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21 Online and App Resources to Help You Boost and Improve Productivity

21 Online and App Resources to Help You Boost and Improve Productivity

Keeping your life on track to meet certain goals can be hard. If you have kids, are in a relationship, have a demanding work schedule, elderly family member whom you have to take care of, or just about anything else, it can be hard and give you the excuse not to pursue your goals and be productive. As a writer, I know that I sometimes need help with things like attempting to be creative (I get writers block), sticking to a writing schedule, finding articles of interest for myself and being self disciplined. Here are some web and app resources that I use to help me daily to improve productivity.

1. Wunderlist: Web & App (Free)

Wunderlist-Screenshot1

    Wunderlist

    is the best list app and web resource that I know and use. I can share certain lists with group of people like my family and another list with, let’s say, my boss. The best part is neither of them see any other list I am sharing.

    A great feature of Wunderlist is the reminder and due date. If it is on your phone or tablet, it will send you reminders (push notifications or emails) as well as have the due date next to the item. It frees up your mind so you are not worrying about what has been completed or not and lets you move on to more important things you want to do.

    Wunderlist is cross platform and synced not only for your devices, but also the others you share lists with. I seriously suggest and highly recommend using this tool.

    There are some pay features – including adding a background, unlimited assigning, unlimited files and unlimited sub-tasks. But I have not had any issues with the free version for the amount that I use it on a personal level.

    2. Trello: Web and App (Free)

    Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.48.10 AM

      My second favorite all time web resource and app is Trello. A simple to use layout helps set clear goals and you can create lists to achieve these goals. Trello is like Evernote and Google Keep (mentioned below) but something about this one just really makes me feel organized and lets me do things in a way I understand for myself.

      So basically you create a “board” and then add a list. Inside this list are “cards.” Each card can be very different from the one before, but is still essential to completing the list. You write the description of the list on top. One list I have is “Work on Financial Goals.” Inside that I create a card “Payoff things” then inside that card I have 3 items to check off. 1. Payoff Amex, 2. Payoff Car 3. Cut Student Loan in half to $XXXX. As I complete a list item, Trello tells me what percentage I am to completing this particular goal. My next list is “Things to Try.” Inside that card I have “Join a Dodgeball Team” – I listed some links to local places that are advertising a Dodgeball league.

      There are some pay features, but I do not need use them and you can try them out by recommending to a friend.

      3. Evernote: Web and App (Free)

      Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 10.09.34 AM
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        Evernote is simple and easy to use, with a very user friendly interface. With Evernote, there is no excuse to forget anything important again. I notice with Evernote that the user has to be a little more self disciplined then most of the applications that I use. It takes some effort to organize your thoughts, but it is an okay mind mapping tool (Simple mind is a mind mapping app listed below.)

        As an example of how it works, I assist a guy who installs alarms and he’ll call me up and tell me that he just left ABC store in blank town. I then go in and start writing up the job ticket, estimate, and other documents that are going to be needed. I also place notes that he rambled off to me and share that Evernote note with him.

        4. Google Keep: Web and App (Free)

        GoogleKeep

          Google Keep is Google’s Answer to Evernote. I recently just started playing with this to see how I like it and as a Google Fan (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Drive) I am liking it so far. The design is like a board with sticky notes. I think of this as my answer to not having to carry a pen and small pad on me anymore to jot down numbers, notes, or a take a quick pic of something that I want to think of later.

          I do not like that everything is where ever it lands and there is no real organization except to move the notes that I have found,  but when you are on the go just wanting to take the quick note, it does it’s job.

          5. Pinterest: Web & App (Free)

          blog-pinterest

            Everyone I know uses Pinterest in one way or another. However, most people I know don’t use it to boost their productivity or creativity. I even have boards that are just random ramblings like Puppy Love – it’s about puppies. I have boards that are secret. These boards are titled with project names I am working on and contain images and notes for how I want to use them for said project.

