According to a report by the National Association of Professional Organizers, we spend, on average, one year of our lives looking for lost items—whether physical (wallet, keys, an important document) or digital (emails, photos, that one song that gets stuck in your head). One year! What could you do with an extra year on your hands?
Thankfully, nowadays, organizing your life—from your desk drawers to your email inbox—is nigh effortless. As the saying goes, there’s an app for that—or, rather, there are countless apps, all designed to tidy up particular parts of your life. Put them together, and you’ll find in your pocket a device dedicated to streamlining every part of your life. Just tap the download button and these apps will get right down to business—no personal assistant required. And for more ways to make the most of this amazing thing in your pocket, check out the 20 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Your Smartphone Could Do.
IFTTT, which stands for “If this then that,” is useful beyond your wildest dreams. If you’re often overwhelmed by the multitude of apps and their various different functions, IFTTT is here to simplify your digital life. The app gives you numerous ways to connect all of your services, called “applets.” These applets basically automate your daily workflow, whether you’re using websites or apps. For example, you can choose to have IFTTT automatically email users when they comment on your WordPress blog. Or you can even install an applet that turns on the lights in your home as soon as you park the car in the garage. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. And for more ways to clean up your life, check out these 40 Genius Ways to Be More Organized After 40.
For far too long, we’ve suffered from the wrath of the never-empty inbox. To get rid of every unwanted subscription (I had 135, if you’re curious), Unroll.Me will scan your inbox to provide you with the complete list of your subscriptions. Then, from that list, you can choose to either unsubscribe, keep the subscription, or add it to a rollup—a compilation of any subscriptions that you choose to stick together that you will then receive as one solitary email once a week. Inbox Zero awaits!
Instead of just winging your next trip, maybe you should try uploading your plans into TripIt first. To use Tripit, simply forward your flight, hotel, or rental car confirmation emails to the app, which will then create a to-do list of your travel plans. Even better, these travel plans are always available—even when you’re stuck on the train with no service. If you’re a frequent traveler, it might be a good idea to invest in Trip It Pro, where you’ll get instant notifications if your flight has been delayed or canceled. And if your flight has been canceled, the app will find you another one instantly. Finally—more time to actually vacation on your vacation.
24me: for those days when you really could have used an extra three pairs of hands and brains to help you complete your to-do list. The app allows you to generate both digital and physical tasks (like installing a painting) that can link to other apps, like Facebook, TaskRabbit, and personal finance service PageOne, just to name a few. The app will give you reminders to check off tasks, often with an easy way for you to complete said task. For example, if you need to pay a bill, 24me will provide you with a link to pay it. And if you’re looking for more ways to tidy up, check out these 20 Easy Tips for Keeping Your Closet Organized.
We probably don’t need to tell you all the myriad of ways you’re putting yourself at risk by using the same password for everything. To give yourself more password variation with added security, it may be time to employ the skills of password manager LastPass. Penny-pinchers, take note: while this app isn’t free, the $2 to $4 monthly charge, depending on your needs, offers a place to store, create, and remember passwords. This app is also great for small businesses, as multiple users can share access to certain passwords.
The Pocket app allows you a space to save every article, video, and image you find on the web or social media. Basically, instead of bookmarking everything on your internet safari, you can send it over to the app where it will be stored and saved. Even better, you have the option of sharing any of your saved media with The Pocket community or on any social media platforms. And if you need to organize your IRL photos, check out The Best Way to Organize Your Photos.
This app is the to-do list app for those people who despise making to-do lists. In the Todoist app, you can create, store, and manage tasks all in a super user-friendly interface. Not only that, but you can also group tasks and manage projects based on their different categories like “personal,” “shopping,” “work,” and “errands.” All of these tasks will appear in your task inbox, where you will get to prioritize them from there. Plus, to top it all off, you can sync lists between your desktop, phone, and tablet. Finally, a to-do list that doesn’t instantly give you anxiety.
If you’re the type to spend hours on your phone each day (data suggests you are), RescueTime is the app for you. This application is especially useful for those of you looking to fully optimize their time—or maybe even for those looking to disconnect. RescueTime lays out your time spent on each app and website in a very simple graph. For those looking to trim down their time spent aimlessly surfing through apps, you can set goals for yourself that are then tracked on the app.
Mindnode is for the quick brainstorm session on your morning commute, or for the story you’ve meant to write, but all of the pieces of the puzzle aren’t coming together. Finally, get your story straight with this easy-to-use application. To begin your brainstorming process, you create a main “node” with other subnodes stemming out in colorful lines from the original. So, ditch the dream journal and download Mindnode to keep all of your daydreams in one safe place.
