Smartphones, tablets and laptops may have improved our productivity overall, but there IS a tradeoff. Emails, notes, ideas, recipes, documents, photos, to-do lists, passwords, receipts, posts, tweets, etc can take up a lot of time! Luckily there are loads of digital apps and services out there that can help you better organize your life and free up some of your valuable time.
Since there are literally hundreds of thousands of apps out there, finding the ones that actually work for you can seem overwhelming.
Here are 10 I really like that will help you manage your tasks, track your time, and stay organized. Plus, most of them are FREE!
Evernote (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
If you find yourself jotting down notes in several different places throughout the day to help yourself remember important things, then Evernote is a must-have app for you. Create notes and lists for yourself, save articles and recipes from online, upload photos, work collaboratively, and more. Evernote is available as an app on nearly every device, so you’ll be able to access your Evernote content anywhere, automatically.
Evernote Scannable (Free, available in the Apple app store)
Scannable, also created by Evernote, turns your phone into a quick and accurate scanner. It uses the camera in your phone to scan documents, notes, business cards, receipts, and more into your phone, turning them into images or searchable documents that you can share and save with ease. Say goodbye to that stack of wrinkled receipts in your purse!
Wunderlist (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
I’ve always been a compulsive list-maker, which is why I can’t live without Wunderlist! It makes it easy to make grocery lists, to-do lists, Christmas lists, or any kind of list you may need to make, and keep them synched across all of your devices. It’s also easy to share your lists, so you can send the grocery list to your husband when you know he’s near the store.
Cozi (Free, available in the Apple and Google app stores)
This app is one of those apps that makes me jealous that I didn’t have this kind of technology when my kids were young. :-) Cozi is a Family Organizer app that makes it easy to keep track of each family members appointments and events in one central calendar. Each family member’s calendar events display in a different color, so it’s easy to keep track of who’s doing what. Older kids can contribute from their own account, while parents can input information for the younger kids. In addition to a family calendar, you can also create to-do lists for individual or multiple family members, and there’s also a journal section, where family members can upload text or photos of fun family memories. The variety of features that Cozi offers make it a great tool for families of any age range to stay connected.
Key Ring (Free, available on the Apple and Google app stores)
We all love the perks of using store loyalty cards, but who wants to keep track of all of those cards? I ended up getting a separate case for all of my cards before I realized there must be a better solution… and that’s Key Ring! Use Key Ring to scan and store all of your store loyalty card info, as well as other cards like gym membership cards, library cards, and gift cards. Just bring up the barcode of the card you want to use, and it will be able to be scanned just like any other card.
Artkive ($4.99, available on the Apple and Google app stores)
Got a few budding artists in the family? Keep your children’s artwork organized and close at hand with Artkive. Snap a photo of the artwork, tag it with any details you want (which child drew it, the date they drew it, etc.) and store it. Easily share your kids’ art with your family, or even have a collection of their artwork made into a custom book (for an additional fee, of course).
Shutterfly (Free, available on the Apple and Google app stores)
Shutterfly is similar to Artkive, but for photos instead of art. Upload your photos into Shutterfly, which keeps them organized and makes it easy to email them to family and friends. But the best part is how easy they make it create and order your own custom photo book. You can also order a ton of other fun photo gifts too, like coasters, canvas prints, playing cards, and more.
MyHomework Student Planner (Free, available on Apple and Google app stores)
Take the stress out of schoolwork by setting up an account for your student with MyHomework. They can enter their assignments and test dates into the app, which will create a calendar and reminders for them. Plus, you can also log into their account and make sure they’re getting everything accomplished.
52 Organizing Missions ($9.99, available on the Apple app store)
This app is definitely pricier, but it could prove to be an invaluable tool if you stick with it! This app provides you with one 30-minute home organization task each week. That’s not so bad, right? Missions range from “organize your emergency contacts” to “conquer your storage space”, so that when all 52 missions are completed, you’ll be feeling a LOT more organized than when you began! Committing to completing the 52 Organizing Missions would make a great New Year’s Resolution for next year!
30/30 (Free, available in the Apple app store)
This app is great for those who have a competitive streak (or at least like working on tasks for a set amount of time). :-) Use 30/30 to set up a list of tasks you want to complete, and how much time you want to spend on them. If you need a couple of extra minutes on a task, simply tap a button to add time, or subtract time if you finished early. Staying on task has never been this easy!
What are your favorite productivity tools and apps?