page
  • A new To-Do List or Action Plan
  • Prioritizing responsibilities, so that you avoid lost time on non-essential tasks.

By taking those small steps daily focused on areas that cause the most stress, we’re sure you’ll feel a change.

  1. How’s That Contingency Plan?

It’s essential to have a contingency plan, including a plan C for your contingency plan, in case of an emergency! As life happens, even the top mapped-out plans can go awry.

In iStratus:

  • Create a list of the most likely emergencies that could throw your schedule off course.
  • Establish a contingency plan for each one. 
  • Generate a contact list of family members, friends or colleagues, willing to help out if an unexpected incident occurs.

Find solutions before an emergency happens, so if something unexpected does arise, you will be armed with a plan of attack.

  1. Seek Support, Delegate

Another mistake we make while trying to juggle work with caregiving is thinking that we have to do everything ourselves. 

It is okay to ask for help. Perhaps a friend or your spouse can cover your caregiving duties one day a week, while you take a break.

Using iStratus, easily share: 

  • Household Duty Lists
  • Shopping Lists
  • Meal Plans 

Seeking support isn’t easy at first, but often people genuinely want to be there and are waiting to be told exactly how they can step up and help.

Delegate.

  1. Don’t Forget About Yourself

Your time is your most precious commodity and habitually, it’s what’s in short supply. Don’t be tempted to skimp on “me” time.

Taking time for yourself will help you to manage stress and ensure that you have the physical and mental energy to function.

Schedule some personal time within iStratus to call a friend or read your favorite book. 

“Unless you fill yourself up first, you have nothing to give to anybody.”

~ Robin Sharma

Caregivers become accustomed to putting the needs of others before their own, that their ambitions are on hold. 

Set long-term, personal goals – both for work and the aspirations in your wider life. This will help you stay motivated and moving forward towards the future.

Be honest with your employer, family, and friends, seek support when needed, and apply organizational tools like iStratus, to lighten your load and make managing everything possible.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Cook Up A Storm: Meal Planning

Food/Meal Prep is kind of a funny thing. People either love or hate being in the kitchen. When culinary adventures are in your blood they just are, however, when they’re not – “cooking up a storm” just isn’t fun. 

Between job commitments and family schedules, the working weeks are crazy! One of the last things most people want to do is plan a dinner table full of fancy, stylish foodie things from scratch.

Anyhow, the point being made here is that while leisurely cooking might not be your thing, you still need to eat and eat well. You don’t have to go all out, to provide meals that your and your family will love. 

Meal Planning Made Easy

Believe it or not, iStratus is here to help you relieve some of that chaos felt in the kitchen when you prefer to avoid it like the plague.

What’s the secret? Meal planning. (Ok, so that probably sounds tedious, but it doesn’t have to be).

Taking 5 (or 15) minutes at the beginning of the week to plan out meals is a MASSIVE, timesaver. It always helps reduce the time and energy involved in “dreading” meal prep.

Smart Meal Planning

This isn’t new news… how many of us (*raises a hand, slaps own forehead*) are guilty of wishing we were more efficient meal planners without actually having to plan any meals?

The truth is it only takes five minutes to sit down and type out a recipe list for the week. Using iStratus you can easily start by adding any recipes you know you and the family love to a checklist.

Next, fill in the remaining slots for the week with quick and easy recipes, that you often have staple ingredients stored in the pantry for.

ORGANIZE Those FAVORITE Recipes

Meal planning happens much quicker when using an organized recipe catalog. You’ve probably already guessed by now that iStratus loves to organize, organize and organize.

Easily create Food File Categories for:

  • Recipes you want to try.
  • Your “Quick and Easy” meals.
  •  Recipes you have tried and loved including a note with links or references (unless those tried and true favorites are memorized). 

When planning, pull up your checklist and choose a few things that stick out.

Shop All At Once

This is the toughest part of meal planning – but it saves time (and money!) in the long term. You might even find it reduces food waste too.

  • Plan your weekly meals, noting your grocery list at the same time. Here’s a secret we use.  
  • Use iStratus to checklist your shopping against your pantry items, and do one shopping trip or better yet use a service like Instacart or Amazon Prime to have your groceries delivered

Multiple visits tend to deviate into unneeded things, so checking and sticking to your list curbs temptation!

