Apps to Help You Get Organized
I try to maintain a paperless house. Having too much clutter, especially paper clutter, stresses me out big time. So, when paper comes into the house, through mail or bringing something home from work, it immediately gets filed or recycled.
How do I keep this system going?
Like many people, I use my phone for everything. Having apps to keep me organized really makes this paperless life possible.
I also love to-do lists. I really love them. But on paper, they don’t work for me. Sometimes I write down a to-do item in a notebook in my bedroom and I forget about it by the time I get to my desk, which means it never gets done.
After doing this a few times, and forgetting everything, I started to use apps on my phone more consistently. Here are a few of my favorite apps to stay organized.
I discovered Google Drive when I was in graduate school and I use it for everything. When I want to create a document, write a letter, or brainstorm ideas, I use Google Docs. It’s just like Microsoft Word, except that it automatically saves your documents and you can access them on any computer you log into. (No more emailing yourself documents!)
You might laugh, but I actually created a spreadsheet for Christmas gifts. I can keep track of all the gifts I’ve bought for family members so I don’t accidentally give them the same thing twice. I installed the Google Sheets app (like Excel) onto my phone so I can update my spreadsheet while I’m out shopping. It syncs automatically, so any changes I made on my computer are automatically visible on my phone. My gift list is always updated!
If you have a Gmail account, you have access to Google Drive, for free! Log in to Google Drive and play around to see what you can do. Create a new document and you’ll see that it looks like a much simpler version of Word. Google Sheets looks like Excel, and Google Slides is like PowerPoint.
Anything you create in Google Drive is connected to your Gmail account, so even if you log onto a different computer, you’ll see your documents in your Google Drive account.
I’m pretty sure everyone I know uses Evernote to organize files, make checklists, and save ideas. Like Google Drive, it automatically syncs from your phone to the computer, so if you need to add something to your to-do list, you can pop it into Evernote on your phone and it will appear on Evernote on your computer, instantly.
That Christmas list that I keep in Excel would be much less nerdy, yet equally accessible, in an Evernote file.
Here’s where I’ll say to choose the system that works best for you. I’ve tried Evernote a few times and it doesn’t work for me, but more than 100 million people use Evernote, so it’s worth trying.
Back to Google. Did you know that your Gmail account also includes a to-do list feature? It does. When you’re signed into Gmail, click on mail in the left corner and you’ll see a dropdown with Contacts and Tasks.
Now you can add items to your to-do list on your phone and they’ll show up on your email account when you log in on your computer.
(Can you tell I’m in love with apps that sync from the phone to the computer? It makes life so much easier.)
Want to keep your passwords organized? Sign up for LastPass. It saves all of your passwords and auto-fills them when you’re logging into a website. It also suggests passwords that are very secure. No more 123password protecting your bank account!
These apps will help you organize and declutter loose papers by storing everything online. File away important papers and keep your to-do lists and documents online where you can access them from your phone or your computer.