Ten Tools and Apps that keep me organised and entertained

In my constant pursuit better work family balance, I just love the potential and practicality of these amazing tools and apps that are popping up lately.   I like that getting organised and being entertained are starting to merge in tools like Pinterest….but I think that will be a whole other post…

It’s really handy how most of these can be used either on my computer, online (“in the cloud”) or on my iPhone and sync as well.   It also means you don’t need an iPhone or Android – you can use most of these tools as long as you have internet access.

Looking back, almost all of them have come recommended from friends and it’s connecting with them via some of these apps that makes it even more fun.

Here are my current favourite top ten, along with how I’m using them, prices if applicable and who recommended them.  Great thing is most are free or very low cost.

1.  Dropbox

Free.  Recommended by my husband who needs to access files regularly between work and home.  I’ve been using it for a few months now for both work and personal use and it’s been an amazing tool.  You get a basic 2GB account, but by referring other users you both get bonus storage (the link above is my referral link).  I’ve found it wonderful for sharing photos in high res with friends, storing files I use at both work and home – and it was invaluable recently when I didn’t have laptop access for a few days but could easily view recent files on my iPhone.  Have also been using it to store images I’ve been working on for my new logo and has been very handy to be able to show friends for feedback.

2.  Evernote

Free.  Who better to recommend an organisational tool than expert Wendy of Organising Works!  She highlighted this at a workshop a few months ago – and though I’d downloaded it earlier this gave me an extra incentive to give it another try.  It’s a bit similar to Microsoft One Note

3.  TeuxDeux

AUD$2.99.  Thanks to Louise Tee from Louise Tee Photography for putting me onto this one.  Super simple and really nicely presented To Do list.

4.  Pinterest

Thanks to Kelly (Be A Fun Mum) for recommending this to me a few weeks ago, it was a hot topic at a get together with friends today, I’m loving the feeds from Kavala (Tilly & Otto) and Mel (Billycart Markets), some super funny ones that I keep in my “makes me smile” board.

5.  Springpad

Free.  This is one I’m trying out to see if it rivals Evernote – but instead have ended up using it as an additional tool to mainly create a list of movies I want to see and think it could be a good one to organise our family recipes too.

6.  Momento

AUD$2.99 In the past, I always kept a written diary…but since becoming a mum find that I just don’t seem to find the time or headspace to indulge in that luxury anymore.  Somehow though I do find time for social media updates…and this is a clever little app that pulls all those together into a diary format!

7.  Instagram

Free.  I think it was my brother who told me about this.  One of my first thoughts was “why on earth would you want to make your photos look like they are out of the 70’s….however it seems lots of people do want to – including me!   I love how easy the filters make it to transform photos into super cool…and then share on Facebook or Twitter.  Only available to use on mobile devices.

8.  Home Library

AUD0.99…and worth every cent!  I’ve used this app for over a year now and it’s been constantly improved…and I found the developer really quick to answer questions (and discovered he also lives in Brisbane).   Though the novelty has worn off a little now I was so excited the first time I discovered you can SCAN the bar code of books to add them to your home library catalogue.  There is a lot of data available though sometimes you may need to do a manual entry – either way it’s a wonderful little tool to organise and catalogue your books, DVDs and more.

9.  Flixster

Free.  With two young children I don’t get a lot of opportunity to go to the cinema, but this is a great app & website to at least enjoy some movie trailers!  It gives ratings and reviews and the mobile app has a great feature to be able to see showtimes at local cinemas.

10.  Take 40

Free.  Threw this one in at the end as it’s one that’s been keeping me entertained lately – especially at 2am while I’ve been trying to settle my toddler who is having sleep issues at the moment.  I’m well over my Top 40 countdown days where I used to follow the chart regularly.  However after hearing a few catchy tunes on the radio lately I’ve enjoyed watching the clips and previewing different songs to find some new favourites.

A couple of others I’ve tried but not stuck with:

  • Errands
  • Wunderlist
  • Minamalist To Do
  • Remember the Milk (RTM)
  • Scan BizCards

Have you used any of these and what did you think?  What are some of your favourite apps?



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