Productivity Toolbox

Only seven days into 2013, and already the holidays seem an eternity ago…

In honor of the New Year, I thought i’d do a little run-down of a few online tools I’ve been using lately, in case anyone’s interested. For those who know me, you know I love my to-do lists (you may debate the effectiveness of my using them outside of my hearing).

Let me sum up:

My current favorite, most indispensable, hearts-in-my-eyes, online productivity app is Wunderlist. They’ve recently released the Wunderlist 2, which has the one thing I desperately wanted from them- the ability to schedule recurring events. They have iPad and iPhone apps, as well as a web interface. I’ve been using it for individual to-do lists per day (Monday is a list, as is Tuesday, etc), and now that they allow for recurring events, this works out great for things I do every week. I also can use it for longer-term lists of things I need to remember.

Trello is my second favorite app, and it works pretty well in concert with Wunderlist. The basic set-up is board-related rather than list-form, and I find that it works well for specific projects, more than the more general recurring items. It’s also shareable, so you can set up boards for projects that you share with other persons, and assign tasks and due dates as well. Kyle and I used it this year for our Christmas shopping: First, we set up a board and made a list of items under the To Do column of all the persons we needed to buy gifts for. We then assigned each item to one of us, making it our responsibility. We could add links to the individual item of gift ideas, and then when we had completed the shopping, we could move the item from the “To Do” column over to the “Done” column, which was very satisfying.

Workflowy is the third app I’ve been playing with lately, though admittedly I’ve done less with it. It’s very simple in concept- an infinitely nested to-do list. But in practice, it can become a little bit of a rabbit hole. Each item that you add to a list can become it’s own list, and so on, and though they do allow for searchability features, I like the more visual elements of Trello and Wunderlist a little bit more. I’m still playing with it, though- we’ll see.

Honorable Mention-

Pinterest: I tried pinterest a while ago, and didn’t really get invested, but they’ve recently upped their iPad interface, and it’s suddenly much more entertaining. Also, I think they’ve hit the critical mass of users that means there’s interesting and useful content all of a sudden.– remember all those thought webs and mind maps your grade school teachers made you draw? This is those, but in digital form. I especially love that you can color code the little bubbles; this is a great way to visualize something you’re working on, but which is non-linear.

What apps do you like?

2 thoughts on “Productivity Toolbox

  1. Out of Milk: This was is great for parents that switch off grocery shopping duties. You can even scan in the exact product information using the scan function on your phone. Once updated or completed you can then email the list to another user. There is also a to-do list function which is much less structured than the ones you’ve described in this entry. I’m a list-maker, too. I found this blog to be right up my OCD alley!
    I’m a student in your Mom’s class at Illinois State University. There’s a strong chance I will use your blog to identify some common conventions used in blogging.

    • Hi Kristin-

      I’d heard of that one, but not used it myself. I’ll have to check it out! Good luck with your project- let me know if you have any questions.


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