I used to carry around this beat-up little calendar book that had pages for something like twenty months in it. My life was in that book– notes stuffed in the back, phone numbers inside the covers–and it worked for me.But that was then.
Now I’m a digi-girl! I work and play on my computer and I need to coordinate schedules with three busy teenagers and a husband. So, I’ve been looking for digital solutions to my organization problems and I’ve found a few digital organization tools, from family organizers and list-makers to note-keepers to share with you.
One thing you have to say about Google is they’re good at making their programs work together. Enter a task with a due date and it shows up on your Google Calendar. Get an email on Gmail that you need to do something about? A few short keystrokes will add it to your tasks and give it a due date; it shows up on your calendar and will send you a reminder! Not a comprehensive solution, but you probably already use one component or another.
Cozi : (FREE )
Very comprehensive organizer. It coordinates with Google calendar and sends you a weekly round-up and lets you make different entries for different family members and email them their schedules. In addition, it has a shopping-list maker, a to-do list maker and mobile apps. Also includes a place to add photos and journal.
Noto Personal Organizer: ($39.95 USD)
This is a mini-application that lives on your computer. It looks just like my old calendar. It has places to put addresses, calendar, calculator and to-do lists. If you’re coming from a paper system, this might be most familiar for you.
My Linked Family: ($4.95 USD/month)
This tool lets you coordinate your family with emails and texts and is designed to help communication. Coordinates with Outlook and Google Calendars.
My Life Organized ($45.95 USD)
Organize your goals, projects and tasks into a task tree. Prioritize them and My Life Organized will automatically generate a to-do list for you. This application is good if you have trouble figuring out where to start getting things done!
KitchenHub ($39.95USD/ free trial available)
KitchenHub is much like Cozi but without the mobile app and is not web-based, but has to be installed. It features a calendar, shopping-list function, recipe organizer, address book and email interface where you can send from multiple existing email accounts.
Bento4 for Mac ($49USD single user/free trial available/Mac only)
This organizational tool just for Mac users has calendar and address book, lets you make lists, store notes, print lists and labels, and has various templates you can choose from for display. You can view your iPhoto albums from within the application and note information on photos and videos. Available for iPad and iPhone .
Remember the Milk (FREE)
Use this application to make to-do lists. It works with Google Calendar and you can access from your phone or iPad as well as manage tasks offline.
Tweeto lets you keyword-tag tasks, drag and drop re-order them and access from anywhere. Also sort your lists by keyword and create an RSS feed of your lists.
This app is online calendar and to-do list maker. It lets you set-up and group calendars to share.
Now Do This (FREE)
Now Do This is freaky but kind of cool. You input your list on the website and it displays one thing at a time. Once you click ‘done’ on that thing it will display the next thing on the list. You can’t change the order easily and you can’t see the whole list, but it is perfect for the attention-challenged among us!
Wipee List (FREE)
A very simple and basic, easy-to-use application that does not have a lot of bells and whistles. Lists are shareable by generating a custom URL.
Use Stixy to make ‘bulletin boards’ and share them, add photos, web content and links, notes and files. Good for collaborating. No calendar. Very easy to use and good for visual organizers as you can see everything in front of you.
This note-keeper lets you save photos, links and notes and helps you organize them. It has mobile apps that will let you scan barcodes to save product information. Tag notes for organizing and create boards to visually organize things. Post to Facebook, twitter and email from the program.
Pinterest lets you save links to stuff you find online through the use of a “bookmarklet” or bookmark that you click when you see something you want to save. It brings up a screen with all the images from the webpage and you click on the one that’s meaningful to you. Pinterest saves this image along with the link to where you found it. You can choose to set up “Pinboards” to sort these links as well. To get back to the site you pinned, just click on the photo on your board. You can also follow other users to find new, cool stuff!
Evernote (FREE/$4.95USD a month)
Start out with the free version, then see if you want to upgrade. This is a program you install that lets you save and organize just about anything:documents, webpages, photos, little notes you type. It syncs with your phone (iPhone and Android) and you can access your notes from any computer by logging in to the website.
If you look around, no doubt you will find many more programs, websites and apps to help you organize your life. Since everyone’s life works differently, you’ll want to try the ones that appeal to you and may go through a few before you settle on what works. Currently I’m using a mix of Cozi (shopping lists, calendar reminders), Googles (tasks, calendar), Evernote (all kinds of stuff) and Pinterest (fun, personal web finds). You may only need one, or you may want to use them all, but either way you can’t help but get a little more organized with a good digital helper!
Let us know how you digitally organize your life! Leave a comment below telling us what you use and how it works for you.