It is no secret that you work more efficiently, are more motivated and less stressed out when your workplace is well organized. A cluttered desk with piles of paperwork and a computer screen plastered with unreadable post-its can seriously slow down your workflow and block your creativity. There is even a name for that: Irritable Desk Syndrome. Researchers at NEC-Mitsubishi found that people can suffer both psychologically and physically from sitting at a cluttered desk for long hours, usually with bad posture.
Fortunately, there are many incredibly helpful online tools available that can effectively streamline your office work. Whether you are looking for comprehensive do-it-all-applications like an online notebook, simple task management tools like a list maker app, creative features like a virtual mind map or project management tools like collaboration software, there is a plethora of products out there that will alleviate the negative repercussions of a disorganized office and boost your productivity at work.
As there are dozens and dozens of online products available, this post will feature a compact selection of the most practical software suites and apps.
Evernote is software designed for note taking and archiving, which is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, as well as for OS X and Microsoft. A “note” can be a formatted text, a website, a picture, a voice memo or even a handwritten note. You can also include file attachments. These notes can then be sorted into folders, tagged, annotated, edited, commented, searched and exported as part of a notebook. Evernote is available in a comprehensive paid or restricted free version.
Workflowy is a very popular organizational tool that allows you to create to-do lists both online and offline. The app is focused on entering and completing to-dos; moreover, you can add, tag, and organize your to-dos into lists, projects and nested lists. Any changes you make are automatically synced to your account, so you can see them immediately on any device you use. The app is available for iPhone /iPad, whereas FlowyDroid is for Android devices.
MindMeister is an online mind mapping software that enables you to develop a visualization of your thought processes. It works on both Microsoft and OS X systems. In addition to using MindMeister on your browser-based interface, you can also create, edit, share, and synchronize your mind maps on your mobile devices. Users are provided with three free fully featured maps, but they are charged a subscription fee for any additional maps. The mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Rule is a web-based project management and cloud collaboration tool. It is also accessible on iPads, Android tablets, and other mobile devices. One feature is the productivity stream, which shows how your users are collaborating in real-time and allows you to reference and attach items. Another one is project management, which connects your project milestones, assigned tasks, time tracking, dynamic project calendars, shared documents, and discussions. You can try out Rule for free for 14 days, after that, you will be charged a subscription fee.
Thoughtback is a free app that helps you chose, organize, and retrieve thoughts that you want to remember. Thoughtback is available for iPhone, iPad and OS X. Its icon sits on your menu bar and whenever you have a great idea for work, find an inspirational quote or a delicious recipe that you want to remember for the future, you just click on the Thoughtback icon and paste/type into it. Once you add your thought, you will receive and old one back. You can organize your thoughts by tagging them with hashtags, too.
As mentioned above, there are many, many more online tools available. Do not hesitate to look for an application or software that can help you organize your office and stimulate your productivity. There is something for every office worker, from very simple mobile apps to highly complex software suites, depending on your organizational needs.
Sandra Mills is a freelance writer and health enthusiast. She enjoys writing about health, technology, and business.