I recently discussed the pros and cons of using paper planners to keep track of our insanely busy lives as mothers in my post Get Organized – Paper Planners. But there are also tools available to help you get organized digitally.
With the invention of computers and now smartphones, so many of us have replaced our paper planners for the convenience of a digital program like Google Calendar.
But there are so many more to choose from. How can you know which one will work for you? Short of trying them all out, you can’t know. So to help you narrow it down a bit, I’m going to give you the pros and cons that I’ve found for 3 programs I have personally used.
This is a note-taking app that helps organize notes, to-do lists, and websites. It has been around for a few years and I remember when it first came out. I tried it then but since I was sharing a computer with the family and did not have a smartphone yet, it never really worked as I needed it to.
- The note-taking style of layout is understandable.
- It can be used offline.
- You can save links to websites directly to your notebook for easy access.
- You can see a list of notes for each notebook without opening them.
- It’s free to use.
- It is not very flexible since it doesn’t allow easy sharing of notes between sections.
- Keeping track of multiple different subjects isn’t very easy.
- The style is basic.
- It’s a bit boring to look at.
- There is a bit of a learning curve to using it to its full extent that I never had the patience for.
Evernote is a tool that I’ve signed up for and fiddled with a bit, but I could never get too excited about it. The things it offered never really worked for my busy, on the go, eclectic lifestyle. Maybe with a little more time put into it, I could find it to be useful but I’ve found better things that work for me, for the moment. Do you use Evernote? How does it help you get organized digitally?
This is a fairly recent online program that seems to be taking off in popularity. It is laid out like a bulletin board with different cards attached to keep track of projects, notes, and to-do lists, among other things. I tried it on a whim, and find that I keep coming back to it for lots of different reasons.
- You can get a free account and start using it immediately.
- It is pretty self-explanatory for its basic use as a to-do list.
- You can save links to websites directly to the cards.
- There are free templates available for just about any use.
- You can add people to your boards to work on a common project online.
- Change the backgrounds to fit your personal style.
- You can create labels in color to see at a glance different categories.
- Create checklists and put deadlines on any task.
- The cards can be easily transferred from one list to another with the drag-and-drop method.
- There is a bit of a learning curve when learning to use it to its full extent.
- You are limited to 1 Power-up in the free method though at least 2 are extremely helpful on a regular basis.
- To get the most out of it, you need to have the paid version.
- There is only one view; you can filter by category but still see it in the same list, card layout.
I’m really enjoying using Trello. I’ve even downloaded the app so that when I’m stuck in the line at the supermarket, I can still be getting some organization done. I never really thought I would last this long on Trello. While it seemed interesting at first, I didn’t really know how I could use it better than my bullet journal.
But after receiving some free templates and watching a couple of video how-tos from Beauty of Selah, the ideas for use in my personal life just took off. The post Introduction to Trello to Organize Your Blog has a great video explaining how to set up a board for a to-do list. Granted, it is created for bloggers but you can easily see how it could be used for your own personal task list. This is my personal favorite tool for getting organized digitally.
This is a brand new organization program that is still in beta but will be released shortly. It is similar to Trello in its design and functionality but with more flexibility.
- You can easily import boards from Trello.
- You can switch viewing so that your boards can be seen as lists (like Evernote), columns (like Trello), calendars (like Google Calendars) or tables (like a spreadsheet).
- They are in production to create other viewing models like gallery, timeline, and chart.
- The creators are open to suggestions and ideas to make it work better.
- You can create multiple workspaces to separate your boards by different categories.
- You can create checklists, deadlines, and just about every other attribute used by Trello. (Can you tell I like Trello?)
- It is not as easy as Trello to set up a new board.
- There is no free version available.
- It is not fully created yet so there are still glitches.
- There are no courses or resources available yet to help with the learning curve.
I really wish I had more time to play around with Infinity. I’ve been testing out what it can do with my already created Trello boards and I am impressed. However, every time I try to create my own board, I struggle to make any sense out of it. Adding labels, checklists, deadlines, and other attributes are not easily mastered. Of course, this could change as more people use it and start creating tutorials. But, unfortunately, since it is only offered as a paid version, the time it takes to master it may be costly.
I have only touched on a few of the different options available if you like to use online services and apps to keep organized digitally. There are so many choices out there and it is constantly growing. What it comes down to is a personal choice. Everyone has different needs. And we all think differently. And for this reason, it is wonderful that we have so many choices. But it can also be overwhelming.
What do you use to keep organized? Feel free to comment below or to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear your solutions.