Organizational apps to consider… Instapaper, Trello and Simplenote

By John King, Business Development Manager at Umbrella Managed Systems

Umbrella Managed Services: Time ManagementI find myself getting distracted by digital squirrels constantly. Scrolling through LinkedIn or the numerous websites I follow can lead to a serious time drain. A few of the apps I keep on my computer and iPhone have increased my organizational processes and efficiency.


My favorite app that keeps me moving forward without too much distraction is Instapaper. Instapaper is an app and an extension for Chrome that allows me to save articles so I can read them later.

I’m constantly absorbing content from multiple sources… throughout the day I don’t have time to read. Sometimes I want to learn more about solitude, but don’t have the time to get through the content. I click the little “I” on my Chrome browser. When I get a free moment, or want to hunker down for a reading session, Instapaper makes it easy to sort, categorize and access my reading list.


Instapaper is great for cataloging and capturing documents and articles, but for keeping my thoughts organized, I like to use Simplenote. Simplenote is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a simple way to take notes. I keep it right next to my email app on my iPhone (unfortunately my most used app).

My favorite feature of Simplenote is how it can sync across all my devices and web log-ins. (I seem to get epiphanies late at night and don’t want a cumbersome process to jot down my brilliant ideas.)


I’ve covered reading and writing. Now it’s time for…task management. Trello is my digital project manager for all things professional and personal.

Trello uses a visual card system that moves across your device from left to right. Just like we read. It’s intuitive. Sometimes it’s the little things that entertain me. It’s visually pleasing and has great functionality underneath.  I use it for my own tasks, but it can be used as a collaboration tool in teams.

These are my favorite apps right now. As you can tell, organization is a priority for me. I struggle with organization every day. These apps keep up to date on my reading lists, organize my thoughts and keep me on task. And the single most important part of these apps; they’re free. I know there are many apps to choose from… I hope these are suggestions you can add to your toolset! Feel free to share your favorite apps in the comments. Or give me a shout for a deeper dive into these wonderful apps.

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