how I’m going paperless in 2012

January 6th, 2012   |   ExfoliatingLife

Up to this point I have been a devoted paper to-do list and calendar girl – because when my palm pilot in ninth grade lost all of my information, I vowed only to use ink.

However, over Thanksgiving I thought that I lost my planner on a train back from St. Louis which caused a level yellow panic. I instantly regretted that my information was all tied up in that little pink book.

So with that in mind, I am stepping back into the realm of the online appointment books in 2012, and I’m liking the results.

To make this transition as easy as possible, I’ve found a few great apps and systems that might be helpful for others who are doing the same paper to web shift.

Because I run an online business and blog, it makes the most sense to keep everything I do on the internet. I have had a Macbook Pro for several years and when I launched the iPad covers for Jess LC, I got an iPad2 to make sure I knew what the heck I wanted the design to look like. And I recently switched from an Android phone to the iPhone 4s to keep things streamlined. I now love the iPhone interface much more than my old Android.

With the advent of iCloud and other systems that work over the web, the computer, iPad, and phone are all updated wirelessly and reflect the same appointments and to-dos, which is incredible. Losing my phone won’t mean that I lost all of my appointments and data like it did when I only had a hard-copy appointment book.

Here is a run down of the go-to apps that work seamlessly across all of my tech gadgets that I highly recommend:

This one is popular and obviously a no-brainer. I like that I can see it in month view:

And in day view:

Best of all, it isn’t too tedious to enter the appointments in on the phone and the reminder alerts are a nice feature that you can turn on or off. Once I enter it on either my computer, phone, or iPad, the appointment appears on all three devices immediately.

For me, the major drawback of the Google Calender is that I can’t just make a trusty to-do list. There is a standard Reminder app on the iPhone which can help. But I am now personally obsessed with TeuxDeux. TeuxDeux is available on your computer for free and they have designed a simple and beautiful app for the iPhone for $2.99. I’m not one to normally spend money on iPhone apps, but this puppy is worth it’s price tag and then some.

I can make daily to-do lists:

And if I don’t accomplish the to-do list item today, it will automatically transfer to the next day. Also, any updates I make on the computer or iPhone version of the app sync automatically to both platforms. TeuxDeux allows you to place to-d0 lists into the future as well. They have a great, short video explaining how it works on their homepage.

In addition to the daily to-do lists, there are also Someday to-do lists. I have one for blog post ideas, another for intentional obsession items I’d like to buy, and a third for errands. These lists are more by topic than date which is great for more long-term planning.

Lastly, the app I use the most is called Flip Board. It is a free app for the iPhone and iPad which Mr. Lively got me hooked on.

They have tons of links to news, sports, business, etc. in an extremely intuitive and beautiful format. But rather than flip through news on the app, I spend my time using it for….

My Google Reader! It makes my blog reader beyond beautiful and shares posts in a way that the desktop and phone Google Reader totally fails at. In a way, I feel like I have my own custom magazine constantly updating all of the blogs that I read and enjoy.

And lastly, I love my monthly background as well, courtesy of PuglyPixel.

Anyone else out there using web devices to keep their appointments? Any other apps that we should check out?


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  • Thanks for the tips! I actually HAVE a teux deux account but haven’t used it. I’ve off-and-on used Remember the Milk, another to-do list thing but I think I prefer scheduling by day… I will be buying a paper planner this year though because I tried digital in 2010 and 2011 and I never remembered to update it!

  • Jenn

    I love sneaking a peek at other people’s iPhones and favorite apps! Your phone is so neatly organized – only 4 pages of apps with 8 icons each is incredible!

    I love TeuxDeux. I prefer using it for work to-do’s only, so that when I leave the office, I don’t see my work to-do’s when looking at my personal to-do list. The someday feature is great for upcoming projects and quick notes about “X Client wants to schedule a meeting for week of Jan 23,” which isn’t a to-do for today, but something to check back in on.

  • I am a huge fan of the teuxdeux app! i have been using it for over a year now, and i have very few complaints. thanks for sharing!

  • I just downloaded Flipboard for my iPhone…I’m so excited…thanks!

