Systems, gadgets, routines that see you through a crisis
Virtually the whole month of June revolved around my mother's having a stroke. There were some things I was really, really glad I had in place and other things that occurred to me as I went along. I'd be curious what tips other folks have for when you are exhausted, preoccupied, short on time, etc.
Cell phone. Only I used it so much the battery kept dying on me. I've invested in a charger to use in the car.
Having our local toll calls long distance with our main phone company again. For several years I'd been trying to save money by using a phone card, but last month I was really glad I could just direct dial everything again.
Broadband internet. I'd only gotten it recently, and was glad I did it. Much faster overall, plus being able to be on the phone and online was a real time-saver too. Email was a great way to stay in touch with relatives. An email reminder service I already had in place was very helpful, too. I like Yahoo Contacts as my main address book.
MP3 player loaded with podcasts. A sanity saver when you are sitting in hospital for hours, just watching someone sleep. Also when driving, and when you yourself can't sleep.
Scanner/home copier. Scanned in my mother's power of attorney; now I can just print out a copy whenever I need it for a new doctor.
Voice recorder. Much better than trying to gather up all the little notes I was writing myself, and receipts. Now as I think of something I need to do, and as I spend money, I just say it into the recorder. Every day or so I transfer the info into Quicken and my computerized To Do list/calendar.
Shopping at Aldi. It's quick to get in and out. No sales to watch for, no coupons to remember. Their paper grocery bags are nice and sturdy for paper recycling. They have an abundance of cardboard boxes you can pick up any time, which I've been using for packing items for Goodwill. (We've been working on clearing out one of DMom's houses.)
Credit card. I'd sworn off it, but when things are so crazy that you're not sure how much is in your bank account, it seems safer than using a debit card. (My bank lets things go through anyway, then hits you with a fee.)
Automatic bill payments.
Taking walks. Doing a load of laundry every morning. Granola bars (need more snack ideas that can be carried all the time). Vitamins. Bringing my shredder and recycling bin downstairs to handle the mail where it comes in.
We cancelled Netflix for a month. I returned a bunch of books to the library, unread. Wish I had some reading material ready for emergencies that didn't have to be returned anywhere. I did order some TV on DVD from Amazon that we wouldn't have to return.
Any other ideas for streamlining and simplifying, for when this kind of crisis hits again? (Which I'm afraid it will, sooner or later.) TIA!