If your teenager struggles to stay organised, let me assure you they are not alone. They are joined by thousands of others who don’t keep a diary, don’t know when their assignments are due and don’t keep on top of their schoolwork.

This week, I met a mother who came up with an age-old solution. She brought a large yearly calendar and hung it on her daughter’s bedroom wall. She thought the calendar would help her daughter think ahead and stay organised. She was tired of hearing, “I think I’ve got an assignment due today!”

I remember using a wall calendar when I was in university. It served me well, but that was 20 years ago. Times have changed. Paper isn’t cool anymore. Paper doesn’t travel with teenagers when assignments are given or due dates are changed. It looks boring. It doesn’t communicate back to them and it gets lost so easily.

I have a better idea. Why not get your teenager’s iPhone working for you this year? It is possible that the device that lives in their hands 24/7 could actually do a little more than keep them connected to their friends. Surprise, surprise!

Teenagers have access to thousands of organisational and goal-setting apps via their iPhone and iPads. But as with a paper calendar, organisational apps are owner-operated. Yes, that means teenagers actually have to want to use them. They haven’t invented anything that will do the work for them as yet, but I am sure some teenager is working on that now. Stay tuned.

I use many of these apps myself, and am trialling the others with some clients this school term. I encourage you to try them too, and let me know if they are useful.

  • Text Grabber – If your teenager doesn’t want to copy work from the blackboard, this app will do it for them. All they have to do is take a screenshot of the blackboard and the app will translate it into typed text. From handwritten blackboard to typed text instantly. I totally wish I had this app at school.
  •  Planner Plus – Love this app and use it myself. This neat little app allows you to change, edit, reschedule, add, share and receive reminders… and it has to do list for each day. There is a version for iPads and iPhones that syncs to Google Calendar, which can be used on a desktop.
  •  Simple Minds – This mind-mapping tool is great for creative thinkers. It is so fun to use. You can customise your colours and fonts to individualise the look of your maps.
  •  Polaris Office – This is like Office on your iPad! You can even do PowerPoints on this setup, which means there are no more excuses for why they can’t do their homework while they are out.
  •  Snag It – This app is the ultimate screen-capture tool. You can quickly snag images, videos and articles and send them anywhere.
  •  Voice to Text – This app allows you to keep a journal of your thoughts by recording them while you are out and about, then it will convert them to text for you.
  • Goals On Track – This app allows you to record a goal, purpose, start date, end date, sub-goals, habits, and action plans.
  • Strides – Let me say at the outset, this app is beautiful. It’s really my favourite in terms of design. It gives you the sense that you are looking at a dashboard for your life. It’s a habit-tracking program that tracks each individual goal you have and the actions you take on a daily basis towards them.
  • irunurun – Of all the habit trackers I tested, I found this one to be the easiest and the most intuitive. As an added bonus, it “gamifies” the process of building new habits, making the process fun. You begin by entering the action or habit you want to track. You then weight the action, assigning it a point value. Once all your actions are entered, the game begins. You start each week with zero points and then work to add points each day. You can also invite family, friends, or colleagues to any action and build an accountability team.

 Do you have any other apps that may help teenagers stay organised?


Originally published at Mum Daily. Photo by Anna Shvets.

About the Author: Annette Spurr

Annette Spurr runs her own business at Blue Box Media and is also the Managing Editor at Mum Daily. As a wife and mother, Annette has discovered the power of gratitude journalling.

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