Resolved - Time to Get Organized
If one of your New Year's resolutions was to finally get organized, you may be starting to feel frustrated with your progress and thinking of giving up until next year. If that's the case, here are some free organizational apps to help fight your case of Resolution Fatigue. A more organized you may be just a click away.
One of the most basic organizational tools is the simple To-Do list. TeuxDeux (pronounced To-Do) is the new and improved version of the old-fashioned list. It allows you to organize your lists by date and displays an entire week at a glance. Have a project you'd like to get around to at some vague, future date? Simply drop it in the "Someday" bucket. Of course you can edit tasks and move them to different days. Check them off as you complete them for that all-important sense of accomplishment. TeuxDeux automatically carries unfinished tasks over to the next day's list. The original online app is free. A mobile app, available for iPhone for $2.99, allows multiple accounts and sharing of lists. Curious to see how it works? Watch their demo videos.
Workflowy is another list-based tool. In fact, it is basically a single, giant list. Its simplicity gives it greater flexibility. No need to name files or documents, just open the app and type. Each item on the list can have sub-items, allowing for nested lists. Access those sublists by zooming in on the current item to display the nested items in a new page. Workflowy has their own YouTube channel that includes a video introduction to its basic features.
How many times have you started work on one computer and then needed to access the file on another computer or mobile device? Dropbox allows you to do just that. Files, including photos, music, and spreadsheets, are automatically saved to all of your devices and the Dropbox website. It you drop the laptop you're using to write your term paper and it dies, your file is still safe and accessible. Working on a group project? Dropbox allows you to share files with multiple users. Take the Drop Box Tour or visit the Help Center for more information.
Unlike the text-based tools above, Popplet is a visual organizer. Think of it as a multimedia virtual bulletin board. It is especially useful for mind-mapping or presentations. Create text balloons, called popples, and draw lines to connect them. You can add images, videos, or web links and make notes directly in the same popple. The graphic at the beginning of this article is a simple popplet that you can explore to get a better idea of how these work. Popplets can be used for everything from brainstorming to organizing an entire research project. The Preview Video demonstrates the many ways Popplet can be used. The free online version of Popplet allows the creation of 5 popplets. Popplet Lite, a free app for iPhone and iPad, is limited to one popplet. But when you no longer need a popplet, you can edit it and use it to make a completely new one. Popplets can be exported in either PDF or JPEG format or shared via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Evernote is one of the most well-known and popular online organizational tools. Create individual notes that are stored in notebooks. Type in text or clip it from a webpage. Add images from your computer or the Internet. You can tag notes to make them easier to find or use the search function to locate what you need. There is a desktop client as well as apps for all of your portable devices and they are all free. Evernote automatically saves and synchronizes your notes to their web server so you can access them any time. Share notes and notebooks to collaborate on projects. There are many video tutorials, demos, tips and tricks on Evernote's Video page. Specialized versions of Evernote are also available, including Evernote Hello to manage your contacts, Evernote Food for recipes and restaurant information, and Evernote Peek, an iPad app that turns your notes into a study aid using your iPad's smart cover or the app's virtual cover to hide the answers as you quiz yourself.
Whether you're planning your daily schedule or working on a research project for your History class, these apps can help you get you get organized so you have time to work on your other New Years resolutions.