There are probably endless strategies and approaches to staying organized and productive. They key is to experiment and find what works best for you.

I can remember when I purchased my first IPhone (I was a little late to the party) wondering what all the fuss was about with Apps. Fast forward quite a few years and now there are plenty of apps I use every day some of which are key aides to my productivity.

Evernote is probably my favorite. It has been instrumental in helping me keep track of all my notes and research from being scattered all of the place. I will take some time later this year to post specifically about Evernote, but today I want to focus on something that everybody can appreciate.

To Do Lists

Did you cringe at those three little words?

Some of you may love your lists, some hate them, but it is difficult to accomplish much without some type of system to keep you organized. Our working memory can only hold about 5-7 pieces of information for approximately 30 seconds in our head at any given time. If we don’t do something with that information – it will vanish. No, it’s not just you and you don’t have a memory problem, that’s how the brain works.

Because our working memory is not much bigger than a post it note with invisible ink, we need to come up some type of strategy to stay on top of our priorities.

You can get as complicated as you like, but at a minimum you need a simple list of priorities, or some type of “To Do List”. Call it whatever you like, if you don’t enjoy that label.

Don’t get me wrong, you can get great results just using a simple piece of paper with pen or pencil. However, these days many people have their smartphones with them all day long and love using it for everything. With that in mind, I wanted to share three great options for you if you are looking to add a little technology to your “To Do”.

1)     Any.do

This app is available on both IPhone and Android phones. Any.do is designed to be simple, clean and easy to use but is still packed with lots of great features.

Pros:

–        Syncing is smooth, even with a family member or coworker

–        Breaking tasks into “Today”, “Tomorrow”, “This Week” and “Later” helps with overwhelm of having to many tasks in your face, but gives you peace of mind knowing they are captured

–        Easy to set up reminders and notes

–        “Plan Your Day” feature

Cons:

–        If you do most of your to do organizing on your desktop, you will need a Chrome Add-on, there is no desktop app last I checked

2)     Google Keep

Keep is a synching notepad that not only allows you to keep lists, but photos, voice notes as well across multiple devices and in the cloud. It is stored on the web or is installed on Android devices. For Android users or Google fans, this can be the easiest to start using. No accounts to set up etc.

Pros:

–        Can be great for not only to do lists, but for people like me that like to take lots of notes whenever inspiration hits

–        Easy to get started for Android or heavy web based users

–        Simplest option of the bunch

Cons:

–        Not available last I checked for Apple users

–        Doesn’t have as many features as some of the others like reoccurring tasks, or calendar views

3)     Wunderlist

Wunderlist has desktop and mobile options for Apple, Android and Windows. It is easy to use and supports features such as reoccurring tasks, timed reminders, notes, and multiple categories to name a few.

Pros:

–        It is supported on just about every platform out there, meaning that no matter what technology you use – you will have access to your lists

–        Higher level subscription offers collaboration tools, file uploads and comments on lists – great if you are looking for an enterprise solution

Cons:

–        There have been a few syncing issues in the past, but it looks like they have that worked out

Fancy technology and lots of features are great, but only if you use it. The key is to pick something you are comfortable with and USE IT!

If you don’t currently have a great system to stay organized, experiment with one or more of the solutions above and see what you think!

 

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen