27 New Apps To Organize Nearly Everything
Getting organized is really just a matter of creating good habits. We can help you get your garage organized, sure, or how to assemble your WorkSpace garage cabinets, but maybe that’s not your priority right now. Perhaps you have some personal finances you need to get sorted first, or an email inbox that’s so full you actively avoid opening it.
Smartphone technology has made it possible to organize so many other facets of our lives. Those of you already using Dropbox or Evernote have already experienced this. Below are 27 apps released or relaunched in 2014 that you might not be familiar with, but can help you organize some aspect of your life. We put together this post for those of you who have stress that can’t be alleviated by putting things away in labeled boxes.
Our hope is that you can tackle these problems one at a time: Get the inbox to zero first, then take a minute to enjoy the satisfaction that follows. Next, perhaps sort out your personal spending budget. These habits build momentum, and before you know it your toolbox or your kitchen’s junk drawers will be neatly organized.
Organize Your Workday
Peek [$2.99; iOS]
Square Mountains, the company that developed Peek, have designed a calendar that looks so good you will want to manage your time just so you can play with the app.
Lowdown [Free for 30 days, about $8/month thereafter; iOS]
Lowdown is an intelligent app that learns where you are going and whom you are meeting so that you can be debriefed on the way. This is a fantastic way to save yourself time and effort just to get prepared for meetings (developers estimate users can save 12 whole work days per year with the app).
Hours [$9.99; iOS]
Hours is a beautiful time tracker that you just tap, and it starts recording. Your various tasks will be organized into timelines so you can see for yourself how you spend your time. This is great for professionals who bill by the hour, or simply anyone who would like to make more efficient use of his/her time.
Tinker [$0.99; iOS]
Tinker is a smart to-do list that lets you assign in advance how much time you would like to devote to a particular activity. The sleek design also makes scrolling through upcoming tasks easy.
Zippy [$0.99; iOS]
Zippy is another smart app for setting tasks and managing your calendar, but the cool part here is that the app also gives you feedback on how many tasks you’ve completed and how far in advance you plan your time.
Timeful [Free; iOS]
Timeful’s creators bill the app as an “intelligent time assistant.” Included in that is a calendar, a feature for creating to-do lists, and artificial intelligence that learns when is the best time of day for you to create and schedule tasks.
Organize Your Mailboxes (Email and Physical Mail)
Mailwise [Free; Android]
Mailwise makes getting your email inbox to zero a much faster process because it only displays the important parts of a message. No long threads from forwarded emails, no bloated signatures from work emails.
PaperKarma [Free; iOS and Android]
Of all the apps on this list, PaperKarma would probably be the one that would have blown people away 20 years ago. This app lets you scan the physical junk mail you receive, and the service will automatically contact the spammer and request you be taken off their mailing list.
Hop [Free; iOS available, Android coming soon]
Hop works to achieve the same goals as Mailwise above by turning back-and-forth email conversations into what look like instant messaging chats. You have no idea how clunky reading email is until you make the switch.
Organize Your Contacts List
Refresh [Free; iOS]
“Refresh” here refers to your memory, and what you wish you could do when you see a familiar face but can attach any details to it. Refresh is one big, intelligent contact list that searches social media to find any mutual interests or shared experiences with the people you add.
ContactBox [Free; iOS and Android]
Grab whole lists of contacts, and share that information with someone else. This is great if you are trying to organize an event such as a big family reunion or a trip with friends. Also, this would make replacing lost contacts in the event of a lost or busted phone pretty fast.
Addapt [Free; iOS and Android]
Have you ever had a friend change his/her phone number, and you’ve had to update a half dozen apps just to be able to get in touch? Addapt solves that by updating the information in your contacts list automatically. It also lets you group and sort contacts much more effectively than the contacts app that came with your phone.
FullContact [Free; iOS and Android]
FullContact itself is an online database that syncs all of your contacts from all over your digital life. The app is a card reader that lets you simply take a photo of someone’s business card and save the details automatically as a contact.
Organize Your Files
MyRoll [Free; iOS]
MyRoll lets you organize your photos and videos into galleries that are so much more easy to search and navigate than your phone’s native photo rolls. MyRoll also makes sharing images, videos and galleries a breeze.
