Five Apps to Help Organize Your Ideas

Inspiration for improving your business can come at any time—keep track of your ideas on the go.  

November/December 2016

Innovative ideas for your business can hit at any given point of the day. Whether on the road or getting ready for bed, business owners and employees alike need a reliable outlet within which to record, write or follow up on such thoughts.

Aside from keeping a notebook and pen at the bedside table for those 3 a.m. bursts of inspiration, there are quite a few apps available that offer features like checklists, direct messaging, file attachment and snapshots, so ideas can be jotted, sketched, snapped, attached or communicated at any time.

According to a recent global study performed by Intuit, 68% of small businesses polled currently utilize mobile or web-based apps to help run their business’ day-to-day operations—why not use apps for managing the bigger-picture tasks as well? Most of the following organizational apps are available for free.

1. Evernote

This app allows for ideas to be captured as notes, to-do lists, photos, sketches, web clips, audio files and more. Microsoft Office documents and PDFs can also be attached, along with receipts, bills and invoices. All notes within the app are both searchable and shareable, and content can be synced and automatically updated across any phone, tablet or computer.

Business owner Lisa Chu runs Black N Bianco kids apparel and refers to Evernote as her own personal digital assistant. “Having quick access to all of the information I saved is very critical when I am brainstorming new clothing designs,” Chu says. She finds the image and pencil drawing features to be most helpful, while also utilizing the app’s daily reminder and business expense tracking features.

2. Slack

A professional and much more advanced sibling of AIM, Slack’s instant messenger feature offers both one-to-one and group conversations, as well as quick and easy file sharing and automatic syncing across all devices.

Brandon Schroth, digital analyst for tech startup Gillware Data Recovery, explains that Slack has greatly assisted in the company’s ability to communicate ideas efficiently. Schroth found that by implementing this app in his business, he was able to decrease the time spent in company meetings by 25%, and increase overall employee productivity by 30%.

3. Trello

The Trello app attracts visual thinkers by allowing you to create “cards” and “boards” for each project. The boards can either be private or include invitees, encouraging collaboration and idea sharing.

Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, a lawn care ordering service commonly referred to as “Uber for lawn care,” praises Trello for its helpfulness in illustrating and organizing his thoughts and ideas into a centralized repository.

Clayton highlights the “to-do list” feature—explaining how easy it is to organize thoughts, group them together and then lay out the actions to check off throughout the day or week.

4. Asana

The Asana app allows subscribers to list daily tasks and track work from beginning to end. Users can add followers to certain tasks, as well as delegate tasks to various people. One of the biggest selling points to Asana is that it offers unlimited usage for teams with up to 15 people.

5. Wunderlist

offers endless list creation with various added features. The app is available in 13 languages and is also web-based, in addition to being compatible on smartphones and tablets.

With Wunderlist, you can delegate tasks, manage workflows, send and receive messages, and share documents. Lists can be organized into various folders, reminders can be set and information can be accessed across all devices.

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Top Takeaway

If you are a visual thinker, choose an app like Trello that allows
you to create cards or boards right from your smartphone. This will help
you not only organize your thoughts, but also share and explain your
ideas to others.