If you could do it all, you would be organized, eat healthy, sleep 8+ hours per night, and exceed expectations at work. However, this is pretty difficult to do on a daily basis. Having a system in place can help you stay on track, even when life is unpredictable.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with readers about tips to stay organized, or make their everyday tasks a bit easier to accomplish. In this post, I recommend the top 4 tools that are helping me keep my life organized (and my mind sane!):
Developed by a founder of Facebook, this is a fantastic task and project management tool for individuals and teams. You can easily create a project, set a date for completion, and enter each of the tasks that need to be completed along the way. As you enter projects, you can color code them, so they are easy to distinguish from each other in the calendar view, as well as the current and upcoming task window. You can set up different workspaces for personal and professional tasks (I have all of mine in one workspace for now).
I love this tool because it allows me to shift my plans as much as I need to. It’s easy to drag a task to another day or week. Also, recurring tasks of any frequency are simple to set up. Asana also offers a free phone app, for managing tasks and projects on the go. Teams will find Asana useful for discussing tasks and projects without using email. In fact, you can turn emails into searchable tasks.
If you are like me, and are used to keeping your to-do list for multiple projects in your head… you need this, NOW. Asana is free for individuals, as well as teams with 14 or fewer members. Premium paid plans start at $50 per month for a team of 15.
I have tried out several calendar apps, and this is the only one that has stuck with me. It is free, visually appealing, and easy to use. When I set up an event or appointment, I can send an email inviting any other attendees, load the location of the event in Google Maps, and set multiple reminders (e.g. 2 days prior, 1 day prior, 2 hours prior, 30 minutes prior).
Cal syncs with Google and Exchange Calendars. If you have Google Now installed, it will notify you of when you will need to leave your current location in order to be on time for your event (very useful when dealing with LA traffic!). Note: If you would like to connect it to your tasks, it works directly with Any.do (a powerful free task management tool that helps you make decisions about when you will each task on your to-do list each day, and rewards you for doing them).
This planner was created by Angelia Trinidad, who found herself “floating in doubt, drowning in inaction, [and] afraid of uncertainty” while trying to find her own passion in life. Over time, she started mind mapping and creating, and found herself developing a tool to help others pursue their passions. The result is the Passion Planner.
The planner is described as an appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook. Her current kickstarter includes a 2015 Planner in the Classic or Compact size.
You can receive a PDF of the 2015 Planner in exchange for a donation of $1 or more, or sharing the Kickstarter campaign on social media (that’s right, you will get the PDF for free, just for sharing). I love that Angelia is committed to helping people even if they can’t afford to support her campaign. You can learn more about the kickstarter campaign (and Angelia) here.
Is your inbox full of subscriptions that you are no longer interested in? Rather than taking the time to unsubscribe from them individually, you can use this service to quickly view a list of all of your subscriptions. Then, in one window, you can decide which you would like to unsubscribe from, add to a daily digest email, or keep as is. For the record, I had 300 subscriptions in my inbox, and got rid of 196 (Note: Retire the Overachiever will show up in this list if you are subscribed, so watch out for it!).
Please comment below if these tools are helpful for you, and if you have other suggestions. Be sure to subscribe, so you won’t miss the second installment of this series, in which I will focus on health and fitness tools (coming after Thanksgiving, appropriately).
Interested in digging deeper? With my coaching clients, I take time to review productivity and other concepts in detail. Together, we can develop a customized plan that works for you. Sign up for a free consultation here.
Image courtesy of basketman at freedigitalphotos.net