Octonius [Free; iOS]
There are already plenty of places for us to store files and take notes that all sync up in the cloud. The irony is that just having Evernote, Google Drive and Dropbox storage makes your digital life incredibly disorganized without some real diligence. Enter Octonius, which lets you [and whole teams of people]
navigate seamlessly across your different spots in the cloud.
Organize Your Finances
Dollarbird [Free for the basic version; iOS and Android]
Dollarbird is your best bet if you don’t want to sync a budgeting and finances app with your bank accounts. Instead, you can manually input income and spending, and Dollarbird will crunch your data, track your activity over time, and help you spend more wisely.
BillGuard [Free; iOS available, new for Android]
BillGuard has been hugely popular among iPhone users, and this year an Android version became available. BillGuard does a few things: It automatically keeps track of your credit and debit card spending and displays your budget in an easy-to-follow visual format, it alerts you of suspicious charges, and it sends you coupons and alerts when it finds ways to help you save on your spending.
Level [Free; iOS and Android]
Level describes itself as a “financial GPS” so you can learn where you are moneywise and how to get where you want to be. Unlike the two apps above, Level is light on the graphs and charts, opting instead for simplicity so users can see quickly how much spendable cash they have on a month-to-month basis. Savings roll over, so you’ll know immediately when you have squirreled away enough to, say, book a vacation somewhere sunny.
Depop [Free; iOS and Android]
OK, so Depop is a financial organization app insofar as a garage sale is a fundraising activity. What Depop lets you do is take a photograph of anything you would like to sell, put a price on it, and post that item on the app’s network. Other users can then connect with you and buy what you’re selling via PayPal payments. This is great if you have a lot of stuff you need to get rid of but don’t want to go through the trouble of Craigslist or eBay.
Organize Your Phone
Aviate [Free; Android]
Yahoo!’s Aviate automatically organizes your Android phone’s home screen and displays groups of apps when they’re most useful. So, for example, if you plug in your headphones, it knows to display your music and podcast apps. Or, if it’s late in the evening, you’ll be able to set your alarm straight from the home screen.
EverythingMe [Free; Android]
EverythingMe is a launcher for Android phones that learns your daily rhythms and automatically customizes what apps you see first according to when and where you are. For example, in the morning it might show you weather and public transport times. If it detects you’re in a department store on a Saturday afternoon but understands you’re not much of a shopper, it can display your games for you. It’s one step closer to having our phones become personal assistants.
Nudge [Free; iOS and Android]
If you track your fitness, things get messy when you graduate to using multiple fitness trackers. Nudge curates the data from all your health trackers, such as FitBit and Nike’s FuelBand, so that you can read the data and analyze your performance all in one place.
Organize (and Reclaim) Your Time
PackPoint [Free; available for Android, new for iOS]
Most of us need a smart packing list. Packing seems to follow one of two paths: You either start packing well before your trip and devote hours [days?]
of mental energy getting organized, or you run around grabbing things minutes before running out the door. PackPoint solves both problems by learning what you plan to do on your trip and suggesting exactly what things to bring.
Wunderlist [Free; updated for iOS and Android]
Wunderlist, a list builder, is not a new app, but it did recently receive a re-design that made an already-popular piece of software even better looking. The updated Wunderlist is powerful: You can share and sync lists, set reminders and due dates, and even hashtag items for easy search.
Newsbeat [Free; iOS and Android]
Newsbeat lets you do some next-level multitasking. The app takes news stories in written format and condenses them into one-minute audio roundups. Catching up on current events is so passive with Newsbeat that it frees you up to do other things simultaneously.
BreakFree [Free; Android available, iOS coming soon]
Ironically, many of us need our smartphones to tell us when we’re spending too much time on them. That’s what BreakFree does. The app tracks your usage and gives you a gentle reminder when you’ve been spending too much time on your phone.
TimeAway [Free; Android]
Like BreakFree above, TimeAway attempts to regulate smartphone over-use, but its intended users are parents setting time limits for their children. The best feature? Children’s phones can be locked during family time such as dinner or visits with relatives.
images by: Thomas Guignard / Flickr