Not EVERYTHING has to be Prepared From Scratch 

One of the best things about iStratus is that information is stored. You don’t have to keep doing things on repeat or making food from scratch either. WHAT?! How does food prep help your organizational skills? 

If you have a grocery store like Wegmans or Whole Foods (love them both)! You can save additional time following your meal plan by using iStratus to:

  • Establish a shopping list, linking via copy, ingredients from recipes into notes/a checklist. And –
  • If you know the supermarket layout well, pop down the aisle number for the ingredients on your list, it’s a bonus timesaver.

Side note: There is no shame in pre-chopped fresh ingredients or frozen fruits and veggies folks; you’re allowed to cut some corners. (Especially if it means there’s no microwaved Spaghetti-O’s every week).

Join a Foodie Mailing List and Daily Dropbox Meal Ideas

When the repetition starts to get boring it’s time to incorporate new sources of inspiration. Sign up for email updates from chefs and food bloggers. That way, tasty, interesting food ideas are right there on your phone as you’re drinking your morning coffee!

Any recipes that inspire you – copy them directly into your “Daily Dropbox” or your “Recipes to Try” folder. And boom! Meal plans are a one-stop-shop!

Throughout the Week

Using the Slow Cooker on Sundays can be a busy Mom’s friend. A few favorite Slow Cooker recipes are Chicken Cacciatore and Vegetable Curry. Be it a Monday or Wednesday it doesn’t matter, reheat and serve to save time. Favorites stick, simply switch side dishes to avoid boredom.

List Swap-able Staples

9/10 times a mysterious thing happens when you plan in fine detail: There’s change! 

We can have the best intentions, the checklists, and the best-stocked fridge on the planet, but sometimes, you just want pizza to arrive. IT’S ALL GOOD.

Build a “cheat day” into your weekly meal plan – use it whenever necessary, there are no rules.

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”
~ Thomas A. Edison

 

Just:  Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Don’t Ghost it, “Post-IT”!

Who knew a little yellow square could be SO resourceful?

Oh what an invaluable joy those little ‘sticky notes’ are for day planner organization and productivity! 

So of course, we couldn’t resist diversifying their use to suit the electronic form, which we hope you’ll enjoy, just as much as the original. 

Post-It (Note) in the “Daily-WS” Tab – And boom, your annotations, observations, and jotted thoughts are always there when you need them most. One of the best features of iStratus Pro is that you also have the option to add your own signature, date, and/or converting Post-Its to PDF. 

Hallelujah! No more forgetting or “Ghosting” out little yellow squares. Those essential reminders or motivators are set and can be effortlessly exported or forwarded at the drop of a hat. Akin to a handy little pocket, you can simply drop biz into them wherever you go. 

Why The “Sticky Note” Idea Works 

We’ve mentioned it before; distractions are a major inhibitor of our ability to organize ourselves in our modern, notification-obsessed working world. The iStratus “Sticky Note” idea is your workspace best friend created to help you work faster and remain attentive towards the task at hand. 

You may have once been bestowed the “World’s Best Multi-Tasker” Award in your home or office, however, in life’s experience, no one is truly flawless at multi-tasking. 

When you think about it, this concept is really not an actual thing. What we’re really doing is constantly switching our minds from one task to the next. Every time you take a coffee break or tidy the kitchen (which you can’t stand looking at any longer because the kids left it like a bombsite) you’re forcing your brain to change gears.

Your brain cognitively resets this new information – and hello there, sluggish, brain drain that requires a reboot of its operating system.

Multiple University studies have concluded that you’re dropping the ball on at least 40 percent of your productivity by rapidly interchanging tasks. 

Following distractions, it requires approximately 23 minutes to recoup the same level of in-depth concentration you had prior to dealing with that chocolate milk explosion in the kitchen. 

In a world where productivity software reigns supreme, we realize, our attempt to digitize the sticky note, is a hard sell against the more popular original paper square. 

Going From “Blah” To “How Did I Ever Survive Without This?!”

It’s not news, that what is deemed ‘normal’ now was initially difficult to adapt to, simply because “we’ve always done it this other way.” This something we say far too often. Electronic sticky notes are a classic example. It’s really not so different from the initial Post-It Note design idea, so “why not just stick with the paper ones?” (No pun intended). 

