Home Android The best Android apps for organizing your life

The best Android apps for organizing your life

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Most of us juggle an immense amount of information these days — enough tasks, to-do’s, and scattered scraps of mental data to fill up a 40-gallon fish tank. (Just imagine all those tiny little thought-fishies swimming around! Glub, glub, glub.)

But guess what? Your tired ol’ noggin isn’t the only tool for keeping track of the important stuff in your life. That shiny slab of glass in your pocket is overflowing with excellent apps that can organize practically everything imaginable for you. And now’s as good a time as any to embrace their organizational prowess and give your brain a break.

These are the best Android apps for organizing different areas of your life — all free unless otherwise noted and all readily available on the web as well as on other platforms so they can be accessed from any device, anytime.

Organize your projects

Trello

Whether you’re working with a team or trying to keep your own independent projects in order, Trello provides an intuitive yet feature-packed system for organizing ideas and tracking progress.

The app breaks your business down into a series of boards. Within each board, you create a series of lists. And within each list, you add any number of cards — individual items that contain text, photos, files, and so on. You can label and color-code cards and assign due dates, and you (and anyone else you invite) can comment on cards to add in thoughts and updates.

JR Raphael/IDG

Trello’s boards (at left) provide a powerful and versatile system for organizing cards with text, photos, files, and even to-do lists (at right).

If you really want to get wild, Trello has an advanced automation system called Butler that lets you set up all sorts of custom rules and actions for your info. For instance, you might make it so that anytime a card is given the label “Urgent,” Butler automatically moves it to the top of its list, assigns it a due date one workday into the future, and sends out an email to you and anyone else relevant to make sure the item doesn’t get forgotten.

You could also ask Butler to organize your cards automatically based on their due dates or even their most recent activity first thing every morning. (Butler can be configured only from Trello’s website or desktop app, by the way, but once your rules are established, they’ll work within the Android app as well.)

Trello is free with optional $5-a-month individual subscriptions along with $10-per-user-per-month business plans that unlock a variety of additional features — including larger file attachments; more advanced automation capabilities; timeline, table, and calendar views for your boards; and a range of advanced management capabilities.

Workflowy

For a more multilayered, text-driven manner of organization, Workflowy — a relatively new info-organizing tool — is well worth exploring.

Workflowy lets you organize projects into a series of outline-like bullet points. That simple but surprisingly powerful structure empowers you to envision your info as an “infinite document,” with numerous connected layers, each of which can be collapsed or expanded with a single tap.

02 note taking apps workflowy bJR Raphael/IDG

Workflowy uses a simple but powerful system of collapsible bullet points to help you organize your projects — or almost anything else imaginable.

You can even tap on any individual bullet point within Workflowy to open it as a standalone document and work on it as if it were its own Word or Google Docs file.

Basics aside, Workflowy has some impressive tools for intricate organization, including a tagging system that makes it easy to link different bullet points together and a mirroring system that allows you to have certain bullet points appear in multiple places. It also has a robust collaboration system for sharing either entire lists or just specific individual bullet points with others as viewable and optionally editable web links.

Workflowy is free for individual use, with a limit of 250 new lists and items per month. A Pro plan — which removes that restriction and adds in more customization options, a Dropbox backup possibility, and premium-level support — runs $49 a year or $48 per user per year in a team arrangement, with administration abilities included.

Organize your to-do lists

Todoist

Android’s got plenty of commendable tools for making lists and organizing tasks, but Todoist is a cut above the rest. The app features a clean and easy-to-navigate interface with oodles of useful features for making, organizing, and — critically — actually progressing through all types of lists.

Todoist’s main screen revolves around a “Today” view that shows, as you’d expect, any tasks you have pending for the day. You can move from there to a broader “Inbox” view that includes all of your pending tasks, regardless of whether they have a date associated with them, as well as an “Upcoming” view that shows a calendar-like breakdown of date-specific tasks based on when they’re set to be due.

That simple framework may be enough for some people, but where Todoist really shines is in its advanced task organization options — for instance, the way the app lets you create subtasks and then subtasks within subtasks and assign any of those items its own label, priority flag, and time- or location-based reminder. You can even attach comments or file uploads to individual tasks and subtasks, too.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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