Computers and the Internet were supposed to make our lives easier and reduce the giant paper piles on our desks. Unfortunately, what has happened to most of us is that we’ve simply transferred our piles of paper to our computers in the way of files. For those of us who are savers we have files we never delete, emails we never delete. Instead of weeding out what we no longer need, we keep things in triplicate and create new categories and new folders to hold it all. We crossmatch and cross-post, and we never get rid of it.
In the last couple of years, I’ve managed to begin to get a hold of my online/on computer world and declutter it.
It’s not easy to let go of things; especially when we think we are saving it for a reason. Why do we keep blurry photos of our kids? There is something holy and wholly important about those things we’ve created. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. The same holds for what we do on our computers – our writing, our art, our lives; pretty much.
I have found (although I’m always looking for new ones) some really good organizational tools, both online and through apps.
Many people who read my blogkeeping posts will already know that I do most of my work currently on my Kindle Fire with my keyboard. The one downfall of not having a mega-gig hard drive on my pc is not having a mega-gig hard drive. I really need a place to store my writing.
One way I store my writing is not to. If I post it here, I log in the word count in my blog planner (which is still on paper), and I either delete the “paper copy” or I upload it to Dropbox. WordPress already has my final copy, so as long as I tag and categorize properly, I can continue to refer to my posts and writing.
Dropbox is my first line of defense in the online organizational onslaught. Dropbox gives you space in the cloud that you can access from their app or an internet browser by signing in from any computer. You can get a paid account for more space, but whenever I hit my limit I get on my pc and transfer whatever I’m keeping to my hard drive.
Evernote. This is like that pile of scrap paper and post-it notes you keep on your desk or posted on your office cork-board/bulletin board. This is another app that you can use from the app on your smartphone, tablet, or from any desktop by signing in. There is also a paid premium account, but I’ve always gotten by with the free version.
I’m still on the paper version, but a good calendar app is worth getting. CalenGoo is one I used before my Fire came with one pre-loaded. In addition to that, I really like a list-making app. The one I use and the one I really love is 2Do.
Other apps that I use on my Fire (links are for Amazon, but all of these should also be found on Google Play and the Apple App Store) include:
Office Suite Pro
Pocket – this lets you save links – articles, videos, etc for watching later and OFFline.
Skype – great for communicating long distance/internationally for free. My family used this when my husband was in the Philippines on business and I’ve used it for my online groups.
A Print Plug-in for your tablet (I use Epson. A wireless printer was probably the best investment I’ve made in the last ten years.)
A Scanner Plug-in (I use MDScan, but I haven’t used it often enough to give a proper review.)
You’ll want some kind of email client. My Fire has one that keeps all of my various accounts on one client.
Obviously, you’ll want to figure out whichever social media apps you need by what you use. I will probably do a separate post on social media apps at another time.
These can be adapted to whatever your needs are, and most of them can be downloaded for free. Check out the paid options also; they might be better for professional needs.
As a writer, I’ve bought very few of these, and I almost never complain about them. I L-O-V-E love my Fire (which would be apparent to anyone who reads my page). I’ve done more writing and more posting in the last year than in the last several.
The organization keeps me on track and lets me write instead of constantly looking for things or keeping track of ideas.
Please add your own organizational apps in the comments and/or organizational tips that you find useful.