By Alisa Miller
Whether you are a busy executive, a single parent, a freelancer working from home, a student, or a combination of these, you have probably found yourself needing help when it comes to organizing all your thoughts and ideas that occur throughout your busy day. Now you can turn to these tools found on the Internet that will help you with tasks such as note-taking, bookmarking websites, highlighting important text during online research, creating mind maps, tracking time, keeping up with appointments, collaborating with others, managing projects, and much more.
Note-Taking and Documents
These tools will help you take notes no matter where you find yourself needing to jot something down. You will also find tools that help you create documents from your notes that you can use or share with others.
- Evernote. This powerful note-taking app allows you to take a photo with your phone, type in text, clip information from the Internet, use on your desktop, or use on your phone.
- Google Notebook. This web-based note-taking app also has access to Google search capabilities, Google Bookmarks, a rich-text editor, and labels.
- Zoho Notebook. This app is a powerhouse with capabilities for integrating audio, video, html, urls, files, and much more. Tools include line, text, freehand, and shapes.
- UberNote. Another web-based app, UberNote allows you to email or IM notes, bookmark, and access from your desktop or your mobile phone.
- WebAsyst Notes. Create notes and then organize them in folders, share with others, or access other services such as photo storage, manage projects, and more.
- Notefish. Save web content on Notefish notes, then organize and share your notes as you like.
- Luminotes. Described as a personal wiki notebook, this note-taking app lets you create notes, link them together, and stay organized in an easy-to-use format.
- FruitNotes. This online notebook offers features such as calling from your phone and leaving voice notes, uploading photos and videos, and online sharing.
- Wridea. Write down what you need to remember, then edit, categorize, and even share your notes with others.
- Net Notes. This Firefox add-on allows you to save notes on websites into your bookmarks.
- Springnote. This note-taking and collaboration tool allows you to take notes on your own or work with others to create a group notebook.
- Writeboard. Create shareable online text documents with this tool that also integrates with Backpack.
- Jott. For those too busy to do anything but leave a message, Jott is the answer to note-taking. Call a number to leave yourself a note, add an appointment to your calendar, and even have your voice mail transcribed.
- Qipit. Take a photo of any document with your phone, then use this tool to convert it to a PDF file that you can fax, email, or store.
Whether you are doing online research or like to keep your Internet hobbies organized, these bookmarking tools will help you keep everything in order and easy to find.
- Del.icio.us. This popular bookmarking site allows you to save favorite sites, add notes to yourself that you can also share with others, and browse other peoples’ bookmarks to find similar content.
- Reddit. Not only can you bookmark your favorite sites here, but users can vote on sites and watch whether they are going up or down in popularity.
- Digg. Users can vote and comment on their favorite (or not so favorite) sites here, or you can just easily bookmark your favorites.
- StumbleUpon. Part bookmarking site and part highly-customizable search engine, StumbleUpon offers sites that meet your selected criteria that you can choose to bookmark or not.
- PurpleBunny. Bookmark, comment on sites, share with others, read what other users have to say, and even discuss web sites.
- Fleck. Keep all your bookmarks in one place and share with friends. Choose between Original or Lite–which provides shortened urls for sharing on Twitter.
- Snip!t. Snip sections of webpages you want to remember and add them to your bookmarks. You can even make notes on them.
- Digital Notes. Download this open source software to access social bookmarking where you and your friends can discuss websites on a shared note.
- Clipmarks. With this bookmarking tool you can select a portion of a webpage–including text, video, or image–and save it.
- iFaves. Get your bookmarks organized by the ones you most visited or tags you assign so that you never lose track of those important bookmarks again.
- Tip’d Financial News. Like Digg, but for personal finance and investing topics.
A popular way to make sense of all those thoughts and ideas floating around in your head is through mind mapping. These tools will help you get everything together in an organized and coherent manner.
- Kayuda. Whether you want to record your own thoughts or are trying to organize a brainstorming session at work, Kayuda helps you get everything together.
- FreeMind. This mind-mapping software helps you keep track of projects, organize research, brainstorm, or just keep up with random bits of knowledge that you want to keep in one place.
- yWriter5. Not truly a mind-mapping tool, this app does help organize in a unique way. Novel writers or anyone else working on large written projects can easily organize chunks of writing with this tool.
- VUE. Created at Tufts University, this mind mapping tool is designed to help those specifically for teaching, learning, and research.
- Cmap Tools. Create concept maps with this mind mapping tool designed specifically for academic research.
- WiseMapping. Create free mind maps with this tool, then share yours or browse other people’s mind maps.
- bubble.us. Start brainstorming with this simple online tool that creates bubbles and connects your ideas.
- Mindomo. This web-based mind mapping tool will have you organized and thinking clearly.
- Gliffy. Create flowcharts for a project or use this tool to help organize your ideas and steps to complete your projects.
