I’m trying to get my life together here, and as much as I love the idea of being organized with cute notebooks, agenda’s, reminders and to-do lists; but my real schedule kicks down the door and screws everything up. In an attempt to get back to reality and progress, here are some organizational apps and tools to get your life in alignment again.
An app for your home. This app helps you get organized around the house with little reminders and tips to get you cleaned and organized. The setup, asks you custom questions regarding your home needs like appliances, outdoor areas and spaces you utilize, and what kind of tips you want for your home. It then links you to how to articles depending on what you use around your home.
For example: Have you cleaned your pillow lately?
I didn’t know this was a thing, but luckily there are instructions on how to do this with time and difficulty level indicated.
This guy looks like he was created just for me. This app is a glorified to do list. You can make your own and use their lists like groceries, movies to watch, travel, work, family, or private. You can even attempt to get your family on board by emailing or printing the lists.
So, not only can you make your work to-do list with reminders, you can also save your travel dream sheet and organize your groceries all in one place!
One bummer: you can’t make your own background image. The fun, travel themed backgrounds are available with paid subscriptions, so I’m slumming with their basic backgrounds. It would be nice to be able to load your own background of your own pets or travel photos.
Why didn’t I find this app earlier!?! If you’re living abroad, this is a great tool to supplement your language barriers. Speak into your phone and the app translates using voice and text. This would be great in a market or if you need directions in a foreign language.
The translation and voice speak sounds better than Google Translate, but apps continue to make improvements with updates.
Good for virtual workers to organize with teams! Projects are displayed on billboard type banners for your tasks and to-dos. This one took me a little bit longer to figure out. There’s a lot of features in there. You may assign tasks, add comments for projects. You can also track time for a project!
A more simplified to-do list. Simply add tasks you would like completed. Organized by project type (personal, shopping, movies to watch or make your own).
Note: Most of the features that are useful for team collaboration are only available with paid subscriptions (reminders, file uploads). Pssst… these come standard in other free organization apps.
Used by the big guys, for big teams, with big goals. Or you can use it for your small team too. This is another team organization tool to set up meetings, align goals, and get shit done.
I don’t use this but a client of mine does. It takes the work out of scheduling appointments. Just send someone your Calendly link and they can view your availability based on your designated office hours and duration. Great for high demand virtual workers, consultants, sales professionals, and teachers.
Evernote vs OneNote:
Evernote is the platform I currently use. It’s free and saves all your data in the mystical cloud. I like Evernote; however, I like One Note better.
I never appreciated One Note until I got to grad school, and I wished I used it earlier. Depending on your subscription, you can save your work to your computer or to the cloud. When I first used One Note, my subscription didn’t have the cloud feature, so when my computer was wiped clean, all my OneNote information was also cleaned out.
I switched to Evernote so I wouldn’t lose information if my computer crashed. But, like I said, OneNote does have a cloud feature subscription available, which I now have, but I feel like I’ve invested too much into my Evernote to switch out. One Note is a program or subscription so it has better features, but if you want the free program, go Evernote.
These are some of the other organization tools I use as a virtual worker/work from home professional. Some of these are no brainers, but then again, some might surprise you:
Skype – Meetings and a US (or other international) phone number. I have my US phone number for clients with Skype. It’s not pricey, it’s a tax write off, and calls come to my smart phone or desktop without dialing a mile-long international code with overseas charges. Skype is also the water cooler of virtual workers.
Zoom Meeting – For official meetings… mostly
QuickBooks – Invoicing and books
Time Clock Wizard – Time tracking for invoicing
WhatsApp – It works on your desktop too!
Microsoft Office – All programs with OneDrive
Spotify & Amazon Music – Because Pandora doesn’t work in The Netherlands
VPN – When you need to access websites for clients that don’t operate with European IP addresses… like Costco (true story, I had to order something for a US client and needed a VPN) annnnd Pandora. Just saying.
Google – Google Sheets, Google Translate, Google Maps… the list goes on
Canva – Social media marketing
Pixabay – Free images for social media marketing
The Best Organization Tool is the One You Use
Whatever tool you use, make sure it’s one that you’re going to truly use. Nothing wastes time more than a poorly conceived attempt to organize time. This is why I stopped buying organizers. As much as I love the idea of customizable organizer, I know I’ll never check it.
Also, it’s best to have an organization tool that syncs with multiple devices. If you work from home, it can be difficult to disconnect when you’re out and about. If a client calls you out of the blue, being able to view your programs on your phone is a must! Be virtual in the best way you can, so you can work anywhere at any time. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Happy working!