            Also, this year I started posting more meaningful items, creating a board called Making You a Better TomorrowI have many different items on this board, but they are all related to making me a better tomorrow; some are just random quotes, articles I find interesting and want to share with people who follow. Be it inspiration that I found for myself personally or for a project, Pinterest keeps everything pretty organized in one place.

            Make sure to have Pinterest on your phone, tablet, and the add on widgets for your computer and browser. It makes it a lot simpler to Pin.

            6. 1 Second Everyday: App Only (Free to try Pay afterwards)

            1 Second Everyday

              Stupid and crazy as it is, I love this app. For 1 second everyday I take a moment to shoot beautiful video – be it of my dog, a city street I am walking on, a dinner with friends, whatever the case may be. I learned that when you take in your surroundings, even if it is just for a second, you can clear your mind of the clutter and learn to prioritize things into 3 categories Must Do, Want to do and Don’t even worry about.

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              7. One Word: Web Only (Free)

              One Word

                One Word  is very simple, but gets my productive brain juices flowing. One of my first morning activities is to go on this site and write a blurb about the word they give me – you only have 60 seconds.

                8. Diaro: App and Web (Free to Use, $3.99 to Sync across platforms)

                My Diaro

                  There are many great reasons to love Diaro appYes, I use it as a Diary/Journal of sorts, but it is so much more. First off, it is private! Second, the app sends me a reminder everyday to write.

                  I write about many different things, but the categories feature I can use help me to go above and beyond and collectively organize my thoughts where they need to be about a particular topic.

                  Negatives: paying the $3.99 to Sync, but it is worth it if you are going to keep up with your journal and writings. You cannot customize the website version to look like the one on your phone or tablet. Support for Diaro says they are going to be adding this feature shortly.

                  9. Google Hangouts: Web and App (Free)

                  Google Hangouts

                    Google Hangouts is one of my favorite apps. This is a universal answer to Apples Facetime with added features. You have video chat, texting/chatting, sharing of docs and pictures. Most people I know have a Google account, so I am seeing more and more people using Google hangouts with me in one fashion or another.

                    10. SimpleMind: App (Free)
                    simplemind-droid

                      I like using the Simplemind app when I know I am going to have to give a presentation, start a big project, or start a story that I want to tell. Apps like these let you see everything – like a big brain storming session and then help to organize it from there.

                      11. Google Fit App (Free)

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                        Basically Google Fit is a glorified pedometer, and considering I always have my phone on me it is nice to know how much I walked even on the days I do not go to the gym. It helps me to prioritize and organize my exercise routine.

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                        12. Budget Simple Web App ($4.99 a month)

                        Budgetsimple

                          I like Budgetsimple but wish the app was free. It is simple and easy to use, but just a little time consuming if you are only using the web version like I am. If the app were free, then I could be sitting in my car while the guy is pumping my gas and enter everything right then and there. But I have yet to find a good app and website that is a cross platform finance app that I like. It is very helpful with creating details and showing you charts of how your life really is working out on a monthly basis.

                          If you know a good cross platform finance app that is user friendly and easy to use, please let me know so I can play with it.

                          13. Pocket (Free)

                          Crossplatform Pocket

                            Pocket is one of the apps that I like to use when I am traveling. But if I am not traveling for awhile, I sort of forget about this app. The best thing about this app is the ability to read certain articles offline. It is perfect when you are on an airplane or the subway system in New York. So if you do not have an offline article app, think about getting Pocket.

                            14. Google Maps (Free)

                            Google Maps App

                              Who wants to waste time trying to find a location? The Google Maps App is great because it not only gives driving directions, but other alternative ways to get somewhere like on your bike or by public transportation.

                              15. I Heart Radio (Free)

                              iheartradio

                                I Heart Radio is another one of these apps that you think might be a waste of time and has nothing to do with productivity. However, I find that listening to music helps me relax and get into my own personal projects. I like I Heart Radio because I can listen to people having “Hot topic” conversation and it gives me a snipet of what is going on in the world.

