Evernote keeps track of those endless scraps of info you'd like to save – anything from what paint colors you used on the walls, to a website you want to remember, to that surprisingly good cheap wine, to audio notes, to photos, to the whole PDF of an appliance's manual. Quite a few programs and sites can help you do that. What makes Evernote especially useful is that it crosses so many platforms (Windows/Mac/iPhone/BlackBerry/web) and syncs them automatically. And its coolest feature has to be the ability to search text within an image. The service is free, with a premium version ($5 a month or $45 a year) that increases the amount of stuff you can save, adds SSL encryption for security, and search within PDFs.
It's a given in our plugged-in world that the hub of those plugs is a garbled mess. When it comes time to unplug for, say, troubleshooting, what belongs to what? Cable IDs from the Container Store allow you to label each one. A pack of eight is $6.99.
Getting Things Done, David Allen's hugely popular system for same, has one recommendation that sounded dopey to us until we followed it. Mr. Allen says that instead of hand-lettering your file names, buy a Dymo and create labels that way. Frankly, it still sounds dopey, but we found it to be true that a file system that's neatly labelled is one you're more likely to use regularly. The Dymo model shown is $29.99.
To Do Lists
Remember the Milk has a big following with people who want a task manager available to them just about anywhere: online, in their Google calendar tasks, iPhone, or BlackBerry. You can have reminders sent to you via email or text message and even set locations for various tasks using Google maps. It's a free service, but only the Pro version ($25/year) gets you the iPhone app and several other features.
For those who like/need to do their own Super work, the Bucket Boss (love that name), is a handy carry-all for tools, cords, gloves – all that DYI goodness. $9.19.
If you're still using the same password for all your online logins, you're asking for trouble. Really. But how to remember dozens of different passwords? Don't try. Instead, put a password manager to work. We use the excellent 1Password (Mac only, though a Windows version may follow), which makes creating strong passwords a breeze, remembers them for you, and can autofill logins. It's a good place to stash things like account IDs and support phone numbers, too. Windows users can Roboform, a less elegant, though effective solution.