Are you an organized and productive person? Do you aspire to be?
About half a year ago, a friend called me up on the phone and asked me if she could pick my brain on advice on being more organized so that she could get more done.
This post’s inspired by her! ❤
What’s my secret to being organized and getting things done? Honestly: I owe it to systems. Systems are everything.
And today, I’m sharing my not-so-secret systems for organizing all my ideas, to-do lists, & projects so that they get done.
As a student and event planner, an organized system is key to me – it keeps me sane, LOL. I truly owe a lot of my organizational skills to the power of digital applications – I use systems that keep me on task, remind me when things are due, and give me a platform in which I can organize my thoughts, ideas, and daily to-do list. Now, I share them with you…
Keep meeting & notes organized on Evernote.
If you ask me what my favourite note-taking application is, I will tell you “EVERNOTE!”. And if you ask me for a recommendation, I will tell you to stop, drop everything, and download Evernote. Because honestly, it is everything and can do pretty much anything! *heart-eyes*
Evernote is a note-taking application that works seamlessly throughout multiple platforms – phone, desktop, laptop, tablet. Similar to Google Drive, it works with Internet connection to synchronize all notes in real time so you can access it anywhere, anytime – but unlike Google Drive, you can actually still use it without Internet and it will sync once you are reconnected.
One great feature of Evernote is the ability to create multiple “notebooks” (like folders), in which you can organize notes for different areas of your life or interests. Right now, I have a notebook for personal thoughts that I have throughout my day, blog post ideas, and school notes.
Anyone can use Evernote, but it can especially benefit students, writers, administrators minute-takers at work-related meetings, bloggers, because you can keep notes in one place and share the document with ease, and everything is easily accessible via a mobile phone.
Similar to other cloud sharing program such as Dropbox or Google Drive, Evernote gives you the option to share and add people to your note for viewing or editing purposes.
What I use it for: I use Evernote to take down notes for webinars, online courses, and things I’m learning about blogging (because the learning never ends!). Right now, I’m taking Marie Forleo’s B-School program, which is a comprehensive online business school for modern entrepreneurs. It’s a hefty course, but Evernote makes organizing my notes for the course easy!
My favourite features: The ability to create checklists and to draw and write using a stylus into the app (if you have a stylus for your tablet, this feature is so much fun for diagrams), which is great for people who are highly visual learners or prefer to write this way. It’s also so user-friendly, so even if you are not technologically-advanced (neither am I), you’ll be fine.
Cost: Free and there is a business plan for $14.99 USD/per user for groups.
Remind yourself to do get things done with lists… Wunderlist.
If you’ve been looking for a to-do list, then Wunderlist is the wonder you’re looking for.
It’s available across all digital platforms – phone, laptop or desktop, tablet.
You can create different lists (To-Do, Groceries, Errands, Inbox (emails to send out or respond to), etc.) for various aspects of your life that you need to be accountable for and set reminders, time and date notifications for each task before they are due. This is great because I am naturally prone to forget things unless I have a visual or audio reminder. Writing things down in my calendar helps, but having a small audible notification go off on my phone helps even more.
What I use it for: I use Wunderlist for my daily reminders list. Sometimes, my tasks and responsibilities pile up. This application is very helpful because if you snooze an alarm, it can be set to repeat until you complete it. It helps me remember to pay my bills, call people back, send emails, etc. All very important tasks that ensure that my life and plans go on track as scheduled.
My favourite features: I find the user experience very easy to understand and the interface very clean!
Alternatives: Any.DO, ToDoist, Google Keep (Android users, this is a default app, but I personally don’t love the interface – I find Wunderlist a lot more streamlined)
Say hello to Trello, your best friend for projects.
Trello is an online project management tool, with “cards”, where you can write down project notes, add reminders, set due dates. You can create several “decks” within the app and label what each deck entails. I would describe it like stacked cue cards on a computer screen.
Instead of a dozen sticky notes everywhere, Trello keeps all of my flying ideas that relate to any projects that I have going in one place, that include writing this blog and my overall writing.
What I use it for: Academic projects, research papers, blog post ideas, thought flows.
My favourite features: I can visually map out how my projects are going – whether they’re academic projects, blog projects, or personal passion projects. I also love, love, love the customizable color background options. So much fun and vibrancy – it makes me happy.
Cost: Trello has a free forever plan which I am using, and paid plan, known as Trello Gold, that has more features. From the website, it says that Trello Gold gives you extra bits of fun and functionality, like the ability to enable three Power-Ups per board; additional stickers and board backgrounds; custom stickers, backgrounds, and emoji; larger attachments; and more.
Alternatives: Asana, Basecamp
You can use my referral link to get started with this wonderful application. (Note that this link is not an affiliate payout link – it does earn me a free month of the Premium plan if you use it, though!)
That’s a cap, everyone! I hope you enjoyed this list and give the apps (or any of the suggested alternatives) a try — come back and let me know what you think of them after using them! If you liked this post, pin it to save it! 🙂