Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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:

        Advertising

        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:

            Advertising

            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.

                Advertising

                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?

                    More by this author

                    The daily routine of 17 CEOs Productivity Boost: How to start your day at 5:00 AM Search social media content Four ways to automatically backup your hard drive 10 Unconventional Diet Tips: How to lose 50 pounds in three months

                    Trending in Communication

                    1 30 Refreshing Routines to Boost Your Morning Motivation 2 Feeling Like a Failure? 10 Simple Things to Help You Rise Again 3 What Motivates You to Succeed in Life and Keep Moving Forward? 4 6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master 5 5 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day at Work

                    Read Next

                    Advertising
                    Advertising
                    Advertising

                    Published on September 23, 2020

                    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                    6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                    I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

                    If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                    What is Negotiation?

                    First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

                    Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

                    In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

                    Places We Negotiate

                    I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

                    1. Work/Business

                    This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

                    When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

                    Advertising

                    In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

                    Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

                    2. Personal

                    I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

                    I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

                    Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

                    3. Ourselves

                    You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

                    I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

                    Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

                    Advertising

                    Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

                    Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

                    We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

                    My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

                    If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

                    As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

                    6 Negotiation Skills to Master

                    Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

                    Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                    1. Preparation

                    Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

                    Advertising

                    It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

                    For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

                    After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

                    2. Clear Communication

                    The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

                    If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

                    3. Active Listening

                    Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

                    If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

                    4. Teamwork and Collaboration

                    To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

                    Advertising

                    If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

                    When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

                    5. Problem Solving

                    Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

                    Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

                    From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

                    There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

                    6. Decision-Making Ability

                    Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

                    Conclusion

                    There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

                    Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

                    More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

                    Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

                    Read Next