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Problems Keeping Up? 10 Apps to Make You Highly Organized

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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                      Aleksandar Ilic

                      Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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                      Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                      How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

                      How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

                      These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

                      58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

                      Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

                      “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

                      So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

                      Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

                      1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

                      The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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                      Encourage Your Employees

                      When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

                      Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

                      Offer Rewards

                      Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

                      The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

                      Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

                      Give Autonomy

                      Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

                      Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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                      Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

                      2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

                      I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

                      Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

                      For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

                      We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

                      Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

                      A To Do Scheduling System

                      Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

                      The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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                      I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

                      With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

                      Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

                      3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

                      The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

                      “The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

                      An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

                      What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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                      Ask If They like What They’re Doing

                      If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

                      There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

                      “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

                      The Bottom Line

                      Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

                      Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

                      For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

                      Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

                      More Resources About Team Management

                      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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