Did you make any resolutions in the new year? I made quite a few centered around organization in an attempt to run my stationery business as efficiently as possible.
While I haven’t had too much breathing room between the holiday rush of Christmas and first big greeting card holiday of 2015, Valentine’s Day, I have taken several steps towards better organization, mainly inventory management (more on that beast in a future post) and daily/weekly/monthly task organization.
As an artist, of course, I am a very visual person. I love a big calendar hung either on the wall or sitting at the desk, so I can actually see what tasks I have to accomplish, when I am supposed to accomplish them, and how they relate to each other within the month.
I am also a huge fan of hand-written to do lists. I enjoy striking a nice thick line through each completed task.
What ends up happening, sadly, is that I end up with several lists and not everything gets written on the calendar. Also, I have my iCal app, where key dates and deadlines from emails are recorded with the click of the mouse. A few times, those tasks have stayed in the digital realm and have never translated to my desk calendar or written to do list.
One of my major projects of 2015 will be redecorating the office, so I’ve nixed the big calendar for this year. Also, I don’t like clutter, so a good solution to managing all of those little notes would be welcome. For the first few weeks of 2015, I have been testing out some task management apps on my iPad. With no recommendations to start, a quick google search of top apps yielded the following: Google Keep, Any.do, and Wunderlist. Google Keep was ruled out immediately, as it is currently only available for Andriod. Here’s what happened when I tried out the other two.
I liked the description of this app, and the little movie preview I watched on the company website, but from the start, I wasn’t very fond of it. I can use it on my desktop, iPhone and iPad, but mobily it’s only optimized for the iPhone, so that’s one visual strike against it. It is a free app that you can upgrade to a premium service for $2.99/month. But, it seems full of prompts to pay for premium service. Strike two. I was turned off enough by the layout and “ads” that I deleted Any.do and moved on to Wunderlist.
Wunderlist is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Windows 7, Mac, Chromebook, Kindle Fire and on the Web, so it should look great no matter which device you use. You can upgrade to a Pro or Business account t for $4.99/month, but I have yet to receive any prompts to do so while using the free version. With Wunderlist, I can create various to do lists and even share them with or email them to others. While there is no actual calendar within the app (yet. It appears they are working on that.) you can assign due dates to different tasks. I’m still not entirely sold on using this app longterm, but it has seen a good bit of activity from me in the past few weeks. Although I will admit I have cheated with a few written lists. Old habits die hard!
Do you have a favorite task management app? Do you still prefer a handwritten to do list or a day planner?
Jessica Schaefer is a graduate of Edinboro University with a degree in graphic design. She rekindled her love for design by creating, printing, and binding her wedding save-the-dates, invitations, and programs. She is a member of Pittsburgh Center for the Arts where she continues to study paper making and printmaking. Jessica started her Etsy business with designs from her own wedding before expanding to new ideas. This year her business, theBird+theBeard, also began selling cards in independent shops in several states. When not working on new ideas for theBird+theBeard, she enjoys camping and spending time with her husband and stepson. You can review her work at thebirdandthebeard.com.