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Clearing the Clutter - 5 Apps You Can Use When Starting Your Day

If you’re like me, then you start off many days with so many thoughts in your head, that you don’t know where to begin. All of the project management apps combined will not help. You need something that will allow you to quickly purge what is on your mind, and get it down in a digital platform.

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with a freight train running through the middle of your head? I do. It can be anything from ideas swimming around that I’m afraid I’ll forget, to a conversation I had the previous day, that bothered me.

The criteria for the apps I am going to show you, are based on two main things:

  1. Easy to open it, and quickly jot down my thoughts on the fly.
  2. Good mobile experience, so I can access and jot thoughts down anywhere, any time.

I almost want to take Evernote off the list, because it isn’t a “pure” cloud app. It’s a desktop and mobile app with a cloud sync. Evernote wins, however based on how easy it is to quickly grab it, and get your thoughts down on the fly, when you need to.

Here are 5 apps you can use when starting your day, that will help you clear the clutter.

Workflowy

This is my newest, personal obsession. I showed this to you last week in “Planning 2017 with New Apps and Things.” This app is beautiful in its simplicity, and I can see myself moving a lot of my processes from Evernote over here.

Google Docs

Google docs is such a powerful and accessible cloud based app, that I added it to this list. You’ll see why, in the video above. For one thing, it’s an actual word processor with Docs. For another, if its numbers are swimming around in your head, you’ve got “sheets.” The mobile accessibility of Google docs, also make this an attractive option.

Penzu

This is my favorite potential replacement for Evernote. It’s a digital journal app, but it’s purely cloud based. No desktop app. You run it in your browser, and the mobile app offers a very consistent experience. You can tag notes, but the search by tags is a little weak. You can only search by a single tag. On the other hand. The search in general works really well, and in the browser view, you have a nice set of drop downs, making the search really useful.

Google Keep

Think digital sticky notes with some special powers. You can create free form notes, or checklists, and you can use tags, and color coding to organize them. The mobile app offers an incredibly consistent experience, and you also have “location” based reminders. I have one that pops up on my mobile, whenever I am near the UPS store where I get my mail. This way I am reminded to go pick up my mail, in case I am not actually thinking of it at the time.

Evernote

Evernote may be the “king” of the note taking apps, but I am always on the lookout for something to replace it. The main reason why, is that it is not “purely” cloud based. It is a desktop sync. You can access your notes in your browser, but the experience is not great in my opinion. Much harder to organize the information in ways that in the desktop app, make it very easy to reference the information you have in Evernote.

Any one of these apps would work great, by itself. I’ve given you 5 apps you can use when starting your day, to clear the clutter, so that you can decide which one works best for you.

In fact, I would love to hear from you about which one you choose, or which one you’re already using for this kind of purpose. Please post your comments below.

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