I like being as busy as possible. However, I don’t like busy trying to figure out everything that I have to do or planning the best way to be working on multiple ventures and activities at once. That’s why I continually aim to improve my organization skills each year. This year, I have no excuse but to achieve that resolution because of the numerous new apps that are available to organize my work and life.
I am not affiliated with any of the companies in the article. They have been selected because I am currently using them and wanted to share them with other entrepreneurs who may be resolving to make improvements in how they structure their days, weeks and months.
Every smartphone or mobile device comes with a calendar. In fact, I’ve always sworn by my Google calendar. However, Calendar.com has an app that brings the many calendars I have together in one spot and even allows me to easily share this information with whomever I choose. It even has a natural language feature so I can just input a couple words and the app then recognizes what I’m trying to do or find. It’s ideal for meetings and working with teams. Another cool feature is that it calculates the best route, mode of transportation and optimum time it will take to get to an event, appointment or meeting. Basically, it does a lot of the thinking for me, which is helpful when you are on the go and have many things on your mind.
I like this Chrome extension because it gives me a personal dashboard that is designed to help me stay focused on my priorities, deliver positive inspiration to ramp up motivation and offer customized information that helps me achieve those priorities. The extension asks me each day what my main task is that day, which helps me to really think about what I’m doing rather than making a mental list and hoping I get through some of it. Even better is that it serves as a parent or teacher by taking away the main browser tab that often leads me astray to sites where I am not accomplishing my list of priorities.
Don’t let the title fool you. This is no general organization site for “stuff” and “things” that go on a to-do list. Instead, this app is the real deal when it comes to helping me organize tasks in a thoughtful way. While it does a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of putting it down and offering me reminders and visual plans to complete my day, it also makes me think more deeply and reflect on how I approach each day. This reduces a lot of the stress for me. It also helps that the app divides up the day so I don’t have to look at those things I have to do that can only be finished at home. Not having to look at them creates a better focus on only the tasks that really need my attention and that I can control. This includes larger tasks where the app breaks it down into manageable items that relate to the bigger one. Also, there is the option to look at the upcoming tasks so I maintain a longer range sense of planning and organization.
The newest version of this relatively new app for iOS and the Mac helps me stay updated and organized when it comes to all the content that I want to consume. This helps me be more efficient with how I use my time to catch up on the trends, issues, and insights out there. It supports multiple media sites I like to get my information from and organizes it for me so I don’t have to go to each site and find articles of interest. These media sites include Feedly, Fever, NewsBlur and more. Plus, it supports local and standalone RSS. Additionally, it includes sharing services so I can send anything of interest to my team who may be on Buffer, Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, email or other sites and platforms.
Sometimes the hardest things to organize and keep where I can find them are my thoughts. That’s what Google must have realized when they created the Keep app. I can record audio, save notes and thoughts and add photos — all in one place. This has helped me from losing ideas and other valuable content that could have been useful later on during a project. Notebooks and scraps of paper can get lost, but the Keep app is always with me. The location-based and time-based reminders are other features that keep me on time and on task.
While Keep is great for passing thoughts and brainstorming, DayOne is a way for me to keep a daily journal of reflections that help me find time to work on my personal development. It’s an easy way to keep a journal, which helps me think more consciously about the goals I set for myself in life and business. If I didn’t have a digital way to do this with cloud management so I could access it from anywhere, I probably wouldn’t keep a journal. It has password capability to keep my thoughts secure and private, which helps especially if I’m putting down new business ideas or thoughts related to any type of proprietary information I have through my business.
Go Beyond Technology
Although it benefits me and my organization skills immensely to have these new apps, their power is not truly activated until I completely commit to working on becoming more organized. There is a mental process where you must decide that you want to be more organized and efficient with your time. Otherwise, these tools will rust in their toolbox, unused and unappreciated. When you truly want to be organized, you will put your mental energy to work to do so.