How the Structured App Could Help You Rebuild a Routine

Establishing structure is important

Key Takeaways

  • Studies show that having an active daily schedule is important for cognitive health and well-being in adults—but staying organized when you’re busy can be hard.
  • The Structured - Day Planner app is a simple, intuitive app that helps you break up your day into short, manageable tasks to stay on schedule.
  • The app is a great choice for anyone who wants to re-establish a daily routine after a year without structure.
Closeup of someone using a smartphone over an open planner sitting on a glass tabletop.

Pheelings Media / Getty Images

Experts often cite the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle and daily routine for mental health and well-being, but keeping a busy schedule organized can be tricky—especially for freelancers (like me), or those working from home or experiencing unemployment.

I’ve always been an analog kind of gal when it comes to staying organized, strongly preferring paper planners to apps—though not for lack of trying to go digital. I’ve tried a gazillion apps, but usually found myself turned off by complicated designs or anxiety-inducing notifications.

After a year of having even less structure than ever, though, I decided I needed some extra help. While scrolling through the App Store’s "Hot This Week" list, I noticed an app called Structured sitting near the top of the chart and decided to give another digital planner app a whirl.

"Structured immediately stood out to me for its minimalist design and simple but intuitive features."

Less Is More

Structured isn’t a brand new app (it celebrated its first anniversary in April), but it still managed to make the list of hot new(ish) apps iPhone users are loving this week in the App Store. And for good reason.

One of the first things I noticed after downloading Structured was a pop-up letting me know that the app was designed by a German college student and developer named Leo Mehlig. As the unofficial cheerleader for "small tech," I already knew who designed my app, which was a plus.

Structured immediately stood out to me for its minimalist design and simple but intuitive features—all qualities I’d been looking for in a digital day planner, but could never find in a sea of powerful, busy apps designed for powerful, busy people (i.e., not me).

The app’s overall design is extremely straightforward, with a clean, chronological timeline that lays out your day in much the same way you would write it down on paper.

One of the app’s best features—something I haven’t found in other apps I’ve tried so far—is that Structured analyzes the amount of free time you have between tasks and gives you a gentle reminder that you could probably do something useful with that extra 45 minutes between interviewing a source and doing research for your next story.

Someone sitting at a home office desk filling in slots on a planner.

timnewman / Getty Images

Checking off tasks in the app is satisfying, giving you a sense that you accomplished something and keeping you motivated to move on to the next task on your timeline.

The app also intuitively helps you clear up scheduling conflicts and lets you know when you have time for a short break between tasks, something that’s important when you’re balancing being super busy with, you know, also remembering to breathe.

Express Yourself

As a millennial, I still remember the early days of social media when customization and self-expression were the norm online. In high school, I taught myself basic HTML to make my Myspace pretty and my Livejournal artsy. 

Those options for self-expression are something I miss with static-looking contemporary apps, so when I realized Structured allows you to choose from two different color themes (colorful and classy) and offers a wide range of creative icons to complement your tasks, you can imagine my excitement.

The app also offers the option to customize your calendar view, allowing you to focus on one day at a time or display your entire week—something that’s important for people with different types of schedules.

Screenshots from the structured app.

Is It Worth It?

I’m surprising myself by saying this, because I really love my paper planner, but yes, the app was actually worth it.

One major thing I appreciated about Structured was that the app’s most useful features—the ability to schedule tasks, customize the appearance of the app, and receive gentle reminders about filling in your schedule or taking breaks—are all free. 

If you want extra features like automated reminders, syncing with your iPhone’s calendar, or scheduling recurring events, you can upgrade to the pro version for $4.99. Unfortunately, the app is currently only available for iPhone, so Android users will have to miss out on this one.

Still, if you have an iPhone and you’re like me—someone with an erratic schedule and a deep appreciation for simple, intuitive apps with options for aesthetic customization—Structured is definitely worth a download.

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