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Turn any cellphone into a PDA with IMified

Turn any cellphone into a PDA with IMified

Practically all cellphone service providers offer a plan that lets you use AOL instant messaging for free or for a very low monthly cost. If you have a cell phone that supports instant messaging, you can add the functionality of a PDA to your cellphone for free by using IMified. IMified allows you to manage your calendar, manage your to do lists, draft documents, and send yourself reminders from within your favorite instant messaging service (in this case, AOL Instant Messenger).

Previously we introduced IMified. For those of you that are unaware, IMified is a bot that you add to your buddy list (it is very similar to the Movie Fone bot that AOL already provides) that allows you to complete tasks and interact with your favorite Web sites. IMified works with AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo!, Google Talk/Jabber, and MSN Messenger. IMified has quite a few usage possibilities that can be extended to a cellphone. This tutorial will demonstrate how IMified can be leveraged for tremendous productivity gains. As previously mentioned, IMified allows you to add the following PDA capabilities to your cellphone for free:

  • To do lists
  • Drafting documents
  • Sending reminders
  • Calendar

Note: although I will explain how to use IMified with your cellphone, you will want to get through the initial setup process on your computer before using IMified on your cellphone.

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The first step is to actually sign up for IMified. This is done automatically by sending IMified an instant message. In AIM and Yahoo!, send an instant message to “imified,” in MSN, send an instant message to [email protected] (note: MSN is temporarily disabled), and in Google Talk/Jabber send an instant message to “[email protected]” After you send the instant message, you will get the response shown below. The first part confirms your account and the second part displays your menu choices. This is shown below:

Imified image 1
    Imified image 2

      Adding Google Calendar
      To add Google Calendar, select choice “4 – My Account” by sending an instant message with just the number “4” in the body to IMified. IMified will send you back a set of three links and the first link will be for your account setting. By following this link, you will be able to add various web applications to your IMified menu. Click Google Calendar and the settings will come up.

      20070213-imified3.jpg

        You will notice that there is one part of the Google settings that is not entirely intuitive. The “Calendar Feed URL” can be found by going into your Google Calendar Settings and copying the XML link shown in the Private section. To get to the appropriate screen in Google Calendar, select Settings >> Calendars >> YourCalendarName >> and you will see “Private Address” at the very bottom of the page. This is shown below:

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        20070213-imified4.jpg

          Once you save your settings, send “M” to IMified and you will see that Google Calendar has been added to your menu. Send IMified the appropriate number to select Google Calendar and you will see that you have the following options: “1 – Add to Calendar” and “2 – View Calendar.” Adding events to your calendar is extremely easy. Google Calendar accepts pretty much any format you try to send.

          20070213-imified51.jpg

            By sending “2” you can also see all of the events you currently have in your Google Calendar. This is shown below:

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            20070213-imified6.jpg

              Send yourself reminders
              IMified also has a built in feature that allows you to plan reminders. If you are at all familiar with the service provided at Future Mail (you can email yourself reminders that get delivered to your inbox at a future date you specify), IMified does essentially the same thing with instant messages. The built-in reminder feature can be used on a cellphone to plan and manage your day for free. You can set up meeting reminders in IMified similar to the way Outlook reminds you of appointments. To add a new reminder, return to the Imified menu and choose the number that correlates with “IMified Reminders.” Once you select this option, you will be prompted by IMified for the type of reminder you would like to receive and when you would like to receive it:

              20070213-imified7.jpg

                Although I doubt this scenario is very prevalent, if you have a cellphone that has AIM capabilities, but not an alarm, you can set up a reminder through IMified and use it as an alarm clock in the morning.

                Using IMified to do lists
                The to do list feature built into IMified is very handy and can once again be useful for people that have AIM built into their cell phones. The to do list is very easy to use and very handy. IMified allows you to add new tasks, view current tasks, and view your completed tasks. The to do list is very straight forward and can be used on-the-go very quickly.

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                  Using IMified to draft documents
                  The notes feature of IMified allows you to write and save documents for yourself. The notes feature allows you to write and save documents up to 2500 characters in length. If you are drafting a document longer than 2500 characters, you can simply break the note into two documents. To put this in perspective, 2500 characters is approximately 3/4 of a page in Microsoft Word (single spaced). The notes feature essentially gives you a stripped down version of a word processor:

                  20070213-imified9.jpg

                    Collaborate with IMified
                    By setting up an AIM/Google account to be used by multiple people, you can collaborate on-the-go with IMified. If multiple users are logged into AIM with the same screen name they can view the shared calendar and they can view and modify all the various components built into IMified. IMified would be a great way for couples to manage and share information with each other throughout the day.

                    Note: I only scratched the surface on the many ways you can extend IMified. IMified can also be used with many common web-based productivity applications including: 30 Boxes, BackPack, BaseCamp, Blogger, Live Journal, Movable Type, Remember The Milk, Stikkit, Typepad, and WordPress. Also, obviously using IMified with a cellphone is much easier if you have a cellphone that has a “QWERTY” keyboard. What other ways do you think IMified can be leveraged?

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                    Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                    7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                    Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                    For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                    Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                    1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                    A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                    It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                    It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                    How it helps you:

                    If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                    Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                    2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                    Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                    Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                    How it helps you:

                    Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                    Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                    If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                    Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                    3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                    Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                    Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                    How it helps you:

                    This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                    For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                    Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                    A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                    4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                    To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                    A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                    How it helps you:

                    One word: hierarchy.

                    All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                    In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                    If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                    5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                    Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                    Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                    How it helps you:

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                    Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                    If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                    This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                    6. What do you like about working here?

                    This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                    Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                    How it helps you:

                    You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                    Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                    Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                    7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                    What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                    As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                    How it helps you:

                    What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                    First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                    Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                    Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                    Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                    Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                    Making Your Interview Work for You

                    Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                    Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                    More Resources About Job Interviews

                    Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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