One of my strengths is my obsession with being organized, (which my kids and co-workers may refer to as my OCD.) There are few things that get me more excited than a creating a perfectly designed spreadsheet or watching our efficient and systematic picking and packing process here at Dotcom. Even at home I'm compulsively organized; my shoes are all kept in their original boxes, with a photograph of the shoe printed on a label applied to the box. It's my personal form of style optimization.
Now that so much of my business is done online from my phone or tablet, I'm now hooked on finding new ways to become more organized in the digital space. Here are my 10 favorite apps to stay organized and keep my team and me productive.
This is my go-to app. It's perfect for taking notes in meetings or after a call with a client. You can also attach any relevant articles, documents, or presentations to the corresponding notes, keeping all of the information consolidated for reference. My favorite feature? You can record a meeting or interview right into your note. This allows my team and me to be fully present at meetings, instead of caught up in jotting down notes. This app has the added benefit of a desktop version, that syncs to your phone and tablet.
https://evernote.com/ Free; $24.99 - $120 for Plus, Premium, and Business
Combined with Evernote, I use this app for both business and my personal life. I keep folders of all of the projects I'm working on and have the ability to work on them from anywhere anytime, on any device. I love the camera upload feature where any pictures taken on my iphone, ipad or even SLR (using an Eye-Fi card) are automatically uploaded to my dropbox account and are available on all devices. As someone who loves all new technology, Dropbox makes it very easy to always have the latest laptop, tablet etc.. because all you have to do is log into your Dropbox account and all of your files are there.
http://dropbox.com Free; $9.99 & up for Pro and Premium
As a frequent flyer for both work and pleasure, this app is the absolute best for keeping all my flight confirmations, hotel and restaurant reservations. While I'm not sure if it was intended to be a travel diary, I also use it to keep pictures and notes of places I either want to return to or recommend. It also makes it incredibly easy to forward any other emails related to your trip straight to app, such as a note from a friend about their travel recommendations, or an article you read about your destination. With the premium version, you can also keep track of your frequent flyer points. This has been a perfect alternative to my giant file-folder that I was using pre-smart phone.
https://www.tripit.com/ Free; or $4.09/month for Tripit Pro.
This group texting app is perfect for those who love keeping in touch via text message, but don't love the constant distraction of being in the middle of 10-person group text. With GroupMe you can turn off notifications and check in on your group text during period intervals, just like you would check your email. I use this primarily to keep in touch with my family, who is spread up and down the east coast. It can also be used for team projects or for checking in with virtual employees or co-workers in an effort to keep work texts separate from your personal texts.
After reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin, I have become increasingly interested in how to use my habits to keep me more organized. Yes, you can always be more organized. With HabitList you set any habits you want to stick to such as drinking more water, publishing consistent social media posts, or even attending more social or networking events. Once you set your habit, you can decide how often you'd like to stick with it (Everyday? Once per month?) and HabitList keeps you motivated with streaks, trends, and progress tracking. This is great for any tasks you need to do consistently and the positive reinforcement can make your routine and mundane tasks more enjoyable.
Unlike HabitList, Toodledo is you guessed it, a to-do list, and is great for keeping track of tasks that may not happen as regularly as your habits. The great thing about this app is that you can create tasks and subtasks which can then be shared and assigned to your team. This is great for projects that have a lot of pieces and parts, such as organizing a presentation or a large event, and helps keep everyone on your team on track. If you sign up for one of the premium versions, you can also add any docs you're working on.
https://toodledo.com Free /$14.99 /$29.99 /$89.99
This web-based app (not yet available for a phone or tablet) is great for any business that is juggling content management on a day-to-day basis, which nowadays is most businesses! This program is perfect for scheduling blog posts, online articles, social media content, and for working with a team on managing an editorial calendar together. It also integrates with Evernote and Google Docs so you don't have to waste your time copy and pasting content from one app to the next.
http://coschedule.com/ $15 - $60/month
Now that your content, to-do lists, and habits are all organized, it's probably necessary to have this other app that helps prevent procrastination. This app is pretty intuitive in that you can let it know why you're procrastinating (my task is too big, I have to be perfect, etc.) and it will prompt you on how to take the next step. My favorite part about this app is the timer. It allows you to set a specific amount of time to spend on a task, add it to your calendar, and then get started with the clock ticking. You can then set rewards for yourself to keep you motivated through the end of your productive time.
I think of Venmo as my check-writing app. Between holidays, birthdays, and personal events this is an easy way to track who you're paying back, and who's paying you back without having to sign in to your bank account and search for a cleared check. This is definitely more useful to keep you organized in your personal life, rather than at work.
If you're planning on downloading any of these other apps, you definitely need to get Keeper. This is a secure username and password keeper to help keep you sane as you try to log into your multiple accounts, all with slightly similar but varying passwords. It has the ability to add fields and you can even install the app on your web browser to fill in your passwords for all sites after only logging into the keeper site. I'm pretty sure I'd be wasting a lot of time trying passwords without this one.
https://keepersecurity.com/ 9.99 per year
What are your favorite apps for staying organized? Let me know in the comments below!