Maybe you’re not like me
But working at WhiteSpace, a fast-paced, hyper-creative environment, makes staying organized a herculean endeavor. Every day is a freaking whirlwind. There are print ads, illustrations, Instagram posts, packaging specs, layouts, twitter, copy docs, emails, bathroom breaks, Words With Friends, presentations, blog posts – all of it standing between me and order. And, it’s hard to stay (or even get!) organized with all the projects, designs and everything else that comes flooding through the office on a given day. I try – believe me – but wanting to be organized and actually being organized are two vastly different things.
Or maybe you are like me
You understand that life – work, home, wherever – can get hectic and never fits into a perfectly fitted, neatly wrapped box. There are tasks, to-do lists, groceries lists, honey-do lists and many other things screaming: GET THIS DONE! And whether you try to keep a list in your head or are an obsessive list-maker, you can always use a helping hand.
Tech to the rescue
In this digital age, there are a few tools – those last bastions of order in a disordered world – that can help you stay organized. Now, they can’t fold and put away your laundry or help manage that one drawer in your house – you know the one! – where tools, utensils and knickknacks go to die. These apps can, however, help you get organized in several different ways. Here are few of my favorites:
While the name might be a bit misleading (unfortunately, it doesn’t turn your smartphone into a flask), Bartender organizes your menu bar and keeps all of your apps in one place rather than strewn about your desktop. If you like a clean and simple desktop, it’s the perfect app. It’s great for work or home and helps me access the information or apps that I need in an easy to use way. So while my actual desk might be a hurricane of papers, my computer is the eye of the storm: a peaceful, high-functioning oasis amid the chaos of the day-to-day.
Ever have that one idea – "the" idea, you were convinced – that was going to blow the minds of people across the world? And you wrote it down on some fast food napkin that got destroyed in the spin cycle. Never again! Evernote helps you keep track of your ideas, even if it’s just a picture of the napkin you wrote on. With Evernote, you get out of it what you put into it, but it can be super effective for organizing all of your – certainly brilliant – ideas and projects. Evernote makes it easy to:
- Organize thoughts, projects, recipes, bucket list – whatever
- Add images and screenshots
- Collaborate with others on different devices
- Create to-do lists
When you work with a group of people, nothing is worse than when everyone is pulling in a different direction. If you were all in a rowboat, the thing would be spinning in nauseating circles. But you’re not in a boat – you’re in business and Nozbe helps keep everyone headed in the same direction.
Created by Michael Sliwinski, chief editor for Productive! Magazine, Nozbe is a monthly subscription-based app that runs on your computer and uses the Getting Things Done® (GTD®) concept. Similar to popular project management systems Workamajig® and Basecamp®, it's ideal for corporate use because it helps you:
- Organize employees
- Save time
- Prioritize projects
- Eliminate distractions
- Notes and Reminders
This mac-based app is perfect for people who don’t need much, just a few reminders and a place to jot down ideas. Notes and Reminders is simple to use, easy to sync with your online calendar and also allows you to incorporate pictures and screen grabs. Nothing crazy. No bells or whistles. It’s just a user-friendly app that gets the job done.
- Post-it® Notes
For the technological neophytes among us, here’s a tried and true app that harkens back to the good ole days. Okay – nothing gets by you, you maven of order. And, you’re right, Post-it notes aren’t an app, but that means they don’t need be downloaded or updated and they’re compatible with any desktop, but look especially good on oak or cherry. Post-it notes are the low-tech, keep-it-real option. They come in several colors, so you can develop an organizational system that makes sense to you, and they’re pretty easy to obtain – just look in the nearest desk drawer.
Finally, some order in the court
These are some of my personal favorites, but new apps are always being developed and upgraded. If you’re looking to get organized in 2017 and you’re checking out these organizational apps, you’re already headed in the right direction. Now you just need to find the right app for you... Pretty soon you’ll be an organizational machine, at least with your work schedule and tasks. But even these apps have limits – namely your attic. There’s no app or computer strong enough or smart enough to tackle that mess.
Do you use apps to help organize your crazy life? What are some of your faves?
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