Organizing Tip: How to Choose the Best Productivity App for You

Do you like using apps on your smart phone?Image of phrase How to Choose the Best Productivity App for You

Wondering what you need to know in order to choose the best productivity app for you?

Today’s post gives you a few pointers to help you get organized and select the best productivity app for you and your busy life.

Identify your goals and needs.

There’s hundreds of different productivity apps out there to choose from…which one(s) should you choose? The easiest way to narrow down the field is to specifically identify what goal or need you want a productivity app to help you with/solve. Apps are designed to solve certain problems in mind and you should take this approach too when figuring out what type of app you want.

Here’s some things to think about: What’s bothering you the most in your day-to-day affairs? What problem would you love to have solved? Do you need help creating lists? Do you need reminders for events and appointments? Do you need a tool to help you layout plans, take photographs and give you directions? Do you need a single-function app (the app only does one thing) or a multi-function app (the app does a bunch of different tasks)?

Check user reviews.

Other people have taken time out of their busy schedules to review apps and point out their merits and faults; the least you can do is see what other users have to say. Take a look at both good and poor reviews to get a well-rounded view of the app. Look for users who describe similar goals/needs as yours (these are the goals/needs you defined in the previous section) to get the best value out of a review. How is the app rated overall? Do users love it, hate it, or are users indifferent? Does the app have any glaring bugs?

Visit the developer’s website.

Go online and check the app developer’s website to see what’s shaking. Are there any screenshots, tours or demos of the app? What operating system does the app require? Is there any desktop-compatible software that you can purchase or use along with the app? While you’re at it, strongly consider app’s user interface (how the app looks and functions, how you enter data into it, etc.). If you can’t stand using the app’s interface, you’ll probably avoid using it and it won’t be very helpful to you in your quest to be more productive.

Set aside a trial period for a single project/task/errand.

Start out by testing either one or two simple items on an app. This way you can get a feel for the app and learn how to use it in real life without becoming too overwhelmed and frustrated in the process, than say if you transferred all your projects and work over to an app in one go. If all goes well with your test run, start to slowly incorporate the app into your daily routine. If not, go back to the drawing board (tip number one) and try again.

Now to you… do you like using productivity apps on your smart phone or computer? Do you have any favorites you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

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Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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2 Responses

  1. Janet Barclay

    This process really works! It’s exactly what I went through before I found Swift To Do List, which I reviewed on my blog recently. For me, most productivity apps are either too simple in that they don’t allow you to manipulate your lists as needed, or too complex, in that they require you to schedule each and every task. That really annoys me, because I often want to make note of an idea so I don’t forget about it, but I may not intend to act on it for many months or longer, and I don’t want to have to assign it to some random date and then keep rescheduling it.

    • theorderexpert

      Thanks! I also find productivity apps are in general either too simple or complex for my needs. Hmm, perhaps this is a sign I need to develop an app of my own… Thanks for stopping by and for your comment.