I like organization. I’ve used and use sticky notes, notebooks, planners, calendars, Google calendar, and online list apps. These apps are helpful for keeping chaos mostly at bay, for organizing my thoughts, and for remembering when assignments are due.
I’ve used traditional physical planners since middle school, and through half of freshman year. Planners, especially small and portable ones, have always been very convenient. However, although it included a calendar functionality, what it lacked was a list taking structure, to jot down random thoughts, plans, ideas, that were independent of date or deadline.
I switched over to Google Calendar midway freshman year because the interface was nice (cough…except on mobile…I hate using the mobile version) and it allowed me to better detect patterns with my schedule because every week was laid out side by side. The toggle between Week and Month views is awesome (I don’t use the Day view or 3 Day view) and it’s super convenient across devices. I also like to color code, and Google Calendar really accommodates that. There’s also the multiple calendar feature, so you can toggle different calendars on or off on the same window. However, it is not an app that specializes in list-making.
For about a year I used Wunderlist, enjoying the pretty UI and the multiple list feature. However, as time went on, it grew tiresome. Wunderlist is a hefty piece of software, although I’d say it’s functionality is pretty basic, and it would take very long to load, sync, and save. I eventually abandoned it because I got impatient.
I tried Remember the Milk for a day, and turned away because I didn’t like the UI. If I’m going to be spending a significant amount of time organizing ideas and tasks with an app, the app needs to look nice.
I was back to writing sticky notes, until my wonderful friend Zach introduced me to Trello. Trello had everything I ever needed, in a simple, lightweight, online application. Compared to Wunderlist, which had a main column of lists, Trello has lists of lists of lists (of lists). This allowed for more categorization, which is something I fell in love with. I’ve found it fantastic for collaboration between friends, and its other features (checkboxes, comments, labels) are something I completely enjoy. It’s versatile and creating lists and cards (tasks) is very easy and intuitive. The user interface is great (on desktop and on mobile!) and the experience I’ve had with it so far is more than satisfactory.
I hope this blog post introduces you to Trello if you haven’t used it yet (I encourage you all to give it a shot!) and that you too will finally find that perfect organizational app you’ve been waiting for.