Organize apps

Best Apps to Organize & Simplify Your Life in 2016

Chances are if you have a smartphone, you use it a lot. A recent study by Dailymail and DigitalTrends discovered that the average person picks up their phone 85 times a day. Furthermore, the average American uses their phone for 4.7 hours a day.

If you’re one of these people, you can use some of this time spent on your phone to organize and simplify your day-to-day tasks and increase your productivity. To help you out, we’ve put together the following guide to some of this year’s best apps to organize and simplify your life.

NOTE-TAKING

Evernote – 4.6 stars

Evernote

Whether you need to jot down a quick reminder or keep track of entire documents, Evernote is a great option. Evernote allows you to access your notes from any device which is perfect for the classroom, the office, or anywhere else. The “search” feature also helps you look for anything you need to find again, and the “folders” feature helps you organize all of your documents. Just beware, the app’s document formatting isn’t quite up to par with Microsoft Word.

Evernote also offers a digital assistant that helps you transform business cards into digital contacts; organize your receipts, bills, and other payments; and even helps you plan and book your trips.
Evernote is available on both iOS and Android.

Wunderlist4.5 stars

Wunderlist

Wunderlist offers you the easiest, most effective to-do lists we’ve come across to date. The app lets you organize your lists into categories, folders, and even “star” your important notes within each list. This app can also be accessed online so that you can find your lists from anywhere! Just keep in mind that it is quite easy to check an item accidently with a tap.

Also, available for Android, you can easily access to your to-do lists from your cell phone’s home screen.

Widget

 

Your Android widget can also automatically sync every 30 minutes if you have “Widget Synchronisation” enabled in settings. Otherwise, it will be updated when you open the Wunderlist app.
Wunderlist is available on both iOS and Android.

CALENDARS/REMINDERS

Accomplish – 4.3 stars

Accomplish

It’s hard to leave an app named “Accomplish” out of an organization list, though it’s also hard to place it into one category. The Accomplish team took the best of a to-do list and combined it with a calendar. You can schedule all of your to-do’s and your day-to-day schedule in the same place. You can even set alarms for tasks.

Accomplish isn’t meant as a replacement for your calendar. This app was designed to help with short-term time management, helping you make a to-do list and drag items into a daily schedule, which breaks down your day into hours, allowing you to see what’s possible and where you have free time. If you don’t finish everything on your daily schedule, Accomplish will move the task back into the To-Do list at the end of the day.  

Accomplish is only available for Android at the moment.

Cozi – 4.5 stars

Cozi

“The Family Planner,” Cozi is perfect if you’re trying to manage multiple schedules. Cozi is an Appy Award winner for the Best Family App. Share a color-coded calendar to see one or all of your family members’ schedules. Share grocery lists, upcoming events, important documents, etc, in real time, so everyone in your group stays up-to-date. This app makes communication between friends and family incredibly easy.

Reminder alarms and both a mobile and desktop version help drives home the point that every family can find a use for Cozi.

Cozi is available for both iOS and Android.

24me – 3.9 stars

24me

Like Accomplish, 24me is hard to pin to one category because it utilizes all of your To-Do lists, calendars, and more. 24me sends you reminders to make sure you remember what you need to do. You can even sync it with social media apps to never forget to send birthday wishes again.

24me is very helpful, but it can also be overwhelming to have everything in one place. Also, you may receive too many reminders about things you don’t need to worry about so you’ll have to find a comfortable medium in this app.

24me is available for iOS and Android.

GENERAL PRODUCTIVITY

Key Ring – 4.1 stars

Key-Ring

Tired of carrying around heavy keys? Keep losing cards and missing out on rewards? Key Ring keeps all of this information readily available for you, right in the same app! You no longer have to write down long codes to repeat at the register. Instead, use Key Ring to scan your rewards codes right from the screen.

There are no downsides to this simple-to-use storage app.  Organize your wallet with Key Ring.

Key Ring is available on iOS and Android.

IF by IFFTTT – 4.2 stars

IFTT

Probably the most advanced app on this list is IF, made by If This Then That, IFTTT for short. There are no boundaries on what this app can do.

