Adult learners trying to be parents, partners, employees, and students simultaneously can find that staying on top of their various responsibilities is difficult. If you’re among the millions of adults who aren’t highly organized, some of your must-do tasks like finishing homework assignments, finalizing work projects, hiring a plumber, picking up the dry cleaning, or baking cupcakes for an event at your child’s school can get lost in the mix.
The good news is that several apps and websites are now available that can help you manage your time, your finances, and other aspects of your life. Below are a few software solutions to help keep you on track.
Productivity Tools Defined
Simply put, a productivity tool is any tool that can be used to simplify tasks. For example, smart refrigerators help improve your productivity because their inventory management software can help you keep track of items that you have in stock and items that are running low.
If you take a moment to look around your home, you’ll likely find that you’re already using productivity tools in your everyday life — like telling Siri to set a timer or using LastPass to keep track of your passwords.
Best Productivity Tools for Adult Learners
Adult learners interested in using productivity tools to stay organized and on track with their schoolwork have various options to choose from. From apps that help you manage your time to those that help you keep track of your finances, the tools we’ve compiled below are all cloud based, meaning that you can access them from your work computer, a school computer, or your smartphone.
Time Management Tools
Whether you need help managing your personal, professional, or academic time, a wide variety of free and subscription-based time management apps are available. Some of the top time management tools of 2023 are:
- MyLifeOrganized: MyLifeOrganized is a subscription-based app that helps users create tasks and track checklists. The interface even allows you to drag and drop various tasks, which means you can rearrange your to-do list based on your tasks’ order of importance.
- myHomework Student Planner: myHomework is a student planner app that allows users to access their data anytime, anywhere. The free version allows students to track classes, projects, assignments, and test dates.
- Emerging AI Tools: Artificial intelligence tools aren’t just popping up in the business world — they’re expanding to academia. Apps like ChatGPT can help students create practice test prep questions and generate topic ideas for writing assignments. But be mindful: Current AI tools are powerful but should never be used to cheat or cut corners.
Financial Management Tools
Staying on top of your finances can be hard, especially if you’re trying to keep track of multiple bills, subscriptions, and accounts. Financial management apps can help users understand their income and spending so they have real-time data about the money coming in — and the money going out.
- Mint: Mint by Intuit is free to use and allows users to access information about their financial accounts — investments, credit cards, bills, and banking information — from an easy-to-use interface. The app also includes features such as bill payment and budget goal trackers.
- Simplifi: Simplifi by Quicken helps users identify ways to save money, track and manage their bills, and monitor their spending habits. Although it doesn’t have a free version, an annual subscription costs less than $30 per year.
- You Need a Budget: You Need a Budget (YNAB) is designed to help users grow their savings, pay off their debts, and reach their financial goals. YNAB offers monthly and annual subscription plans.
Have you ever taken notes for a class or meeting only to struggle to find them later? Or spilled coffee on a binder full of exam prep? Digital note-taking apps are cloud-based solutions that allow you to access your notes anytime and anywhere.
- OneNote: OneNote is an electronic notebook that allows you to organize your files, notes, research, and information from anywhere with an internet connection. The app also has a collaboration feature that allows you to share your online notebook with others. This app is offered as part of the Microsoft 365 subscription package.
- Evernote: Evernote is designed to help you keep track of tasks, schedules, and notes with the press of a button. This app offers both free and paid subscription versions, depending on your needs.
- Google Keep: Google Keep is a free note-taking app that allows you to capture audio, lists, notes, and photos. It even features location-based reminders, which can do things like pull up your grocery list once you drive into the store parking lot.
Tools and Apps for Organization
Organization tools and apps help users manage their time and productivity. They can also help you facilitate collaborations with classmates, track assignment due dates, and navigate other time-sensitive facets of college life.
- Microsoft To Do: Microsoft To Do is a cloud-based app that helps users track and manage their tasks in one place. Like OneNote, this app is included with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
- Calendly: Calendly is a free appointment-scheduling app that allows you to share your availability with others. This app can be extremely helpful for students who need to coordinate study groups and project collaboration time with classmates.
- LastPass: LastPass is a username and password manager that can be accessed on any computer, smartphone, or tablet. LastPass offers free and subscription-based plans depending on your needs.
Getting Organized Before You Go Back to School
Aspiring adult learners interested in starting or completing their college education will find that getting organized before they enroll can help set them up for success. Are you ready to take the first brave step toward earning a certificate or a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree? Discover how enrolling in one of Maryville University’s flexible online degree programs can help prepare you for the next stage in your professional future.
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Geeks for Geeks “9 Best Note-Taking Apps to Use in 2023”
Investopedia, “Best Budgeting Apps”
Mashable, “9 Great Time Management Apps for Students”
Oprah Daily, “10 Best Organization Apps to Simplify Your Life”
ProofHub, “25 Best Organizational Tools to Get Organized and Sorted Out”
ProofHub, “43 Productivity Tools That Will Make Your Life Much Easier”
TechRadar, “Best Note-Taking Apps of 2023”