Organizational Apps

What they used to call resolutions or goals are now referred to in hipster terms as bucket lists. Maybe you can still look somewhat cool saying to-do lists, but I’m just not sure. Whatever you call it, I realized that I had a lot of different aspirational tasks floating around in my head that I wanted get down in some digital format. When you consider all the methods of content marketing I’ve put forth in this site, you might be longing to get some sort of plan or schedule together for the strategies you want to take on. So in this post I’m going to look at some tools for at least making a baby bucket list to stay organized.

The most popular free tool for keeping your list in the cloud seems to be Evernote. When I tried it out the positives were that it was easy to use the note editor to dump my little bucket list, format it quickly, and return to it easily on future visits to the site. I liked that you could easily make the note into a separate web page, like one of the note-style web page generators I discussed in another post. However, the web page URL that Evernote created for me was really really long, in that my whole bucket list is easier to write on a sticky note than the web site address for it that Evernote gave me.

There were a few downsides to Evernote. It didn’t let me choose a username as virtually every other web app does, but instead just took my last name and attached a bunch of numbers to it. In my personal settings I learned that by default Evernote subscribed me to a dozen different types of e-mail notifications, so I had to uncheck all those, especially the surveys and notifications about Evernote apps that I’m not even using. And I would have liked a print button right there in the main app, so that I could just print my bucket list in a pinch if I wanted to. But for just getting my list in the cloud, the service seems to work fine.

Evernote mainly relies on the creation of virtual notebooks that contain your notes, like the way windows folders contain files. But other startups, always looking to be “disruptive” of any software genre, add twists to this concept. Workflowy is one such example. Rather than just using a basic word processing editor to make notes, Workflowy lets you drag and drop bullet points all over the document. You can easily make nested tree menus and call-out information bubbles out of single lines in your documents, and so a list in Workflowy becomes much more of an interactive exploratory experience.

One of the most perplexing efforts in this space is Little Outliner. At first I was thrilled to find a completely minimal list-making tool. You just go to the site and start making your list. No registration needed or complex features to get in the way of building your bucket list. But once you make a list, you’ll find there’s apparently no way of saving the list somewhere, and no way to make it into a web page URL that you can bookmark and go back to days later. The site admits that it uses a type of mystery local storage to store the lists, and this storage area varies in location depending on the user’s browser and computer. So the site creates the easiest way to make lists, and the hardest way to find them. But there’s a happy ending – the people who made this site also made Fargo, which has the look and feel of Little Outliner, but puts your files in Dropbox, so you know where they are.

As an attorney, you might want to create bucket lists that apply to goals and tasks in your professional practice. An app like IdeaSparked gives you the simple text editor you were familiar with in Evernote. But it also lets you designate stages of completion of your ideas, and provides stats and pie charts to give your goals some corporate-looking girth. is even more useful if you want to get your staff involved in your office goals. Like a start-up team management tool, it lets others in your office comment and contribute to brainstorming ideas and the progress of the tasks.

Finally, don’t forget that the heavy hitter, the safe software you can recommend to even the lawyers that want a familiar brand name, is now free – Microsoft’s OneNote. OneNote is especially useful if you want to tie your ideas and notes to information you’ve found on web pages, using a web clipping extension that works with your browser. If you don’t mind working entirely in the cloud, and are comfortable using OneNote solely as a web app, you can use online versions of OneNote, Word, Powerpoint, and Excel in the free Office Online suite.

Whatever your goals and ideas require, enjoy your bucket list journey and keep adding to your marketing campaign!


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