Whether we like it or not, we’re rapidly transitioning to a digital world, and our organizational systems increasingly reflect that. The move from paper to screen may seem daunting, but with the right tools and guidance it can actually be much easier than it seems—and it is often life changing! One of our specialties at The Little Details is digital organizing, and we have found some great tools that help simplify the digitizing process. Here are some of our favorites:
We love Asana and use it as a running to-do list and a digital project manager. It’s easy to use and, best of all, it’s free! Also, this versatile program is designed to be used in different ways, which gives it broad appeal for a variety of users.
- Asana allows you to share your projects with others as long as they have an email account. Once a project or task is shared, you can then assign tasks to those people (or yourself).
- Each task has its own comment section, where you can have brief conversations with others in your project. This helps keep your email inbox clean and saves you from hunting down information in email threads. With Asana, it’s all in one place!
- The “check it off” function is ideal for those of us who enjoy physically checking things off a list. When a task in your list is complete, click the box and that task is checked off. The information is then removed from your task list and archived, but not gone forever.
If any of you are like me, you still love your paper calendars and date planners. There’s nothing wrong with using an old-fashioned pen and paper to jot down notes, events, and special dates. However, I’ve found that the gradual transition to a digital calendar has helped me cut back on paper usage, and stay better organized in the process.
I still have my tropical beach wall calendar, but I primarily use Google Calendar, which I can access anytime from my laptop, tablet, or smartphone. I can share events with other people, quickly update or add new events from any location, and set reminders and alerts for each event. I can schedule an alarm to alert me 10 minutes, an hour, or a day before an event. I love my paper planner, but it’s not going to beep when I have to attend a meeting.
Dropbox is an incredible tool that helps keep track of your documents and files and easily share them with others. If you want to share a file or document, but don’t want anyone to be able to edit it, you can choose to share it in a “view only” mode. If you want others to make edits, then you can share the editing rights.
Just like your digital calendar, you can access your Dropbox account from anywhere. You can log in to their web version, pull up the application on your smartphone, or use the program on your computer. This tool is also easy to use and free of charge!
Evernote is an interface where you can organize your notes and paperwork. For example, you can type in to-do lists (complete with checkboxes), scan whole documents, insert pictures and videos into your notes, and then automatically sync up those notes between your smartphone and your computer, storing everything online.
PaperKarma helps you eliminate your paper junk mail. Almost all junk mail that comes to your home can be scanned into this app, which then removes your name from the mailing list. You simply take a photo of the mailing label, which has a barcode on it, and upload it to the app. Once you confirm your name and address, PaperKarma requests your name be removed from their mailing list. You can track the status of each request in the app and see which have been submitted and completed. It’s a lot easier to keep up with your mail if the only pieces coming to you are important.
Unroll.me unsubscribes you from junk e-mail with one click. This tool identifies your subscription emails and lists them neatly for you to review. You can easily eliminate the junk, but keep the subscriptions you actually want. After unsubscribing from the unwanted one, Unroll.me can combine the ones you want to keep in the rollup. The rollup is all of your subscriptions together in one email instead of 50+ separate ones, and it appears in your inbox every day at the time you choose. It’s a quick and easy tool to limit your junk e-mail, keep your inbox clean, and store the important subscriptions together.
No matter what digital organizing tools you choose, make sure you are comfortable using them. The most important part of getting and staying organized is making the systems user-friendly. Having a dozen digital organizing apps on your phone isn’t helpful if you don’t know how to use them. Do some research and play around with different tools. We’re here to help you with your digital organization if you need it!