Ask LH: What Is The Best Work Diary App?

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Hi Lifehacker, I'm a self-employed tradesman and struggle to keep good records of the work I've done and when. Obviously a physical diary would do the job but it would be great to have something that syncs with google calendar and allows photos to be added. Any recommendations? Thanks, Diary Desired

Dear DD,

Google Calendar is a better record keeper than you might think. You can add detailed notes and attach photos by integrating ClipPod. This is a project management tool that sits on top of Google Calendar: it allows you to annotate entries with notes, attachments and reminders. While it is chiefly designed to schedule meetings, it's also an excellent record-keeping tool.

Another advantage of Google Calendar is the fact that entries are easily searchable, essentially turning your calendar into a database of past jobs. As we've mentioned before you should get into the habit of adding unique hashtags to represent certain jobs. That way, you can quickly bring up a complete list of the performed tasks with corresponding dates and times.

You can also export your calendars to PDF format and print them out — handy when you need a summary of the work you've done or require additional records at tax time. Google Calendar can be synced with virtually any popular desktop calendar, including Microsoft Outlook and Calendar on iOS. You can therefore type records into your preferred application and have the data appear across multiple calendars.

If you'd prefer a dedicated work diary, there are plenty of apps to choose from. We've assembled some of the best here. Some of the stand-outs include Penzu, an all-online private journaling webapp with mobile apps, and Day One, a good looking iOS/Mac app that's location-aware and lets you add photos. If you prefer free and open-source, try RedNotebook. It's a fantastic wiki-style journaling tool that's cross-platform. Other apps worth a look include Evernote and Google Keep.

We're also going to hand this one over to readers — what's the best method of keeping work records in conjunction with Google Calendar? If you have a favourite app or personal workaround, let DD know in the comments below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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