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Supercharge Your Productivity: 7 Best To-Do Apps for 2014

Supercharge Your Productivity: 7 Best To-Do Apps for 2014

Deadlines: you can’t stand them, but you also can’t live without them. Start your new year resolutions early and kill the procrastination demon by turning to these highly useful and intuitive apps to create your to-do lists.

1. ToDoist (Free, or $29/year for Premium Version)

todo list

    Why it’s awesome: ToDoist’s layout and interface has been created to mimic your email inbox’s. ToDoist Karma, its newly unveiled feature, lets you track your productivity so that you can improve in areas like task management in the future. And in case you’re wondering, the basic ToDoist app is free but will cost you $29 per year if you’re enamoured with expansive features, such as 24 additional color codes for projects and 13 for labels.

    Availability: This is the mother of all to-do apps! It’s available on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Chrome, Firefox,Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird and yes, on the web too, so there’s no reason not to use it, regardless of which platform you’re on.

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    2. Any.Do (Free)

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      Why it’s awesome: Any.Do has impressed me for a long time now, thanks to the story behind the app and its founder. The app is powerful, flexible and superbly sleek, something that not every to-do app can boast about. One favorite feature among its many users is the missed call reminder: users will be prompted by Any.Do to return a call if you ever receive them (and believe me, I receive A LOT during deadline days).

      Availability: Android and iOS

      3. Carrot ($1.99)

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        Why it’s awesome: Who doesn’t love games? Carrot capitalizes on this fact and presents you with a to-do app with a personality. I love the bossy the app is, constantly coming on to me with phrases like “Greetings, lazy human”, “I am your new task master” and my favorite: “You don’t want to make me upset”. As you complete the tasks one by one, you’ll receive rewards (all 400 unique ones!). Instead of constantly tweaking your Facebook covers on 123covers.net, you’re better off spending time productively with Carrot.

        Availability: iOS

        4. Wunderlist

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          Why it’s awesome: Wunderlist actually lets you focus on completing tasks in your to-do list rather than organizing and re-organizing them again. Its elegance is much-appreciated, and the beautiful interface makes it a joy to work with. The premium version, Wunderlist Pro, is actually very useful if you want to share to-dos among team members or siblings. Anyone can give this a try, albeit through limited access to files and lists.

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          Availability: iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle, Web

          5. Calvetica ($2.99)

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            Why it’s awesome: Calvetica may be feature-rich, but it isn’t in any way sluggish at all. It syncs smoothly with your iPhone or iPad’s calendar, but works faster than the default one. With Calvetica, you’ll never need another notebook or calendar in your journal again. Users heaped praises on it, and I have to agree that the stylish UI design and cleanliness is very appealing. The regular updates rolling off the app shows how diligent its makers are–this is definitely an app to watch in 2014.

            Availability: iOS

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            6. Pocket Lists ($4.99)

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              Why it’s awesome: At $4.99 a pop, this app is certainly not one of the cheapest ones in the market but it’s certainly one of the most feature-rich apps that has almost everything you need to up your productivity to an all new level. Like ToDoist, Pocket Lists come with color coded lists, but with a twist–instead of mere colors, the latter has easily identifiable icons to accompany the lists in threaded view. I am impressed by its “multiplayer” mode that lets users share their to-do lists and collaborate with other people (think: planning parties together or going shopping with your spouse).

              Availability: iOS

              7. 2DO ($9.99)

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                Why it’s awesome: Mac users will love this app if they are constant users of iCal, thanks to its ability to sync the calendars and to-do lists between these platforms. Even without syncing, this app can charm your socks off with its intuitive and polished user interface. Another benefit that seems to be absent in most free to-do task managers is the push notification feature. Being able to add alarms also makes me more than happy paying $4.99 for the app.

                Availability: iOS, Android, Mac OS

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                Published on February 17, 2020

                What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits?

                What Is a Bullet Journal and What Are the Benefits?

                You may have heard of a productivity method called Bullet Journaling. What is a bullet journal? It is a very personal approach to getting in control of your life and becoming more productive.

                It does that by allowing you to build your journal, your system, and your method of journaling with very few limitations.

                Traditional journaling, or productivity systems, usually give you a template: a set way to record your information and tasks. You input the information and the system then shows you the information in a predetermined way. Not so with a bullet journal.

                What Is a Bullet Journal?

                With a bullet journal, you start with a number of symbols and a blank notebook (or a digital equivalent). Your choice of notebook, the pen you use, the ink color, and how you use the symbols is entirely up to you. You have complete freedom.

