Apps That Keep Me Sane and On Track

tools to stay organizedLike many of you, I have a lot of balls in the air at any given time. Between running a social media marketing agency, sitting on the board of several non-profits and professional groups and keeping up with a family of five, there are times that I don't even know what day it is. I remember fondly a time in my life where I could keep a mental calendar and checklist of all the things going on in my day, but those days are long gone. So to keep my sanity and make sure that nothing is forgotten, I have a toolbox of sites and apps that I use to keep me organized and on track!

Springpad: I know a lot of you use Evernote but I find that Springpad just works so much better for my life. Evernote to me is great for business use but found it lacking in helping me keep items for my personal life organized. If you like Pinterest, you're going to love Springpad as it's a very similar feel. You create notebooks, which are similar to boards and start organizing your world. I have a notebook for each of my kids where I keep contact info for their teachers, websites that are important to them for that year, scanned copies of the million pages that get sent home, events and so on. I have one for each of my volunteer groups, several for the office - you know when you come across a new site that you want to check out but don't have the time? I have one just for that. I have the "Spring" button on my browser which makes tossing things into notebooks a piece of cake. It integrates with Netflix (that movie you've been waiting for is available now!), Amazon (ppssst... there's a really good rate on that dress you like!) and more. You can keep all of your notebooks private or you can invite other users to view and contribute. There's an app for my iPhone and iPad so no matter what I need to clip or save, I don't have to worry that something won't get put into it's proper place.

Google Calendar: No post about organizing and schedule keeping can happen without the use of Google. Like many people who use a Mac, I use iCal which doesn't always play well with those that use Outlook. I find the happy medium is Google Calendar. It takes a little bit more configuration to get it to work with some of the other sites that I use (such as Cozi) but the most important thing for me is that I can keep my life organized. I need my husband to know what is going on in our lives without having to ask me. I need our office manager to know what my schedule is so when clients are looking for me, she knows what to say. I need Adrienne to know where I'm going to be when so she can schedule our meetings accordingly.

RSS Reader and Flipboard: I read a lot of blogs - some personal, some business, some pure entertainment. But I can't read them all at one time and need a way to have the blog posts come to me so I subscribe to the RSS feed on each of them. Since I'm usually in the office before 8, I use half an hour to skim the headlines of the posts that updated over the past 24 hours (See why your post title is so important? If the title doesn't grab my attention, I move along!) and read those online. If I am on the go or sitting at home, I will launch Flipboard and read the articles and posts there. I love the simulation of turning a page that Flipboard offers- makes it feel like I'm reading a magazine!

Dropbox: I am forever updating images, documents and spreadsheets which means I'm also forever leaving them housed on the "wrong" computer. Using Dropbox solves that issue for me. I've trained myself to drop a copy of existing work in my Dropbox file so that I don't have to worry about forgetting my flash drive. (This is also another good use of Springpad) If I'm working with a client and they have large files to send to me, I create a private Dropbox folder for them and they can upload them from their office. I know the files are there for me when receive a pop-up notification that their folder has been updated. I can download them if I need to or just keep them there for the two of us to share.

iPhone: I know this one seems simple and obvious but I can literally run my company from my iPhone. All of the items that I listed above are all housed on my iPhone. While it may not be optimal to use certain sites from the iPhone, it can certainly be done in a pinch. There are quite a few apps and other sites that I use, but these are the ones that I use on a daily basis. What keeps you organized and sane in our crazy world?

Kristen

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Kristen Daukas
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