Life hacks and gentle reminders… this one’s for females :)

There are any amount of life hacks you can use for GSD (getting stuff done), and of course, if you have a smart phone, there’s an app for that.

In fact, if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably downloaded a load of apps, spent time checking out their functionality, had a glowing sense that this new app was truly the one that is going to change your life, only to realise that you didn’t get a single thing done because, yes, you’ve just spent the last hour scrolling through shiny new screens. And as we all know, that life-saving app will soon be relegated to the saddo space that is the app graveyard on your phone.

But before you start deleting all the redundant apps on your phone (because that will take time), have a think about the things that you really need to get done every day. While I don’t need a reminder to brush my teeth in the morning (quite proud of that), my day always starts with the alarm going off on my phone, and yes, my screen does look something like this:

a phone alarm

Look familiar? I haven’t yet changed the alarm sound to the best possible wake up music I can think of… as… you guessed it, that’s on my "To do" list. What I have done though, is add an alarm as a daily reminder to take folic acid. No, I’m not planning a pregnancy or getting all serious on you here, but the fact is, if you are sexually active and could become pregnant, whether you are planning to or not, you need to make taking folic acid a daily habit.

Did you know that about half of pregnancies are unplanned? Think about it… you may not even realise you’re pregnant in the first few weeks, which is when your baby’s brain and spine are developing. Folic acid supports your baby’s spine and brain development at this critical stage and hugely reduces the chance of having a child with spina bifida or another Neural Tube Defect. All you have to do is take a 400 micrograms folic acid supplement daily. And it really is easy, it’s just one tiny pill each day. You could leave the pack beside your toothbrush like I do, and it’s a gentle reminder. Or you could keep it in your handbag. Do your friends take folic acid? It would be worth mentioning it to them. They may be unaware of how easy it is to take this simple precaution.

sleeping woman and her phone

If you like apps that work as reminders, Mango Health is one of the top medication reminder apps which is available for iPhone and Android. It’s free, has a super easy set up and the tile-based home screen makes it very easy to use. App features include reminders to take your pills (that would be your folic acid) and build healthy habits (e.g, tracking your steps, weight, or blood pressure), drug interaction info, a health history, and best of all – you get points and rewards just for sticking to your health routine! No registration is required, although you can register if you want to. For iPhone users, you can add folate into your Apple Healthkit dashboard and track folic acid supplements taken.

Folate screen on health kit

But, getting back to GSD. If alarms don’t work for you and you’re inclined to ignore reminders in your calendar, you may well be a list person. A friend of mine raves about AnyList. She started using it initially as a list for grocery shopping but the beauty of this app is you can make lists for all sorts of things like shopping, travel, to do, gift ideas and movies to watch. And they’re sharable with your family.

So, hopefully some of these life hacks will help you navigate your way better through the maze of daily life. If you want to make things a little sweeter, and you’ve got a moment to spare, here’s how you can start transforming your phone alarm into the perfect wake-up music. Just go to the Alarm app, tap Edit, then the time to be woken up, tap Sound > Pick a Song and… job done! Wake up to your sweet, personally selected sounds. And, if like me, you’re an alarm person, don’t forget to set a daily reminder to take folic acid.

Get the facts on folic acid.


Posted: 22/06/2016 15:26:31 by Aileen McGloin
Filed under: Apps, Campaigns, Folic acid, Hacks

About Me

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Aileen McGloin
Hi, my name is Aileen McGloin and I am the Director of Marketing and Communications, at safefood. I trained as a public health nutritionist originally and am passionate about changing food-related behaviour. I have a particular interest in using digital technology to promote health. At home, I love books, am in a book club and married to a crime writer. I’m a fiend for all things fashion and like walking, swimming and TV that is so bad it’s good. I live in Co. Wicklow with my husband and 10 year old daughter.