The Water

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Happy 4th of July!

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List Automation Using IFTTT

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“If This Then That”. I love this service, and wish I had embraced it sooner! Believe it or not, my Amazon Echo Dots are what drive me to look into IFTTT.  I like my Echo Dots. A lot. Besides the usual play my music, what’s the weather, tell me a joke, and simple home automation type of stuff, I actually use them to generate to-do’s and add items to my shopping list. The problem was, I use Reminders on my iOS devices, and I didn’t want to copy and paste everything between apps.

Why don’t I use Siri and just add things directly into Reminders? Good question! And the answer is because I don’t always carry my phone with me everywhere in the house (I can hear some of you gasping in shock!), and other family members use the Dots as well. For example, my daughter can tell Alexa to add Pop Tarts to the shopping list. If and when I upgrade to a HomePod, or multiple HomePods, perhaps Siri will be preferred the AI Assistant that I use full time, but until then, I will continue to leverage Alexa, and IFTTT, in conjunction with Siri.

So how does IFTTT fit into all of this? I leverage IFTTT to perform the drudgery of copying the list items automatically for me! I use this applet to copy my Alexa to-do’s to iOS Reminders.  And I use this applet to add Alexa generated shopping list items specifically to my “Shopping” list on iOS Reminders. Unfortunately, I still need to manually clear the items out of the Alexa lists, but I simply purge the lists at the end of the week when I perform my weekly review (yes, I still am a fan of “Getting Things Done”!).


Getting My Google Calendars Onto The iPhone

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I know this is an older post, but it’s still applicable today. In fact, I had to share this with a friend recently, so thought it would be worthwhile to re-share it here as well.


I recently had to create a calendar, to share with a few other people.  I didn’t want to give them access to my main Google Calendar, and I wanted it to be visible from a mobile device (iPhones in this particular case, and it just so happened that all involved had an iPhone 5, 5C, or 5S).  So I created the calendar in Google, and then tried to view it in the native calendar app  on my iPhone, and couldn’t add it to the view on my phone.  I even tried deleting and re-adding my Google account, with no success.

After much hair pulling and a fair number of Google searches, I stumbled across this link:

Then all I had to do was select the additional calendar I had just created, and save my changes…



… and then I was able to view my new calendar on my iPhone.


Purging Stuff

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A huge step in embracing simplicity for me, was purging “stuff”. The fact that I was also moving helped motivate me.

I rented a 15 cubic yard driveway dumpster, and filled it. I was totally absolutely amazed that it only took my six hours!

dumpster 1

So I ordered a second one and filled it in less than five hours!

dumpster 2

I have to admit it was VERY freeing to actually throw out all of that “stuff”. And that’s all it was, just stuff. Stuff I was saving to haul off. Stuff I was saving to fix. Stuff I was saving as I may have needed it someday in the future. Stuff I was saving because I used to have an emotional attachment to it. I never realized the impact that “stuff” could have on my well being. It felt SO good to just let it all go.

It still feels great to have less clutter both inside and outside my home. It is more comfortable. It is easier to clean. It is easier to organize. I have a better idea of what I have. It is amazing that to me that I let so much “stuff” simply accumulate! I totally understand why people embrace minimalism now!

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