They master their to-do list
To-do lists are key to living an organized life, and having access to them wherever you go with a smartphone only makes them even more effective. Organizing expert Donna Smallin Kuper recommends using an app like Any.Do to create a master list of everything you know you need to accomplish. Then, pick a few tasks each day that you want to get done, and add them into the open slots on your calendar. “There’s a saying that what gets scheduled gets done, and I really think it’s true,” Kuper says. Once you take care of your to-do list, make sure to have a stress-free weekend.
They grocery shop as they go
Paper grocery lists can be a pain to write out, and even harder to keep track of. Instead, Kuper uses the Android app “Out of Milk” to record what groceries she’s running low on and what she needs to buy regularly. The app also sorts your items into categories—produce, dairy etc.—to make grocery shopping a breeze. Check out these tips for hassle-proofing errands.
They pay without plastic
Dozens of credit cards and loyalty cards weighing your wallet down? Kuper recommends lightening your load by taking advantage of the various pay apps available for smartphones, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay. These apps let you load your credit or debit card information right onto your phone, and all you need to do at the store is tap your device on a sensor to pay. You can also link your loyalty and rewards cards with the app, allowing for quick and easy savings.
They make multitasking look easy
Juggling a bunch of projects at once can get messy, but professional organizer Alejandra Costello of Alejandra.tv suggests using a project management app like Basecamp to stay organized with separate to-do lists, due dates, and schedules for each of your endeavors. Basecamp syncs your information between your computer, phone, and tablet, allowing you to start a new project or finish up an old task any time, anywhere. Here's how to make the most of leftover free time.
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They download key documents anytime, anywhere
Professional organizer Andrew Mellen recommends apps like Google Drive and Dropbox to store your documents and photos in the cloud. Not only does doing so let you retrieve your files anywhere, but it also backs them up in case of a tragic (but all too common) computer crash.
They protect their passwords
“You want to be using lots of different passwords for things because if someone gets one password and you’re using the same password for everything, then they can get into all of your accounts,” Kuper says. To keep track of all of these passwords, she uses RoboForm, an app that securely stores your login information for each of your online accounts. At $20 a year, RoboForm is a bit on the pricier side, but Kuper says free options, such as LastPass, do the trick as well. Here are other ways to protect yourself from identity theft.
They organize receipts—easily
If your inbox is flooded with digital receipts, Kuper suggests using the app Shoeboxed to digitally store and organize them. “It’s really cool, especially for business people, because you have to save all your receipts for the IRS,” she says. Shoeboxed also lets you scan and sort business cards, track your mileage, and create expense reports.
They sync their calendars
Costello recommends mobile calendar apps like iCalendar, Google Calendar, and Outlook to synchronize your tasks and information between your phone and computer, making it easy to stay on top of your schedule on the go. These applications also let you store contact information, add notes, and set event reminders, eliminating the need to carry around address books, notepads, and planners, too.
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They keep the whole family on top of things
Keeping track of your own schedule can be tricky enough, but add a whole family into the mix and things are bound to get a little disorganized. Fortunately, your smartphone can save you. Costello recommends Cozi, an app that lets you oversee each family member’s individual appointments, activities, and chores, so you never have to miss a soccer game or talent show again.
They keep it simple
Even with all of these specialized apps at the touch of a finger, Mellen generally prefers to keep his smartphone organization routine simple with the pre-loaded iPhone Notes app. He uses Notes primarily for storing his clients’ information and typing out large chunks of texts to copy and paste elsewhere, but the clean, straight-forward design of the app is also useful for last-minute lists and quick reminders. Make your life easier with these phone camera hacks you haven't thought of.
They stick to time limits
To avoid spending too much time on one task, Costello recommends using a timer app like Timer on Fire to set time limits for each of your projects. “If you’re working on a project and you want to say ‘Okay, I’m only going to spend 20 minutes doing this,’ or ‘I’m going to spend 30 minutes at the end of the day picking up around the house,’ you set the timer, and it can either count up or count backwards,” she says. And with a large interface that takes up your entire phone screen, Costello says Timer on Fire is ideal for the visually-oriented. Here are other things successful people do at work.