From washi tape to stickers to calligraphy pens, there’s nothing that I love more than using stationery products to bring life to an empty page. But over the past few years, when it comes to planning and organization, I’ve found that going digital has helped me keep sane. I still love using my crafting supplies when I do more personal writing, like journaling, but I definitely recommend going digital, especially if you need more flexibility or are more of a perfectionist than pen and paper can accommodate for. These are the five best apps, which I use to stay organized in my everyday life:
Most phones come pre-installed with some kind of notes app that you can just chuck text into. I use this app to write down any tasks that I’m reminded of throughout the day, or ideas and information that I think are worth keeping track of. When I have a few minutes, I can organize my to-do’s as a checklist sorted by priority, and put any other notes into an appropriate file to keep track of.
Google Calendar is one of my best friends. I can have as many calendars as I want (currently, I have one for my class schedules, one for assignment due dates, one for my to-do list, etc.). I take all the to-do’s and appointments that I had in my notes app and allot specific time in my calendar to do them. Putting something into a calendar takes me about five seconds, and it’s super easy to move tasks and events around if there’s a change of plans. It helps to provide structure to my day, without suffocating myself as if I have have to get everything done when that just isn’t reasonable. And it’s all color-coded, which gives me that aesthetic high that I typically got from using a planner.
During classes, I like to take notes on my tablet with the Notability app. It’s a great-note taking app that’s easy to use and edit as you go. It also has to option to record as you write so you can actually tap a word that you wrote and it will playback what was being recorded at that time (make sure to get permission from your professor before you use this feature, though, since some professors have specific rules about recordings). Either at the end of the week, or before an exam (depending on the class), I type up my notes in a more succinct format on my computer, and add diagrams when necessary. This is such a lifesaver for when I need to study from my notes.
Quizlet is my favorite flashcard app. You can study from flashcards that others have created and shared, and easily create your own. With the premium subscription, which is less than $25 per year, you can also add images to your cards and study them on the go. It’s super handy because I can even study while waiting in line at the grocery store, without having to take out a giant stack of cards that are ready to spill onto the floor at any moment.
This one is definitely one of the most important of all of five apps. Both present you and future you will be grateful for it! I use a simple spreadsheet for my budget, and it’s allowed me to manage my money in a much healthier way. I can see when I can treat myself, and where I need to cut down on spending. At first, budgeting can seem intimidating, but carving out an hour to do some research and create a plan, can save you a lot of money in the future. There are so many apps that help you organize papers and documents that it can sometimes lead to the problem of having so many apps that it starts to feel overwhelming. I found that my magic number is 5. But, each person is different, so it will probably take some trial and error to figure out what’s best for you.