We’re here to say, with some adjustment the process, will eventually go from “Blah” to “Wow. How did I EVER survive with this tool before now?!” Give it a shot – change is good from 1977.

They Do What? 

Just think: When you’ve plastered a wall or whiteboard with sticky notes for productivity and development, the only way to record detail is with a photograph, which often goes nowhere in the abyss of your phone. iStratus already has your sticky notes covered:

  • In an online environment that automatically recorded and ready for the next phase of any project. No need for a picture or time-consuming transcribing.
  • Upon unlimited walls for jogging your memory. Electronic sticky notes remain exactly where you left them and you are able to access your spatial memory every time you open the App.
  • With a direct, reportable commenting functions available. You can create Sticky Notes to record a discussion, or meeting minutes, saving time and energy. 
  • Saving trees! This is one of the best parts. The impact we have on the environment is very real. It’s important to question how much paper is truly required. A sticky note generally has a lifespan of a couple of hours, maybe four tops. Is all that paper really essential?

So while you may be stuck in the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset, sometimes all it takes is seeing the advantage of evolution with a little less hesitation.

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; [followed by] transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”

~ Napoleon Hill

Are You Ready To Stick To It?  

The beauty of electronic sticky notes is their ease of use, and just like the original – their versatility enables them to cater to any system, which is why they are still a highly favored element for productivity. It’s not about being a fancy software tool, but a highly effective, useable one. 

Hopefully, things will stick if you let them.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Color Coding For Productivity

Effectively optimizing your productivity increases your overall workplace performance and reputation. Anyone can increase their productivity with specific strategies, utilizing functional tools so that you can perform at your best.

On surface value, productivity measures how efficiently production inputs, such as labor and capital, are being used in an economy compared to a set level of output.

The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) defines productivity as “the ratio between the output volume and the volume of inputs.”

Productivity isn’t everything, but… 

In the long term, it is almost everything. Our country relies on it for future growth and development. Ultimately, there are always hidden functions operating in the background, we don’t necessarily think about. iStratus recognizes the ways in which we can apply ‘color’ for maintaining productivity is one of them.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into why ‘color’ (is not just for organization) – it is known to improve one’s industrious output. Trust us, this will keep looking at the screen each day, a little more interesting.

Right now, you’re probably thinking: What The? Exactly, how do shades of Blue, Yellow, Green, and Orange, improve your productivity while using iStratus? 

We hope you’ll continue reading to find out.

Unearth Calmness with Blue Hues

Blue is well known to be a calming color, even just by looking at it on screen, can slow our breathing and lower blood pressure. UK Color Psychologist Dr. Angela Wright suggests despite its feel of tranquility blue has the hue, which stimulates the mind.

For focus and completion: Try adding blue Titles on To-Do List’s, blue fonts to electronic sketches, emails, and or/notes for sending out. The right combination of a calm yet stimulating effect, is likely to give you a motivational boost.

Yellow: Energizes and Improves Collaboration

Yellow is possibly the most inviting, uplifting color in the rainbow. Regardless of what shade it is, yellow is vibrant. If you want to create a more open, invigorating atmosphere adding accents of yellow could help without overwhelming the senses. Yay for Sticky notes! 

As discussed in our article:Don’t Ghost It, “Post-IT”!” [hyperlink] they’re a happy yellow favorite when using iStratus.

Dr. Wright’s Color Psychology Properties suggest: 

  • Yellow sparks creativity and memory. 
  • Self-esteem and optimism can also be elevated by moderate touches of yellow. 

We hope that using some mellow yellow in iStratus will inspire your ability to collaborate and create.

Relax Amongst Green

Fun Fact: Do you know the human eye can identify more shades of green than any other color? 

This is most likely because of its prevalence within the natural world – we’re so used to seeing various green tones everywhere. 

Have you noticed that within our App, backgrounds and titles are set to feature a distinct Green, so that they’re eye-catching, without being distracting?

Pro Tip: Use Green on your Activity Lists for less eye fatigue.

Orange Helps Maintain Enthusiasm 

Surprisingly, research indicates that Orange may be the winning color for boosting productivity. Orange often imparts enthusiasm and endurance – two things that definitely improve productivity.

