5 of the Best Free Apps for Getting Organized

The check box. The line out. The crumpled Post-It note cast into the trash. Whatever your method, there’s nothing quite like deleting a task off a never-ending to-do list.

What is it that makes crossing items off a list so satisfying anyway?

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in higher education as you move from meeting to meeting and shift priorities from project to project. The goods news is that when it comes to getting organized and becoming more productive, there are several applications ready to assist.

These apps can be anything that helps us retain focus, move forward or just survive the day. Here are five of my favorite free apps for getting stuff done:


photoTodoist is a great task-management that works great across multiple devices, even when offline. It’s clean, simple and easy to understand — three of my top requirements. Upgrade to the pro version ($29 for a 1-year subscription) and color code each project or view an archive of completed tasks.

One knock one of application, however, is that it doesn’t have many collaborative features. If that’s what one needs, it may be better to try the related app Wedoist.


Wunderlist2IconWunderlist was one of the first task-management tools I ever used and, in my opninion, features some of the nicest design. It allows users to collaborate, set due dates, and even build out sub-tasks for larger task items.

I previously abandoned Wunderlist when it couldn’t send me reminders of tasks I needed to tackle, however, the latest version appears to have addressed the issue. I may be headed back.


photo-1Its recent password-hacking incident aside, I still like Evernote and use it everyday. It’s the best note-taking application I have found that allows users to incorporate text, photos, web pages and audio files through an easy-to-understand interface.

While not as aesthetically pleasing as Todoist or Wunderlist, Evernote still features a clean design that makes note-taking and organization of those notes easy.


urlPerhaps the best way to think of Workflowy is to picture a bare-bones website intended to build out massive lists across multiple projects. It’s by far the beast of the bunch with incredible flexibility and minimal design.

Workflowy is great for collaboration and can scale better than most others. The only problem I have with the application is that it may be too much. I could see an unorganized individual getting easily overwhelmed.


photo-2Any list of applications used to get stuff done in the digital age includes Google drive. Google applications integrate well with each other, can be accessed on nearly any device and —as a prerequisite to being on this list — are free.

Documents, forms, spreadsheets and presentations are a breeze in Google apps and its easy to share among colleagues and friends. The hitch? The organization of constantly-created files can become a bear if left unchecked.