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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 imified@imified.com (note: MSN is temporarily disabled), and in Google Talk/Jabber send an instant message to “imified@gmail.com.” 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 February 11, 2021

                    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

                    Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

                    How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

                    Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

                    The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

                    Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

                    Perceptual Barrier

                    The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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                    The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

                    The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

                    Attitudinal Barrier

                    Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

                    The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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                    The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

                    Language Barrier

                    This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

                    The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

                    The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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                    Emotional Barrier

                    Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

                    The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

                    The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

                    Cultural Barrier

                    Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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                    The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

                    The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

                    Gender Barrier

                    Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

                    The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

                    The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

                    And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

                    Reference

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