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Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

Gardening seems like such a relaxing hobby: retired women and men seem to love it with a passion, and lots of families like to take on gardening projects together. You just have to plant the seeds, water regularly, and wait patiently. What could be easier?

Yet a lot of people fail to grow plants successfully! If you take a closer look, there are actually a lot of things that you have to take care of…the humidity of the soil, the amount of sunlight that the plant takes in – which might impact where you plant it – and how much water the plant does and can actually absorb. This “hobby” is actually extremely time-consuming and very easy to fail if you overlook the small details.

So: here at Lifehack, we’d like to introduce you to 10 smart gardening tools and apps so that you can closely monitor your plants, with half the effort. Below, check out our descriptions and the helpful product reviews we’ve collected.

1. Click & Grow Indoor Smart Fresh Herb Garden Kit

    This reusable herb garden kit is perfect for busy home cooks who just don’t have the time or perhaps the space to keep up a garden. It’s also incredibly easy to use, because there are no fussy pumps, plant food, or extra parts that you have to worry about. Just get convenient plant cartridges to place in the container, fill up the water reservoir, and plug the device in!

    “One word, Amazing!! This plant grower is perfect, it comes with a little app that helps you keep track of your garden. The herbs grew in a question of days and it looks very stylish. Overall, super happy with my purchase and would definitely reccomend!” – Amazon reviewer Andrea Herrera

    2. Coltura LED Sunshelf

      The Coltura LED Sunshelf is the answer for those aspiring gardeners who don’t live in the appropriate climates or have sufficient space to grow a garden. The light panel provides the plant with the exact amount of light it needs to thrive – blue light stimulates root growth and photosynthesis. Not to mention, it looks totally stylish as an end table for your living room!

      “The designer gave me everything I desired for growing plants indoors. It looks like a beautiful piece of furniture but functions exactly as you would want to grow indoor plants. Love the wood accents, the tray to protect the wood are not visible.” – Ginger, a reviewer on www.gardeners.com

      3. LED Grow Light

        This light is perfect for those who business professionals just want to dip their toes into cultivating plants: it’s best for providing light to individual (or just a few) tabletop, indoor plants. This LED Grow Light would work perfectly in an office, in the kitchen, or anywhere else at home! You can clip, screw, or stick the light anywhere for ease of use.

        This is a great product for small plants if you are not looking to spend much money. I have used this now on my Wandering Jew and my African Violets with great success. The Wandering Jew had been badly chewed by my cat and I had to move it to my dimly lit cabinet top where it continued to wither. I purchased this and a few weeks later the Jew had tripled in size and was doing quite nicely. When my violets quit blooming, I can place this light on them for a few weeks and my blooms are back. You are only going to be able to light one plant at a time with this, but the light is very flexible and good for this purpose. I have had no issues leaving it on while sleeping or at work. As others have said, make sure you are m not looking directly at the light and you will be okay! – Amazon reviewer Technically Honest

        4. Parrot Pot – Smart, Connected Flower Pot

          The Parrot Pot is an automatic watering system for anybody who doesn’t have the time to constantly monitor their plants – parents, grandparents, students, and busy workers. As the perfect “Plant Sitter,” it can optimize water consumption unattended for up to a month; in addition, it can take accurate, real-time measurements about your plant’s health.

          “This [pot] doesn’t just notify you when it is time to water, it does it for you, by pumping water up from a reservoir at the bottom and spraying it onto the top of the plant soil. This means all you really have to do on an ongoing basis is fill the water tank every so often. The pot can go up to a month without a refill. This is especially good for people who travel. What do you do when you get notified that you need to water a plant back in North Carolina while you are in a hotel in Wales? That’s right, nothing. This pot waters itself while you are gone.” – Amazon reviewer Sean Logue

          5. Lechuza 13380 Cube Color 14 Self-Watering Garden Planter

            This self-watering garden planter is perfect for students, with its stylish look and affordable price point. You don’t need to repot when you have the Lechuza Cube. Instead, drop the grow pot into the Lechuza planter and fill the water reservoir. Perfect for indoor use, college students and young professionals saving up can still enjoy the benefits of gardening.