We recognize there is a benefit to highlighting your electronic Calendar in orange. On the same hand, it is a hue that’s either loved or hated, so splashes or “pops of it” are best. 

Cultural norms, trends, and past experiences can all influence the way a person reacts to a certain color. Despite all external factors, people appear to have universal, innate reactions to color hues.

Productivity and Impact:

Overall, at iStratus we believe productivity functions across three dimensions whereby: 

  • Quantity does not overrule Quality, and 
  • Value is created. 

Technology is widely viewed, as one of the most fundamental factors contributing to productivity. This may seem obvious, but the dimension of quality and significance is central to our conception of productivity. 

Perhaps, think about the productivity of your life in a way that reinforces well-being. Too much focus on the path rather than the destination can make it difficult to determine the success of our resolves to become more productive which can unnecessarily dismiss the best practices that don’t fit into our views of efficiency.

So even if you only apply a few of these color concepts and elements within our App, so as long as you make them part of your daily routine, you’re much more likely to reap the benefits and cover Productivity like a Pro. 

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people are not used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

~ Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

Hopefully from a color perspective, you see, its impact is about the difference it has on the world around you. And in turn, your productivity is a positive impact on the world.

One’s output matters.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Take Action From “High To Low”

Whether it’s brilliant ideas or the exciting possibilities that await us, most of us have many more activities noted on our “bucket lists,” than the time readily available to work on them.  In short, there’s never enough time to do everything we want to do. It’s a universal hitch.

We can easily bog ourselves down in time-depleting, low-yield tasks that prevent us from moving forward. 

In a world where alerts and notifications pop up on us for everything under the sun, it is imperative to distinguish which alerts are critical and which alerts can be addressed later. 

It really doesn’t matter which technique you use. In our App, you can blend parts of different techniques to create your own custom method that feels right, and get to work.

Read on to take action on your priorities. Check-in on that bucket list. Let iStratus, help you structure things from “high to low” to make the most of your time, and keep it flowing that way, today…

What’s The Priority?

You have 40 tasks upon your list, and before the “worst-case scenario” towards underachievement rears its ugly head, ask yourself: Which one of those things is the most important?

For iStratus, our prioritization “Flags” and “High to Low” preferences support your answer to that question, with an immediate method for quickly evaluating the necessity of each task on your list. We believe, through informed decision making, you’re more likely to: 

  • Do what is required to complete tasks.
  • Recognize what you don’t need to do, and as we like to say: “Roll Up”.
  • Work out exactly when you need to focus on certain tasks and
  • Accomplish what needs addressing next in line.

Prioritization Tackles Two Significant Matters:

Everything is Critical! If you feel like you spend your day extinguishing fires, because everything is considered to be “urgent”, at work or home – we hear you!

Use iStratus to establish a succinct prioritized list and regain control of your own time, pushing back any unreasonable last-minute expectations or requests.

Prioritized lists can be an effective armor against delays and distractions. For instance, any new, work-related ‘urgent’ demands can potentially be refuted with evidence of clear priorities, and the cuts that would be required for such accommodations. In the long run, prioritization and productivity should aim to be improved, even if, it’s in the smallest of ways. Our brains love to procrastinate and deter us from accomplishing important work.

Speaking of: Should you really answer that email? It’s not rocket science, if you constantly enable incoming emails to influence your list of priorities, you’ll find it difficult to get ahead. That’s not to say recurring important documents needing attention should be ignored. 

We simply mean, sometimes a delayed reply to an email is justified when you’re attending to what needs to be focused on first and foremost.

“Of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Rate It, We Say.

Thinking about the ‘High to Low’ points we mentioned earlier, research suggests, the MoSCoW process (pronounced like Russia’s Capital) is a humble technique for the resourceful distribution of every task into one of four categories:

  • M – The Must Do’s (M): Are rated as such for immediate attention.
  • S – The Should Do’s (S): Are the ‘Should Do’ tasks that are important, but they’re not as critical.
  • C – The Could Do’s (C): Are the cream of the crop, kind of To-Do’s. You’d like to do them, but if you don’t, it’s unlikely to be a big deal.
  • W – The Won’t Do’s (W): Are things that really aren’t worth doing. Hello, procrastination!

