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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 December 9, 2019

                      7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

                      7 Techniques to Stay Focused and Avoid Distractions

                      The world has become a very distracting place, you don’t need me to tell you that. Where once we could walk out of our house or office and disappear into our own world with our own thoughts, we are now connected 24 hours a day to a network that’s sole purpose is to make us available to anyone and everyone at any time they choose to disturb us.

                      Of course, it is very easy to sit here and say all you have to do is turn off your electronic devices and just allow yourself several hours of quiet solitude; but the reality is far harder than that. There is an expectation that we are available for anyone whenever they want us.

                      However, if you do want to elevate yourself and perform at your best every day, to produce work of a higher quality than anyone expects and to regain control over what you do and when you will need to regain some control over your time, so you can focus on producing work that matters to you…

                      The good news: You do not have to become a recluse. All you need are a few simple strategies that will allow you enough flexibility in your day to stay focused to do the work that matters and still allow you to deal with other people’s crises and dramas.

                      Here are 7 ways you can stay focused and be less distracted.

                      1. Find out When You Are at Your Most Focused

                      According to research, brilliantly documented by Daniel Pink in his latest book, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, our brains have a limited capacity to stay focused each day.[1]

                      From the moment we wake up to the time we turn in for the day, we are using up our brain’s limited energy resources and, depending on the time of day, we will be moving between strong concentration and low concentration.

                      This means that for most people, their optimum time for sustained concentration and focus will be soon after they wake up. For others, it could be later in the evening—a kind of second wind—but that is rare.

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                      Once you understand this, you can take time to learn when you are at your best and to protect that time on your calendar as much as possible. If you can, block it off and use that time for the work you need to do that requires the most concentration each day.

                      2. Get Comfortable Using ‘Do Not Disturb’ Mode

                      We have the ability to switch our electronic devices to do not disturb mode. Where all notifications are off and your phone or computer will not alert you to a new email or message.

                      Now after testing this function for a number of years, I can happily report that it does work.

                      When I sat down to write this article, I put all my electronic devices to do not disturb, closed down my email and began writing. I am safe in the knowledge that until this article is written, and I turn do not disturb off, there will be no interruptions or distractions.

                      Of course, it is not really about whether do not disturb works or not, it is whether you are willing to turn it on or not.

                      Most people believe they have to be constantly available for their boss or customers. This is not true at all. What has happened is because of your always available status, you have conditioned these people to turn to you first whenever they have a problem.

                      You are not actually helping them at all. You are preventing them from having to think for themselves and develop the skill of problem-solving. By not being so readily available, you help them a lot more.

                      What it comes down to is your boss and customers are going to be far more positive with you, if you deliver your work to the highest quality and on time than you being available 24/7. Trust me on that. I also tested that one.

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                      3. Schedule Focus Time Every Day

                      This technique is a lot easier than you may think.

                      First, you figure out when you are least likely to be disturbed. For me, that is between 6 and 9 am. for a lot of my clients, they find the first 90 minutes in the morning at their workplace is when they are not likely to be disturbed. This is important because you want to be building consistency.

                      Most people start their day by checking their email and other messages. While they are doing that, they are not going to be bothering you. Now there is no rule about when you should be checking your email. The chances are email is not going to be where you want to spend your most focused time, so you can decide to check your email at say 10:30 am.

                      Dedicate 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 11:00 am for email processing and use the first 90 minutes of your day for doing your most important work. You will surprise yourself by how much work you get done in that ninety minutes.

                      4. Plan Your Day the Night Before

                      One of the inevitabilities of life is there is always a plan for the day. The choice is whether the plan you have is a plan of your own making or not. If you don’t have a plan, then the day will take control of you. Other people’s priorities, urgencies and dramas will fill your day. As the late Jim Rohn said:

                      “Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

                      If you take control and make it a habit to plan out what you want to accomplish the next day before you go to bed, you will find yourself staying more focused on your work and be less likely disturbed.

                      Now when I say plan your day the night before, I do not mean you need to spend an hour or so planning and mapping out every minute of the day. Planning your day should only take you around 10 to 15 minutes and you only need to decide what 10 things you want to complete — 2 “must do” objective tasks and 8 “would like to do” tasks. What I call the 2+8 Prioritisation Technique:

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                      Do not be tempted to go beyond 10 tasks for the day. When you do that, you do not have enough flexibility in your day to handle crises and other unknown issues that will pop up throughout the day.

                      When you do not build in flexibility, you will soon stop planning your day. Only plan tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your work and projects.

                      5. Learn to Say “No”

                      I am sure you’ve been told this before. We are wired to please and this results in us wanting to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. The problem is we cannot do everything and every time you say “yes” to one opportunity, you are saying “no” to another opportunity. You cannot be in two places at the same time.

                      Jay Shetty shared an inspiring video on JOMO “Joy Of Missing Out”. Here’s the video:

                      Rather than allowing ourselves to be succumbed by FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out), we should replace that ‘fear’ with the “joy” of missing out. Because of our need to please, we say yes to things we really don’t want to do; yet when we do that, we miss out on doing things that bring us joy—creating something special, spending time educating ourselves and just having some quiet alone time with ourselves.

                      Learn to say “no” every time you get a notification to your phone. Ignore it. Learn to say “no” to your colleagues when they want to gossip. Learn to say “no” to volunteering when the thing you are being asked to volunteer for does not excite you. Just learn to say “no”.

                      By saying “no” to opportunities, distractions and interruptions, you are saying yes to better and more meaningful things. Things you do want to focus your attention on.

                      6. Create a Distraction-Free Environment for Your Focused Time

                      This has been possibly the most powerful tip I learned when it comes to focusing on what is important. Have a place where you do only focused, high-concentration work.

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                      Now this place needs to be clean and only have the tools you need to do your work. If it is writing a report or preparing a presentation, then it needs a table and a computer, nothing more. Files, paper and other detritus that accumulates on and around people’s desks need to go. A clean, cool and well-lit environment is going to do a lot more for your focus and concentration than anything else.

                      The dining table in our home is where I go for undisturbed, focussed work. I take my laptop or iPad, and only have my writing app open. Everything is closed down and the computer is in “do not disturb” mode. There is nothing else on the dining table just my computer and my water tumbler.

                      Because that is my designated focus area, I only go there to work when I have something that needs total focus and concentration. I am there right now!

                      7. Be Intentional

                      The reality is, if you absolutely need to get something done then you need to be intentional. You have to have the intention of sitting down, focusing and doing the work.

                      There’s no magic tricks or apps that will miraculously do all your work for you. You need to intentionally set aside time for undisturbed focus work and do it. Without that intention, you can read as many of these articles as you like and you still will not get the work done.

                      It is only when you intentionally set yourself up to do the work, turn off all notifications and do whatever it takes to avoid distractions will the work get done.

                      The Bottom Line

                      The strategies and tips I shared in this post will go a long way to helping you become better at focusing on the important things in your life. No matter what they are, you are in control of your time and what you do with it and where you spend it, never give that control away to anyone else.

                      Protect it and it will be your servant. Give that control away and it will become your master and that is not a good place to be.

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                      Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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