Get Productive and Stay Organized with These Essential Tools

by / ⠀Personal Branding Startup Advice / January 22, 2012

Whether you need to access your files and notes on the go, or you need a simple system for tracking your to-do list and calendar, there are some excellent productivity and organization solutions that are easy to learn and free to use. With the following tools at your disposal, you’ll never be stuck without a critical report, lose an important idea, or miss a key strategy meeting.

Evernote for Organizing Ideas:

An idea can strike at any time, and that’s why a tool like Evernote is critically important. According to Elliot Kosmicki writes at Social Networking Developers, “Evernote, the leader in portable notes, can allow you to record thoughts, plans and even images from anywhere. Available for all operating systems, the web, and iPhone – you no longer have an excuse for forgetting that great idea you had this morning.”

With a slick interface that makes it easy to manage all of your ideas and online resources in one place, Evernote makes it possible to track whatever you need in one system that you can access from any device. Evernote is free to use, but the fully featured version that integrates with Word and Excel costs $45 a year.

Organization Tools

Todoist for Task Management

With a clean, simple interface that is reminiscent of Gmail, Todoist is a free project management program that makes it easy to create a to-do list that you can access anywhere, including your mobile phone. It offers a customizable to-do list with a calendar that offers recurring events. Users will also find that it integrates well with Gmail and Outlook.

Vitalist for Task Management

Another popular way of organizing your to-do list online is through Vitalist, a program organized around the categorization methods of the popular “Getting Things Done” method. According to the website, “Vitalist is Online Getting Things Done software that is all about categorizing what you need to get done into specific lists or buckets. The idea is to get everything out of your head and into your Getting Things Done system so that you will not have to worry about specifically remembering anything.”

Leo Babauta of the popular blog Zen Habits shares the following endorsement for Vitalist, “I’ve actually tried this one and it works very well, and surprisingly the free version does everything you need.”

Google Calendar

One of the most commonly overlooked productivity tools can be accessed just above the inbox of your Gmail page.  Google Calendar is easy to use and quite intelligent when it comes to sorting the details you record on your calendar, receiving high praise from a reviewer at Mashable. Set up recurring tasks, seamlessly integrate reminders into your inbox, and customize tasks and particular calendars in seconds with Google Calendar.

Increasing Productivity

Buffer for Managing Links on Twitter

One of the ways to increase your influence on Twitter is to consistently point readers to the best links in your industry or area of interest. The problem is that regularly tweeting everything you want to share can eat up a ton of time, breaking up your projects and interrupting your train of thought.

Buffer provides a simple queue system where you enter your tweets into Buffer and let Buffer handle the posting for you. This ensures that your followers will receive a steady stream of updates from you throughout the day, avoiding a virtual traffic jam of tweets at one point in the day.

SugarSync for File Access Anywhere

Sugar Synch is one of the most versatile applications for file storage, access, and sharing. If works much like Mozy or Dropbox, but it takes those services a step further by offering 5 GB of storage for free, syncing on multiple devices, and not placing any restrictions on the kinds of files you can back up.

With the flexibility and number of options available, SugarSync has received rave reviews.  Jesse Friedman at SWORD Solutions writes for Search Engine Journal, “SugarSync makes my life extremely easy by allowing me to work on my desktop in my home office and at any point I can save my work and walk away.  Later I can pick up exactly where I left off on my laptop.   Or if I’m in a meeting and I need to pull up a presentation file or email someone a word doc I can access everything from my iPad or phone.”

The keys to productivity are functional organization and ease of access to everything you need.  All of these products are free to try, and therefore finding the best systems for organization and productivity is only a matter of experimenting with the service that works best for you.

This guest post is written by Lior Levin, a marketing consultant for Tel Aviv University’s ma in security program, and who also consults for neon sign companies that provide custom made neon signs for businesses and individuals.

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.