Life can be busy, messy and complicated. You’ve got a lot on your mind. And there’s always something to be doing, someone to take care of, somewhere to be. How do you keep track of it all? Depending on your memory alone will only heighten your stress level. Your tired mind will never get a break with all those reminders and to-do lists flying around in it. Do yourself a favor and check out these three apps that will help you do an effective “brain dump,” so you can use more mental energy enjoying a happy, productive life and less trying to stay on top of all its demands.
This app is one of the most effective ways to transform mental lists into tangible lists that you can access on any major device. You can organize your lists into folders, tag with them reminders and due dates, share them with coworkers, family members, and friends, and even print them. One exceptionally neat feature is that you can create new list items by simply forwarding emails to the app.
Use either the web or device version of the app to create anything from your grocery list to your reading list, work list, or bucket list. By using the Wunderlist extension on your laptop, you can add links to articles, webpages or videos to your lists without even having to open the Wunderlist app.
Imagine this: During a late-night web browsing session, you stumble across the perfect birthday gift for your husband online. But your credit card is in the other room, and you’re getting sleepy. . . so you add the link to tomorrow’s To-Do list along with the description “Buy this” and a reminder alarm set to go off during your lunch break.
Pretty cool, right? And yes, it’s all free! (But if you want more features, you can pay for a pro or business plan.)
If you like to save videos and articles for later, save websites without bookmarking them, or keep a running list of industry-specific resources, this app is for you! Think of it as a virtual way to slip anything you’d like to view into your virtual back pocket for later…and never give it another thought until you’re ready to view it.
With the Pocket desktop extension, you can save items from the web with just one click. No matter what device you’re using, you never need to leave the site to save it to your Pocket. You can tag your items to separate them into categorized lists and star items to make a list of favorites. My favorite perk is that you can view your articles offline, once they’ve synced.No more memorizing URL’s, searching your browsing history, or trying to remember where you saved an item on your computer. The possible applications are endless- use Pocket while conducting research, comparing Christmas gifts, or compiling your go-to list of funny dog videos.
3. Google Drive
If you’re one of Gmail’s 1 billion monthly active users, you already have access to the web version of Google Drive. But even if you aren’t a Gmail user, you can take advantage of Google Drive by creating a simple Google account—no Gmail needed. Most people are probably familiar with the Drive’s capabilities by now—how it allows you to create and/or store documents, spreadsheets, pictures, etc. and access them on any device by logging into your Google account or using the app. But are those same people using Google Drive to its fullest potential?
While hailed as one of the internet’s greatest work collaboration tools, this app can be used for far more than work.
- Collaborate on a holiday planning list—keep track of who is doing what in real time (and without a huge string of text messages); if someone changes the plan, you’ll know the minute you check the document.
- Keep your family updated (without bombarding Facebook)—Save all your kids’ artwork, essays, and pictures in your Drive to easily upload them into your email with one click. (This is the perk of having a Gmail connected to your Drive.) Or simply share the item directly from the Drive. There’s many, many ways to share your Drive’s content with others, whether you’re sharing everything, just one folder, or just one file.
- Take advantage of the free storage space—From ebooks and recipes to Christmas letters and family photos, you can dump all the files you don’t use each day into the Drive for safe storage and easy access.
While these three apps made it to the top of my list, the app store promises many, many other helpful apps too. Do you know of another great one for keeping your life organized without depending on memory alone? Please share it with the rest of us below, so we can check it out too.
If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for Part 2 of “Declutter Your Life” (Spoiler alert: It involves taking back control of your inbox.)
Update: Part 2 is live! Discover apps that help you organize your inbox.