                                16. TED Ideas Worth Sharing Web and App (Free)

                                Ted Ideas worth Sharing

                                  I love the Ted app and website. I like going on either the app or website to become informed and taught to think outside the box or see something from a whole new perspective. That is what Ted does. I’ll watch a video during my lunch break if I am eating alone. Many of them I find so inspirational.

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                                  17. Soundhound (Free)

                                  soundhound

                                    Music helps get my creative juices flowing most of the time. If I need to be in a certain mood music can get me there. Soundhound makes life easier by easily telling me the name of a song that is playing on the radio. How does this app make one more productive? It eliminates the search for a song you heard in passing. I can be sitting in a doctors office and then on comes a song that I never heard before that I find inspiring and instead of me searching for it later and wasting time, I just tap the Soundhound app and learn the song. Later when I add that song to a playlist, I have wasted little time.

                                    18. Spotify App and Web (Free and Paid)
                                    Spotify

                                      So you know how to listen to actual radio stations, you know how to find songs when you are in an analog setting, but how about taking your playlists with you. SPOTIFY! I don’t know about you but I hate to carry the computer, the tablet, the smartphone and iPod (Mp3 player,) then making sure the songs I want to hear are on whatever device they need to be on.

                                      With Spotify you can take your playlists with you, but you will be online for the free version (meaning it will use your data plans if not connect to wifi). If you want to take them offline, Spotify has a paid version and will download the songs to your device, (most of them anyway). Again, music helps add to creativity, boost productivity and give you energy – think about going a spin class and listening to classical. Yes, I am a big believer in the idea that music can help you achieve your desired goals and objectives.

                                      19. Words With Friends App (Free)

                                      Words with Friends

                                        I believe you should have one game app that you indulge in and I choose Words with Friends. This app helps boost productivity too. If you are blocked on a project and cannot work through it this app can help. This app, as fun as it may be, helps unblock your brain. It makes you think and see things a different way by rearranging letters. Sometimes even the words that are created by you or the other person might give you a spark to solve the puzzle you are working on.

                                        20. Cable Provider Apps

                                        080911-Cablevision-App-iPhone

                                          You might on this one be telling me how does watching TV make you more productive. It is not the TV shows you are watching but the app that lets you program your DVR. Do you stop reading that article to watch your favorite TV show? Maybe you are doing something liking pinning to your Pinterest page then get caught up in show that was playing in the background. Maybe a bus you are on has an ad for an educational program you want to see that will inspire you.

                                          Whatever your reasoning is, get the app from your cable provider. Don’t stop living your life because you want to watch a show, and don’t go searching on your cable guide to find the show or rerun of your show. Cable provider apps make searching for a show easier, setting your DVR and then moving about your life.

                                          21. Inspirational Quotes (Free)

                                          For my last app and resource that I use is Inspirational Quotes. This kind of resource has to be one that fits your personality. Someone might want a bible quote, a joke of the day, funny quotes, do a picture of the day, painting of the day. This is another one of the moments in your day where you look for the beautiful in all this craziness you face and have to do.

                                          Happy hunting with your apps. Remember Apps can be time wasters (many social media ones and of course games), or apps can make and help you do things. How you choose to use those free in between minutes between life’s obligations is up to you. What are your top apps and resources for improving productivity?

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                                          Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                                          26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

                                          26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life

                                          If you pay attention to your everyday life careful enough, you’ll know that you can learn from everything and everyone you come across. Our life is basically full of useful lessons that we should learn.

                                          Here are 26 useful things to learn that Abhishek A. Singh shared on Quora. Let’s see how these life theories would lead you to live a different life.

                                          1. Primacy and recency: People mostly remember the first and last things that occurred, barely the middle.

                                          When scheduling an interview, ask the employer the time slots they do interviews and try to be the first or the last.

                                          2. If you work in a bar or in customer service of any kind, put a mirror behind you at the counter.

                                          In this way, angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chance of them behaving irrationally will be lowered significantly.

                                          3. Once you make a sales pitch, don’t say anything else.

                                          This works in sales, but it can also be applied in other ways.

