Remember the days when being organized meant carrying "hard copies" of to-do lists and having a forest of post-it notes around your home or office? Today smartphones and tablets have made those times just a distant memory. Their convenient portability and sophisticated features make them virtual personal assistants.
There are a number of apps on the market that perform specific functions to make organizing even simpler. Better yet, many of them are free. Here are some of our favorites that are bound to become yours as well.
1. Key Ring
Those key-ring cards used by many rewards programs are convenient in theory, but it doesn't take long for them to become worn out and fall off. Key Ring lets you scan these cards and store them for quick access. You can even add gym membership cards, library cards, gift cards and almost anything with scannable data.
If you're familiar with Microsoft's OneNote software, you've got the idea behind Evernote. This app allows you to capture notes, music, links, and just about anything you can see or hear. You can then arrange and tag data in virtual notebooks that are searchable for easy recall. The basic app is free, with a premium version available for $5 per month.
Cloud computing has become a major buzzword in the digital arena. Dropbox is a free app that uses cloud technology to store your files on a remote server, freeing up space on your device and keeping data safe from power failures or other disasters. Ease of file sharing is the biggest advantage of Dropbox. You can create public folders to share with other users or send links to friends and family who aren't.
4. Mint Bills
Day-to-day finances are at your fingertips with Mint Bills, formerly known as Check. With this app you can monitor your bank balance, pay bills and check your credit balance so you never again have to worry about overdrawn funds or late fees. Mint Bills uses triple-layer security protocols to ensure the safety of your information and transactions.
Password requirements have become increasingly complex, making it nearly impossible to safely keep track of all the ones you use. LastPass provides secure storage of your passwords along with a password generator and auto-fill for frequently used sites. The app is free for browser use but the mobile app, which offers greater functionality, is $12 per year.
Comparison-shop without the time and expense of dashing from store to store checking inventory and prices. RedLaser lets you scan bar codes to get an instant comparison of pricing at other sources including national retailers and local stores. As if that wasn't enough, RedLaser also displays nutritional data for various foods and can even tell you which nearby library has that new bestseller you've been wanting to read.
All apps are free of charge unless otherwise noted.
You're only a couple of downloads away from total organization! Do you have a favorite app we missed? Let us know in the comments.