This week, I have been on a kick to reorganize everything and do a little “fall cleaning.” So, I thought I’d share some of the apps, books, and tools that I have found really help me keep things organized. The busier I get, the more I realize that even the smallest things left unorganized usually lead to mistakes and an even bigger mess. It’s a work in process (believe me haha), but I’m taking it one day at a time and I’m always looking for the best resources to help me along the way.
Below are some of the apps and tools I have tried that have worked for me and that I like! I don’t use all of them at the same time, but it’s about finding the ones that work for you and your schedule. I will make sure to highlight the ones I use the most.
Run A Strict Schedule
If there is one tool I would be LOST without, it’s Google Calendar. I use it at the office to schedule meetings and events with the Bloguettes team. What I love about Google Calendar is that I can invite participants to an event and Google will send me a notification of their “Yes, No, or Maybe” response. This eliminates the time spent emailing back and forth and puts the event on every participants’ calendar!
Google Calendar also has an option to create a personal reminder that isn’t specifically an event but sends you a quick reminder that you can mark as done when completed. Everything on Google Calendar can be color coded (a dream if you have OCD), synced from your email, and available on both your iPhone and desktop.
This is a tool I use every day and without it, I would not show up anywhere (haha).
Bonus Tip: Add EVERYTHING to your calendar–even schedule a time for you to work out, and you will see how you can do more in the same amount of time.
This app is all about time blocking. Workflow Timer has an amazing minimalistic user interface that lets users create a task list, block out a specific time per task, and offer statistics based on your usage. It allows you to block out times for breaks and gives you results from each task timer throughout the week.
I started time blocking after reading The One Thing where author Gary Keller talks about the great success entrepreneurs and scientists have found when we block out batches of time for specific tasks. The golden time rule is 25 minutes, which is just enough time to allow for focus without getting exhausted and eventually distracted. If you haven’t time blocked, try it out and let me know what you think! Plus, the Workflow Timer app is free to use.
Ever play email tag back and forth with someone trying to find a time that fits both of your schedules? So have I, but not since I have started using Calendly. Calendly is scheduling tool available on any phone or laptop and integrates with your calendar from Google, Outlook, iCloud or Office 365 to offer your availability to others.
All you have to do is create an account (there are both free and paid options), customize your availability with your maximum number of daily meetings, buffer time in between events, and a minimum scheduling notice, then send your link with availability options for your participant to choose. It also connects with Google Calendar so as soon as someone schedules a call with you its already on your calendar. So say goodbye to email tag!
Keep An Effective To-Do List
I absolutely love this app. Google Keep has amazing features such as location-based reminders that pull up your grocery list when you get to the store and simple color coded layout of your to-do’s and reminders. Any list can be shared and worked on collaboratively. The Bloguettes office uses this to share task lists with interns and I even use it with co-workers to create packing lists for our business trips. I also use it with Dustin to have a shared grocery list–you never know who will have the time to go grocery shopping! Google Keep is free and available on any device.
Things 3 is the perfect blend between a calendar and to-do list. What I love about this app is instead of showing me a weekly or monthly calendar the homepage is organized by “Today, Upcoming, Anytime, and Someday”. It allows me to use Siri and import notes or reminders which I can then organize into different project tabs like family, work, errands etc. This one I love but I use Google Keep more. I recommend checking out both out and seeing which one fits your style more.
Remember The Milk
How many times have you written a to-do list but ended up being so busy that you missed things on your list? Remember The Milk is not only a to-do list app, but one with email, text, Twitter, and mobile notifications. YOU CAN’T escape your tasks. You can organize your to-do list with priorities, due dates, repeats and even share tasks with others. Just like with Things 3 I LOVED it especially the notifications part but Google Keep, even though it’s simpler, ended up working better for me.
The layout of the app is one of my favorite parts about it. It’s simple and clearly states the task, date, and color code along with a small photo next to it. I create different tags for work and personal things like check my email inbox, groceries, or even paying bills.
Take Notes Smarter
Evernote (My favorite)
This app really gives you the freedom to take notes in the form of audio notes, sketches, video, web clippings etc. Evernote has a feature that lets you use your camera and scan business cards, paper documents, handwritten notes etc. so you never have to worry about losing that piece of paper. I can sync my devices so that if I start a note on my laptop but have to rush out of the house, I can finish right back where I was on my phone. All notes and lists are searchable to find what you’re looking for quickly and the app can be locked with a passcode. Can you see why I love Evernote? It’s also amazing that you have the capability to share notes with others and if you use Google Docs like we do at Bloguettes, you can embed them to your Notes!
If you are a tech savy Apple lover, then Letterspace is ideal for you. Everything is based on a tap and swipe motion. For example you can double tap to start a new note and swipe left or right to move in between notes. In their shared notes you can use #hashtags and @mentions to communicate and organize your notes, which is pretty unique to other note apps.
Each to-do list shows an item as incomplete or complete, keeping it easy to see what still needs to be done. This app syncs with all Apple products and even your iCloud to keep everything with you wherever you are. The only thing I don’t like about this one is that if you own an Ipad Pro and Ipad pencil you can’t “write” with the pencil–everything has to be typed.
SimpleMind + Intuitive Mind Mapping
Calling all visual thinkers, you are not left out! Sometimes drawing things out lets you connect ideas and create a bigger picture goal. That’s why I love SimpleMind. You can actually build a visual diagram for your ideas. There are so many different layouts to choose from but whichever one you choose there are options to create sub-points, a checklist, photos, and even share your mind map with other people. This app is really helpful for brainstorming ideas and is what I use to get creative with my blog posts.
I hope your enjoyed reading about these different apps to keep your productive and organized! There really is an app for everything and everyone. Comment down below to let me know what your favorite apps and tools are!