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Problems Keeping Up? 10 Apps to Make You Highly Organized

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Problems Keeping Up? 10 Apps to Make You Highly Organized

It can be problematic to get organized and keep track of all the expenses and responsibilities. Sure, you can always write everything down, but there are more sophisticated and efficient methods to do all this. Today, you can use apps for various purposes, and they will help you organize, track your progress, and they even help you do your job or daily tasks more efficiently.

Of course, not every app is intended for this purpose, and even those that are can sometimes fail to live up to their words. Since this is the case, I have compiled a list of apps that I am using, or that I used at some point, in order to give you an idea of just how helpful some apps can be. Here are 10 apps that can help you get highly organized.

1. Clear

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    Clear is simple, but brilliant. It is a to-do list app, and it helps you keep up with all of your tasks. Basically, you create to-do lists and separate them into categories, in the order of which tasks you want to prioritize and which tasks can wait. The app will remind you of your duties and their urgency.

    It really simple and fun to play with, since it has a user-friendly interface and it is available for iOS, OS X, and Apple watch. So, if you plan to get a new iPhone make sure you get ‘Clear’ and put that gadget to a good use.

    2. Basecamp

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      If you work as a project manager, or if you want to get organized with people inside the same household, you can use Basecamp. Basecamp is great for creating projects, providing elaboration on what needs to be done, and for task distribution. It is also free to use for the first month or so, meaning that you can try it out and see if it works for you.

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      It also has a space called Campfires, where you can all communicate and collaborate whenever you are tackling a more complex project. It is overall a really easy and fun tool to use. Many small business owners opt for Basecamp, since it allows you to keep track of all the projects you have done in the past, so whenever you need something you can access it with ease.

      3. Toggl

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        This app is used for various types of time tracking, and there are two important things that the developers were able to pull off: they made it versatile for tracking just about anything and they made it amazingly simple. These are the two things that make Toggl such a valuable tool. It is as simple as typing in what you are doing at the moment, and when you are ready you just press the start button.

        When you are done you simply press stop and the time tracking halts. Additionally, Toggl allows users to get reports easily with its simple reporting interface. It is possible to report on basically anything you want. For example, if you tracked your work for some client, you can give them professional reports on the progress of your project without having to go through any extra steps or complicated procedures.

        4. Workflow

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          Workflow is an app designed for creating automation workflows in a visual fashion. You don’t need to know anything about URLs, as this app is all about drag and drop. It supports unlimited actions that you can include within a certain workflow. With this app, you can make your job so much easier, as it can be made simple or complicated if you prefer to use it that way.

          This app is great for iOS users who use a lot of different apps on their devices, as it bridges them and puts them all into one control line where you can perform actions without messy workarounds. If you rely on your mobile device a lot, this app will help you save time and be more efficient.

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          5. Dragon Dictation

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            Dragon Dictation is voice recognition app. This app can recognize your voice and do various different actions with it. It can transcribe it into text, you can perform actions on social networks, send messages etc. This is a great app that can help you perform multiple actions at the same time.

            In case you need your hands to be free for doing something else, while at the same time wanting to memorize your thoughts or remind someone of something important, Dragon Dictation is a perfect tool for you. You can tell the app to go through spreadsheets, reports or any other documents with a simple order. For busy people who need to save a lot of their time, this app is a godsend.

            6. Expensify

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              Tracking expenses can prove to be a difficult challenge for many of us. Especially if our job position requires creating expense reports for someone in our company. With it, you can take quick snapshots of any receipts or bills as soon as you receive them and this is how you will make sure that you don’t forget to add any expenses.

              It is possible to sort your reports any way you see fit, by names, email or something else and it doesn’t matter if that report is closed, open, processed or being approved. On top of being an excellent expense tracking app, it can also track your time spent on projects or the mileage you’ve traveled. It can be integrated with all of the best accounting programs to help you become an efficient business expert.

              7. Wunderlist

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                This is yet another to-do list app which can include notes, reminders and generally help you organize yourself properly each day so that you get everything done. There are so many similar apps like Wunderlist, but the fact that it comes so naturally and works without any glitch is the reason this app is on this list today.

