How I find balance — June/July 2014

How mobile applications can help you to keep a balanced lifestyle.

Alice Ko, 29, digital media strategist, Vancouver

When I worked in finance I wasn't good at scheduling personal commitments. Now with my job in digital media, which runs 24/7, I'm busier than ever but I'm not stressed and I've never felt more balanced. Since I'm a digital person now, I rely on apps to help. I schedule all my business and personal commitments in one calendar, Sunrise, and it synchs with all my devices. I get a daily email from iDoneThis to help track my billable hours — I reply with point-form details about what I did that day and it summarizes the information for me, which is a lot easier than logging on to a traditional billing program. An app called Unroll.Me combines all my email subscriptions into one message, so I'm not tempted to check each email as it comes in. My mantra is "Do what you say you're going to do." Let your team know that on certain evenings you have personal commitments and you will respond to emails in the morning. Then learn to honour your own word — don't be available during that time or you set the wrong expectation. For example, every Tuesday I go to spin and I don't schedule anything else during that time. Obviously there needs to be some flexibility, especially during busy periods. You need to know what you can or cannot commit to.

— As told to Tamar Satov