IF allows you to link all of your favorite apps in one place so that you can get things done faster. You start by setting up equations, or “recipes” as the company calls them. These can be anything from, “When I arrive home, turn on my WiFi”, or “If I leave work, open Google Maps.”

IF can even be combined with smart electronics allowing you to control lights, or make coffee, wirelessly. It takes a little time to set it up at first, but once you have your recipes ready to go, you can sit back and let this app be productive for you!  

We found it can be hard to customize the app just as we need, but after more time with the app, you’ll figure out which functions you can make automatic to make your life easier. (There are also some basic recipes that come with the app).

IF is available for iOS and Android.

Google App Series

Google apps

We couldn’t decide which was best, so we chose them all. Many Android phones come with a Google app package built in, but with so many different functions available within these apps, there is a good likelihood that you haven’t taken full advantage of them yet. These interface-crossing apps are already setup to sync with your Google account, so you can use them anywhere and combine them for ultimate productivity.

Chrome: A great browser option, with all sorts of configurations and preferences to make your web surfing just that much better. It allows your computer history to show on your phone and vice versa, allowing you to work on the go, or at the office.

Drive: Access any document you have saved from anywhere. It’s great when you need to collaborate on projects. You can also share and send documents.

Docs: Similar to Drive, Docs allows you to edit documents. Combining these two apps gives anyone the ability to start a group project from anywhere. You can even work offline, and your work will save when you have Internet again (as long as you turn “Offline Access” on before you lose Internet).

Now: A great way to integrate the voice option on your phone. Say “Ok Google…” and those two magic words will help you find the answer to your request by using Google’s search engine. Say buzzwords like weather, sports, traffic, etc., to stay up-to-date on all of the latest news.

Keep: Another great way to keep all of your notes in one place. Keep gives you the option to take notes in list, page, picture, or audio form, and like everything Google, you can access them anywhere.  You can also make folders, color code them, and archive them when you’re done so they’re saved in the best format for you. Combine Keep with Now, and you can save a note the second you need it, without unlocking your phone.
Taking full advantage of these Google apps will turn you into a true master of organization.  

The Gone App4+ stars

Gone

The Gone App helps you organize your home and work space while cutting down your time spent in the online technology selling game. Organize your work area by selling that old computer monitor that’s been sitting in the corner by snapping a photo of it and sending it to Gone either through the app or via an SMS text message. Gone then evaluates the best market price for the product and messages you an offer, saving you all those hours you’d spend creating an online eBay selling profile, vetting buyers, and researching prices.

Upon accepting the offer, Gone can arrange for a pickup through Concierge Service if you live in the following cities: Manhattan, Austin, Seattle, or the San Francisco Bay Area. If you reside outside these cities, Gone can mail you pre-paid shipping labels and package materials for you to load up your item/s and drop them off at your nearest local UPS location.

Gone helps you make a profit and organize your space, all at the same time, with little effort required on your part!

The app is currently only downloadable on iOS devices, but other smartphone users can utilize Gone’s services through SMS by sending a text to 415-980-4663.

Have any other recommendations for organizational apps that simplify your life? Share them with us in the comments!

 

 

Read More

Earth Day

5 Easy Ways to Go Green This Earth Day

This year for Earth Day, we’re looking at a few different ways that you can cut back. We’re not just talking about saving energy. Here are some ideas that will not only help to preserve the planet but also put a little money back in your pocket.

 

1. Stop The Running Water

You’d be surprised how much water is wasted daily on regular tasks. Even something as small as a leaky faucet can lose up to 20 gallons of water every day! So if you want to see a difference in your bill each month, fix the leaky faucet. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and scrubbing the dishes. You could even take it a step further, and turn off the water while soaping up and shampooing your hair in the shower.

In just those few minutes, you’ve already stopped gallons of water from going right down the drain. And there’s a good chance the water will still be warmed up by the time you turn it back on.

