iPhone apps for getting things done

Oct 5, 2010
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There are always those days when you feel as though you have accomplished absolutely nothing. Try as you might, you just don’t seem to be able to make it through your list of errands and household chores — and forget trying to make it to the gym. But with a little bit of clever management, […]

There are always those days when you feel as though you have accomplished absolutely nothing. Try as you might, you just don’t seem to be able to make it through your list of errands and household chores — and forget trying to make it to the gym.

But with a little bit of clever management, and the aid of the following apps, you will be breezing through your to-do list without ever breaking a sweat.

The List ‘n’ Do iPhone app (the lite version is free, the fancier version is $1.99), is a clever management tool that allows you to create and categorize tasks. They are then organized in terms of priority, including “Today,” “Tomorrow”, “Future” and “Overdue.” Its best feature is a GPS system that allows you to search for any errands that are in close proximity. That way, if you are out and about, and trying to be efficient with your gas and time, the app will let you know which of your errands are nearby so you can knock them all out in one trip.

Similarly, the free Easy Task Manager app helps you to create to-do list items, complete with date, time, and priority rating. When the job is done, the task is filed away, but still viewable. The best thing about this app is it allows you to sync up with either a Mac or Windows device, allowing you to transfer data between your phone and your computer.

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Where you parked, when you need to pick up the dry cleaning – these are all things you might want to remember as you rush about your day. The free Evernote app allows you to create, text, photo and audio notes or a combination of all three. So if you are walking down the street and see a great little restaurant where you could wine and dine your spouse, snap a photo, note the address and tuck it away for safe keeping.

Other useful (albeit pricey) apps to help you get things done efficiently include Things ($9.99) and OmniFocus ($19.99). The former offers a color-coded  checklist that is so appealing that you might actually enjoying scrolling through your to-do list, and you can  sync wirelessly with the desktop version of Things. OmniFocus does more than create lists; it allows you to plan entire projects. And larger tasks can be broken into subtasks to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

The Life Balance Advice Book app and the Life Balance app ($19.99) are good investments for those who want to get things done, but who also want to schedule in time for relaxation and leisure. They even have nice pie charts that offer a visual representation of how you are spending your time.

Finally, being more efficient might be a matter of breaking old habits and creating new ones. As such, we recommend the Habit Factor app ($6.99) and the Habits app ($1.99). They help you to align actions with goals by tracking behavior on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis, and by providing constant support and inspiration.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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