                No matter if you are going for a quick visit to the grocery store, or you are planning a big birthday party, Wunderlist will help you stay on top of your to-dos. With Wunderlist you can create lists and share them with others if you are working on something together. Collaborating on tasks with Wunderlist is incredibly easy, as it has options for creating tasks, attaching files, leaving important comments and many other functions.

                8. Trello

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                  Trello is also a project management app that emphasizes visual use. This is a cloud-based software that offers a collaborative platform where you can manage various projects. It doesn’t matter if you want to use it for business or personal tasks, Trello can handle it. It works with cards which you can customize for ages. You simply drag and drop them where you like and add the information you need.

                  With Trello it is possible to take care of projects no matter what their size. This is an especially good project management tool for collaborating on projects where there are many sub-teams and sub-tasks that need to be differentiated. It has a “flag” feature that allows users to mark what is theirs, so that there are no confusions in handling tasks.

                  9. Pocket

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                    Pocket is an app that is used for quick bookmarking of things you would like to dedicate your attention to later. With its ability to sync with 500 other different apps, Pocket is truly amazing. For example, let’s say you are reading an article and someone interrupts you.

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                    Instead of searching for it again later when on your mobile phone, you can open it instantly, as Pocket will keep it synced. When you put something in your Pocket app, you can find it on all of the devices that are synced. Adding bookmarklet and saving pages is super simple, just two clicks required.

                    Pocket has some amazing features. For example, there are a lot of websites that offer good content, but it has horrifying visuals. Pocket has a feature that removes all the ads and sidebars and leaves your content naked for you to read undistracted.

                    10. Mindnode

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                      Ever heard of mind-mapping? It may sound like epic fantasy, but it’s a proven method for organizing information visually and brainstorming brand new ideas. The concept of long vertical lists has been removed and all the information is organized in a colored web. You start the whole process by inserting the general goal in the center of your screen. After that, you attach connections, add important notes and separate some smaller tasks that need to be done.

                      When you set up things this way, you will have an easier job in finding logical connections or figuring out some problematics that revolve around your idea. Furthermore, the visibility might show you something you haven’t seen before and helps you create better ideas.

                      Conclusion

                      These are some of the best apps for optimizing your organization. In my opinion, this is everything you need. However, you should make sure to learn to use them properly and avoid getting sucked into making your app usage counter-productive. A lot of people start overthinking and use some apps for tasks that they can complete without them. This creates clutter and time loss, and you should be careful that this doesn’t happen to you as well.

                      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/NtXEet79qfI via pexels.com

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                      More by this author

                      Aleksandar Ilic

                      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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                      Last Updated on October 7, 2021

                      Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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                      Are You Addicted to Productivity?

                      “It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

                      Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

                      “Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

                      Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

                      Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

                      “The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

                      This is my mantra:

                      I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

                      But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

                      Addiction to Productivity is Real

                      Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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                      “A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

                      Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

                      “It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

                      Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

                      “A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

                      “There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

                      “For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

                      There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

                      Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

                      By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

                      Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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                      Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

                      Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

                      Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

                      The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

                      Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

                      • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
                      • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
                      • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
                      • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
                      • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
                      • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
                      • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

                      The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

                      Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

                      Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

                      1. Set Limits

                      Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

                      For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

                      2. Create a Not-to-Do List

                      Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

                      3. Be Vulnerable

                      By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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                      4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

                      Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

                      Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

                      There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

                      5. Don’t Be a Copycat

                      Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

                      That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

                      6. Say Yes to Less

                      Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

                      That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

                      Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

                      7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

                      “In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

                      “That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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                      • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
                      • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
                      • Establish realistic goals.
                      • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
                      • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
                      • Hold yourself accountable.
                      • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
                      • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

                      8. Simplify

                      Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

                      The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

                      9. Learn How to Relax

                      “Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

                      “But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

                      “And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

                      But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

                      • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
                      • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
                      • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
                      • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
                      • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
                      • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
                      • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
                      • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
                      • Visit a massage therapist.
                      • Just breathe.

                      “Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

                      It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

                      Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

                      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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