I use a lot of apps and tools to stay organized and productive, and today I’d like to share some of those with you. Maybe this is the first of a series of blog posts on the topic? Let me know what you think, and what you’d like to see more of.
For those who don’t know, I work from home. I have been a remote employee since Day 1 of my current job and it’s the first remote job I’ve had. It was certainly an adjustment and I had to figure out how to structure my time, stay organized and keep track of everything. One of the things I realized very early on was that I needed a way to take notes during meetings (conference calls). I experimented with a few other options before settling on Evernote. I love how I can have separate notebooks for different things (personal, work, old work stuff that I still want to hold on to, standing items/quick reference, etc.). Within notebooks, I can tag things by subject. My notes sync across my devices so I can make my grocery list on my desktop and then access it on my phone at the store! They have a great companion app, Scannable, which has pretty much eliminated the need for a traditional scanner device.
This was another tool I discovered for work in my remote job. I was looking for a way to share task lists with my staff. I played around with some Google Sheets for a while, but found they were too simple for what we wanted to do, but full-blown Project Management programs (like Microsoft Project, for example) were way to complex and offered way more than we needed. Asana is in that perfect sweet spot of helpful features and team collaboration tools, but is super user-friendly and simple to use. While we use it a lot for shared projects at work (such as Convention prep where there are so many moving parts), I also use it to set agendas for meetings (so my staff and I can both add things we need to discuss ahead of time, and I can easily delegate tasks as a result of the meeting). Personally, I’ve used it for planning big projects in my volunteer life (like developing some social media plans for this blog as well as the Zelienople Horse Trading Days social media accounts that I manage). Again, it syncs across devices, which I LOVE.
3. GTasks App
This one is strictly an iOS app (though I’m sure there are Android options as well). I use Google Calendar for my main calendar, and I like to use the tasks feature to keep track of random tasks (like “schedule Ziva’s groomer appointment” or “buy birthday card for Luke” and things like that). While Google Calendar has a great iOS app, it does not incorporate tasks and this always annoyed me. Finally, I found GTasks, which syncs your Google Calendar tasks to their app on your phone. You can also make additional tasks lists, though I prefer things to sync across devices (in case you couldn’t tell that from the first two apps on this list). I’ve also found this useful for things I remember when I’m out and about that I want to take care of the next time I’m at my desk – I pop the task into my iOS app and then boom! It shows up on my computer when I log in!
Dashlane is a secure password manager. Not only does it store all of my login info and passwords, it will also auto-login on websites and auto-fill forms, saving me time that would otherwise be spent looking up passwords (because I can’t remember that website’s dumb password rules which are different from every other website’s dumb password rules). Again, this syncs across devices! This is a paid subscription service, but I have found it to be such a worthwhile investment. Its features include a random password generator and a password analysis tool, which both keep my accounts more secure!
What are your favorite organizational tools/apps? Comment below! Also let me know if this is something you’d like to see more of on the blog!