One way technology can help us stay organized is to keep track of all those random thoughts we need to remember later. Most productivity systems recommend getting as much information out of your brain and onto an external note-keeping system. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, says your mind is for having ideas, not holding them. Whether it’s to do lists, books to read, restaurants to try, or work reminders, a digital tool that helps you record and retrieve information is invaluable. Here my three favorite tools for digital note-taking - and they’re all free!
1. Notes app on your phone - Your smartphone comes equipped with a basic app for note taking, and this is an easy way to quickly record something on the go. I often use this to jot down something I need to remember temporarily, such as the section of the parking lot where I left my car. While the notes app is searchable and easy to access, it can’t really organize your information in any meaningful way. I recommend only using this for making quick notes on the go and then transferring anything needed later into a more powerful system.
2. Evernote - This is my app of choice for keeping everything that’s important at my fingertips. Evernote can be used for note-taking and long-form writing but it also functions well for lists. It has a web clipper function that allows you to save links to articles, images, and recipes you find online that you want to reference later. Its tagging and search functions allow you find things easily. The desktop and mobile versions sync effortlessly so all of your saved notes are available on the go.
3. Asana - This is the newest digital organizing app I’ve added to my roster and I wish I had done it sooner! This is a project management system that is perfect for organizing my business tasks, but it is also useful for breaking down personal projects that have multiple steps or subtasks. I love how it integrates seamlessly with Google Calendar so I can specify the dates I plan to tackle each task and they show up in my schedule so I am sure to set aside time for them.
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