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15 Valuable Business Books That Can Bolster Your Skill Set

15 Valuable Business Books That Can Bolster Your Skill Set

According to many studies, the value of an MBA is declining. As more and more people pursue business degrees, and as colleges make those degrees more convenient, the value of the knowledge associated with an MBA is becoming less and less powerful. However, for those seeking to gain business knowledge, there are many cheap and affordable alternatives to an MBA. For that reason, we have compiled a list of 15 short business books that are a valuable alternative to costly educational programs.

1. How To Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff

How To Lie With Statistics is a valuable alternative to any business statistics class. While not necessarily based heavily in math, this book does give the reader a thorough knowledge of how people use numbers to manipulate facts, to create hypotheses, and, most importantly, how to obscure the truth. Grab this one and learn how you’re being lied to on a daily basis.

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    2. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

    Who Moved My Cheese is an important work detailing valuable business lessons through the parable of two mice caught in a maze. Each day they realize the cheese is not in the same place it was yesterday; this imitates how the goals of a business change and change often, and how the best businesses are able to readily adapt to those changes.

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      3. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

      In addition to being prime water-cooler conversation fodder, The Tipping Point makes clear how an idea, business or otherwise, turns from an idea into a trend into a social epidemic. Using examples such as the popularity of Hush Puppy shoes in the ’90’s, The Tipping Point identifies three types of people that contribute to social epidemics and lays out how these types of people can be used to create epidemics. It is a business book that is valuable for marketers and others concerned with how trends form.

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        4. Rich Habits by Thomas Corley

        In Rich Habits, Thomas Corley lays out the results of his five-year study in which he observed the daily habits of both rich and poor people. Rich people were more likely to engage in regular routines such as brushing their teeth or calling friends on their birthdays. This work is special because Corley takes some simple data and makes it into a highly readable, pocket-sized work.

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          5. Good to Great by Jim Collins

          This intricately data-driven study by University of Colorado professor Jim Collins makes his case for why many businesses fail, and what drives those that succeed. Good to Great uses many visual metaphors to make clear how certain companies moved from average to amazing, while others struggle. Collins’ terms “The Hedgehog Concept” and “The Flywheel and the Doom Loop” are vital to the vocabulary of any successful business person.

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            6. Turn the Ship Around! By L. David Marquet

            Marquet, a retired Navy submarine captain, lays out brilliant leadership methods that he developed during his tenure as a leader of men in trying circumstances. In the take-orders culture of the military, Marquet become wary of giving commands that could not be followed, so he turned each of his individual sailors into leaders instead of followers. Turn the Ship Around is an important study of how to empower those in your command to use their minds.

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              7. Thinking Fast, and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

              In Thinking Fast, and Slow, psychologist Daniel Kahneman spends his efforts deconstructing the reasons why people are often misinformed at the first glance, and how leaders can control their thinking to make sure they are not hoodwinked by logical fallacies or by their own emotions. This work is a brilliant piece of writing that delves deep into how our brains don’t necessarily operate efficiently in the short-term, and gives insights about how we can train ourselves to think more coherently long-term.

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                8. The Black Swan by Nassim NicholasTassib

                In The Black Swan, many misconceptions about the impact of the highly improbable are diagnosed and dissected. Many business leaders read this book to understand how wrong they are often are, and the impact of their wrong-headedness on others. This is a brilliant read.

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                  9. Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky

                  Alinsky’s book is a manifesto on how to create grassroots support of any idea, no matter how ridiculous or ‘radical.’ Alinsky’s work is often thought of as more of a handbook on how to organize political, but this is the book that created the idea of personalizing trivial issues, and holds many positive thoughts on how to galvanize people.

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                    10. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

                    In the early part of the 20th Century, How To Win Friends and Influence People more or less started the self-help movement. This book is a powerful tool on how to negotiate with others, how to influence conversations, and how to look good while doing both. No business leader should go without it.

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                      11. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

                      This work is by an Icelandic psychologist and goes thoroughly in-depth on how creative and scientific types dial into their trade and really begin to experience oneness with their work. A brilliant study on how to tap into your potential, Flow is not to be left off this list.

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                        12. The Balanced Scorecard by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton

                        The Balanced Scorecard is all about creating an optimal strategy and implementing it through accurate performance measures that naturally drive goals to completion. These book has a three-pronged approach to justifying strategy, creating measures that will drive the company forward, and optimizing those measures.

