Can You Download Your Way to a Better Life?

In The News Piece in Slate
Oct. 13, 2017

The Better Life Lab curated a piece for their Slate channel from contributor Ruth Graham about using apps to improve work-life balance.

I have it relatively easy when it comes to work-life balance: a fairly flexible freelance schedule, a husband who is home by 5-ish most nights, only one kid, and a small-town social life.

But while I’m not leading the fast-paced career life of Shonda Rhimes, I still need help keeping my life in order. I’m not a disastrously disorganized person, but I do tend to lose track of appointments and objects and to-do list items around the edges of my core responsibilities (earn income and keep myself and my child alive). Meanwhile, I can’t seem to carve out more time to exercise and clear my own head, and I’m prone to screw-ups like forgetting my quarterly taxes until days past the deadline. I’m perpetually running five minutes late, both psychologically and literally, which amounts to feeling 10 minutes late.

Over the years, I’ve tried various strategies for becoming a more organized, balanced person. My “systems” tend to involve scraps of paper and gentle reminders from my husband that “it would be really great” if I could make the oil change appointment this time. Tired of suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, I have decided to take arms against my sea of troubles. So I decided to download some apps.