Use the MoSCoW technique in Stratus, to evaluate your To-Do list. By the end, you should be able to see your tasks inflow, from top to bottom in accordance with their priority. Any W tasks should be deleted.

If you consistently address your list from the top-down, you’ll always feel a sense of focus and direction.

Hey, by the way – we recognize, some days you might feel off base, and that’s okay. Remember, there’s always more than one way of doing things. 

You might find, iStratus works better for you in 5 Simple Steps known as the “Ivy Method”:

  1. Conclude every workday identifying the six most crucial tasks remaining on your list for tomorrow.
  2. Order those in terms of priority.
  3. Set to work in the morning, focusing on task number one until it’s done.
  4. Complete tasks in sequential order.
  5. Continue until all six tasks are complete (preferably). Repeat this process daily.

Bottom line: Do what works. 

Which elements work best for you?

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Organize Your Way To Zen

Creating a Digital Filing System

Do you find yourself always running back and forth?  How often do you forget something at the Grocery Store?

Consider filing a list in the ‘Food’ Category and your inner foodie will thank you. Car Service completed? Keep important info easily on file. Rename that ‘Travel’ file to ‘Vacation’ for reminders. Avoid that sinking feeling en route to the airport, as you realize you have forgotten your passport!

Thanks to iStratus, those kinds of days and missing pieces can be a distant memory.

Right in the palm of your hand, customize folders, set with a theme and a recognizable emoji. The process of creation is straightforward, so you won’t miss a beat – or plane while backtracking home. Let iStratus help you find some Zen.

Big Deal. Why Bother Organizing At All?

These days, we have millions of digital files stored across multiple devices. From music files, photos, work or school documents to business and financial files, you name it – we have oodles to sift through electronically.

Times have changed. What if they were all easy to find in one place? That’s convenient, right? Feeling Zen already? You betcha!

Now, perhaps you enjoy using the “Search” or “Find” function on your computer, tablet or phone to locate your files, but more often than not, that summons a significant list of possible matches instead of the exact file you wanted. And that’s only if you can recall something of the actual file name in the first place!

Realistically, who doesn’t become frustrated with such an approach? Searching relies on both descriptive names and useful keywords. Essentially, we have a limited timeframe as it is, so iStratus is the perfect system for organizing your files as you create and store them in order to find them faster later.

Do What Works.

iStratus ensures its digital filing system becomes a matter of personal style that works for you. Below are some essential truths, we believe can help anyone organize filing with order and efficiency.

  • Don’t save every file: Delete the old ruthlessly! If you don’t need it, you don’t need to organize it. Delete duplicates, those ancient files you never use, and avoid downloading every email attachment. Click delete. Trash it. Those blurry or duplicated photos add to the abyss of data. Store what is required, there’s no need for the photobomb with iStratus.

  • Create names to file in a detailed and consistent fashion: Instead of wasting time opening every file to establish which one is the most recent and relevant, name them distinctively. Use dates and keywords and file under the appropriate category iStratus has set out for you. Goodbye searching.

  • Categorize new files immediately: Use the App set up every file, all the time! Put your new documents, photos, and tasks in the appropriate folders as soon as you click “Save” or “Download.” Get into this habit, so you’ll stay organized.

  • Synchronize files automatically: If you have more than one device, and you need to mirror some of your files onto the other computer (i.e. shared documents), determine which files are to be synced and which are not.  Synchronicity is an automatic necessity with iStratus.

  • Avoid creating a complicated folder system:  You don’t need a million and one folders and sub-folders to stay organized. As long as all your files aren’t floating loose in one giant “Documents” directory, you’re probably a step ahead with digital storage.

iStratus has already put in the hard yards for you. Creating folders for each of your major file categories or by the tasks you work on most frequently, whatever makes sense for your data.

“THERE ARE TWO MAIN STRATEGIES WE CAN ADOPT TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE. THE FIRST IS TO TRY MAKING EXTERNAL CONDITIONS MATCH OUR GOALS. THE SECOND IS TO CHANGE HOW WE EXPERIENCE EXTERNAL CONDITIONS TO MAKE THEM FIT OUR GOALS BETTER.”

~ MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI

Create some Zen in your life. Avoid overflowing your device with so many Apps that you’re scared to even look at it and/or your emails, sometimes. Deep down, you are probably someone who takes pleasure in being organized, tidy, and ordered (us! Us!), you don’t even need a reason to begin orchestrating the process. It’s your happy place and being disorganized is quite a nightmare.

