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Back to Work: Staying Focused and Organized

Back to Work reminder on a wall calendar
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If you’re looking for a way to stay organized and focused when working from home or going back to the office, there are apps to help!  There are so many available and all of them are a little different and might appeal to you more than others depending on your needs.  Here are a few productivity apps to keep in mind when organizing either for yourself or for your team. 

Evernote is a good option for creating notes, reminders, audio recordings, sketches, and adding photos.  All of these are organized in Notebooks that you create to help you stay well-organized. One nice feature about the notes is that you can work with a blank note or use their predetermined templates to make it easier, which include templates for daily planners, calendars, meeting notes and budget planning. Benefits to using Evernote are that you can use it on the computer and share work with others. Notes you save to your account can be accessed from either the app or computer when you’re signed in, but there are file size caps to syncing and more advanced features unless you pay to upgrade. 

Google Assistant can help you in all aspects of your life! It has the ability to interact with multiple apps, such as calendar, reminders, alarms, or photos, allowing you to perform tasks like asking it to open them for you, set reminders, or search your phone for things you need.  All of this can be done by voice command, which makes it an easy way to use your phone to complete all of the tasks you need throughout your day! 

Google Drive is a cloud storage option for either personal or business use.  You can upload documents and organize them as needed. It also gives you a way to share content with others. If you work with any other Google applications, you can use it share and work on content with others seamlessly.   

Google SlidesGoogle Sheets, or Google Docs are good options if you’re trying to create presentations (Slides is similar to PowerPoint), make spreadsheets (Sheets is similar to Excel), or work on word documents using Docs.  Start with blank documents or use different templates in each of these to get the results you wantThere are plenty of options available for customization in each one that will lend to a professional look. These are good free alternatives, especially when working in collaboration with others!   

Post-it is great if you love using Post-it notes! Create different quick notes for yourself with whatever you need to remember. You can use their templates for boards, make your own, or create individual Post-it notes. Take pictures of Post-it notes that you’ve hand-written to add to your boards too! There are different size options, so you can customize your notes the way you want. It’s a pretty simple way of staying organized that people already love! 

Todoist is an easy app to help you stay organized. You can add multiple projects with tasks to complete. Set the dates and priority levels of tasks in order to make sure you’re getting everything done that’s needed when it has to be done. Within the projects, you can add sub-tasks and sections to keep everything organized. View the calendar to see what that day’s tasks are or upcoming tasks that need to be completed. You can also see a chart with your day-to-day progress Karma that might help motivate you to do more each day! There are a lot of features, like reminders, that require you to pay, but the basics that are needed most for organization are free. There are options for businesses as well. 

Toggl Track is going to help keep you motivated with your projects by keeping track of your time, your tasks, and what you’re getting done overall.  Start the timer when you’re working on a task and stop it when you’re done to chart your clocked hours. Making projects and establishing due dates for tasks is easy to do and the calendar keeps track of everything.  This will help when working in a group because you can see what everyone else is doing and what still needs to be done.  The website is needed in addition to the app to use certain features, like adding group members.  You can work with up to 5 people for free, but they have paid options for businesses who want to add more team members as well as keep track of aspects like billable vs. non-billable hours. 

Trello works as a to-do list by creating boards. You can add cards and lists to each board to determine due dates, add labels, add to a calendar, or add attachmentsWithin the boards, you can use checklists for what you want to accomplish and add team members to help work on these tasksMembers can make comments on the boards, which is a nice feature for communication. The cards can be moved to multiple sections in the board, so you and your team can determine how you want to stay organized! 

WPS Office is a great option to use for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations all in one place.  You can work on these in the app itself or there are desktop options if you’d rather work on a computer or sync your work across devices when you sign into your account.  Documents created in other word programs can be opened and it also has PDF capabilities.  Some options require you to pay, such as PDF editing or signing, but the basic functions of creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations are free. There are options for saving and sharing your work with others that might come in handy when working in groups. As with many of these apps, there are business upgrades to add more features.


Sam is the Assistant Specialist for Technology Programming. Helping others with technology, Makerspace projects, and finding the resources and information they need are the best parts of her job! She enjoys finding new apps to try, crafts, puzzles, spending time with family, and reading.