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If you like tech and being ultra-organized, this is for you. In the last post, I talked about physical planners. Books, notebooks, wall calendars, spiral-bound…..made of paper (except whatever substance the Rocket journals are made of!) that you physically write in with your choice of markers, pens, pencils…….don’t get me started!!

The heft and presence of a physical planner/organizer can feel reassuring. But it pretty much ends there. If you misplace it – or worse, lose it *shudder* – you’re toast.

With “virtual” planners and such you don’t have any worries. With a website and mobile apps, all your info syncs across all your devices. Plus, you can set a variety of reminders such as alerts and emails, for as much time in advance as you want – minutes, days, or weeks.

Another cool thing online planners let you do is categorize your tasks and even cross-reference for you. Some allow you to sync your main “life” calendar with your planner. Since I’m unashamedly obsessed with organizers of all kinds, I’ve tried several, but keep in mind it’s a subjective choice. You might end up swearing by one that I dislike.

So let’s get to it.

Trello is my go-to organizer of choice. If you’re familiar with the Kanban method using cards or tiles, this will be somewhat familiar. When I first tried it, I hated it! I followed the tutorial, but it just didn’t make intuitive sense to me. Then I watched a tutorial in one of my mastermind groups, and it all fell into place. The instructor uses the system in a different way than the Trello tutorial explained, a way that agrees with my thought process. Whatever you choose should be a reflection of how your brain works in order to have it make sense.

Before Trello, I tried Airtable. I was seduced by its complexity (read: many features!). After a short while, I decided it’s best suited for project planning by teams. If that’s what you’re looking for in an online planner, it’s probably for you.

If you’re looking for a to-do list…let me tell you – I’m really choosy about to-dos. For years I used one called Seize the Day, but the developers never updated it, and it no longer works with the newer iOS software. So the hunt was on. I found one I’m very happy with – TeuxDeux. It’s not free, but the cost is reasonable at $24./year. If I find something I like as much for free, I’d move over. But so far, so good. It’s a perfect balance of simple with features.

Another to-do organizer that’s popular (I have no personal experience with it) is Todoist. It’s $28.99/year. I’d like to try it out myself, so if you do, let me know how you like it. It’s a project planner/organizer/goal setter/tracker. Maybe enough complexity to be fun, but not too much?

The online calendar I swear by and live my life by is Google Calendar. All the places I need to be are in there, and everything syncs across all devices. Trello syncs with it if you want it to, as well. There’s nothing more to say – it’s a great online product. While I use it for anything I do outside the house, I use Trello for reminders as well as TeuxDeux. Certain things in certain places works for me. But that’s the beauty of digital products – there’s no commitment to try.

There’s Weekplan, a pretty feature-rich online project planner/organizer suited for business. I’ve never tried it nor know anyone who has, but I’m just throwing it out there. It’s between $44. and $52./year.

If you’re looking for an organizer geared towards family life rather than business, there’s Cozi. It’s a calendar, shopping list, recipe and meal planner, family journal, and comes with an MLB schedule (hey, I don’t know!). It’s free and looks like a great way to coordinate the crazy schedules of everyone in the house.

So many people swear by Evernote. It calls itself “your second brain.” I wish! I’ve tried it a few times, and there’s obviously something wrong with my brain, since I just don’t get how it works. Like Trello, I probably haven’t had the right person explain it to me yet. It’s an organizer to share notes and ideas, and keep them organized. It has this new feature, called Spaces, that allows your team to get together for discussion and collaboration. Evernote promises to “declutter your life,” I guess by allowing you to shred all those papers lying around. Well that sure would be wonderful!! You can save and link things like checklists, to-dos, tables, attachments, handwritten notes, and audio files. I noticed that there are some Moleskin journals that allow you to save handwritten pages to Evernote. Well, that sounds pretty cool. Instead of bookmarking sites, you can save them to Evernote. I don’t know, I love the Chrome Bookmarks add-on. But it’s another reason to like Evernote, right? Here’s another reason: it’s free.

One more thing: it’s not an organizer or planner per se, but if you want to organize your thoughts and get them in writing, a mind map is the way to go. I use Mindmeister* for planning blog topics and when I want to scour my brain for ideas on anything. The ideas at the ends of the branches end up being a blog post. It’s fun, too.

So there are a bunch of ideas to get you started. Remember these are tools, things that help you accomplish tasks and reach your overarching goals. It’s easy to get distracted by playing with ’em. But have fun!

Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash

*I am an affiliate for Mindmeister and receive a teeny tiny compensation if you enroll. I’m only an affiliate for products I love and use myself.

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