Whenever the New Year comes around, I take the time to get rid of things emotionally and physically. I get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose, that are taking up space, and are blocking the way for more important things. And the apps and photos on my phone are not excluded from this purge.
Speaking of apps, there are a few apps, five in particular, that I believe all writers should have to stay organized in writing and life this year. These apps have helped me keep things in perspective, get work done, and feel productive throughout the day.
With similar features to their desktop version, Microsoft office suite for your phone will be a lifesaver. For me, I’m able to get a lot done with no need to log onto my computer. And I’m sure we all have those days where sitting in front of a computer is just not what we want to do. But we still need to get ish done and having this baby on your phone is a must if you want to stay on top of writing assignments. Now to get this app, I think you have to have the suite for your desktop since you must request the download link by email or text under your Microsoft account.
If you’re into winning and tough love, then this Carrot app is for you. I use it because I find her disrespect to be funny and I’m a people pleaser. Adding things to the list and making it a priority to check them off throughout the day has been helpful. That and her rudeness if she notices I’m slacking or take too long to check off a task. Plus, when you complete your to-dos, you get unique prizes that mean nothing in real life but offer a confidence boost. There are also Carrot apps for alarms, getting fit, and the weather.
This app has saved my writing life. I can be a procrastinator, many writers are. And one reason we procrastinate is because we’re trying to put off the inevitable, getting to work. With this app though, writing will be a breeze since you’ll be breaking them up into sessions. How it works is that you complete a task for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, then continue the task for another 25 minutes, rinse and repeat until you’re done. The app is inspired by the same time management technique developed by Francesco Cirillo. This app has helped me meet deadlines, finish a book in a month, and not feel like my entire life has been devoted to writing. I’m always on social media so that is usually what I spend my 5 minutes doing. Some people use their 5 minutes to do yoga. I’m all about balance and this Pomodoro app helps me do that.
If you’re a writer, you should also be a reader. I’ve noticed that a lot of us don’t read enough, which is kind of ironic when we want other people to read our stuff whenever we write something. I’ve only recently downloaded the Goodreads app. I did so because I wanted to get recommendations on books to read based on my interest. Also because I need something to keep track of the 100 books I’d like to read this year and their book challenge page helps me with that. What I like most about this app is that they give you a platform to review books and read other REAL reviews. And Goodreads readers keep it real, no fluff.
If you accept money online as a writer, then this app is a must. Most of my payments for freelance and copy work are accepted by Paypal. I can think of only one client that pays me by direct deposit via my bank account that’s how often I use PayPal. And their app makes it easier to keep track of payments, review invoices, and to check your balance. Besides the app, I also recommend getting their business debit card if you have a business account with them. The card has made it easier getting my money ASAP the moment it’s sent to my account versus waiting the 3-5 days for the cash to be transferred to my bank account.
The Strides app is like the Carrot app because it helps you keep track of to-dos but they differ in the to-dos. Strides helps you develop the good habits you feel will make you better. From working out to waking up earlier, this habit tracker makes sure you are keeping your promises to yourself. It’s perfect for those New Year’s goals you made on December 31 but you forget by February 1. No judgment, it happens and that’s why you need something to help keep you focused. I use it to help me reach my measurable goals and habit forming goals. You set up when you want to start and for how long you want to keep at your goal and the app reminds you on the set times and days to complete a step to get closer to the goal. I handwrite my goals and use this app to keep me accountable through alerts.