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Organize For Free

The majority of us use our computers daily for most of our tasks and for you bearded hipsters who write everything in a leather-bound notebook (you know who you are), glean from this what you can. Personally, I love tech and I love being organized, so I've pulled together some great free resources that can help you electronically organize your life one small click at a time.

Seven Essential Free Apps (Mac)

 

Seven Essential Free Apps (PC)

Sticky Notes:

Instead of actually sticking notes to your monitor, use a sticky note program to organize to-do lists, jot down a quick phone number, copy and paste something you need to save for later, ect. DO NOT use sticky notes for longer ideas . . . use Word. If you have a Mac, "Stickies" come standard with your OS, but if you have a PC here is the best free sticky note application (unless you have Windows 7...it comes with its own sticky notes).

If you have a Mac, here is a nice "10 tips for stickies." Highlights: make Stickies float above all windows, make Stickies translucent, place other media in Stickies, and add scroll bars to Stickies.

Project Management:

If you've ever tried to work with other people on a project, you know how hard it can be organize responsibilities, task items, time-lines, etc. If you're looking to go beyond the resources that Google offers for collaboration (like Google Calendar, Docs, Spreadsheets, File-Upload, etc.) try-out Basecamp. Here is a run-down of what Basecamp has to offer (via Business Pundit).

Features:

* Powerful project management
* Client integration
* Comprehensive dashboard
* In-depth user permissions and visibility controls
* To-do lists
* File sharing
* Chat
* Message boards
* Milestones
* Time tracking

Pros:

* Customizable interface design
* Data exporting
* Developer API
* Third-party integration
* Mobile support & applications
* Massive customer base

Cons:

* Lack of functionality outside of project management
* Bland design

Price:

* Free: 1 project; unlimited users
* $24/month: 15 projects; 5GB, unlimited users
* $49/month: 35 projects; 15GB, unlimited users
* $99/month: 100 projects; 30GB, unlimited users
* $149/month: Unlimited projects; 75GB, unlimited users

Scheduling:

If you've ever tried to organize a meeting between more than two people, you know how hard it can be to figure out everyone's availability and determine the best meeting time. Struggle no longer my friends! I recently found out about a fantastic new tool, Doodle. (And yes, I am embarrassed it took me this long to find out about it.)

Say you want to create a meeting time for your book club. Just create the event, pick different days and time-slot options, and email everyone that might participate the event link. The potential participants (without even needing to create an account) can click yes if they are available for the different slots, then everyone can see which time-slot has the most "yeses." It's so efficient it makes me want to cry.

TweetDeck:

I know everyone doesn't use Twitter, but I do. And here is how I use it. I use it to gather information from sources I'm interested in. Twitter directs me to breaking news, the most interesting links, and my favorite conversations. However, as you follow more sources, the valuable information can be harder to isolate. This is where TweetDeck saves the day and heps you organize Twittersphere. 

 Instead of breaking down how I use TweetDeck, I found a great resource that shows exactly how to use it effectively. Follow Chris Spagnuolo's directions on how to organize your TweetDeck and I promise, you'll be in Twitter-heaven.

"What it does is take your entire Twitter feed and break it down into small, manageable, bit-sized pieces. Using TweetDeck’s column-based interface, you can split your Twitter feed into topic or group specific columns. You can also see separate columns for your @replies and your direct messages. There are also lots of other useful little tools built into TweetDeck that help you shorten your URLs, shorten your Tweets and post pictures."-Chris Spagnuolo

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These are just a few of the tools I use to organize my life and I'm not even touching on mobile apps . . . that's a whole other post! What tools are you using to stay organized?

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