Conversely, if you’ve been delaying organization because the task is too immense or daunting, or you simply don’t know where to start, wait no more. The good news is, iStratus is here to get you choose the right folders and on the path to mastering the effectiveness of your own personalized digital filing system.

Choose a theme, create a folder and organize away.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

Wait. That phrase appears too familiar… No, we’re not starting a rendition of ‘The Sound Of Music’. We’ll leave that one to Julie Andrews. Trust us – your eyes and ears will thank you.

We do, however, love our star-sectioned iStratus favorites tab.

The concept of a filing system goes back to the good-‘ol-days of a filing cabinet and hardcopy files and folders.

The advantage of the initial paper-based filing system was that placement was important so that items could be located easily. In contrast, it becomes too easy to have digital files scattered everywhere.

Often, you don’t realize you have a problem — until you have a problem! With iStratus, you don’t have to feel the pain of a disorganized system any longer.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Digital Filing Goals

There are three overarching goals to a digital file organization system:

  • Easy to File: You don’t want your filing system to be a huge, hierarchical maze. It needs to be fast and easy to save files, clash-free.

  • Easy to Find: You want your system to make it easy to find the file or folder you need, either by using ‘favorites’ or a search.

  • Reusable: Where possible, keep re-using the same lists and templates and titles, all of which support the previous two goals. The complete principle of your ‘Favorites’

A Few Simple Rules 

Organization does not mean ‘complex’. These rules may help you make the most out of the iStratus App.

LIMIT FOLDER CREATION

When you’re generating folders, think minimal. Most files and notes can be easily categorized logically if your initial layout is well structured.

In general, iStratus recommends only creating new folder sections if you find yourself repeatedly coming back to save similar files/items in the same place.

Your favorites should be designed to cover a vast array of important information that is easily accessible when you need it.

You want your file structure to be as simple as one, two, three.

“DON’T AGONIZE. ORGANIZE.”

~ FLORYNCE KENNEDY

BE STRATEGIC

For an “Easy to Find Fast” situation, be strategic. Less is more.

Put some time into incorporating ‘the digital’ into situations where you’re most likely to use these handy tools.

DROPBOX AND FILE SYNC MAGIC

This leads us into the nitty-gritty of  Dropbox™ and other similar services iStratus supports.

Sync services (such as iCloud™ Dropbox™) are an instantaneous way to coordinate and share your important information effortlessly.

As the tech-savvy folks at Geeks For Geeks explain, these systems are:

“A file hosting service, offering cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software”. There are two main differences between the hosts:

  • Dropbox: Shares files through web applications

  • iCloud: Shares files through links.

Both of which are amazing tools used within iStratus, to give you access to your important documents between various devices. This allows you be productive wherever you are. They’re also great for easily sharing digital files, notes and ideas with others and yourself as a future reference or a reminder.

Favorite Shortcuts Are Your Friend

Now you have specific folders, what’s next?

Well, you can structure your files to suit any way you want. iStratus allows to customize and personalize your features. Don’t feel like typing? No worries! Create a sketch or add a new audio memo by clicking the “more” option, when you tap the screen. Giving you a ‘1-click’ access shortcut directly to the folder, you’ve created or selected.

You can of course rearrange, change or delete these at any time, using the simple to follow editing tools, all within the App itself.

  • Pro-Tip: The Favorite feature is great for those folders you permanently need access to, but it is also excellent when you are working on a project. Add info to the ‘Planning, Projects’ folder while you require quick access, to include photos or notes. When you’re done, ‘check it off’ or remove it completely.

The key is functionality and some things are made to be temporary. Look for the folder you want, with a few keystrokes jump right there.

Automated Organizing

You can gain a huge productivity boost with iStratus, by setting up an automated organization tool.

If you have tasks that are recurring, set iStratus to save specific events or supporting material, and it will automatically allocate and store the necessary information to the calendar and/or an appropriate section.

The point is, not only are we going paperless using an automated organizer to set an efficient pace for your day, but we’re helping the environment too!

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Synchronize It!

Synchronicity. We approve of that. Don’t you?

Synchronicity brings organization.