                In a sense, with a bullet journal, instead of having a “system,” you have some best practices that guide you.

                Is a Bullet Journal Right for You?

                So, with that in mind, would a bullet journal work for you? That depends. A bullet journal is ideal for those who have a strong creative side: a person who does not want to be bound by constraints and limits. Bullet journals give you complete creative freedom, and for many people, that is the attraction.

                However, if you are easily distracted and are a bit of a perfectionist, this lack of constraints can be a rabbit hole of lost focus and frustration. There is also the issue of the amount of time it takes to maintain a bullet journal. Depending on how you want your journal to look, these journals can take up a lot of time just to maintain. That is not for everybody.

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                How a Bullet Journal Works: An Overview

                A bullet journal works by giving you a blank page for each day. You have an appointments section and a to-do section, and after that, you can add anything you want.

                In your to-do section, there are a few symbols you will use to indicate what has happened to a to-do:

                • A bullet – a task
                • A bullet with a cross – task complete
                • A dash – indicates a note
                • Forward arrow – task moved to another day
                • A circle – an event

                That said, you can of course modify these symbols to suit your tastes.

                On top of your daily pages, you will have an index page and a calendar page. How you create these is up to you..

                Benefits of a Bullet Journal

                1. Improves Your Mental Health

                We know journaling has incredible mental health benefits. The act of journaling gives you time for reflection, time to get your thoughts out of your head, and time to review and plan.[1]  It’s a tremendous way to add some much needed perspective in your life.

                When you give yourself that valuable time to yourself, you have the opportunity to slow down and contemplate, and that allows your mind to settle, calm down, and reset. In a world that is relentlessly distracting, noisy and frenetic, those quiet moments with your journal can help sooth you.

                Learn more about improving your mental health: 8 Simple Ways to Be Mentally Healthy

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                2. Helps You Stay on Top of Your Goals

                Bullet journaling helps you stay on top of your projects and goals. Your to-do list guides you towards getting important things done each day and gives you a space to collect new tasks, opportunities and events.

                Without having a place to store your ideas, tasks and events, it is very easy for these things to slip your mind. When you have a journal with you everywhere you go, it’s very difficult to miss these things because you have them written down.

                Being able to see what you have planned, what you would like to achieve, and how you are progressing is a great way to keep you motivated to keep going, even when things get tough.

                Read more about how to reach your goals: 6 Golden Rules to Make Progress Towards Achieving Your Goals.

                3. Develops Creativity

                Bullet journaling can help develop your creativity. Having a blank page every day on which to create your vision for that day engages your creative side, and the more you use your creativity, the more creative you become.

                The freedom a bullet journal gives you to write, draw, color in, and develop gets your creative juices flowing. And if you need inspiration, you only need search “bullet journals” and you will be inundated with ideas and examples.

                4. Lets You Write Your Life’s Story

                Every day you write a few more words of your life’s story. Over time, you build an incredibly unique story — the story of your life. That one reason alone should be enough for you to go out and buy yourself a beautiful notebook in which to start writing your story.

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                Most people drift through life without documenting anything. Holidays with loved ones and friends go undocumented, becoming little more than a blur of memory and a long-lost batch of photos hidden among thousands of others stored on your phone.

                With a bullet journal, you can write down how you felt and who you were with, and you can print out your favorite photos and stick them into your journal to help you remember. (Yes! You can do that!)

                In ten or twenty years, when you look back through your journals, you will be able to re-live those special moments and experience the feelings you had at those times.

                5. Helps You Achieve Your Goals Through Writing

                The act of writing down your goals is one very powerful step to take towards achieving those goals. Studies have shown that when you write down your goals, you stand a much better chance of actually achieving them.

                Having a place to evaluate and review your goals helps keep you on track and keeps those goals up front and center in your life. It is very easy to sit down in the excitement of a new year and tell your friends about all the things you plan to do, only to completely forget about those goals by the end of January.

                When you write your goals down in your bullet journal (you can create a goals section), you have a place to remind you of what you want to achieve. This will keep you motivated and focused.

                Need more tips for staying motivated? Check out 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times.

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                The Bottom Line

                There are multiple benefits to keeping a journal, and the beauty of a bullet journal is that you get to create your own way of doing things. There are many resources online to guide and inspire you.

                The stories and memories you record in your bullet journal will give you joy and inspiration for years to come. So the next question is, when will you start to create your own.

                I have written a step-by-step guide you can use to start building your bullet journal today. This gives you guidance and ideas for the kind of notebook and pen to use, what you can store in your journal, and how to set up the basic structure.

                Good luck and happy journaling!

                Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

                Reference

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