Article in Best of category.
Top Apps to Keep You Organized
Whether you’re looking to organize your life or your recipe book, here are my favorite apps to put things in order. Jump Down: 1. Craft…
Whether you’re looking to organize your life or your recipe book, here are my favorite apps to put things in order.
Document and task management with shorthand
Craft has remained one of my favorite organization tools for documents, lists, and tasks. The last of which, also helps keep me organized in my everyday life. It’s so full-featured that it is hard to walk through each relevant feature in the small blurb I’m to write here.
This app is an entirely unique user interface that is intuitive and visual, bringing a newfound importance to how your documents look.
Craft can be used to create travel plans. Highlight each place you’ll visit as well as what you hope to do and see. Organize locations, itineraries, and more. Or maybe use it to plan an event together. Craft’s collaboration tools allow multiple people to work on projects together.
Each document can be styled more easily than ever. Rather than your quick basics like font, italics, color, your document can have a ton of different visual elements. Create groups of cards that sit on a document. Add block or focus decorations to distinguish sets of text or images. Or insert a to-do list.
I love how Craft is ripe with keyboard shortcuts. You can type or use shortcuts to do all sorts of things from adding line breaks to creating a list. I do a ton of work on my iPad and Mac and keyboard shortcuts are paramount to getting stuff done. There’s a small learning curve as you adjust to Craft’s take on productivity, but once you get the hang of it it will be hard to go back.
Productive Habit Tracker
Take control of your life
I’ll be honest. The first reason I checked out Productive was its icon. It is clean, minimalist, and modern. Once I tapped in to learn more, I was hooked. The App Store banner had a menagerie of custom icons with vivid colors on a nearly-black background. It was a quick download.
The name isn’t the best, but the Productive Habit Tracker helps you organize your days and built new, healthy habits. These can be things like brushing your teeth or reading a few chapters in a book. To help guide you, Productive offers you up multiple challenges you can join. Right now, one of those challenges is a real-time 7-day challenges to help you cut the clutter. You join thousands of others as they look to organize their lives as well.
Besides public challenges, there are personal growth programs too. How to be organized, how to be productive, and how to learn a new skill are just some of the options available. Your progress is tracked within the app and they’ve gamified the process by issues you awards as you go.
Beyond those awards, there’s a full analyzation breakdown too. You’re able to view graphics and charts that represent your performance. Are you maximizing your productivity? How long is your current streak. And how many days have you skipped. This is shown in a trend chart over periods of time to push you towards doing better. Plus, it’s just an amazing looking app. Charcoal backgrounds, pops of colors, lovely graphics.
Keep track of your day
A helpful way to keep yourself organized and on task is by blocking out your day. TimeBloc does just that. It breaks your day up into granular blocks so you can prioritize what you need to be doing.
Your first block may be waking up, which can have multiple tasks inside of it. Block two may be breakfast, before travel work, and various meetings. You can assign common blocks that happen repeatedly and it can tie into your calendar and fill in others for you.
These basic blocks can help you form routines and routines can help organize your chaotic life. Other than the uniqueness of TimeBloc, I also appreciate it for its design. Its light-purple aesthetic looks great and it looks equally as good when in dark mode.
A better iOS calendar and task manager
Apple’s default calendar is good, but Fantastical is even better. It holds all of your calendars, marks your availability, tracks all of your tasks, and even can display different time zones. It works with iCloud, as well as Yahoo, exchange, Google, and more.
One of my favorite features is Fantastical’s natural language processing. You don’t have to edit multiple fields, instead you can just type your event in a single sentence. “Lunch with Faith Monday at three” will automatically be added to your calendar just as you wrote it. No need to input each piece of information separately. It’s so easy to use, I find myself doing it when I open Apple Calendar where it just stares at me blankly.
When joining a conference call, Fantastical analyzes what is in the invite and let’s you jump into the call with just a tap. No need to copy links or enter meeting details.
There are many ways Fantastical integrates with iOS, but one of the most helpful ways is with its widgets. See your tasks, see your events, and more throughout 17 different widgets. It’s never been easier to keep your calendar organized.
Your own virtual assistant
Have you ever wanted your own personal assistant?! Me too! For the time being, 24me is as close as I’m going to get. This app helps manage your to-do lists, notes, accounts, and calendar in one singular place.
Possibly the biggest thing that drew me to the app originally, was its ability to create tasks, notes, and meetings by using your voice, rather than typing it all out. Isn’t that the point of an assistant? Having them take notes and create your meetings? That’s what I thought..!
24me will also deliver you smart, personal reminders. These can be basic like when to leave for your meeting based on current traffic or more cumulative, such as a daily summary of your tasks and meetings you have to deal with.
Also, it’s just a great looking, well built app. There’s a ton of customization options, a dark mode UI, widgets, and plenty more.
An app to cook by
If you’re looking to organize your recipes, might I suggest Paprika 3. I’ve used Paprika through the first two major iterations and this third version has continued to impress. It’s a full-featured recipe manager that deeply integrates into iOS, as well as iPadOS and macOS.
All of your recipes you can type into the app. Recipes you find online can be added directly via the Share Sheet. Paprika will scan the online recipe and extract all necessary information and format it correctly within the app. I can’t tell you how awesome this feature is to you. Plus, it can bypass the whole biography that often precedes online recipes.
All of your recipes can be tagged, grouped into folders, and filtered by meal type, protein, and more. With iCloud syncing, your recipes also show on all your devices. I usually prefer to cook guided by my iPad mini, but Paprika lets you do you. To further keep you organized, your recipe can add ingredients to your shopping list so you don’t forget anything.
Timepage by Moleskin Studio
Go back to a simpler time
In the competitive world of notebooks, few rise above Moleskin. Creating outstanding bound planners and notebooks for ages, Moleskin wasn’t about to let the digital age pass it by. The company has brought its charm and eye for design to Timepage, a digital planner for your iPhone and iPad.
Like most other digital planners, it connects to all of the major players. Apple iCloud, Google calendar, exchange, etc. It’s shown on a customizable calendar alongside weather, traffic, and invitees. Support for iPhone and iPad is a given, but Timepage works with Apple Watch too. Get a complication, view weather, and check your travel time.
Each day you can view your daily synopsis which features lovingly animated visual representations of the weather. No matter if you walk, bike, drive, or take the bus, Timepage can let you know when it’s time to head out. It can also alert you to free time. “After this meeting, you’ll have an hour free before dinner at 5.
What separates Timepage from most other planners though, is the Moleskin design. It looks incredible as is with plenty of custom iconography, animations, and intuitive gestures. There are several themes available to skin the app your way. Tint the app different colors, all while looking just as good.
Organize and plan with ease
Things 3 is your own personal database. It starts with tasks, to-dos, checklists, and reminders but can be tapped to do much more.
Looking at what makes Things 3 unique, Things 3 has a full-on project manager. Create your project, then add small individual tasks that you need to complete. They can have assigned people, due dates, and more to help track your project and keep it organized.
To make things more granular, each project can be segmented into distinct areas. One area can be for your family projects, one for work, one for financials, etc. As you create these tasks with due dates, they’ll show in your daily work plan. You’ll see tasks you need to complete that day as well as upcoming ones you should be aware of.
Things has always been well-integrated, but in recent years its been updated with new features like the Share Sheet and widgets. Highlight some text, maybe from an iMessage, and use the Share Sheet to create a to-do task. Widgets can show your projects and lists on your Home Screen. And while not exclusive to iPhone, just by forwarding an email you can have Things create a new task.
Things is well-designed and it’s been featured as such with two Apple Design Awards to its name.
But enough about other people's apps.