Andreea Sandu.

Listen to the audio or read below for the transcript. This episode is 9 minutes long.


Happy Tuesday, lovely! I’m Andreea, your host here on The Introvert That Could Podcast. Every episode is a mix of tips on productivity, time management, and how to move forward when you’re stuck, with a sprinkle of motivation and a side of relevant personal stories. I want you to have all the tools and support you need to face the challenges of being an introvert and take action, because without action, there are no results. Let’s dive in!

Welcome to episode 12! 

I have to say sorry for the delay this week, it was so sweet I had people asking me why it’s not up yet. The storm we had in the UK made things difficult, when you live on a boat the weather has more impact on your life than when you live on land. But better late than never. That should teach me to have a few pre-recorded episodes just in case! 

When it comes to productivity, everyone wants the systems. And systems are great, make life easier, but remember that mindset is everything. Two people can use the same tools and get different results, because their thinking is different. It’s never the tool that counts, is the person. This is why I had so many episodes about fears or procrastination. Because once you do have the systems, all these things come up and you’re still stuck. 

It’s not the tool. It’s YOU!

But, today is about the systems. I’ll share with you exactly the apps, tools, or habits that make my life easier and give me back some time. 

Phone apps

  1. I heavily use the Notes app on my iPhone. It’s connected to the cloud so I have the same notes on my phone and my laptop, so I can type something on either one of them and I have that note on both. Very useful to save links that I need to copy and paste, create my Instagram posts, and anything I know I’ll reuse at some point is in the Notes. But another great use of Notes is that when I have an idea, or remember something I need to do, I write it down immediately. I don’t even try to keep it in my memory, I take my phone out and type it in. Every now and then, I check my notes and either delete those ideas or take action on them.
  2. Probably at the same level of usage, the tool that helps me manage my life is my calendar. I use Outlook as email client and calendar. I have the Microsoft suite for cloud storage and office tools, so I have outlook as my email client. All my personal appointments, client appointments, Yoga classes, work meetings, friend meetings, webinars I want to attend, everything is booked in. And if that slot is taken, nothing goes in anymore. And again, I don’t try to remember anything, the day before I open my calendar to see what’s coming so I can plan any white spaces left. I’ve been planning for a long time to do a mini workshop on how I schedule my week, so let me know if you want to see that. 
  3. Next is Onedrive. As I said, I use cloud storage because I want my documents to be available from any device. This is the first one on this list so far that I pay for, but makes life easier. I can upload a document from my phone or laptop and then I can access it from both. And the moment I need to share a document with someone else, I can do that easily by sharing a link. 
  4. The Kindle app. The days when I had to carry a book or even a physical Kindle are gone. Having the app on the phone eliminates the risk of forgetting to pack yet another object, the phone goes with me everywhere. I spend a lot of time in the car, in parking lots, so while Alin goes and does the shopping, I read a little bit. It makes it easy to keep up with my reading. 
  5. Flora. It’s an app that I discovered recently and only use it when I have trouble focusing and only if the work I need to do is on the laptop, because the phone becomes unusable. It works like this: you select how many minutes you want to do uninterrupted, focused work, I select either 25 or 50 usually, and optionally, a price. The moment you hit start, you plant a seed, and while you’re working, the seed is growing into a tree. If you pick up your phone and change to another app, you kill the tree and lose the money if you selected an amount. But if you keep going until the timer runs out, the tree is fully grown and you have to option to pay and plant a real life tree. I never paid, but it’s a wonderful idea and the app helps me, especially  when I need to write. 
  6. Last on my list of phone apps is Habit. It’s a very simple habit tracker, that sends reminders if I don’t tick a box by a certain time in the day. If you’re curious what habits I’m currently tracking, here they are: No sugar, Journaling, Don’t use phone in the morning, Instagram engagement, Brush dogs teeth, Read, and Meditate.    

Before I move away from the phone, one feature I use is Downtime. On the iPhone you can schedule periods of time, for me is from 10pm to 7am every day plus all day Sunday, when some of your apps are unusable – in my case social media apps. It’s a visual cue for me that I should be doing something else. You can still open them if you really want to, but it will tell you that hey, you said you don’t want to be on Facebook in the morning! 

As for physical objects, the only one I use is a notebook for planning, journaling, taking notes, to do lists. All in one. You would think I have a fancy planner, but really it’s an ordinary notebook. It does the job and I don’t have the talent or the time to use a bullet journal and draw pretty spreads. I know other people use different planners for work, budgets, content, business, house chores, and they’re beautifully organized in binders, but not me. I don’t even have the space to store all those planners. One is enough. I’d rather get stuff done than organize my planners.  

Moving on to habits, of course I had a whole episode last time about habits, but I’m gonna touch on something a bit different today. And that is, the effect of minimalism. I intentionally limit the amount of stuff I own and decisions I have to make. 

For example: 

  • I have one single bag I use regularly, which is a backpack that can fit everything I need, including my laptop. I use the same one to go out, go to Yoga, and even on short trips, and many of the objects I need are already in the backpack and stay in the backpack – like keys, wallet, lip gloss, tissues, my notebook, a pen, and my reusable water bottle. I’m always ready to go. 
  • The fact that I don’t own too many clothes, makes it very easy for me to decide what to wear.  
  • Being a vegan that doesn’t eat sugar makes shopping very easy – and mostly healthy. You can ignore 85% of the supermarket isles, maybe more. 

Not having to make silly decisions all day long gives me time and brain energy to focus on something else, so maybe consider adding some intentional rules into your life. Your wallet will be happy too. 

This was it for this episode, but if you want to continue the conversation, I’d love to hear from you! Comment here or find me on Facebook and Instagram. But the best thing you can do is sign up for the Life Lesson Letter, the weekly email I send out every Thursday with new content and insider-only freebies and details. Sign up now and you’ll get instant access to all available goodies, including the latest PDF “From overwhelm to taking action: 6 steps to find more time in your day, declutter your to-do list and get things done“. Just go to

Thanks so much for being here and I’ll catch you on the next one! Have an amazing day

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