Monday Tips & News: Organization Tools – Part 2 (Apps & Hardware)

Sarah Writes Stories: Organization Tools - Apps & HardwareHere’s part two of my list of organization tools.  This time, we’re talking mobile apps and hardware.  If you missed it, we talked about web and software last week, so check out Part One here (and weigh in with your own recommendations!).


HomeRoutines: This is what I use to manage everything chore- and/or household-related.  You can set daily task lists as well as morning, afternoon and evening routines.  It also features weekly zones, where you focus on a given area of your home in a little more detail.  It also has an overall to-do list for one-off items you need to keep track of.  It’s a great way to keep on top of tasks on a daily basis.

MyFitnessPal: This is my go-to calorie-counting app.  It’s super easy to use, and its library of foods is huge.  It also lets you track calories burned.  It uses the calorie deficit principle to help you set a weight loss or a maintenance calorie range, and it also lets you track nutrients like protein and carbohydrates.  It’s one of the easiest-to-use health/fitness apps out there.  I discovered it toward the end of my 110-pound weight loss journey & continued using it to maintain my weight and now to track calorie intake & burn during my pregnancy.  Highly, highly recommended if you’re serious about any sort of health & fitness effort.

Mint: This mobile app along with their web interface is one of the easiest ways to manage your budget & track your spending & saving out there.  It aggregates all of your accounts into one place, lets you set monthly budgets and alerts you when you’re spending too much.

Best Hardware: Moleskine NotebooksHardware

Moleskine Notebooks: Cliché for writers, I know.  But I carry one with me everywhere.  I admittedly use them slightly less now that I can jot things down so easily on my iPhone, but I still make it a habit to break out the pen & paper on a regular basis.  And no matter how reliable technology is these days, it’s likely to never beat out paper and pen.  Personally, I like the blank pages rather than the lined ones for times when I feel like sketching or even just writing outside the lines.

G2 Gel Pens: These are the best pens out there for my money.  They write smoothly, don’t bleed, don’t link, and come in a variety of colors to keep things interesting.  The little cushion is nice, too, for writing the occasionally story longhand or taking notes.

Post-It Notes: You’ll find these all over my house. T and I scribble notes on them and leave them in random places on a fairly regular basis.  And while that’s my favorite use for them, I also use them for more practical things like posting notes (imagine that!) to myself or marking pages in books.

3×5 Note Cards: These serve a similar purpose to the Post-Its, but they give me more room to work.  I use them to plot screenplays, to take notes on phone calls, to jot down recipes when I’m creating them in the kitchen or to add up calories as I work.  This is a habit I picked up from my dad, who’s had a neverending stack of 3×5 cards on his desk for as long as I can remember.

Best Hardware: Apple Products

Apple fangirl forever. Not ashamed.

iPad: While I still prefer my laptop for most mobile computing, the iPad is a great substitute for when I’m travelling and not planning to spend a ton of time at the keyboard.  When coupled with my wireless keyboard, though, it’s even easy if I do need to do some longer-form writing on it.  I also use it a lot in the kitchen, where I pull up recipes while cooking.  Just be careful not to splatter stuff all over the screen obviously.  I also occasionally watch Netflix or HBOGo on it when I can’t be arsed to drag myself to my iMac or actual TV to watch something.  I’m still operating on an original iPad I bought used from my mom, who then went out and bought an iPad 3.  No, I’m not jealous at all.  (That’s a lie.)

iPhone 5: I honestly have no idea how I functioned before upgrading to a smart phone.  I started off with an HTC Evo Shift, which worked great until it didn’t.  Switching to an iPhone was one of the great decisions of my life.  Yes, that is a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one.  The speed, the apps, the iCloud syncing, the camera, etc., etc. Just like my conversion Mac computers, I can’t imagine I’ll ever switch to a non-Apple phone again.

What Do You Recommend?

That’s the gist of how I keep my life together — more or less — using apps and hardware.  What am I missing?  What app is a lifesaver for you?  What hardware changed your life?  Share with us in the comments!


One comment

  1. Pingback: Business Book Review: Steve Jobs | Sarah Writes Stories

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