Organization Apps

apps_labeled for usageIt’s February and that resolution you made about enjoying an organized 2017 is a literal mess.

Your office is spotted with scraps of paper and a mound of to-be-completed invoices. The floor is pockmarked with coffee spills and a random napkin or two. This past week you were late to a couple of meetings because you got lost in other tasks.

You may have given up on yourself already, but we haven’t.

You’ve still got 11 months left to nail your New Year’s resolution and we’ve found four apps that will help you get it done.

Dropbox (Browser and app)

If you haven’t started using this beauty of a cloud storage solution, drop what you’re doing and sign up for Dropbox right now.

There are those who will scoff at DB and hail the virtues of Google Drive. We have no complaints there, but we will say this:  Dropbox gets the upper hand because you don’t have to be logged into your Google account to access your files.

If you’ve ever had to deal with Google’s crazy log-in/log-out process to get from one account’s Drive to another, then you know what we’re talking about.

Dropbox gives you drag-and-drop capabilities and allows you to share documents and folders with just one click. This solution may not worked in a highly-regulated office environment, but it’s a godsend for startups or freelancers.

Basecamp (Browser and app) 

There are plenty of great team-management tools out there – Asana and Basecamp are at the top of the list in terms of function and fanfare.

We give Basecamp the edge because its browser interface is easier to navigate. New tasks can be created instantly and are fully customizable, thanks to Basecamp’s stripped down functionality.

Team members are added with ease and project updates can be sent out as soon as they happen, every couple of hours, every day and more.

If you’re running a team of developers or writers, Basecamp provides that simple solution you’ve been wanting. Asana has an aesthetic edge, but we believe Basecamp’s functionality makes it the best way to manage a team, set tasks and create deadlines.

24me (App only)

If you’re looking for a magic wand to organize your non-work life, 24me is about as close as you’re going to get.

The app combines task management and calendar functions to give you an all-in-one virtual personal assistant whose functionality is just as elegant as its UX.

“Receive billing, event, and birthday reminders, or have the app pay your bills and send gifts to friends. The app even lets you know what time you should leave for your meeting based on current traffic,” PopSugar wrote in a January 2017 article.

Sound like the perfect match? We agree.

LastPass (Browser and app)

Do you ever get that frantic feeling when you’re in desperate need of a certain app, but you can’t remember your password and it’s making a searing ball of stress rise up in  your chest?

LastPass is your solution for that tense personal moment. The app stores passwords for every single app on your phone. And it gets better: LastPass works on your browser, too.

In the realm of free password storage, this app reigns supreme. PC Mag gave LastPass a 5 out of 5 and nearly 100,000 in the Google Play store give it 4.5 stars.

This past November the app’s developers released an update that made the LastPass experience an even better one.

“The breadth of features in this free password manager is amazing,” PC Mag’s Neil J. Rubenking wrote. “LastPass 4.0 remains an Editor’s Choice for free password managers.”

clean office LFRA Few Other Tips

Can we talk about your cubicle for a minute? It’s one of the only things in your office that an app can’t fix.

So, let’s start with your work desk. Take five minutes at the end of the day to tidy things up. Trust us; a little housecleaning at 5 p.m. is worth the slight delay getting home.

On Fridays, devote 10 minutes to your cleaning routine. Do the usual tidying up for five minutes, and then crack open a tube of Clorox disinfectant wipes. Give your desktop, keyboard and computer screen a quick scrub. Dump out your trash and perform a final inspection before charging off into the weekend.

As for your home life, consider taking the first 10 minutes of the day to meditate on what you’d like to see happen at home and at work. Doing this mental checklist before the craziness begins will work wonders on your ability to stay focused and, more importantly, stay organized.

Office Chairs: A Two-Part Series on What Makes Them Tick

office chair 3Office chairs are a curious thing, aren’t they?

We rely on them every day, but you rarely think about how they’re constructed until something goes wrong.

That annoying pneumatic lift breaks and you sit about a foot lower than you should. Or maybe there’s an endless string of squeaks and creaks every time you lean back or move from side to side. The old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind,” is definitely appropriate here.

Serving as an office chair in the workplace is a thankless job, and perhaps it’s in the name of these faithful pieces of furniture that we decided to learn more about how they’re built, how they work and which ones are best suited for your specific work situation.

The Pneumatic Lift: How It Keeps You Propped Up From 8-5

You can thank compressed air for the way your chair rises and falls when you reach down and adjust your seat height.

Just like drills and nail guns hooked up to an air compressor, your chair relies on highly pressurized air to alter the height of your seat.

The cylinder that connects your chair’s star-shaped wheel structure and the bottom of your seat is where most of the compressed-air magic takes place.

That cylinder is filled with the compressed air, and the lever you use to raise and lower yourself activates a piston that moves up and down in the cylinder. When you want to move your seat up and you push the lever a few times, you increase the pressure in the chamber. As that pressure increases, it forces your seat upward.

If you’re up a little too high and you want to low the chair, you move the lever in the opposite direction. In this situation, you’re easing off the piston in the cylinder, which means the air inside is less pressurized and the seat falls. Simple stuff, right?

How an Office Chair Supports Your Back

We’ve all felt the ache of sitting in our office chair after a long, 10-12-hour day at work. When you stand up, there’s that familiar tight feeling near the base of your spine and it takes about 20 or 30 seconds of walking for things to warm up and loosen. says if your goal is to keep your back comfortable, your office chair should have two important features: lumbar support and a solid backrest.

Lumbar Support

Don’t get your backrest and lumbar support confused. The backrest is the main structure you lean back on when you sit, and the lumbar support is that bump at the bottom of the backrest that supports the base of your spine when you sit down.

“An ergonomic chair should have a lumbar adjustment (both height and depth) so each user can get the proper fit to support the inward curve of the lower back,” chiropractor Rodney K. Lefler wrote for Spine Health.

If you don’t find a chair with good lumbar support, your tendency to slouch in your chair will put stress on your lower spine and flatten out structures in your back that should be curved.

Back Rest

There are two important factors here: seat width and adjustability. Your backrest should be between 12 and 19 inches in width, Spine Health says. In other words, the seat’s backrest should span the width of your back so it can provide a full support profile.

Second, the chair needs to have a way for you to adjust the angle and height of the backrest. Having this ability means you can customize your back rest to the unique angles and structures of your back. This is usually a feature you’ll find in chairs that have a separate seat and back rest.

If the seat and backrest are connected, Spine Health says, “the backrest should be adjustable in forward and back angles, with a locking mechanism to secure it from going too far backward once the user has determined the appropriate angle.”


Looking Ahead: How to Decipher Office Chair Levers and Ratings


While most of us have a pretty good sense of what our office chair needs in the way of back support, all those little levers as well as ratings given by office-supply stores can be confusing.


In our second post of this series, we’ve examined some of the popular levers and what they do, as well as unpacked chair ratings and what they mean for your particular situation.