During 11 years of my life studying in a strict, old school educational system, I have been unaware of how amazingly successful online services and applications can be in facilitating my life. I’ve got to admit though, I am still more of a traditional task management way fan but I can’t help but utilize some of those tech-savvy apps available to anyone today because they are so handy and convenient.
If you are struggling with organizing and remembering all the tasks, assignments, meetings, events, and plans in your head and on paper, and are looking for a convenient and effective (!) way of doing that all, just like I was, then you’re reading the right post. My personal opinion is described here, so if you happen to disagree and use some other source, comment down below and share your thoughts on the great task management services!
Ease of use: 4/5
Compatibility: Android, iOS
This is my personal #1. I’ve always used a physical flip calendar handing on my wall in front of my desk, and it’s been an amazing friend of mine for over 6 years, however the busier I got, the more I started to feel the need in having a portable calendar similar to the one at home – and it happened to be Google Calendar. Look at it yourself:
#1 – Portable, organized and handy. Getting ideas out of your head into a trustworthy system quick – this is what most of you probably need on a day-to-day basis. Google Calendar works offline on a smartphone (is available on Android, iOS and many more) and has a standardized interface.
#2 – Colours. At first glance, we identify the colours rather then read the headers. This is why a feature of adding colours to certain categories of tasks or events is indisputably visually appealing and beyond convenient. This way, I set my school assignments in blue, classes in orange, and work-related stuff in purple, so it adds one more points to the overall organization the service carries.
#3 – Compatibility with other Google apps (Gmail, Google Maps). If you choose to set a location for an event, don’t be surprised finding a note on Google Maps that you have something scheduled at the location you look up there. Or when your boss emails you and sets a meeting, you can solemnly schedule it on both your and his/her Calendar due to the feature of inviting people to share an event with you. Awesome, isn’t it?
#4 – Notifications & emails. By the human nature we forget things, so Google Calendar won’t let you as it will send you emails and notifications about a project you need to finish by tomorrow 12PM or a baseball game with friends next Monday at 8PM. You choose the notification settings, so customization is key!
Availability: free (in-app purchases)
Ease of use: 5/5
Compatibility: iOS, Android
Now, apart from noting the events and tasks tied to a calendar, there are always things that we keep in mind, “to complete at some point of time” – those are most likely associated with your leisure time or some plans that are not urgent. And if you’re like me – remembering everything at the end of the day thinking that you need to take them all down tomorrow morning, and when waking up, finding your mind blank – then you understand the importance of writing those small notes down on time. A great app for this is Wunderlist.
#1 – Categories for tasks. From the moment you sign up, you are asked to add categories you’re interested in putting things in. Those can be School, Work, Travel, Private, and you can create your own as well. So tasks don’t get mixed up.
#2 – Subtasks of greater tasks. You can break up big tasks you set for yourself into small pieces or steps, which function as autonomous subtasks with due dates, completion features and file attachments. It is especially important to those who get overwhelmed looking at one tasks they know takes stages, time and effort.
#3 – Completion history. It’s easy to checkmark tasks you’re over with, and it’s useful to go back and see what you have done, too. Every time you forget if you did something or not, go back to “Completed To Do-s” where a dated finished activity is represented in a way that also gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from being one step closer to perfection 😉
#4 – Elegant design. Not all the task management apps look professional. So it is just visually pleasant to open an app where your favourite wallpaper is in the background and the shapes are smooth and pretty.
Ease of use: 2/5
Compatibility: Android, iOS
This wonderful app is for those who get bored of the usual calendar or note app look and don’t feel like anything can make them motivated and ready to act. Habitica is a game-based motivation app where you earn points based on weight of tasks completed and habits followed that are directed to sustaining and improving a chosen video game character. With the points earned, you can upgrade your character, buy gear, and take part in quests with other members. I personally have never used it but heard a lot of good reviews. I guess I’ll start using it when I have a kid who will be refusing brushing teeth before sleep 😀
#1 – Interactive, vivid and habituous. The app utilizes lots of graphics and sounds that will keep you enthusiastic about being engaged. A video game that is beneficial, this is how I would put it. Character appearance and skills upgrade system, raising “pets” system provide incentives for achieving what’s up for the day or a week. And by constantly striving to improve, the habits you were looking to integrate in your life will actually become routine.
#2 – Simplicity of tasks. Most of the tasks are daily habits that renew every day and need to be completed by the end of it or by a certain time (depends on your settings). They all are categorized into comprehensible groups and are comprised of simple things that don’t contain many steps to complete. Rather, those small habits and tasks, being easy to accomplish, train your ability to split bigger tasks into pieces and complete them faster and more productively. Also, certain tasks are given greater weight than others which assists you in prioritization of your daily routine.
#3 – Tracking your progress. After using the app for a couple of weeks or month you’ll note the improvements in your daily habit following and prompt task accomplishment. In order to boost your self-confidence and ensure you’re on the right track, check out your progress and see which days of the week you tend to follow the set routine less, to adjust the volume of things to do at specific times.
#4 – Social sharing. Create groups and rooms with other Habitica users for a team completion of tasks or competition in characters’ abilities. The social component is about the support you can get from your fellows on the way to upgrading your organizational level.
There’s lots of tools out there that are meant to help you get organized and become a better version of yourself. Take a shot and try them out: start with one and get accustomed to it, then work your way up. Everything’s in your hands!