Water

 

2. Recycling Also Includes Water

There are plenty of ways to reuse water from around the house. When you have unfinished bottles of water, or glasses of water don’t pour them down the drain. Instead, pour them all into a bucket. Once the bucket is filled, take it outside to water your plants or garden. If there are chemicals in the water, pour it down the toilet for one free flush.

 

3. Rain, Don’t Go Away

Now that you’ve stopped wasting water inside the house, it’s time to move on to the outside. There’s no need to sit around waiting for the next big thunderstorm to flood your lawn. Instead of letting all that water go to waste right on the ground, put containers under the gutters of your home to collect runoff.

If you put a screen or simple filter over the gutter pipe, you could also use the water for washing your car or your dog. This can make a huge difference for people living in areas with plenty of rain. Seattle, things just got a little brighter in your city!

rain

 

4. Go Green at Work

Taking steps to make the world a better place happens outside of the home, too. Have you considered talking to your managers and coworkers about making some changes around the workplace? Try proposing a weeklong campaign for Earth Day. It could involve recycling challenges, electric savings plans, or even proposing to have eco-friendly faucets and light fixtures installed. Hey, they don’t have to be tree-huggers to get behind the idea of saving some money!

5. Don’t Toss Those Old Electronics

Most of us know electronic waste can be extremely harmful to the environment. However, very few solutions exist to dispose of these unwanted electronic devices. Fortunately, getting rid of your old electronics is much easier than you think – thanks to the Gone app. If you have old electronics that still work, you can make some serious cash by selling them to us. Gone makes selling and saving these items from the landfills super easy. You can receive packing materials and helpful instructions for sending your items off safely and quickly by using Gone Lite or GoneSMS.

Alternatively, if you live in Austin, Seattle, San Francisco or New York, you can go green by sending your items off with a Gone Concierge. We’ll come straight to your doorstep and take care of the entire process for you.

 

 

Read More

5 Reasons Why the Holiday Season is the Best Time to Declutter Your Home

The holiday season is the perfect time to declutter and get organized. With gift-giving in full swing, it’s a good time to implement “out with the old and in with the new”. The Gone app is the perfect solution to get rid of the items you no longer use and decluttering can help keep your home tidy for the holiday get-togethers and keep some of the holiday-induced stress at bay. Here are a few other reasons why the holiday season is the best time to declutter your home and some tips on how to do so.

(more…)

Read More

old tech

5 Things to Think About When Buying Used Electronics Online

Gone makes it delightfully easy to sell your unwanted electronics, but buying electronics online from sites such as Craigslist and eBay can be hit-or-miss. Buying used electronics is an easy and environmentally-friendly way to save money however we tend to worry that we might get a bad deal on what seemed to be a great steal. Relying on insufficient, one-sided information can be risky business so here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a new (old) laptop or phone.

(more…)

Read More

Gone user

8 Declutter Life Hacks to Simplify Your World

When you declutter your home you can not only save space, but also declutter your mind. Stress and clutter are strictly correlated and too much stuff can weigh you down. The key to decluttering is starting small and implementing easy daily routines that will help you change your perception about things and eliminate clutter over time. Choose one area of your life or home you wish to declutter and get to work with one of these simple declutter life hacks.

(more…)

Read More

what to get rid of

Decluttering 101: How Can I Decide what to Get Rid of?

Spring cleaning isn’t just for April and May; every quarter you should take some time to get rid of unused stuff to get the fresh, organized feeling that makes you a more productive person. The hardest part is deciding what to get rid of — especially if you have a lot in storage. You always think there might be one day when you need (insert unnecessary item here)! Here are a few tips on how to declutter your space and make a less chaotic home.

(more…)

Read More

The Best Ways to Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

Unless you’re a sworn minimalist, you’re one of millions who have acquired more stuff than you actually use on a regular basis. Some of your excess consists of perfectly good items that you once loved, but you’ve since replaced them with upgraded versions, have grown bored with these things or have simply moved on from your attachment to them. The problem now is sorting through it all and figuring out exactly where to get rid of what. Whether you’re downsizing, deciding to become a minimalist or just need to declutter your environment, the advice that follows can certainly help.

(more…)

Read More