10 best apps to organize your life

From an app that tells you to leave before the traffic gets heavy to one that helps you organize your wardrobe, these great apps will turn your phone into your very own personal assistant.
By Leah Schoenmakers
Hand holding a smart phone in an urban area Getty Images

1. Organize your kitchen

Create any grocery list you could imagine and share it with your shopmates on ZipList. The app lets you organize by store, browse pre-made themes, and set up a master list of frequently purchased items. To make meal planning easier, this handy app also has a database of over 800,000 recipes that you can save or add to your weekly list. Available for iPhone and Android. Free to download.

Tip: We recommend pairing ZipList with Canada Coupon Finder for great grocery bargains. Available for iPhone and will be coming to Blackberry and Smartphone in the coming weeks. Free to download.

2. Organize your finances

Mint takes your bank information (plus investments, property, or whatever you plug in) to create a comprehensive picture of your finances. All you really have to do is fiddle with your budget limits and add any extra categories or goals – the rest is automated and carefully colour-coded for your convenience. Bank-grade security, handy charts, and a solid selection of associated banks makes this app a convenient tool to keep your assets in order. Available for iPhone and Android. Free to download.


3. Organize your passwords

With the much-loved LastPass, one password works as a master key across your accounts, so you can keep those secure, separate passwords without resetting all the time. Data is stored in your “vault,” which can also hold confidential text notes, such as account numbers. The basic app is free, and the $12 premium comes with loads of nifty features: sharing, backup, even one-time passwords for logging in on untrustworthy networks. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.

4. Organize family time


No app is going to manage all the chaos of family life, but Cozi gets pretty darn close. Your standard family calendar that includes appointments and reminders expands to include shopping lists, meal planning, and a family journal. You can even send out a weekly agenda and sync with other calendars so that nothing gets forgotten. Cozi’s biggest drawback is a lack of privacy and control: users access just one account, with just one password, meaning that family members can add snacks to the grocery list and sign themselves out of get-togethers. So parents, be warned: enforce a strict view-only rule! Available for iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. Free to download.

5. Organize your closet

Import and categorize photos of your clothes to Stylebook for quick access to your closet’s possibilities. As if that wasn’t enough fun, Stylebook can track when and how often you wear an outfit, or help you find clothing quirks (neon accents, anyone?) by assigning looks to mood boards. You even have access to wardrobe stats: closet value, most and least used items, or your total outfit count. If a full inventory is a little too much for you, try uploading only your fancy dress clothes for wedding and party seasons. Available for iPhone, $3.99.


6. Organize your paper trail

Evernote isn’t just a note-taking app; The archiving platform handles recordings, business cards, bookmarked web pages, medical documents, pictures and any tidbits you could want to organize. The app can be overwhelming at first, but after reinvigorating an old project idea with a new photo and comments, you’ll see how powerful it is to have so much data stored and searchable across any platform. With tags and notebook categories, you can choose how much you want to compartmentalize after that. Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows. Free to download.

7. Organize the school year

Kno started out with hardware, releasing an educational tablet for college students and their textbooks. Now they’ve ditched the competitive tablet game to concentrate on their interactive app – e-textbooks at reasonable prices for college students and kids in K-12. Students can study, journal, and share and track their progress, and teachers or parents can assign content. All this baby needs is a calendar, and you’ve got the whole year covered. Available for iPad, Android, web, and Windows. Free to download and with every e-book purchase, $1 goes to a class in need.


8. Organize your information

The company behind some of Siri’s vast info stores has its own knowledge engine for curious (or forgetful) minds. Wolfram Alpha computes answers to queries rather than listing sites, so you get some detailed insider information. They offer their classic search app, plus a host of personal and professional assistant apps: Find out how long your presentation speech runs, how much a recipe costs per portion, or how long it would take to hack your go-to password. Available for iPhone, Android, Nook, and Kindle, $0.99-$9.99.

9. Organize your shopping


There are plenty of shopping comparison apps, but you can run into trouble with Canadian stores and shipping. Luckily, RetailMeNot just launched their Canadian site, with all the same coupons, sales, and shipping codes as before – plus a few more Canadian companies on the roster. Show the coupon on your phone at checkout, and you’re set to go. (And don’t worry, you can still access the US counterpart for some cross-border shopping). Available for iPhone and Android.

10. Organize your organizing

The reQall app manages your existing calendars, email accounts, and web programs for a full overview of your agenda. This is one of the strongest task management apps out there, with great voice recognition and smooth integration of to-dos, notes, and events. The upcoming reQall Rover uses even more predictive searching to automagically sync and sift through your programs for helpful info. Instead of waiting for an alarm, reQall comes to you: notifications tell you there’s a store nearby to pick up that birthday card, or to leave before traffic gets heavy. Available for Android, Blackberry, phone, web and email.


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