Staying organized these days can be challenging, especially if you are an entrepreneur running your own company! The good news is that there are tons of amazing tools to help you keep everything in order. I LOVE organization so want to share my 5 favorite apps and tools that I use to keep my crazy life organized. Hope this helps you as well!
Spending half your day on your phone to keep up with your social media? Not anymore! Planoly makes it incredibly easy to plan out your social media content in advance so you don’t have to think about what to post every day and spend hours on your phone. I block off an hour or two every Sunday afternoon to plan out my social media posts and then I don’t have to ever touch my phone during the week. This is truly a life saver! You can upload all your photos to the site so they are easy to schedule when you are ready to post them. You can also discover inspiration photos from other people's account directly through the site. Chose the photos you want to post each day, add captions and hashtags (that you can save in advance) and schedule them! From there, Planoly will post on your account at the scheduled time you chose.
This is what the interface looks like:
This is what it will look like when you click on a photo to schedule:
From here, you write your caption, add hashtags and click on the calendar to decide when you want the photo to be posted.
It’s that easy! I couldn’t recommend this app more! You can you sign up for free at www.planoly.com.
Similar to Planoly, Tailwind is the ultimate planning tool for your Pinterest account. If you have a product-based business, Pinterest is one of the best ways to showcase your products, announce new blogs and drive traffic to your site. It is essential to post daily and keep an active, beautiful account in order to attract new followers and drive traffic. If you’re like me, you might not want to have to get on Pinterest every day and chose what photos to post or re-post. With Tailwind, you can plan your week of pins out in advance. This ensures diverse, new pins are being distributed to your audience daily and Tailwind will choose optimal times to distribute those pins based on when your target audience is most active.
This is an example of what the interface looks like:
You can upload all your photos (shown on the left side) and when you are ready, add a description, chose which board to pin to and add the pin to your queue (shown on the right) for Tailwind to distribute to your audience.
Anyone else obsessed with to-do lists?! I keep to-do lists for everything! The list of books I want to read, podcasts to listen to, project lists, travel lists, and duh – August Effects’ lists. I have tried to keep track of these using word documents, notes on my phone, hand written lists, etc. until I found TRELLO.
On TRELLO you can have different “Boards” and within those boards you can add as many lists as you need. It is an easy place to collaborate with co-workers, friends, or family as you can invite people and all work off the same board. In each “to-do” tab you can add links, documents, timelines, notes and categorize them as needed. I just started using TRELLO a few weeks ago and am already loving this one-stop shop for all my lists that I can access whenever to.
This is an example of what my Personal Board looks like:
Each “to-do” is called a card and you can easily add cards by clicking on “add another card”. Once you do you get this:
In each card you can add a description, attachments, a timeline, add members to collaborate, set due dates and more.
You can easily drag and drop the cards to different lists so I have lists set to “to-Do”, “Doing” and “Done” to easily track everything going on.
You will love using this to keep track of everything!
4. iCal (now called calendar)
This is not an app but is my #1 tool for staying organized and managing my schedule. It surprises me how many people use iPhones or Apple computers and DON’T utilize their calendar. If you don’t already use this, I am going to demonstrate a quick tutorial and show you how useful it can be!
Step #1: Set up different categories that are color coordinated. You can choose whatever works best for your life but the categories I have are:
- To Do -August Effects
- To Do -Personal
- Mailchimp Emails
When your Calendar is open you can add these by going to --> File --> and then click new calendar. From there you will add the name of your category and choose a color. All your categories will then display on the left side of your calendar.
This is an example of what my calendar looks like:
By color coordinating everything I can easily see what I have going on for the week and plan out events/appointment/reminders months in advance.
To add a new event, you can double click anywhere on your calendar. A little box will come up that looks like this:
In this box you will add the name of the event, the location, the date, the time, invite attendees and add any notes. Lastly, where you see the green box and a drop down is where you chose which category/color the event falls under. I add an alert for anything I need to be reminded about; travel time for appointments and add a “repeat” for things like meditating every morning or planning my social media content every Sunday.
If you use iCloud, your calendar will sync with your calendar on your iPhone and you can easily plan/set reminders or check your schedule whenever you need to.
I can’t stress enough how helpful it can be to keep an organized calendar. Every day I will add these “Events” to help plan out my day and time block what I need to do. Additionally, I add all my travel and reminders for months in advance so when the time comes to check on something, follow up with someone, write a new blog post or send a new newsletter, I have my calendar as my own personal assistant to remind me.
5. PRODUCTIVITY PLANNER
Last but not least, I use a journal called the Productivity Planner in conjunction with my calendar.
Many days, I have A LOT on my list and it can feel overwhelming. The productivity planner has you determine the most important things you want to get done that day and order them by levels of importance. People often leave the hardest task of the day to do last, but the productivity planner make you choose the most important task to get done that day and has you complete that task before anything else. You then chose secondary tasks, and any additional tasks.
This is what the inside of the planner looks like:
So, each day I will look at my calendar and see what I want to get done that day. I decide which is the most important and then fill out the rest of the tasks I want to accomplish that day.
The unique thing about the journal is that it has you use a productivity technique called “the Pomodoro”. The Pomodoro technique has you work in 25-minute segments. For each of those 25 minutes you work with no distractions. You set up your workspace, get some coffee and water, turn on your music and put your phone on airline mode. You set a timer for 25 minutes and work away. It will shock you what you can get done in 25 minutes with NO distractions. As you see in the photo below, you choose how many Pomodoro’s (or 25-minute segments) you think you will need to complete each task. You fill in the bubbles with how many Pomodoro’s it took you to complete the task and work through your list.
This is what your journal might look like at the end of the day:
Additionally, you do end of the day reviews, end of the week reviews and at the beginning of each week identify all your goals and tasks for the week. This journal is amazing for anyone looking to be more productive!
So there you have it! I hope using these 5 apps and tools in your life/business will help keep your life and business a bit more organized. The best part is, the more you can plan out your life, the more time you end of having for yourself!