My favorite productivity apps

There isn’t a person who knows me that isn’t aware that I’m into hyper-organization. My desktop is never cluttered (for long) and my filing system, both paper and electronic, is next-level neurotic. I’m one of those I can’t have unread notifications or I freak out type of people.

Surprising no one, I have a few handy apps that I use constantly, from grocery shopping to assignment management to events and outings. Some cost nothing and some cost something, but all are really useful to me.

If you’re starting the year off with a plan to get organized, try a few of these apps. If your favorite isn’t listed, what are you using that has been a lifesaver?

Wunderlist

I use this mostly for my grocery list, but I’ve used it for anything that involves checking things off a list, like planning for a trip. I’ve tried it for other things, like tasks and duties, but it doesn’t work for me. But having a grocery Wunderlist allows both my husband and I to add and complete items once they’re gotten. Let’s be honest, it’s mostly me, but it gives him the chance to add things he wants to needs without bothering me about it.

OneNote

I’ve been using this for about seven months, around the time I got laid off and became a full-time freelancer. I keep all of my assignments in OneNote, which can be broken down by page, tasks, and everything can be color-coded. I’ve tried a few different methods for assignment organization and so far this one works the best. I truly enjoy it.

Pocket

This is where I put all the articles that I can’t read in the moment, and I mean, sometimes I tend to let it fall by the wayside. But I’ve made it a big goal to catch up on old stories every few days.

Paprika

This is where I put all my recipes that I’ve used (see Pinterest for others). When I’ve found something I love, whether through a book, a site, Pinterest, or otherwise — like a tip from my mom — it goes here. I have the Mac and iPad app — which is great when I’m with family and I’m adding a new recipe from them, and when I’m home and don’t want to carry my computer into the kitchen to make the family pancakes. Definitely the best way to categorize and keep track of my favorite recipes.  I got it on a deal for the Mac app and iPad app for $20, which many think is too steep for apps (many won’t even pay $1 for a game!), but I use it constantly and will tell everyone about it.

Pinterest

I’ve been a long-time Pinterest-er for about eight years. This is where I put non-article things to save, but it’s mostly recipes to try and home-related aspirations. It’s basically my “someday” app. Someday I’ll bake this cake, someday I’ll hang those pictures, someday I’ll craft those coasters.

iCal

OneNote is where I put all my assignment notes, and iCal is where I schedule all my interviews, appointments, and events. I prefer this over Google Calendar, but I’m sure I’m in the minority. I have a family calendar with my husband, where we can see things that we both have added so we don’t double-book something. Family gatherings, sporting events, my dog’s flea prevention reminder — I’m old-school  and put it in iCal.

CoSchedule

I use this daily for my social media work for MoneyTalksNews. Not only do I have a handle on scheduling for multiple social platforms, I also have an idea of what is performing well that is ready for another round of posting. There used to be a time when scheduling to Facebook in a third-party app was a huge mistake — numbers were way down and not the same as posting from the native app — but over the last couple years, it’s been a lot easier both in Facebook and through other apps. I’ve used others, like Sprout Social, which was great to track social pretty deeply, but CoSchedule pairs with WordPress so you can see what’s on tap for the upcoming day/week/month for your site’s content. I really like this one and I’m glad the company integrated with it.

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