Nothing Short of Chic: My Top Tips For Organization: The Best Apps And Products

19.10.15

My Top Tips For Organization: The Best Apps And Products

 
 LOCATION: SUNSHINE COAST, BC
   
 
Organization is essential, so let me make it simpler for you.

Here it is: my keys to organization. In today's fast-paced world, organization of time, information, and life in general are one of the most valuable assets a person can have. Since my massive European tour earlier this year, I've found a need to be super organized, and I have discovered a great many tips that make it that much easier. In this post I'm naming and explaining my favorite apps and tools, and their most useful features, that I use to keep my life in order (bonus: every app is free to download).


Remember The Milk (Android, iOS, Web)



Remember The Milk is a free-to-download app/website, available for iOS (including iPad) and Android, that allows you to organize tasks of every kind (including grocery shopping - hence the name) and access them on any device. You can choose to filter your tasks by subject, by tag, by due date, by creation date, or by location - I generally filter by tag because it allows me to see every task within a specific parameter, like email or shopping. You can also organize your tasks by priority - high, medium, or low - which is helpful for the days when you have an endless to-do list and need to figure out which tasks need to come first. Also, you can edit offline which is always one of the most useful features an app can have. Download from the App Store here or Google Play here.


Calendar (OS/iOS + Google Calendar Sync)



Calendar is an obvious tool, but it's also absolutely essential and not to be forgotten. iOS devices come with the app preinstalled for a reason! A simple interface with many features, it lets you create multiple calendars for various types of events - for example, birthdays, holidays, meetings, travel, etc. My favorite part is the ability to invite collaborators to your event, either as a viewer or an editor. You are also able to sync the iCloud calendar (which is also available on Macs) with Google Calendars, which is extremely helpful if you're often accepting events from Gmail users. It's also easy to access your calendars even if you're not on your own device - it's available on the iCloud website.


Dropbox (Android, iOS/OS, Web)



Dropbox, available as an app for Android, iOS, and OS, is quite possibly the most useful tool I know of. It allows you to save your documents/photos/videos/other in the cloud, accessible from anywhere with Internet (because you can use the website, too). A bit like iCloud Photo Sharing (another favorite of mine) but bigger, simpler, and for more than just photos, Dropbox ensures that you can not only access your files anywhere, but you also won't lose anything. It basically saved me when my computer was stolen earlier this year, because almost everything was saved in Dropbox folders. You can also use it to avoid sending huge amounts of data via email (lower WiFi bill, yay!) by instead sending people the link to your file - they can view and download the file even if they aren't a Dropbox user. On your Mac, after downloading, it integrates into Finder and your top toolbar and acts just like Finder folders, letting you drag and drop into and out of any Dropbox folder. Using it is a bit of a no-brainer - I don't see why anyone wouldn't! Download from the App Store here or Google Play here.


Google Drive (Android, iOS/OS, Web)



You may be wondering why I use this as well as Dropbox, but they both serve very different (and very useful) purposes. Dropbox is about accessibility; Drive is, too, but to a lesser extent - it's more helpful in the creation of files. Documents, sheets, and slideshows can all be crafted, saved, and shared in Drive - super helpful now that my Microsoft Office license ran out! All of the features of Word, Excel, and most of Powerpoint are available in Drive - and you can work on them from any device, even if it's not the one you typically use, because of the web version. Download from the App Store here or Google Play here.


iCloud/Google Sync (iOS/OS)



If you have an Apple device and aren't using this feature, it's time to start immediately. If you go under Settings > iCloud, you can choose to turn on syncing for Photos, Mail, Contacts, and more. If you have multiple email addresses like me, keep the Contacts option turned off and instead navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Then, by clicking on each email account, you can turn on Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Safari, and more selectively. This is great for me because I don't necessarily want, for example, all of my contacts from some of my email accounts to show up in my Contacts app. iCloud sharing for photos is also great - I create photo streams for various categories of photos and then I can view them on my computer as well as the devices of whomever I share the stream with.


Levenger Ring Notebooks



My mom has an addiction to Levenger products (she'll deny it, but it's obvious to all of us that know her!) and passed it on to me. I love the plastic ring notebooks and have different ones for various subjects (this one is for NSOC). I like the smaller size, because I can easily take it with me anywhere, but there are other sizes available, including letter size. They are excellent because they come as a package with lots of add-ons that excite organization freaks like myself, including colored stickies, lined, white, and graph paper, dividers and plastic pockets, and contact cards. You can also buy the plastic ring hole punch, so that you can add regular paper into the notebook (far better than the standard three-ring because paper of any size works). Buy the notebooks here, or browse the Levenger site here.


NSOC File Organization Breakdown



This isn't a tool, but I wanted to show you an example of how I organize my files in Dropbox. Here I've shown the breakdown for my Nothing Short Of Chic folder with examples of the folder and file names that I use (by the way, the long file names have a purpose - they're great SEO!).

Hopefully this is helpful to you - I know it's very different from my usual content - but when I asked you if you thought you'd like a post like this on Facebook, I got some positive responses. Let me know if you use any of these tools already, and if you don't, let me know what you're excited to try out!

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