December 21, 2008

Planning for 2009 : Free Calendars, Planners, List Makers, and More

Get ready to hit the ground running in 2009 with these free and very useful planning tools:

1. Grocery List Maker

You do have to join the CommonSenseCommunity here, but this is a nice tool to have. You can create your grocery list from any computer (think work and home) - adding an item here and there as you think of it - and then once it's done, have the complete grocery list emailed to you in time for the weekly store run.

2. Family Budget Planner

Microsoft Office has lots of free templates to choose from -- this Family Budget Planner is one that ranks 4.5 stars and has been downloaded over 2,000,000 times at the time of this posting. Looks like it's well received, right?

3. My Yahoo! Calendar and Life Planner

Along with millions of others, I've stuck with my Yahoo! online calendar over the years because it's served me well, and I really like the timers, alarms, and other things (sync, share) that come with this package (more than I've seen elsewhere). It's more than just a calendar -- other than defining goals for you, the Yahoo! Calendar really acts as more of a planner than just an online calendar.

For example, this calendar allows you to list Events and Tasks - and there's not a time frame here. Plus, it's online - reach it from anywhere, anytime and you don't lose it should your computer crash. Over time, it's built my life quite nicely: until I change things, Yahoo! will remind me about annual events (birthdays, anniversarys, etc.) as well as deadlines (two weeks till publisher's deadline, etc.) in perpetuity.

I can set goals in the Task Lists, then set little deadlines for myself to accomplish each step needed to reach that goal in the Events List. I'll start getting email reminders, etc. according to the schedule I've chosen ... I find this to be really helpful.

4. Fitness Tracker/Weight Loss Planner

FitDay is something that I've used for years. It's just got everything you'd need or want to track your physical needs, as well as your fitness goals and diet progress. The free online account gives you too much information to list here ... it's one of those examples of how great the Web can be.

5. Inspiration to Keep Going

Have a motivational quote delivered to your inbox each morning over at GoalSettingGuide. There's another one over at NightingaleConant, in case you want to pick between the two - or if you want to get two cheerleading emails each day.

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