  • for general planning, i’m still a paper and pen girl, but i most definitely rely on my digital calendars for appointment reminders. i also use teuxdeux for quick lists — high 5! 😀 and jessica, i’m so happy that you like the iphone calendar! seeing it in your post made me smile!

    now, off to check out flip board. happy friday!

    ps. LOVIN’ your kate spade case.

  • Oh mine, now I am undecided. I am still trying to figure out whether to buy an iPhone or BB. So stuck for various reasons, but now you makde the iPhone so iresistable.

    My three biggest things are I love having a keypad, I want a good calender and scheduler and good camera. IPhone fails on the keypad. Don’t know what to do? lol

  • Lauren

    Just downloaded Flipboard and I LOVE it. It actually (in a weird way) made me sort of calmer. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Hi Jess

    I just love Teux Deux – my husband and I have an account just for our shopping list so while one is on their way to the supermarket the other is checking the fridge and updating the list!
    Another one I use is Action Method – it’s like a really extended concept of Teux Deux, and is designed for creative project planners. You can create projects, action steps, delegate them to others, put due dates on them and Action Method will make a graph to show you how you’re tracking – as well as highlight any bottlenecks. It’s got a more detailed website part as well. It’s free to join – allowing you to create up to 100 action steps in the website, but the app’s action steps seem to be limitless, I use it to keep my business projects and events on track.

  • This post is going to be printed and read about 20x by me. I love your approach and am still an all paper girl, but know it’s about time i enter 2012 and get everything in sync.
    Sending you a big virtual hug,

  • I love all the apps you mentioned! I use TeuxDeux all the time. I’m also a big fan of Evernote. It’s like having an unlimited supply of notebooks at your disposal, only easier to organize and search through!

  • KathrynwithaY

    Definitely now addicted to Flip Board! Love it!

  • I’ve used the TeuxDeux app before and loved it for it’s simplicity; however, I never seemed to fill in more than a day or two. I recently started using Do It (Tomorrow). It is great for when you only want to see your list for today and tomorrow, and anything you don’t cross off floats to the next day just like TeuxDeux. I can sync it between my phone (Android, but they support iPhone)and my computer. Just my two cents!

  • have you tried Siri? I’m gonna go look for flip board!

  • Hi Jess! I downloaded Flipboard at your recommendation, and now I have a few questions about it. Do you find that it syncs with the Google Reader website on your computer? If I’ve read posts on my phone, it doesn’t update on my computer, so I have to read them twice. And then the app tells me that I have no more unread items, but the GR on my computer says that I do. Any tips for using this app? I love the concept, but I’d like to use both the app and GR on my computer.

  • Katrina, I’m a huge fan of your work and site! Keep up the amazing work!

    AdeOla, tough call! I had a Blackberry in the past but got too addicted to the little red blinking light. But that’s just me and my crazy obsession with email.

    Christie, I never thought to use TeuxDeux for Mr. Lively and I, that’s a great idea! I’ll also keep Action Method in mind.

    Thanks, Carolyn!

    I’ve heard great things about Evernote, Lisa. Thanks for sharing!

    Meghan, Siri doesn’t seem to like me as she does Mr. Lively. I can’t get her to understand me as well.

    Jill, I’ve had the same issue come up every now and then myself. Unfortunately I haven’t found a fix (nor know if there is one). I guess we’ll just have to play around to see if we can find something that syncs them both. : )

  • SJM

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review of things out – I just searched and downloaded both apps and I think they’re going to take care of what’s been missing from the standard iPhone reminder and RSS feed reader. Awesome!

  • thank you for the flipboard and teuxdeux reccos! i went paperless in 2011 and i’m always looking for new ways to streamline and organize 🙂 i think the addition of these two are going to get 2012 started off on a great foot!!

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  • Andrea

    My favorite time-saving organizational apps are Remember The Milk and Trip It! Trip it will scan your email for travel itineraries and compile them AND automatically add them to your google calendar!

  • Lily

    I just learned about Gleeo Time Tracker (Android). You can track the time that you spend on different projects and divide those projects into different tasks. This is useful if you’re a freelancer and need to bill for time, but for me (not a freelancer) I just like to see how I spend my time! (i.e. I use it more as a time management tool.)

  • Flip Board just changed my life.

  • wow! thanks for the tips. i just got an iphone a few weeks ago, and i have been wondering how i will read my beloved blogs. flipboard is AMAZING. 🙂