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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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                20070213-imified8.jpg

                  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 May 21, 2019

                    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                    How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

                    For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

                    If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

                    Example 1

                    You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

                    You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

                    In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

                    Example 2

                    You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

                    People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

                    You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

                    Example 3

                    You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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                    The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

                    Example 4

                    You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

                    Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

                    If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

                    Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

                    • Understand your own communication style
                    • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
                    • Communicate with precision and care
                    • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

                    1. Understand Your Communication Style

                    To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

                    In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

                    Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

                    2. Learn Others Communication Styles

                    Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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                    If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

                    “How do you prefer to receive information?”

                    This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

                    To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

                    3. Exercise Precision and Care

                    A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

                    On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

                    Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

                    I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

                    I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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                    In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

                    The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

                    Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

                    4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

                    Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

                    In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

                    “Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

                    Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

                    Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

                    It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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                    It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

                    It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

                    Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

                    Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

                    The Bottom Line

                    When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

                    I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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                    Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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