You know we love pen and paper.
But in today’s world of Zoom meetings, voice memos, and shared family calendars, sometimes our beloved notebooks need a digital boost to keep up with it all.
Today, we’re going to share some of our all-time favorite organization apps that can integrate seamlessly into your life to enable you to stay organized and productive no matter where you are.
How to use your planner with digital organization tools
If you are a planner lover or a bullet journaler, it might feel like blasphemy to suggest digital calendars or note-taking tools, but our analog and digital tools *can* work together to make life easier! It’s all about finding the balance that works for you.
Ask yourself: What are the things that are most helpful and most important for you to physically write down? Are there specific reminders, goals, or notes that are helpful for you to have in your handwriting for easy reference? These are the things that you can commit to keeping handwritten in your planner or notebook.
And what are the things in your life that you find you are constantly needing to update, edit, or change? What tools, lists, notes, or reminders do you need on your person at all times, popping up in your face to remind you? Those are the things that you might want to consider finding an organization app to keep track of.
Personally, I love to use my Ink+Volt Goal Planner to check in and set my big-picture goals for every week and month. I’ll use the monthly and weekly calendar layouts to pencil in any big, important dates or deadlines, as well as super top-level scheduling reminders — usually things that I know aren’t going to change, or that are important reminders for me — like a book club meeting, a group FaceTime with friends, or a workout class.
But the day-to-day minutiae — like my meeting schedule, my client time tracking, important meeting notes, and my shopping lists — are all digital, as those are the things that I found myself constantly crossing out and editing in my planner, or that I needed easy, on-the-go access to from my phone.
My goal planner is my big picture road map, and my organization apps are my Google Maps telling me the specific turn-by-turn directions that I’m going to take to get to my destination.
Here are some of our recommendations for organization apps that can easily supplement your goal planner to keep you on track all day long!
Organization apps for scheduling
- Cozi: If you are juggling multiple family members’ schedules, this might be the app for you. It’s intended to allow sharing of multiple family schedules under one account, as well as organizing and updating shared shopping and to-do lists, so everyone will know exactly what needs to be picked up from the store and who's on dishes tonight.
- 24Me: 24Me is described as a “smart personal assistant” that allows you to sync all of your calendars (Google, Outlook, Apple, etc) in one place so you don’t miss a thing. You can also connect your social networks, banking accounts, to-dos, and notes so that you're on top of every event, deadline, or bill payment.
- Calendly: Take the headache out of meeting scheduling with Calendly, a digital appointment scheduling app that helps your clients or team members find the perfect meeting time by automatically syncing all of your calendars so you’ll never be double-booked again.
Organization apps for notes and writing
- Evernote: Evernote has repeatedly been named the best note-taking app, and it’s easy to see why. You can type, draw, handwrite, or photograph your notes; once they're in Evernote, they're sharable and searchable so you’ll always have the records you need right at your fingertips.
- Bear: Exclusively available for Apple users, Bear is an Evernote lite. It’s also a cloud-based service, so your notes will sync across all your devices and it uses hashtag-based searches so you can find all of your #recipes and #shoppinglists.
- Jour: Jour is a digital mindfulness journal that guides you through self check-ins and daily questions to help you lead you through guided journaling prompts ranging from self-affirmations to future visualizations, all to help you practice self-care on-the-go.
Organization apps for lists
- Todoist: Frequently topping the “best to-do list” charts, Todoist is a task management app that allows you to create and share robust to-do lists. Whether you’re using it for your own personal tasks or collaborating with your partner or team, Todoist is a great digital option.
- Any.do: Another popular to-do list app that boasts 25 million members, Any.do can combine your calendars, tasks, lists, and reminders and sync across devices so you’ll never forget another due date or important to-do.
- Do!: If you’re looking for a clean and simple list-making app that doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other options out there, Do! might be the right choice for you. The only things you can do on it are make, sort, and complete to-do lists — because sometimes that’s all you need! As an added bonus, there are also very realistic sound effects of a pen on paper and turning pages. So satisfying.
Organization apps for productivity
- RescueTime: If you’ve ever felt like you don’t have a sense of where your day goes, RescueTime is an app that helps you understand (and then control) the time you spend on your phone. Just turn it on and let it run, and you’ll get insights into how you spend your day so you can build better habits and beat distractions.
- Stayfocused: StayFocused is a Google Chrome extension and app that is built to help you increase your productivity by limiting the amount of time you spend on time-wasting websites or apps. You can either block entire sites (like Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit) or you can set time limits, and once your time is up, those sites will become inaccessible.
- Forest: Stay focused and be present with Forest — once you turn the app on, you will “plant a tree,” and as long as you don’t pick up your phone and leave the app, your tree will continue to grow until you have a beautiful forest. This is a great tool to help motivate you to stay focused on your deep work or important conversations.