FREE Apps to help you stay organized
Here are some great apps to help you get organized
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One of the problems for people with multiple interests is staying organized. We have so many projects on the go at once, that sometimes we get a little muddled. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are plenty of resources we can use to stay on track with our projects and have a better organized life and business. Here are some of the apps and resources I’ve used to keep myself organized over the years.
1. A good old planner and/or calendar
Yep, I still use paper-based planning tools, for several reasons. A., I always have them with me, whether or not I have Internet access; B., I enjoy handwriting and doodling. My day book gives me a space to be creative and to write important things down at the same time. I highly recommend starting one if you’re multi-talented.
2. A Scanner Day Book
I started a Scanner Day Book after reading Barbara Sher’s Refuse to Choose!, an excellent book for all multi-talented people and those who love them.
I think all multi-talented people should have a Scanner Day Book—a place where you can write all your awesome ideas down. A place where you give all your great ideas value, even if they don’t get actioned.
You get to plan out all of your ideas without making a commitment to making them happen. If one day you do decide to make them happen, you have a starting point with the things you’ve written down.
Evernote is a software that helps you “remember everything.” I mostly use it to save notes that I don’t want to accumulate in my house anymore. For example, I kept several notes from university (they were really good notes!) and had several binders full of them.
I was trying to clear out the house, but didn’t want to throw out my notes. So I scanned all the contents of my binders into Evernote, where I can keep my carefully written knowledge for years to come.
I also use Evernote to save emails and receipts for my tax files. I put them in a notebook called “Taxes” and tag them with the year. At tax time, all I have to do is do a search for the year, then send all the files to my accountant.
Basic Evernote is free, but the premium version allows more uploads and offers other extra features.
AnyList a free app that does exactly what its name says: allows you to write any list. I use it mostly for grocery lists; however, I also have lists of books to read, movies to watch, and articles to write, among others.
The neatest part of this app is that you can share your lists with other people either via the app or via text. For example, if my husband goes to the grocery store, I can simply click a button on the app to share my grocery list via text with him, and it automatically sends the list. If he also has the app installed, it automatically updates his list when I make updates to mine.
As most of you know, I’m a homeschooling mother of three young children, and I do my writing and editing part-time on the side. It’s an incredibly busy life, and I couldn’t get things done without a list.
HomeRoutines is a free app that allows you to create lists of chores, ad you can then check them off as you complete them. I love that it gives you little gold starts as you accomplish tasks (yep, I still love my little gold stars, and I think that’s perfectly fine).
This app also provides a cleaning schedule so you can just follow it and not have to worry about remembering what to clean each day. Truth be told, my house isn’t very clean these days, but when I have a minute or two, I do the “zone cleaning” suggested in the app.
I probably use Pinterest a little differently than most. Rather than just using it to pin beautiful images, I use it as a major source of my organization plan.
I use it for posting articles I want to read later, but I also use it for organizing meal plans. I pin each recipe that I’ll make in a week, then go back and look at that board each day.
I also pin several things related to the writer’s life, so be sure to check out my boards for great information about several different types of writing.
YNAB helps me keep track of income and expenses—both business and personal. My husband and I have been able to be debt-free (except for the mortgage) for several years, and YNAB is a big part of it.
We know exactly where our money goes, and we’re able to plan for the future with ease. And when our kids ask us for something impossibly expensive, we’re confident and guilt-free saying, “it’s not in the budget.”
If you’re even mildly curious, it’s worth giving it a try. You can try it free for 34 days without providing any financial information. There’s a bit of a learning curving to using the software, but it’s worth learning.
I use it both for personal finance as well as business finance. One of the most useful features for the latter is the fact that YNAB collects reports. I’ve set up YNAB in accordance with expense lines in the tax form for entrepreneurs, so at the end of the fiscal year, everything is already categorized, making life easier both for me as well as for my accountant.
A huge part of my marketing strategy is good old-fashioned meeting people. I go to conferences, business mixers, and any event that I enjoy and/or think would be useful for getting referrals or prospects.
That means I end up with a lot of business cards, and as I’ve said before, I’m trying to clear out my house of paper and junk. CamCard helps me do this. I simply take a photo of each business card I collect, and the app automatically enters the information for me. I can then categorize the card according to business type.
The software isn’t perfect—it doesn’t always recognize non-standard fonts. In that case, I need to manually enter some of the information, but because there’s a picture of the card available, I often opt for skipping that step and just looking it up by category when I need it.
For all parents and caregivers, here’s an app that both you and your children will love. ChoreMonster lets kids check off their chores and collect little monsters as they accumulate points for completed chores.
Each monster has its own personality, and a card to explain it, along with a 2-5 second video of the monster doing a silly action. My kids love collecting their monsters. You can also opt to offer rewards such as a short video, or you can add your own.
This app helps keep my kids (and me) stay organized, remember our chores, and also creates less of a fight in the morning for getting stuff done.
10. Time Panther
One of the things many entrepreneurs have difficulty with is managing their time. Enter Time Panther. This app is extremely useful for tracking time spent on each project, and if you charge by the hour (though you shouldn’t), it automatically calculates your rates for you.
This app is simple to learn and use, and can be a great teaching tool for learning where your time is going. Time Panther is still in beta, which means all features are currently free to use.
There are so many apps out there that will help you get organized, but these are the ones I use. I’m always willing to hear about great organization tools. What apps do you use? Let me know in the comments!
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