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Help manage the chaos of daily life with these Android organization apps

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Some of us are a little obsessive. We may not all have defined compulsive habits, own a label maker or have a fear of germs, but we do feel a need keep our lives very well organized.

While keeping things 'just so' isn't a bad habit by any stretch, it can be a difficult system to maintain when the demands of the day are always tugging at you.

If you're the type of person who makes a lot of lists, feels uneasy around clutter or if there's an anti-grease guard affixed to your phone's LCD screen, heed my advice and download these eight organization apps that can help you to better manage the chaos of daily life.

Day Planner Apps

Astrid Task/ToDo List (Free)

I sometimes make several to-do lists in a single day, each reserved for different kinds of tasks: professional work, chores and errands. Astrid Task is a program that allows you to create as many lists you'd like and even has the option for you to create categories. You can keep things simple, or you go for more advanced task management like adding a widget that sticks active lists to your phone's desktop, or synchronizing your tasks with Gmail, for instance.

Jorte (Free)

The inability to find a digital calender app I liked is what has kept me working with old-school, paper agenda planners. But Jorte may have converted me. It allows users to easily pencil-in happenings and appointments and it does a great job of replicating the experience of a day planner. Not only that, but it's versatile: You can look at your schedule in a monthly, portrait view and a weekly, landscape view and a list-style weekly view. This app can integrate with Google Calender, color code days and maintain a to-do and memo section.

Catch Notes (Free)

This app helps make remembering happenings or other little slices of life a bit easier. Instead of using a scrap piece of paper or a napkin, I instead use the app's text notes option to jot down a story idea or the name of a musician I just heard on the radio. You can also use Catch Notes to make voice recordings (“Note to self: buy a pair of moccasins,” for instance), snap a photo of the magazine recipe you stumble upon while you're in the doctor's office waiting room, or set as many alarms as you'd like. What's really great about all of these features is that you can add contextual notes to these reminders explaining why you wanted to remember these things. If you want to, all of your notes can sync up with an account at Catch.com so you can share your idea stream with friends online.

Data Storage Apps

Keeper Password & Data Vault (Free)

If there was no such thing as identity theft, I'd keep my checking account number, my eBay password and my social security number on a piece of paper in my wallet. I still haven't memorized this information despite the fact that I am constantly using all of it. Keeper Password & Data Vault is perfect for me because it works like a vault, safely storing all of your valuable information, but still keeping it all within arms reach. Information is stored using secure, 128-bit encryption, so no one can ruin your life by browsing your phone's memory. It also has a self-destruct feature you can activate, which erases all of your information after four invalid log-in attempts. A paid version of the app, which costs $30 annually, backs-up your saved data to the web.

Pageonce - Money & Bills (Free)

It's happened to all of us. A bill somehow gets stuffed in a pile of envelopes and completely slips your mind. Sometimes we need little nudges to remind us when it's time to drop a check in the mail. Pageonce acts like your very own financial assistant. It puts all of your bank accounts, credit cards, bills, investment accounts and whichever other accounts you'd like to keep tabs on, all in one place. But, don't let the "Money & Bills" in the title scare you away. Pageonce can also be used to manage your Netflix queue, your various rewards points, frequent flyer miles and even your phone's text and data usage.

Spatial Organizer Apps

FolderOrganizer (~$1.36)

Maybe you've heard that old expression: "a place for everything and everything in its place." It means: if everything is stored in a designated spot, and you keep things where they belong, everything should stay organized. FolderOrganizer is sort of the equivalent to the drawers, shelving and boxes in your house. It allows you to create as many folders as you like so that you can sort out contacts, applications, games and files. This will help save you the time spent thumbing through your entire app library when you're looking for something in particular.

Advanced Task Killer (Free)

Whoever said "too much is never enough" clearly did not own a smartphone. The more widgets and applications that are running in the background, the closer I come to throwing my Droid out the window. Advanced Task Killer simplifies the process of closing each of these individual programs. Check the boxes beside which running apps you'd like to close, or you can close out of everything in a single click.

SlideScreen (Free)

This app has taken away the clutter of my desktop by completely changing the way I use my phone. Instead of looking at a screen that's dotted with a bunch of icons, SlideScreen creates a single scrolling stream of all the information you care about. Everything else that you don't use on a regular basis is tucked away in a dock that can be shown and hidden at will. This app is more useful for people who use their Android to keep tabs on their social networking sites, the news and weather, email and text messages. Note: there is a small ad that lines the bottom of the screen, so if you find that really bothers you, you can upgrade to the pro version for $6.99.