There’re so many aspects of our lives that can be organized and optimized for efficiency. In this day and age, there’re no excuses for not utilizing the technology that’s available to you at your fingertips, and usually free of charge. It typically now takes just a few clicks to start organizing these areas of your life, whether that be your projects, meal recipes, clothes you wear, or stuff you save to read later.
Most of us are familiar with popular online tools such as Google Docs, Dropbox, iCalendar, and Evernote. But what about the not-so-obvious tools? We’ve comprised a list of software programs that we’ve been using in our own lives. All of the tools listed here have saved us a lot of time and prevented a lot of headaches. Here they are:
1. Pocket (iOS, Android, Web Browser, free)
To organize all your ‘read later’ stuff.
No more emailing yourself articles, cluttering up your bookmarks or disturbing your workflow because you’ve just stumbled upon some page you might find useful later. This plugin allows you to quickly capture and save any page for later reading on all devices. You’ll even be able to access your stuff offline! It also features 3 reading modes for Day and Night.
2. Evernote Web Clipper (Web Browser, free)
To collect and organize all your ‘save for reference’ stuff
If you love Evernote like we do, you’ll really enjoy this extension. No more coping & pasting your travel confirmations or registration codes and emailing them to yourself. From now on you can clip just about anything, no matter if it’s text, image, or video. It’s also a great tool to add your sketches and highlights — your friends will really appreciate those after you’ll send them the clippings with just 2 clicks! And needless to say, you can keep your clippings much more organized in Evernote than you can in any email client! Available for all major web browsers.
3. RedNotebook (Windows, Mac, free)
To organize your journal entries and thoughts
RedNotebook is a modern journal that includes calendar navigation, customizable templates, and full export functionality. It also lets you tag your entries and create word clouds which graphically display the most often used words and tags. You might just discover some recurring patterns happening in your life, something that a paper journal wouldn’t enable you to do! The tagging also allows you to really organize your thoughts and memories.
4. Pin It Button (Web Browser, free)
To collect and organize inspirational stuff
I have to admit that at first, I was skeptical about Pinterest — it seemed to me like some sort of social media site to endlessly browse, ‘like’ images, and waste time on. Boy was I wrong.
Pinterest allows you to organize all your inspirational stuff: Meal ideas, clothes and style ideas, art, quotes, you name it.
And with the ‘Pin It Button’, you can pin just about anything you find on the internet. This is for all the things that don’t fit into Evernote or Pocket. For the inspirational pictures and quotes, for the beautiful pictures you want to keep, or for stuff you want to daydream about. I personally use it to create my own private Visualization Board (A technique that help people achieve their goals).
5. LastPass (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Web Browser, free)
To organize your passwords
LastPass is the ultimate password manager. It helps you save, gather, store, manage, and share passwords. It’s much more secure than using one password for all of your accounts. It’s the only manager for passwords you’ll ever need. You need to have it. No, seriously, go get it now!
6. Diigo (iOS, Android, Web Browser, free)
To organize your bookmarks
After you’ve hopefully utilized Pocket and the Evernote Web Clipper and saved your bookmarks from a lot of clutter, it’s time to use a tool to organize your bookmarks, because let’s face it — you either already have loads of them, or will inevitabely end up having loads of them.
What Diigo does is it allows you to collect, annotate, and organize, save, and tag your online resources for easy access anytime, anywhere. It also allows for your personal input, making your bookmarks richer, and consequently — more organized. And it allows you to share your bookmarks very easily.
7. Chrono Download Manager (Google Chrome, free)
To organize your downloads
This is a Google Chrome must-have. The native download manager isn’t exactly the best at handling your downloads that keep piling up. Once you start downloading a file or have finished downloading, Chrono Manager pops up a short notification and conveniently stores all your downloaded info under one icon rather than bothering you like your native download manager does. It also allows for pausing and restarting downloads, a crucial feature if your connection goes bad for even a second. You can also sort the downloads by categories (Audio, Image, Document, & Others) and organize them into a compact table.
8. Closet+ (iOS, free)
To organize your outfits
This app allows you to quickly and easily get pictures of all your clothing items into a great system where you’ll be able to have a bird’s eye view of your wardrobe and annotate some information about your items and outfits — what they cost, when they were worn last, and what the cost per wear is.
It also allows you to plan ahead by adding your accessories and clothing to the built-in calendar. You’ll also thank yourself for keeping such a system the next time you go traveling — the app allows for easy and clear packing lists!
(Bonus) TaskLabels (iOS, Android, Web Browser, free)
To organize your tasks
Yes, we couldn’t help ourselves, but had to include TaskLabels in this list too. Its unique multi-labeling system, clean and simple UI, and color-coded labels with icons make up for an app that is very flexible and has very few limitations on how to use it. At-a-glance due date indicators are yet another rare feature that enables you to have an immediate overview of how many days there are before a task’s due date, or whether the task is overdue. The calendar and the ability to quickly share and collaborate on your tasks and lists complement the other functions — this is a stellar app for organizing, prioritizing, and getting things done!