I love my phone. It’s this tiny little computer full of resources and information that fits in my back pocket, always handy, always accessible. It’s fabulous.
If you can organize it.
Which is, of course, the catch. Just because information is digital doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find, or in your phone rather than in your head, or on a dozen pieces of paper scattered throughout the house and in your purse and the car and everywhere else. Good apps make data useful which is what makes it valuable.
Remember the Milk
I’ve always thought it was a bit of a silly name but it turns out it’s one of my favorite organization apps. I spent years not using it, even after my best friend recommended it, because of the name. But then I got a job where the entire department was completely unorganized. I researched several different programs and came around to Remember the Milk. And then fell in love. It’s a task list app for those of us who like lists (those of you crazy coconuts who don’t can skip to the next app).
I LOVE that you can set due dates because then I don’t have to think of it again until I need to think of it.
You can separate tasks onto different lists. You might want a work list and a home list. Or have different lists for different projects to keep your information focused.
You can also organize tasks by tags. Tags are displayed on all tasks as a handy, colorful identification. Maybe you want to use tags to differentiate email tasks from errand tasks or a phone call. That way you can plan your day by easily recognizing driving tasks from computer tasks.
My favorite feature is SUB-TASKS. So you’ve got a big thing to do with lots of little pieces. You can can keep track of the little pieces. You can set separate due dates and separate tags and still keep them all under the big task. That way you don’t forget the little pieces. And have a good perspective on what’s left to accomplish the big thing. And you know when it’s all done.
If you’re working with a team, you can also assign tasks.
The best part of it is that they have a nice clean interface, both Android and iPad and iPhone apps, and a PC app. Remember the Milk also offers GREAT customer service.
For projects that require more information than a task list, I love OneNote.
Yes, it’s basically the non-EverNote of the note taking world. But I’ve used both EverNote and OneNote and much prefer OneNote.
I like the tabs and the pages and the way data is organized.
They have a PC app and iPhone and iPad apps as well as an Android app. I love that I can use my laptop when I need a keyboard and then access that information on my mobile device.
I like the flexibility of how data is organized on the page, in different sections if I want. There’s checklists (with no due date or reminders which is why I still love RTM). But checklists can still be handy. I can include links and pictures and videos. I can have multiple notebooks and share them with other people.
Basically, our entire blog is organized in OneNote.
It seems obvious, but there’s a reason a calendar is one of the basics of organization apps. Since you’ve got email, you have a digital calendar (like Google or Outlook). And they’ve got an app to access your calendar on your phone, or you can link that account to the default calendar app on your phone.
Yes, it takes a minute or two to add an event to your calendar, but since you’ve got the app you don’t need to wait until you’re sitting at a computer. But it’s worth it to be able to quickly view what your day or week looks like and plan accordingly.
You can invite people to events, like family members who need to be aware of the appointment or friends who will join you for the event. And you can include the address so when the time comes it’s easy to plug into a map app.
Set reminders for 15 min before or an hour if you need to travel and don’t waste any more mental space on keeping track of when things are happening.
Craziness, I know! Pinterest isn’t just for fun and for pretty pictures, it can be a way to keep information organized. Because sometimes I don’t need to keep information (which I use OneNote for). It’s not something I need to do (or I’d use RTM) or information I need to complete a project. It’s something I want to be able to reference occasionally. Or something I want to remember for a future project. Like all the best places to visit from London. I’ll totally need that the next time I go to London, but that’s not today. Or next month.
Basically, I think of Pinterest as a better bookmarking system than any browser offers. The images make it easy to remember what a link is. Boards make it easy to organize pins. And searching on Pinterest makes it easy to find new information.
Plus, if you’re not using a recipe app, Pinterest can also be a great way to keep you recipes organized. But, really, why aren’t you using a recipe app?
What are your favorite apps to keep your digital life organized?