My Fitness Pal
Wherever you are on your fitness journey, My Fitness Pal by Under Armour is here to help. First, users will put in the basic information about their height, weight, exercise activity, and weight goals. Once you’ve entered that information, the app will tell you how many calories a day you should be eating based on your height, weight, and exercise activity in order to lose (or gain) weight efficiently. You can track every meal and workout throughout your day in the app—in fact, the savviest thing about My Fitness Pal is the enormous library of food that it contains. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the app (which is highly unlikely, then you can enter it manually. My Fitness Pal is also synced to your Apple Health, meaning that your steps tracked will appear on the app as well, factoring into your total calories for each day.
Calling all gym junkies—this app is calling your name. Fit Notes allows users to log and track reps and workouts on-the-go. It also allows you to create your own fitness calendar in advance, and, during those workouts, the app gives you a rest timer, which you can set yourself. Even better, you can stay on top of your fitness goals by using Fit Notes’ graphs of your progress thus far.
This app is especially great for college students looking to save a few trees—or forests, really. Since Evernote works on most systems, users can take advantage of the many perks of the note-taking app from anywhere. Organize your notes into separate “notebooks,” or, if you’re sick of typing, easily upload audio recordings into the app. Evernote is also a great tool for companies looking to share notes, to-do lists, and graphs. Whether you’re an impulsive creator of to-do lists or just looking for a way to document all of your loose thoughts, Evernote is a great way to boost productivity.
While it’s true that Dropbox is one of the best apps to upload, save, and send files, there are some serious organizational benefits you may not be already taking advantage of. For instance, you can also use Dropbox to sync your music library between computers and the cloud, so it’s the same on every platform. But perhaps the best time-saving strategy the app employs is the ability for users to automate the files inside. With Dropbox Automator, you can convert an image just by dropping it in or upload your pictures right to Facebook.
HomeZada: because at the end of a long work week, who will actually remember to fix a leaky faucet in the upstairs bathroom? Well, now you’ll remember, with this personalized digital home management app. To make the most out of the app, be sure to purchase the premium version ($59, billed annually) that allows you to create tasks, take on the recommended tasks (like fixing that leaky faucet), and track your spending during any home improvement projects.
Let’s face it—we all have that one friend who can never seem to get it together for tax season. This year, be a good friend and recommend Neat to (neatly) organize all of their W2s and important forms all in the same place. Scan documents into the app from anywhere, and organize them in a fashion that suits you. The coolest element of this application is the ability to take photos of your receipts and log your spending habits on any device—or, for your tax-challenged friend, the ability to log all necessary levels of sales and income taxes to maximize deductions come tax season. There are multiple price tiers, but the personal service is the best option for individual spenders ($6.67 per month). And for more great finance apps, check out these 10 Best Budgeting Apps to Boost Your Savings.
Medisafe is the ultimate way to keep track of your medications. The app allows you to log your various medications, how often you should be taking them, and view a calendar telling you when to take your next dose. Medisafe is also a great way for doctors to track their patient’s health and progress on the medication. What’s more, there’s even a feature that educates readers on the medication they’re taking, and provides further resources for whatever condition they may have.
This is a scene most of you are likely familiar with—you send an email to a coworker in a rush of fury, complaining about a new policy your boss has put in motion. You hit send and then quickly realize you sent that email to your boss instead. Instead of panicking, you’ll be glad that you’re using Newton Mail, which enables users to undo sent emails, saving many from terrible blunders like the aforementioned scenario. Newton Mail works with Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail/Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, Office 365, and all IMAP accounts, with added features like incorporating read receipts, and drafting posts and scheduling them to be sent at a later time. Personalize your email to not only save yourself from embarrassing moments but also to make your email work for you and your needs.
This app allows users to manage their various social media platforms (minus Instagram), all in one user-friendly dashboard. Effortlessly track how well your posts are doing and what audience seems to respond the best to your posts, allowing your growing platform to target a new clientele. HootSuite is also great for those users with a packed to-do list because it allows you to schedule posts weeks or months in advance, all available in a handy calendar on the app. HootSuite is making social media fun again.
This app focuses on the art of collaboration, meaning that it’s a great (and free) investment for any company. Asana keeps the whole team on the same page using a simple interface that allows everyone involved to coordinate work schedules and conversations, assign and receive tasks, and propose ideas all with the intention to make communication as efficient as possible.
Now, on to the next unit in need of some organization—the family. When the whole family downloads the Cozi app, they have shared access to notes and a calendar which can be edited by any member. This is an easy way to plan family meals or remind your daughter about her impending dentist appointment (you may have to set a few reminders for that one). And for more amazing smartphone apps, check out The Best Dating Apps if You’re Over 40.
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