For you. And your Calendar, that is.

What is it with life that causes, those days, weeks followed by months on end to become a mind-boggling swamp? When you think about it, it’s the daily calendar we often find ever so monotomous.

Isn’t it a pleasure when things just work impeccably well? All those dates and dot points connect together without a hitch across various platforms.

Welcome to iStratus.

Our calendar function does just that. Allows access via your phone settings, and it’s as simple as one, two, three. In fact, it is even simpler.

Set an event, in one calendar and it transfers directly to iStratus. One-click. No-fuss. Just purely, perfect synchronicity.

Organization Simplified. Book it in.

Your calendar is akin to armor in the skirmish of working life. It safely guards your boundaries against other people’s priorities and influence, which can easily impede upon your own precipitously expanding list of “Must Do’s”.

All you need is something like iStratus, a proven calendar management strategy, to win the battle.

Follow Your Instincts When Planning Ahead

It’s natural to feel more energized by certain activities at different points during work hours.

For instance, when working from home some of us like to hit the gym in the morning. Followed by meetings, phone calls and transcribing reports or proposals that require completion. By late afternoon, procrastination on Facebook beckons — and then to avoid becoming a complete couch potato with Netflix, it feels far better to address more tasks, paying bills or reviewing stats on your SEO.

A culinary adventure for becoming the next Master-Chef in the evening works well. Or perhaps not. Do whatever floats your boat.

The point is, the specifics of your day are less important than recognizing when responsibilities motivate you to be productive as opposed to when they vampire your internal fuel tank.

Armed with this knowledge, block-book everything in your iStratus calendar for the coming week —and then work on what matters most.

Give Your Days Some Color

Color Coding, that is. Let’s consider work overload.

Various activities require diverse skills, involving different parts of the brain. Thus, it’s no surprise it can be difficult to juggle time and fit all of life’s business in. It’s not news that multiple tasks due simultaneously can become overwhelming, and cause a rise in blood pressure.

Phew!

If this sounds like you, why not begin planning your days by theme? iStratus allows you to:

  • Created colored categories on your calendar, making things more recognizable.

  • Dedicate an entire day to a colored theme.

  • Easily allocate a chunk each day to a project, highlight in one color.

This way, you’ll free up headspace with iStratus, because you’ll know what to cover and when.

The Importance of Gaps

The truth is, none of us have “time to kill”. Often, calendared items run back-to-back. It’s one class, meeting, or appointment to the next, without breaks.

However, regardless of how “flat out” situations seem, it is important to:

  • Incorporate at least fifteen-minute gaps on your calendar.

  • Use such moments to decompress or address factors arising from a previous meeting/appointment.

Or go hardcore. Of course, the choice is yours. The aim of your calendar is to achieve goals. Every meeting (no matter what form) should create connection, rather than small talk.

According to The Business Insider, Elron Musk once said:

“WALK OUT OF A MEETING OR DROP OFF A CALL AS SOON AS BECOMES OBVIOUS YOU AREN’T ADDING VALUE. IT IS NOT RUDE TO LEAVE, IT IS EXPECTED. IT IS RUDE TO HAVE SOMEONE STAY AND WASTE THEIR TIME.”

The Calendar Review

We all know, situations don’t always run as expected. Work commitments, seep into personal time. Today, it’s considered normalcy.

On the contrary, iStratus sees your time as being relevant. We recommend reviewing your calendar, every Friday to consider:

  • How closely your previous week’s calendar matches up with what your next one needs to look like. Plot progress;

  • Scheduling appointments and meetings that are a must, canceling anything irrelevant if you can;

  • How you wish to spend your time.

“WE MUST NOT ALLOW THE CLOCK AND THE CALENDAR TO BLIND US TO THE FACT THAT EACH MOMENT OF LIFE IS A MIRACLE AND MYSTERY.”

 ~ H.G. WELLS

You might lack full control over your working week specifies, but there are undoubtedly some weeds requiring attention, aka pulling to break the feeling of monotony.

Remember, your calendar is a clear representation of how you’re spending your time and where your priorities lie.

Using iStratus effectively will organize your days and allow you to accomplish more without burning out. Keep that synchronizing simple.

LIVE LIFE AND ROLL WELL WITH ISTRATUS.