- Mapul. Easily create organic-looking mind maps with this tool.
- View Your Mind. This mind mapping tool allows you to "generate and manipulate maps which show your thoughts."
Wikis can easily keep organizations, groups, and companies connected and working together. Additionally, many people are discovering the ease of using a personal wiki to write and keep their notes organized, then post to websites, print, or email your notes with these tools. Check out some of these wikis to help keep you organized.
- PBwiki. Group collaboration or personal wikis are available with this popular wiki platform.
- Wetpaint. Create your own website wiki very easily and then choose if you want others to be able to edit it or if you want to keep it just for yourself.
- TiddlyWiki. Use this personal wiki for note-taking, a collaboration tool, creating websites, and whatever else you can think of when it comes to organization.
- GTDTiddlyWiki. Based on TiddlyWiki, this app focuses specifically on your GTD lists and easily allows printing directly to 3×5 cards for HipsterPDA use.
- Wiki on a Stick. This personal wiki is made to live on a USB stick and allows for easy compilation of to-do lists, notes, and even storing images.
- doxWiki. Use this personal wiki to keep personal notes and other information that can be uploaded to a website, printed, or emailed.
- MoinMoin DesktopEdition. Use this smaller version of the MoinMoin wiki as a personal wiki that is easy to set up and use.
- Pimki. This Personal Information Manager is a great place to keep all the thoughts in your head someplace where you can organize, access, and never forget again.
- Tomboy. This app for Linux and Unix allows for easy note-taking, highlighting, spell-checking, emailing, and more.
- wikidPad. A wiki notebook for storing your thoughts, this app automatically keeps ideas together using WikiWord linking so that you can always find what you need.
- ZuluPad. Not only is ZuluPad easy to use and install, there is a free version as well as a pro version for a fee if you need to upgrade.
Highlighters and Sticky Notes
If you have a computer covered in sticky notes or ever go back to a website and can’t find the information you needed, then these tools will help you keep you organized. From highlighters for websites you can bookmark or email to virtual sticky notes that you can place on your desktop, email, or keep on websites, you will never lose a thought or idea again.
- Diigo. Highlight passages on web pages, add sticky notes, and share with friends with this app that is accessible through both your PC and iPhone.
- WebNotes. Highlight text and attach notes to web pages, create notes in folders, and even share your notes with others with this app.
- MyStickies. This Firefox add-on allows you to add sticky notes to web pages and organize them with tags.
- Wired-Marker. Permanently highlight sections of websites so that each time you visit that site you know exactly to which section you want to refer. Your selection is automatically bookmarked for easy reference.
- twitterlites. Highlight pieces from the Internet and Twitter them with this highlighting tool.
- Wizlite. Use this tool to highlight any text online and even share with others.
- Stickies. Create virtual sticky notes on your computer desktop with this tool. Just like real stickies, they stay there until you remove them, but unlike the real thing, these can be iconified, remind you of tasks, and even emailed.
- Jotcloud. Similar to Stickies, but with fewer functions, you can write down your notes on virtual stickies with this tool. No download is necessary.
- PinNotes. Another sticky note app, this one also allows for adding pictures, time and date, and more.
Long gone are the days of hand-written scraps of paper lost on the grocery store aisle. These super organized to-do lists will always be available and even reach out to remind you of what you need to do.
- Remember the Milk. This popular to-do list keeps your tasks organized, reminds you when something is due, integrates into Google Calendar, and even works on your iPhone.
- Toodledo. Not only can you keep a to-do list here, but Toodledo offers a feature that analyzes your dates, priorities, and time estimates to create a schedule for you to ensure everything gets done.
- Ta-da Lists. Sign up quickly and be using this simple online to-do list in a matter of seconds.
- 43 Things. Here’s a different twist on to-do lists. Publish your to-do list to the community and keep yourself accountable for getting your tasks finished.
- Bla-bla List. For a simple to-do list, use this tool. You can also email it to yourself or update others via RSS feed.
- HassleMe. An interactive to-do list, if you let this app know about how often you want to be hassled and what you need to do and you’ll receive an email reminder.
- My 50. This tool will help you keep focused on your life goals by managing your list of places to go, things to do, and anything else you want to do in your lifetime.
- bitBomb. Set up reminders that will come to your mobile phone as a text message with this tool.
Working with others means managing the thoughts and ideas of more than just yourself. Don’t go crazy trying to keep up with everything; instead, use these collaboration tools to keep connected, share ideas, and work together on projects successfully.
- Backpack. Whether you are working with fellow students or in a professional setting, Backpack allows for easy collaboration with features such as shared to-do lists, announcements, calendars, files, and even centralized discussions.
- Basecamp. Basecamp makes project collaboration easy and smooth. Share files, track time, schedule milestones, assign projects, make to-do lists and more.