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                          13. Sam Walton: Made In America: by Sam Walton

                          What better way to find out about effectiveness in business than by reading the words and perspective of one of the most successful CEO’s in history. Sam Walton’s story is equal part effective narration of his mindset and shrewd business advice.

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                            14. The Art of the Start 2.0 by Guy Kawasaki

                            Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start 2.0  is a diagram of entrepreneurship and how to build something from the ground up. Kawasaki is thought of as a visionary on many subjects; I, myself, was once in a webinar in which he taught social media skills to many, free of charge. If anyone can do it yourself, it’s you, and if anyone can show you how to do it yourself, it’s Kawasaki.

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                              15. The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman

                              Friedman has several works that could make this list– most notably The World Is Flat– but The Lexus and the Olive Tree gains the last entry because they truly make the reader delve into and even embrace globalization and the shrinking and complicating of business process as they occur. Read about how geographical and geopolitical boundaries are necessary to be maintained even as business circumvents them all.

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                                Featured photo credit: 42-15181265/Rhodri Utility Warehouse Distributor via flickr.com

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                                Last Updated on October 12, 2020

                                10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                                10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                                The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                                Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                                Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                                In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                                Before You Download

                                As you are no doubt aware, there are all kinds of calendar apps available. Instead of you sifting through the hundreds of them, we’ve handpicked 10 of the best calendar apps you can get. On top of glowing reviews from each one, we’ve considered the following aspects when creating this list:

                                • User Interface – How you navigate the app should be smooth and simple. The buttons on the app should be clear, obvious and easy to move through.
                                • Synchronization – Whether it’s with other calendar apps or with other apps, syncing apps should be easy and enhance your overall experience with the app.
                                • Additional features – Since there are so many options for calendars, many of these apps offer additional features. These features make the apps stand out from the other apps and provide unique experiences to you.

                                1. Any.do Calendar

                                  This calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                                  Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                                  What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                                  Any.do Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                                  Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                                  Download Any.do Calendar here!

                                  2. Google Calendar

                                    Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                                    Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

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                                    Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                                    The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                                    Download Google Calendar here.

                                    3. Calendar

                                      Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                                      A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                                      Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                                      Download Calendar: Meeting & Scheduling here.

                                      4. Business Calendar

                                        Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                                        The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                                        You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                                        The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                                        Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

                                        Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

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                                        Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                                        A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                                        Download Business Calendar here.

                                        5. aCalendar

                                          aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                                          Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                                          Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                                          When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                                          Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                                          The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                                          The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                                          Download aCalendar here.

                                          6. DigiCal Calendar

                                            DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                            With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

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                                            Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                            The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                            Download DigiCal Calendar here.

                                            7. SolCalendar

                                              SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                              The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                              Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                              Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                              Download SolCalendar here.

                                              8. IRL Event Social Network

                                                One of the most unique apps on this list is the IRL Event Social Network app. As you can guess from the name, the core focus of this app is social networking. Unlike other social media platforms, you can consider this platform to function similar to Meetup.com. It’s a site where you can connect with other people within your area that share a similar interest.

                                                IRL is that while also providing a convenient calendar for you to schedule events and plan out your day. Though due to it being a secondary focus, you’re lacking a lot of the syncing aspects that other apps have on this list. Regardless, because of this huge social feature, it’s worth considering for those who want to make more connections.

                                                Download IRL Event Social Network here.

                                                9. Today Calendar

                                                  Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

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                                                  The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                                  If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                                  Download Today Calendar here.

                                                  10. Timepage

                                                    Timepage is an intuitive calendar app that will manage your time in a way that other calendar apps can’t. It offers the same sort of functions that you’d expect from other calendar apps: opportunities to record events, notifications and reminders, weather, and driving duration to a particular event. However, the app goes beyond those functionalities in two ways.

                                                    The first way is that while the app sends you notifications, it also has reminders for you for what is coming up next. That bit of extra time can allow you to prepare and make adjustments to your day if need be.

                                                    The second function – which is more important – is the heat map when you go to see the full view of your calendar. This heat map indicates what days you are most busy and other days where you are freer. This heat map provides a quick glance to determine broadly what days are good to add more events and other tasks.

                                                    Download Timepage here.

                                                    Our Verdict

                                                    Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                                    Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                                    Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                                    The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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