Checklist Chatter

  • Check. 
  • Check.

  • Check.

How can one little word and symbol be so satisfying to see? We love the productivity of Checklists. Needless to say, a key purpose of the iStratus Organizer App and its Checklists ensure the process is even simpler.

Checklist or Not to Checklist?

Generally speaking, checklists entail a set of statements that correspond to specific criteria and indications of the action required. They may be “single-use” or designed for repeated usage.

With a single tap, a checkmark appears in iStratus Organizer App to keep your daily, weekly, monthly tasks in order, avoiding the backlog of those “To Do’s” that can overwhelm our lives.

Often it’s easier to prioritize things of importance and relevance when you apply checklists.  To checklist or not to checklist? Bottom line: Checklisting works.

6 Reasons Why iStratus Checklists Work:

PRODUCTIVITY IS PROVEN

  • When using checklists you’re likely to make fewer mistakes, as every action to be taken is clear and concise.

  •  Complete repetitive tasks more efficiently and quickly.

  • Increase productiveness with more time in a day to accomplish multiple important tasks.

ORGANIZATION BEATS THE DRAG

Organization is one of our favorite words and we hope that by using the iStratus Organizer it quickly becomes one of yours too.

With an accurately configured checklist:

  • No steps in a process will be skipped or forgotten

  • Multi-tasking remains more systematized

  • All your items and necessary tasks are synchronized in one place.

  • It allows effective scheduling so that nothing “slips through the cracks.”

DELEGATION RATHER THAN PROCRASTINATION 

  • Major tasks become smaller and more specific in terms of priority.

  • Providing comfort and confidence that all tasks will be completed more effectively and correctly, increasing yet again, our productivity.

MOTIVATION FOR SUCCESS

We’re not running a marathon to take out the Gold however, using iStratus for checklists motivate people towards success because they also:

  • Encourage us to take timely action and complete our daily tasks

  • Even with the smallest achievements and that faithful checkmark, our brains release dopamine, a positive chemical associated with enthusiasm, learning, and pleasure.

Evidence from The Harvard Business Review suggests we are more likely to repeat the activities that lead to success. (Yes, we are creatures of habit, who really just want to make the world a better place). Together in an ever-changing world, we use can motivation to do good and consciously be ready to accomplish greater things. iStratus strives to achieve better results, and we want you to be part of that too.

Creativity For Clarity

Ticking off a checklist results in less stress and fewer ‘Groundhog Day’ moments.

  • By mastering the tedious, repetitive tasks more effectively, you’ll be free and able to apply improved focus and brainpower for creative activities.

  • With a little extra free time and fewer things competing for attention within your mind, you will have greater clarity.

Excellence Is Fundamental

When nothing is forgotten, the quality of your work and life often exceeds expectations. Feel better about the daily grind.

Finding The Right Fit

Essentially there are three main types of Checklists:

  • Procedural Checklists: Highlight the steps that must be followed in sequential order;

  • Project Checklists: Indicate tasks that must be completed; and

  • Communication Checklists: Encourage communication in organizations, which is great for prioritizing those notes to support your weekly meetings.

With iStratus you can design a list that best fits the intended purpose. Feel free to click for yourself. The choice is yours.

Checks Equal Balance

Obviously, we want our App to simplify your life and provide a feeling of satisfaction, checks equal balance. In order to achieve this, our main tips, using the iStratus Checklist approach are:

  • Tick off checklists as you go

  • Allow your checklists to be flexible. It’s ok not to achieve every item at once!

  • Don’t micromanage yourself. Stick with the process. Trust in your direction. Not everything is always Black and White.

  • For the workplace, collaborate your ideas! Constructive feedback can be an invaluable part of the process for achieving goals.

Checking In With Your Checklist

There is always room for improvement. We practice what we preach, using our own iStratus tools.

Checklists are an invaluable tool and work in a wide variety of circumstances and industries.

Covering ground so that you are prepared for almost anything. Even highly complex tasks can feel like a walk in the park.

Will you begin some Checklist Chatter?

Brave it. Give it a Go. Checklist along with us.

“The constant free flow of communication amount us – enabling the free interchange of ideas – forms the very bloodstream of our nation. It keeps the mind and body of our democracy eternally vital, eternally young.”

 ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Live life and roll well with iStratus.