Apps and Websites to Aid with Organization in Life
"For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned." - Benjamin Franklin
All anybody wants is for life to be easy, but in today’s chaotic world, it is getting harder and harder to keep track of everything going on in the world and in your personal life, especially if you’re still in school. Colleges and universities nowadays look for all of their applicants to have about a million extracurricular activities, volunteer hours, and perfect grades, which is almost impossible to balance. Because we live in a digital age, many people have sought to remedy this impossible balance with valuable tools, most of which I have tried and would use again.
I am going to start with my absolute favourite; Trello. Trello is a website and app that uses a kanban board style to organize various activities, assignments, and due dates, as well as letting you apply powerups to your boards in order to appeal to whatever type of learner you are. Personally, I use my “Life” board with the Calendar powerup to keep me on top of work for my activities, upcoming school deadlines, scholarship deadlines, appointments, activities, and basically anything else that needs to be scheduled. My Trello board is constantly open in my browser. 10/10 would recommend.
Next up; Your normal calendar. You probably use this already, but I suggest using it heavily. Every single appointment that you get, put it in here. Every single shift that you work, put it in here. Every single due date, hangout, birthday and parade that you want to go to, PUT IT IN HERE. Your phone will send you reminders and you can colour code it. If your calendar is all that you use, you could also try time blocking. Time blocking involves purposefully setting aside time for a specific thing every day (basically scheduling everything like it’s an appointment). This is especially useful for online school.
Another useful tool that’s already on every smartphone is your notes app. Make to-do lists. Maybe make a rough schedule for your day. Write out your due dates. Copy down your marks for all of your assignments or report cards. Write down your goals. Your notes app is wildly versatile and useful, despite its simple appearance, all you have to do is remind yourself to use it and remember that you used it so that it’s not useless.
I know that basically every teenager ever knows about the shining star that is Google Drive, but I’m going to mention it anyway. Google Drive can be used for literally anything. I have folders for all of my activities, school, my podcast, and my personal life (containing my resume and various other happenings). You can make spreadsheets to track your work or volunteer hours, documents to write down a brain dump or literally anything else that your brain can conjure up, and forms and slides for school projects or personal curiosity. The amount of slideshows and documents that I have is unholy, but it helps me keep my brain in check. If you do use Google Drive religiously, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to splurge for the extra storage. 1GB is not near enough to contain the multitudes of my chaotic brain.
Last but not least, it would not be an organization app list without mentioning Notion. I feel like the best way to describe Notion would be a Discord for organization. You can create different channels and tasks, as well as add whoever you think needs to be there. The colour coding is pretty nice too. I could never really get into Notion, but I can understand why a lot of people do.
I personally use a combination of a bullet journal (not digital), my calendar, and Trello to help organize my chaotic mess of a life. Just because all of these things are wildly helpful, doesn’t mean you should swear off paper entirely. My Trello board is my life, but that doesn’t mean that it would be as useful if I didn’t have my bullet journal. The most important thing is that you find a system that works for you, this is just a good place to start.