Friday, February 7, 2014

The Mother of All To-Do Lists

I knew that moving to France for 18 months would requre some effort, ok, a lot of effort. But it quickly became aparrent that if we didn't get organized we would overwhelmed by the sea of actions that needed our attention.

Not only did I have to help manage the personal/family part of the move, but there were myriad other concerns my husband was working on with his company to formalize the items that needed to be completed before we could leave the country

Click the FRANCE RELOCATION above tab to see all of my posts about our move.

Just a few our main topics
  1. Immigration: Work Visa especially - No visa - No going to France
  2. Setting up house: first months rent, utilities, internet service etc.
  3. Leaving our house: packing, downsizing, forward mail, hire lawn and snow removal services, turn off unneeded services, figure out what to do with vehicles, etc.
  4. Financial: meet with tax advisers to see if I could work in France, set up French Bank account, obtain French credit cards, determine tax consequences etc.
  5. My business; What will happen with Cobweb Corner? Can I take part of my business with me.
  6. Cultural Changes: Learning the language, 2-day cultural training before we leave, and more.
  7. Pet Relocation: unbelievable amount of things have to happen to take my cat with us
Many of these items have a separate contact person assigned to us. My husbands' email box filled up with messages from everyone involved and assigned to our move.

Initially we were asked for a LOT of paperwork, which my husband mostly took care of. He provided copies of everything and we came to terms with the fact that our life was going to much less 'secret' than it had been. We supplied copies of passports, tax returns, utility bills, pay stubs, and more. Priority was given to this so the visa process could start.

Then, as we took a breath and started sorting through all of the items we had to do we decided we needed some type of To-Do list to help us.  I did some quick research for a simple app that would suit our needs.

Criteria: Free or cheap, Had to be able to share tasks on Apple, Android, and PC platforms so both of us could access it at any time.

I settled on the app called Wunderlist (search for it online or on your device)

In a 1-hour phone call with my husband at work we waded through the emails and actions we knew about and outlined the main topics of our list - with sub-topics or actions under each. In less than 2 days we had  69 actions under 13 main list topics, and counting...

Just getting it down and having a central location for all of the things we need to do was a major stress reliever. Since my Iphone or Ipad are nearly always with me, I can quickly add something to the list at any time. For example while I was in the kitchen today I started a  "Don't Forget to Pack" list and added things I knew I would need in France as I saw them.

Things I like about Wunderlist:
  1. It's free
  2. You can share lists with other Wunderlist members. My husband and I both set up a free account and when one of us creates a new list we invite the other to join in. That way we both see all of the items.
  3. You can assign a specific task to one or more people. This allows you to filter the lists by just those items assigned to  you.
  4. You can set a due-date for actions.
  5. You can add comments to the actions.
  6. You can mark an item as complete and it shows at the bottom of the list.
  7. It works on all of our devices, PCs, my Ipad and my husband's Android tablet. That means we have access to the lists from pretty much anywhere.
  8. When you open the app there are notices for anything anyone assigned to the list has changed. So, if my husband assigns a new task to me, or marks a task as complete, I can see that under the notices section without having to look at every list.
Wunderlist is a great little app for a simple requirement like ours. I can see other applications in my business and personal life where this will be useful.

Thanks for reading - feel free to comment and share.

Click the FRANCE RELOCATION above tab to see all of my posts about our move.

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