Too many tasks, too many devices and even more distractions can make even the most efficient workers struggle throughout the day. Disorder and clutter, both physical and mental, can negatively impact your productivity and your life. It is important to stay organized while juggling work projects along with personal responsibilities.
Today, smartphones and laptops allow you to access a wealth of information at your fingertips. These apps and software programs were designed specifically to help you organize and streamline your professional and personal lives:
An application for organization that syncs your phone app with a website accessible through your computer or tablet, Evernote is everywhere you need it to be. The app has numerous features for productivity, including to-do lists, voice notes, document scanning and interactive notes that can include pictures, videos and links. It is very popular because of its all-in-one capabilities and customizable interface.
Evernote has search features that allow you to quickly find your notes and reminders, as well as the option to input content through voice recording, scanning information, typing your text or taking a photo. This is extremely convenient, allowing you to quickly save information with whatever means you have available.
Cost: Free for a basic account, $10 per month for a premium business account for each individual user.
Trello is a creative organization option that lets users create boards to organize tasks. These boards can then be shared and used by others. The features make it simple to manage specific details and track information. It also can organize boards by size or importance, depending on how you want to visualize your tasks and work.
The simple and self-explanatory interface hosts bulletin boards, saves notes and manages tasks. In conjunction with the collaboration options, this can help delegate tasks for projects so everyone knows their role and has complete access to what is being contributed.
Cost: Free for a basic account, $25 per month or $200 per year for a premium business account for an entire organization.
Another sleek option for task collaboration, Asana combines tasks and to-do lists with the conversations of multiple users through shared information portals. This means everyone can see what needs to be done and what their tasks are, with all of the work history in one single location on the web.
Asana allows you to send tasks to other users and has notification options, so everyone can be aware of work instantaneously. There are also customized views for each user, along with intelligent search and filter features, letting you find exactly what you need immediately and without sorting through lots of emails or memos.
Cost: Free for a basic account for up to 15 users; pricing for a premium business account varies from $50 per month for 15 users to $800 per month for 100 users.
Boomerang is an email productivity service that works within your existing Gmail or Outlook account. It works as a calendar assistant and helps with scheduling by providing you an easy-to-access view of your “free/busy” status right in your inbox. Boomerang simply highlights your status within emails, so you don’t have to refer constantly to calendars to see if you are available.
The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to add or change information with one click, and it updates automatically when a change has been made to your schedule. It is a powerful time-management and scheduling program that works great for groups trying to schedule meetings.
Cost: Free for a basic account; pricing for a premium business account varies from $14.99 per month for one user to $773 per month for 99 users.
This project management software is essential for organizing and collaborating within a group, focusing on efficiency and specific tasks. The visualization tools let you look at overall goals while working on smaller duties. The messaging tools keep everyone in your team updated and interconnected.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about AgileZen, however, is the ability to honestly track and monitor your improvement as a project manager. Metric tracking helps you see how you are doing and lets you customize your tasks as you find better ways to work with your team.
Cost: Free for a basic account; pricing for a premium account varies from $9 per month to $99 per month depending on desired features and regardless of number of users.
This service makes it simple to organize lists and plan ahead. Wunderlist syncs all of your devices and is easy to access by mobile, tablets or PC. The program can also be used by multiple people, making it ideal for collaboration and sharing.
A key feature of Wunderlist is that it lets users break big jobs down into smaller tasks with built-in notifications, reminders and due dates that ensure you never forget another deadline. You can also send emails to Wunderlist, and it will automatically turn the email into a task on your list.
Cost: Free for a basic account; pricing for a premium account varies from $22.99 per month for 5 users to $1749.99 per month for 500 users.
A very basic, web-based note-taking app, WorkFlowy is a list-making service that focuses on productivity and simplicity. It is perfect for brainstorming and planning; you simply type your text and format it into nesting sections depending on how you want to arrange your information.
You can organize to-do lists, ideas and projects, as well as share, rearrange and duplicate your notes. Without a lot of flash or complicated features, WorkFlowy is good for those who enjoy a minimalist approach to planning and organizing. Paid accounts are also available, which will allow you to work with Dropbox and collaborate with a team.
Cost: Free for a basic account, $4.99 per month or $49 per year for a premium account.
Time Doctor is a helpful tool for managers who work with virtual workers on a regular basis. The application helps manage remote workers with time-tracking features that ensure you are paying for work actually being completed instead of time spent being distracted online.
The software tracks the time users spend working on tasks, logs users out of the application when their computer is inactive and uses pop-ups to ask users if they are working on the set task when it appears time isn’t being used efficiently or properly. You can receive reports on your employees’ time-management and activity during work hours. Not only can you monitor time usage, but you can easily and quickly communicate with your team and help them manage their time with reminders.
Cost: Free for a basic account; pricing for a premium business account varies from $5 per month for one user to $149 per month for 20 users.