Best Free Apps for Getting Organized (in Life + Biz)
Sometimes I try to remember what life was like in the days before apps. No really, think about it. The days when your phone did not also act as a calculator. When you had to MapQuest and print directions. And just about any problem that arose in life that seemed more complicated then it should be, could not, in fact, be answered by the phrase, “There's probably an app for that.”
I'll let that sink in for a second.
Alright, now that we can fully appreciate the fact that there are these wonderful tools via the interwebs that make our lives a whole hell of a lot easier, I thought I'd recap a few of my favorites.
This beauty of an interface is my favorite calendar app for iPhone. I can easily see the calendar month view, as well as my daily schedule AT THE SAME TIME. Ok, ok, I know. I'm just really excited. I was even more excited when it synched with both my personal Google Calendar and my Work Apps Google Calendar so that I could view them in the same place. Locations can also be stored and seamlessly pulled up using Google Maps on my phone without having to copy/paste the address. And this is totally me being a design nerd, but I love the little icons that pop up with my various scheduled activities — like the Skype icon next to my Skype meeting.
Let me start by saying, when I first started using this app, I didn't think I was going to like it. I'm more of a pen to paper kind of girl. Anything super important is on my calendar. And I couldn't really see a use for anything in between. A month later, I'm hooked. I find it super helpful to be able to organize my ToDos by projects, as well as set a due date for each line item. I can then filter my list by Today and The Next 7 Days, so the list seems a lot less overwhelming. And if that isn't enough, I can also color-code my todo items by priority. Red means do it now, blue is less important, etc.
It seems everyone has been raving about Evernote for a while now, but I hadn't jumped on the bandwagon until recently. And as old-ladyish as this seems, the real drive was my desire to organize my recipes. Yep, I'm that cool. I had a big ol' binder of recipes that I had pulled from my favorite magazines, emails of family favorites, and just general napkin scribbles. But honestly it was a mess and I never went through it. I love that Evernote lets me "clip" recipes from websites and even keeps the thumbnail photo. I can then add it to a virtual notebook I have entitled Recipes, and add labels such as Appetizer and Soup so that I can find it easily later. I only wish I'd started sooner.
04 Scanner Mini
So, this app is no substitute for the real deal. If you're looking to have your large scale artwork scanned at high res, look elsewhere. BUT for those general annoyances in life where something has to be printed, signed, and emailed back, this app is the BEST. It's basically the hack job of photographing a document with your phone instead of scanning. Except this app can detect where the paper ends and auto-crops, as well as enhances the text. I've emailed documents from the app, or sent them straight to my DropBox to grab later. I've also heard rumors that it can fax too (for those people that insist something be faxed..who are those people?!) for a small fee, but I have yet to try that.
05 Square Cash
With all the apps out there to transfer money, from PayPal to Google Wallet to Venmo (some of which I haven't even tried), it's hard to say if this one is a clear winner. But at the very least it's worth mentioning for its interface and ease of use. You've probably heard of Square — those little boxes plugged into iPads when you're checking out at your local coffee shop. This app is run by the same company. I've recently started using it for both personal and professional use. Personal transactions are free, while business transactions incur a 1.5% fee. When signing up, you connect your debit card, so funds can be sent and received from your bank account. It's a nice simple interface and an easy set up, so far so good.
And they're all free (free, free, free!) so there's really no excuse not to get our shit together :)