- Highrise. If your business need a tool to manage your contacts, leads, and on-going deals, Highrise offers a centralized way to share everything happening at your company.
- writewith. For writing projects, this app keeps everyone together with shared documents and tasks, discussions, and more.
- iLeonardo. This social network allows you to collaborate on research with friends or others who happen to be working on the same subject you are.
- LooseStitch. Create outlines, share with others, and keep all your changes together with this tool that helps facilitate brainstorming and working together.
- Famundo. Families and organizations alike will find useful ways to use Famundo to keep calendars, to-do lists, shopping lists, share photos, and communicate in one place.
- Thinkfree. The free services with this app include document creation and sharing, file access and sharing, collaboration with colleagues, blogging, and iPhone access. Other services for a fee include server access, complete mobile access, and an alternative to MS Office.
- Pidgin. Download this tool so you can IM with anyone on 16 different IM accounts.
- MeetWithApproval. Plan a virtual meeting with coworkers or clients or organize a face-to-face using this meeting planner.
- Thinkature. Collaborate, organize your thoughts and research, and prepare your paper or project with this tool.
- ProBoards. Create a discussion board easily and quickly so you can collaborate. You can also leave the discussion for others to access as well.
- ThinkFold. If you have a group working together, it can get confusing and messy trying to track everyone’s ideas. ThinkFold allows groups to create interactive, real-time outlines without all the trouble.
Online calendars are a great way to stay organized and ensure you never miss another appointment, birthday, or happy hour again.
- Google Calendar. This powerful calendar allows you to track events, set reminders, share with others, and even easily import appointments straight from Gmail.
- 30 Boxes. This online calendar keeps you organized and connected with friends at the same time with its simple design and ease of use.
- Jotlet. Create an online calendar and share it with friends, family, or coworkers with this tool.
- WhichTime. Download this free calendar to keep up with your life. Widgets are also available to customize it.
- Scrybe. This online organizer includes a calendar, to-do list, and more. Private beta is by invitation only or you can sign up to be notified when registration goes public.
- Trumba. If you need a super powerful calendar like those used by newspapers, TV stations, and universities, Trumba offers that type of connection. Try this calendar for 30 days before deciding to purchase it.
- Yahoo! Calendar. This popular calendar helps you keep up with events and appointments and also has a contact list, note pad, and access your Yahoo! email.
- MyHomePoint. Designed specifically for families, this calendar tracks everyone’s schedules and appointments, sends reminders, and has a place for everyone to share notes.
Whether you want to keep track of the time you work at home or for billable hours or if you need to limit your web browsing in order to keep on task, these time trackers are invaluable tools to keep yourself organized and focused.
- Harvest. Track your work time, log expenses, and invoice clients with this powerful and intuitive tool that has different versions for different business needs.
- SlimTimer. If you work from home, this tool will help you track your hours, create tasks, and run reports for free.
- Toggl. This time management tool not only tracks time and creates invoices, it integrates with Basecamp and offers desktop widgets and an iGoogle gadget.
- Time Tracker. This Firefox add-on times your browsing sessions and allows you to set up "work" sites that do not count as unproductive browsing time.
- Wakoopa. Track the time you spend using various apps and create visibly pleasing graphs to quickly understand your usage.
- RescueTime. Like Wakoopa, this tool will track your usage, but unlike Wakoopa, you can set limits to where you browse and will receive reminders when you have run out of time.
General Organizers and Task Managers
Whether you want to keep your ongoing projects organized, need scheduling help, want an easy way to share with others, or just need to have your important stuff all together in one place, then these organizers and task managers will help you get the job done.
- HiTask. This web-based task management app provides for easy scheduling, organizing, assigning, and sharing of tasks.
- Nozbe. Get things done with this application that allows you to keep to-do lists, manage projects and tasks, get reminders, share with others, and even access from your mobile phone.
- TreePad Lite. This personal database provides a place for you to store notes, emails, texts, links, and more in an easy-to-organize and accessible format.
- Todoist. With a simple interface, integration with Gmail, mobile access, and a built-in calendar, your tasks will be easily managed with Todoist.
- mecanbe. Set goals, tasks, have performance evaluations, measure progress, and get support if you aren’t already part of a group with this tool that helps you organize and achieve your goals.
- iGoogle. Google users can personalize their homepage with Gmail, news, Google Calendar, weather, photos, Google Reader, and more to keep your important information in one central place.
- Pageflakes. For those who don’t use Google, Pageflakes works similarly to iGoogle and allows you to customize your homepage with all the helpful apps you need to keep your life in order.
- Notely. Specifically designed for students, Notely provides tools such as note-taking, scheduler, homework planner, a calendar, and more.
- Joe’s Goals. This simple chart allows you to input your goals or tasks, then you check off each you complete daily.