Working in a digital field, I’d consider myself to be pretty digitally savvy overall. In fact, I run my life through a collection of essential apps I use to keep track of just about everything in my life — personally and professionally. If you read Morning Routine: How I Maximize My Morning for a Productive Day last week, you’ve already heard of a few of these apps, but here’s the consolidated list of apps I absolutely swear by. And have I mentioned, they’re all free?!
1. Google Calendar
I’ll start with the obvious. Although I use a MacBook, I prefer Android phones, and so I still prefer Google Calendar to iCal. This is where I keep every meeting, every event, every appointment, every trip. If it’s not on my calendar, I likely will forget to go to it, so Google Cal is a lifesaver for me. This is an app I have up on my computer all day, everyday, as well as on a home screen on my phone.
2. Remember the Milk
Remember the Milk is a simple to do list app that I’ve used for the past few years after testing a variety of similar apps and landing on this one. Like Google Cal, it’s both web-based and mobile. I love its simplicity; I can easily add list items, with due dates and priorities, checking off items as they’re complete, and move items when priorities shift. There’s also the ability to separate items into different lists — for work v. personal, for example — and add tags to items on the list. RTM has a premium paid option as well, but the free version has everything I need.
3. Loop Habit Tracker
Loop is a simple, modern app used to help create and maintain good habits. I use it to keep and improve my morning routine, but as I continue to use it, I’m seeing its value throughout the day. Not only does it keep a trackable list of all the habits I want to maintain each day, it also enables me to set reminders to do them. And, detailed graphs and statistics show me how my habits improved over time. So things like meditating, taking vitamins, working out, etc. can all be easily tracked within the app.
4. Out of Milk
Out of Milk is a grocery list app I use to track all of the purchases I need to make — both at the grocery store and at other stores as well. I keep multiple shopping lists within Out of Milk: one for the grocery store, one for Target, one for the mall, etc. I use the app’s categorization feature to easily group items by section of the store, and add items as I think of them so it’s all there when I go shopping. Michael and I can also share lists, which helps ensure we don’t accidentally both buy something. Overall, it’s the perfect grocery list app!
5. Google Drive (Spreadsheets)
I know, I know, another Google product, but as an Android user, I just can’t live without them. Google Drive, and specifically Drive Spreadsheets, are what I use to organize all the documents I might need to access anywhere — like my blog ed cal document for example. I love how Google Drive is web-based, which means I can easily access documents on both my computer and phone. So with the ed cal example, anytime inspiration strikes, I can easily document it for later when I sit down to write posts.
Because I travel fairly often, both personally and professionally, I needed an app to manage that travel and keep everything for each trip in one place. TripIt is that app for me. By simply forwarding my email confirmations for flights, car rentals and hotels, TripIt categorizes my itineraries and keeps everything handy, so when each trip comes, everything in is one place. TripIt has a premium option that comes with some added features, but the free version works well for me!
What apps do you use to stay organized and productive?