Good Idea: Structured App

Are you interested in a tool that will help you build and/or maintain your daily routine? Do you use your smartphone in the fight for good habits? If so, the Structured app may be a good idea for you.

Structured is a calendar app that allows you to plan out both tasks and commitments so that you can see your day at a glance. The free version gives you the basic calendar format, but you can upgrade to Pro (for $4.99 in the App Store) to get notifications and sync other calendars.

When you create an entry, you have options to set icons (which allows you to visually tag what you are doing, i.e., project, meeting, shopping, etc.), color code, make it a repeating entry, and add any notes you may need.

One beauty of this is how you can build your morning routine and evening routine into your daily schedule — then set reminders to start each piece of the routine, which will keep you moving on through. You can create a 15-minute block for one or three or however many tasks you need in that space. You can make a notification to alert you that it is time to start what you have determined to do.

There is also an in-box where you can keep “to-do” tasks that do not have an assigned time yet, along with how long you think they will take. When you see a time block free, you are able to go to the in-box, see which item(s) will fit best, and quickly add it to your schedule.

The day view will alert you to what is coming and any free time you may have available. Sometimes it is nice to know how much time you have until the next appointment! You have, at a glance, the path for your day with any available margin.

If a paper planner is not for you, or if Google calendars have not quite done it for you, this may be an option that will do the trick for your time management. If you do use it, or have used it, please comment below with what has worked well for you. Thanks!

Consider: “Crazy Busy”

Kevin DeYoung has written a “(mercifully) short” book on busyness and its effect on our hearts. It is full of questions to consider about our theology of time and self and how that theology shows up in our schedules. Here are two excerpts for you to enjoy, which will perhaps whet your appetite:

“As Christians, especially, we ought to know better because we understand deep down that the problem is not just with our schedules or with the world’s complexity—something is not right with us. The chaos is at least partly self-created. The disorder of daily life is a product of disorder in the innermost places of the heart. Things are not the way they ought to be because we are not the way we are supposed to be.”

“Busyness, as I’ve been diagnosing it, is as much a mind-set and a heart sickness as it is a failure in time management. It’s possible to live your days in a flurry of hard work, serving, and bearing burdens, and to do so with the right character and a right dependence on God so that it doesn’t feel crazy busy. By the same token, it’s possible to feel amazingly stressed and frenzied while actually accomplishing very little. The antidote to busyness of soul is not sloth and indifference. The antidote is rest, rhythm, death to pride, acceptance of our own finitude, and trust in the providence of God.”

These books are set here as possibilities for you to explore. Posts and links are not blanket endorsements or paid publicity.