            “I buy Lechuza all the time for their quality. I will buy again!” – Amazon reviewer T

            6. Covery 3 in 1 Soil Tester Moisture Meter

              The Covery soil tester is a must-have for every gardener, especially those beginning gardeners who want to move into a more regular habit. For its modest $10.99 price, this product will help you determine: when you need to water, whether your plant is getting enough sunlight, and whether the pH of the soil is ideal for plant growth. No batteries needed!

              “I really thought my husband was throwing money out the window by purchasing the less expensive soil tester. I was proven wrong. The Covery is accurate along side a professional who came and told us the very information this inexpensive meter told us.” – Analiese Nunamaker, Amazon reviewer.

              7. ThermoPro TP55 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer Humidity Gauge

                This digital thermometer doubles as a humidity gauge, giving every indoor plant owner the information they need for successful plant growth. Powered by AAA batteries (included), ThermoPro’s digitial hygrometer and thermometer has a backlight and touchscreen for easy reading. It also displays the trend of each reading, which is useful so you can adjust temperature and humidity ahead of time. Switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit readings, depending on what you prefer!

                Many people use ThermoPro for purposes beyond gardening!

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                “This product is great. Love the accuracy that it gives. Needed it for my baby’s room as well as for my room to know the temp of the room and the humidity. So far so good…I can actually tell when the room is dry and then I use the thermo pro to confirm and it does so accurately! Wonderful product at a reasonable price. I brought three of them.” – KiaCam, Amazon reviewer

                8. Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

                  The Honeywell humidifier is beloved widely by people with dry homes! And it’s just as useful for dry homes where plants could use a greater level of humidity to thrive. With QuietCare Performance, this humidifier is extremely quiet and works hard in the background at three possible levels. It runs up to 24 hours before you have to change the filter.

                  “I finally find a humidifier I can use. At medium speed, it brings up the humidity (from 16 to 25%) in my room and the noise is not too loud so I can sleep.” – NANNAN N LEE, Amazon reviewer

                  9. House of Plants: Living with Succulents, Air Plants, and Cacti

                    House of Plants is the perfect example of total plant newbies and urban hipsters alike, written by Rose Ray and Caro Langton and beautiful photography by Erika Rax. In this wonderfully practical guide, you will learn exactly how to take care of succulents, cacti, and air plants, which are very fashionable now. The authors explain how to nurture and enjoy your plants, as well as how to arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way in your home.

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                    “Useful book to a beginner of indoor gardening. Fun ideas and with instructions on how to make them. Would recommend if someone has seen enough inspirations online and wants to get a book for trusted information.” – Review by an Amazon customer

                    Featured photo credit: Photo by Rachel Lees on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                    Spend 50% LESS Effort On Your Plants With These Smarties

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                    Last Updated on July 18, 2019

                    How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                    How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

                    Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

                    However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

                    Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

                    Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

                    There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

                    Better Job Offers

                    Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

                    People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

                    Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

                    You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

                    Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

                    A Shot at Entrepreneurship

                    Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

                    We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

                    13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

                    1. Update Your Resume

                    You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

                    Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

                    While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

                    There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

                    2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

                    Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

                    That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

                    To hone this skill:

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                    Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

                    Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

                    This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

                    How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

                    3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

                    Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

                    Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

                    To hone this skill:

                    Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

                    4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

                    No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

                    Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

                    To hone this skill:

                    Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

                    Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

                    These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

                    The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

                    5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

                    Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

                    How to hone this skill:

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                    Practice being resourceful.

                    Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

                    Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

                    No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

                    If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

                    6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

                    6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

                    Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

                    The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

                    Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

                    How to hone this skill:

                    Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

                    Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

                    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

                    7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

                    Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

                    What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

                    How to hone this skill:

                    Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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                    Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

                    5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

                    8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

                    Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

                    Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

                    How to hone this skill:

                    Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

                    Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

                    What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

                    9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

                    How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

                    Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

                    How to hone this skill:

                    Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

                    Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

                    The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

                    10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

                    Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

                    How to hone this skill:

                    Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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                    Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

                    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

                    11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

                    Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

                    You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

                    How to hone this skill:

                    All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

                    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                    12. Build Networks and Relationships

                    You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

                    Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

                    How to hone this skill:

                    Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

                    To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

                    How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

                    Final Thoughts

                    Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

                    You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

                    Happy career switching!

                    More Resources About Career Advancement

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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