It’s easy to let our computers, smartphones, and tablets add more demands to our already crazy lives. We are taking pictures, creating notes, finding interesting articles and websites, researching projects—all of which squashes our free time and creates a need for a way to organize everything.

We really don’t need to live this way. Technology can solve the same problems that it sometimes creates.

Saving, organizing, and backing up your data is as easy as finding the right process. Often, that means finding the right app. I’ve researched several apps to keep all of the content that I produce organized and safe; here are the four I turn to regularly to stay efficient and secure.

1. Pocket

So you’re searching online for data about a work project and happen upon a really interesting article that you’d love to read. You can’t be distracted from the task at hand, so what do you do with the article, and how will you remember the source? There’s a far better option than bookmarking or e-mailing yourself the link: With your free Pocket account you can save articles, videos, websites, or whatever you want and it’s there on your computer, phone, or tablet for you later when you’re free, even if you don’t have an Internet connection. Plus Pocket works from over 300 apps such as Twitter, Epicurious, and Flipboard, so it’s convenient to save content no matter where you happen to be online. Pocket is the digital version of clipping an article from a newspaper and putting it on your fridge to look at later; that is, if you could take your fridge with you everywhere you went.

2. LastPass


Passwords are a daily part of life these days. From your email to your social media accounts to websites requiring log-ins and beyond, you need passwords. Remembering them can be a daunting hurdle; all too often people circumvent that obstacle by using the same password repeatedly or choosing very simple (read: non-secure) passwords. LastPass to the rescue! With LastPass, all you need to remember is one master password; it securely remembers passwords for every other website. You can synchronize across browsers and among different computers, and because LassPass can remember other types of data for you, it can automatically fill in forms.Saving, organizing, and backing up your data is as easy as finding the right process. Often, that means finding the right app.

3. Evernote

Wondering how to organize thoughts, photos, documents, clips from the web, pretty much all of that stuff you need to save? Evernote is like a digital filing cabinet for all of those things that clutter your desktop (both your computer’s and your actual desk). It is a very user-friendly storage app that can upload, save, and organize with the click of a button. One of my favorite things about it is its strong search feature; it allows you be organized without having to spend a lot of time actually organizing. Know you want that article about that thing? Search within the app and there it will be. It even finds text within photos, so if you snap a photo of your to-do list it will appear in your search. With Evernote you can also encrypt text, so your sensitive information will be safe.

4. Dropbox

Back up, back up, back up. We hear it all the time, but you need to do it. Back up all of your important documents and photos; everyone at some point or another will be glad they do so. Dropbox is my go-to place to back up my data. At 50GB the free storage is ample for many users, and there are many ways to earn free storage space if it isn’t (and there is always the option of purchasing added storage). It’s easy to use as well; simply download the Dropbox folder onto your computer and drop files you want to back up into the folder. They will be on the web version of your Dropbox account, and also sync to your mobile devices with a Dropbox folder.

Don’t let your technology overwhelm your life. The right apps can help you streamline your workflow, back up your content, and organize your data. So go out there and get started!

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