As people in their 50s tend to do, a couple of years ago I was doing some serious reflecting on my life - what made me happy, what I wanted to change, and what I wanted my life to look like one, five, ten years from now. When I considered what I most wanted to change, it was my sense of life satisfaction, balance, and being “on top of things”. To use some well-worn metaphors, I often felt like I was spinning my wheels, like I had too many balls in the air, like I wasn’t in the driver’s seat of my own life!
Along with this feeling of not being in control was a heaviness, a sense that the things that were truly important to me - that I truly valued - were taking a back seat to the myriad of “priorities” that were running my life. This wasn’t surprising, considering the many roles I play: mother, wife, grandma, daughter, educator, community member, volunteer, family organizer and vacation planner… And if this wasn’t enough, I was also finding it more challenging to remember things - dates, names of people, places, books and movies people recommended, a wine we tried and liked, the last time we had the furnace serviced. I had notes and lists everywhere, and frequently lost track of those too.
At this same time in my life, I was finishing a work contract and decided that with the twilight of my career in view, I wanted to do something completely different. I wanted to push past my comfort zone and learn, have fun, and meet interesting people - all while creating something awesome that would be wildly successful, and secure our retirement! In hindsight, it was a little crazy (just ask my husband), but here I am.
Back to the midlife reflecting and career transition… I was sitting one day, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with my friend Heather, chatting and sipping wine, when with Heather’s help the idea for MyNotables burst into my brain with the magnitude of a million lightbulbs. What if I could create an app that would be simple and colourful and fun to use, that allowed me to store all my notes and lists in organized compartments for easy retrieval and reference? Most of the features of the app tumbled into my brain in the span of several hours that same day, and I furiously wrote them down (so I wouldn’t forget). The red tote bag metaphor popped into my mind’s view and became the logo for the app (with a handle that also looks like a smiley face )
When I got home, I started talking to my friends and colleagues about my idea. Turns out, most of them felt exactly the same way I did (about spinning wheels, and too many balls in the air), and they loved my app idea! But there are thousands of apps for organizing one’s life already available, so wasn’t it a little naive to think I could make a better one?
It’s not that I thought MyNotables could be better than the rest, just different. It would manage both notes and lists, send me reminders, and add items to my calendar. It would require very little time to set up and start using, and would come with some handy tools and checklist templates. It would also have a community element, allowing users to send ideas and feedback, and share their own life organizing tips. This app was going to be totally awesome!
So I went to the local small business centre and embarked on a journey that has given me all of the things I wished for (learning, meeting interesting people, etc.), along with huge challenges, time and funds spent. Had I been forewarned, I never would have jumped in with both feet! But I have no regrets. It’s been a great ride, and now I am so excited to finally present this app to the world.
Two major additions were made to the original idea as it progressed toward reality: the note-sharing aspect (a brilliant brain wave of my developing agency, Devlift Media), and the social mission aspect. I realized early on that I wanted the benefits of this business to reach a broad group, not only helping many people to organize their lives, but also supporting a cause I am passionate about, by sharing the profits.
I am connected to Rwanda through a health project that I volunteer with, and am fortunate to have made many amazing friends there, including Aimée. She leads the Live with Happiness organization that supports community mental health and human rights for women and families in Rwanda. You can read more about Aimée and her organization here. 10% of MyNotables’ profits will support Live with Happiness, and I am so excited about this opportunity to contribute to something that changes lives for the better in a country that has been through such tragedy.
Please try MyNotables - give it a good month to adapt it into your day-to-day life, and let me know how it works for you. Of course, as a new app, there is plenty of room for improvement and growth, and I look forward to your feedback so that together we’ll build a community and make this the most amazing life-organizing tool ever.
My ultimate goal for MyNotables is to inspire and support others while helping people like me, of all ages, to get in the driver seat of their lives - creating more time and space to do the things they love to do.