My life is a mess! Organizationally not emotionally!
However, the point is that I can hardly remember all of the various tasks and commitments I’ve made for the week. The fact is that I, like most of you, have way too much on my plate. But that doesn’t excuse missing a dental appointment (and still having to pay a fee), standing my girlfriend up for a coffee date, or pathetically losing my car in a parking lot and looking around for it for an hour.
I told you my life was a mess. The good news is that since the embarrassing lost car episode, I decided that it was prime time to implement some organizational tools into my haphazard life. Luckily this has helped me regain order. Now I’m no longer the friend who stands you up or loses her car, I’m the friend that remains on schedule, makes her dental appointments, and remembers to pick up her kids after school.
Here are the six life-saving and totally free apps that help keep my life on organizational track…
1. Dragon Dictation (Free – for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry)
If you’re driving around town, but get a text, the Dragon Dictation app lets you multitask safely. Simply launch this brilliant speech-to-text app and create a quick email or text by speaking directly into your smart phone. The app will translate the audio to text and you can even verbally select a contact and send the message off.
I also use Dragon Dictation for capturing to-dos and appointments on the fly, and even for jotting down those “eureka” moments in life so I can remember them or share them later via Facebook or Twitter.
2. Evernote (Free- for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, WebOS, and BlackBerry)
Evernote is the app I most rely on for keeping my life organized. I can use it to capture all of my essential to-do, reminders, appointments, social commitments, and even dreaded workouts, and the app alerts me via a text reminder.
What’s so great about Evernote is that it allows me to take notes at the touch of a button on any device, and it saves everything on the cloud—so I can create notes on the subway with my smart phone and edit them later via my laptop. That’s right, this app securely stores and synchs all to-dos in one central location so you’ll never forget an important commitment as long as you’re using it!
3. Dropbox (Free – for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and BlackBerry)
Another fabulous and free cloud-based application, the Dropbox storage app ensures you’re productive—regardless of where you are and what device you’re using. For instance, if I’m staring a rough draft for an article on the subway on my tablet, I can save the file in Dropbox and access it later with another device—i.e., my desktop, laptop, or smart phone.
Dropbox is also a lifesaver for client meetings because I can instantly access a project with ease and even grant them permission to review, edit, and save changes (at my discretion) via any one of their devices.
4. Remember the Milk (Free – for, Android or iOS)
If you’re like me, you’ve purchased 3 jars of honey in the last week even though you have 2 at home in the cupboard. Luckily, since I downloaded the Remember the Milk task management app, I’m able to consult the stores that I already have at home so I don’t waste time and money. This app synchs your ongoing grocery list for you, so you can access and scratch items off from any device.
Plus, it keeps track of your existing food stores so you don’t buy duplicates. And if you share your list with a spouse or roommate, Remember the Milk will ensure that if one person buys toilet paper on the way home from work—the list is updated so the other person knows about the purchase.
5. Mint.com (Free – for Mac, Windows, Android or iOS)
Did you know that I was wasting a lot of money eating out? I knew this because Mint.com told me so. This free budgeting application gave me a “big picture” of my weekly, monthly, and yearly spending so I could see where I was wasting money. The app organized and categorized my spending so I could track every dime I was spending on frivolous things like eating out, movies out, and clothing.
Not only did it help me banish bad spending habits; it showed me how much I could save if I skipped that new pair of shoes and put that money down on my mortgage.
6. Find My Car (Free – for iPhone & Android)
I’ve already disclosed the day in which I lost my car and searched for it in the lot for over an hour. What I didn’t tell you was that I was late picking up my daughter at school. Yes, I get the award for “worst mom of the year”. However, since I got a hold of the Find My Car app, this has never happened again.
This app installs on your smart phone and uses GPS location services to help you locate your parked car quickly in a pinch. The app leads you to your car via an interactive map of the parking lot so you can locate it quickly (and without any yelling and stamping your feet) from your current location.