                                          My previous boss was training me and just gave me pointers. I was working at a gym trying to sell memberships. He told me that once I got all the small talk out of the way and presented the prices, the first person to talk would lose.

                                          It didn’t seem like a big deal but it actually worked. Often there were long periods of awkward silence as the person tried to come up with some excuses, but usually they bought.

                                          4. If you ask someone a question and they only partially answer, just wait.

                                          If you stay silent and keep eye contact, they will usually continue to talk.

                                          5. Chew gum when you’re approaching a situation that would make you nervous, like public speaking or bungee jumping.

                                          When we eat, our brain tell ourselves, “I would not be eating if I were danger. So I’m not in danger.” This has helped me to stay calm.

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                                          6. People will always remember how you made them feel, not what you said.

                                          Also, most people like talking about themselves; so ask lots of questions about them.

                                          7. When you’re learning something new, teach it to a friend. Let them ask you questions about it.

                                          If you’re able to teach something well, you will be sure that you’ve understood it very well.

                                          8. If you get yourself to be really happy and excited to see other people, they will react the same to you.

                                          It doesn’t always happen the first time, but it will definitely happen the next time.

                                          9. The physical effects of stress — breathing rate and heart rate — are almost identical to the physical effects of courage.

                                          When you’re feeling stressed in any situations, immediately reframe it : Your body is getting ready to be courageous, you are NOT stressed.

                                          10. Pay attention to people’s feet.

                                          If you approach two people in the middle of a conversation, and they only turn their torsos and not their feet, they don’t want you to join in the conversation.

                                          Similarly, if you are in a conversation with a coworker who you think is paying attention to you and their torso is turned towards you but their feet are facing in another direction, they want the conversation to end.

                                          11. Confidence is more important than knowledge.

                                          Don’t be intimidated by anyone, everyone is playing a role and wearing a mask.

                                          12. If you pretend to be something for long enough, you will eventually become it.

                                          Fake it till you make it. Period.

                                          13. Not to be creepy, but if you want to stare at someone unashamedly, look directly past them and wait for them to try and meet your eyes.

                                          When they fail to do that, they’ll look around (usually nervously for a second) they won’t look at you again for some time. This is your chance to straight up stare at this person for at least 45 seconds.

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                                          And as suggested by Brian Stutzman:

                                          If you’re staring at someone and get caught, DON’T turn your head or your body to look away, because that just confirms that you were staring.

                                          Just move your EYEBALLS off the person. Unlike turning your head, it’s instantaneous. And the person will think you were just looking at something behind them and that they were mistaken for thinking you were staring. Do it confidently, and ignore any reaction from the person, and you can sell it every single time.

                                          After a second, you can even look back at them with a “Why are you staring at me?” look on your face to really cement the deal!

                                          14. Build a network.

                                          Become the information source, and let the information be yours. Even grabbing a beer with a former colleague once a year will keep you in the loop at the old office.

                                          Former coworkers might have gotten a new position in that office you always wanted to work in, great! Go to them for a beer, and ask about the office. It’s all about connections and information.

                                          15. If you are angry at the person in front of you driving like a grandmother…

                                          Pretend it is your grandmother, it will significantly reduce your road rage.

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                                            16. Stand up straight.

                                            No slouching, hands out of pockets, and head held up high. It’s not just a cliche — you literally feel better and people around you feel more confident in you.

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                                            17. Avoid saying “I think,” and “I believe” unless absolutely necessary.

                                            These are phrases that do not evoke confidence, and will literally do you no good.

                                            18. When feeling anxious, clean up your home or work space.

                                            You will feel happier and more accomplished than before.

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                                              19. Always buy the first pitcher or round of drinks.

                                              You’d be surprised how long you could drink on the phrase “I bought the first one.”

                                              20. Going into an interview… be interested in your interviewers.

                                              If you focus on learning about them, you’ll seem to be more interesting and dynamic. (Again, people love to talk about themselves.)

                                              21. Pay attention parents! Always give your kid a choice that makes them think they are in control.

                                              For instance, when I want my son to put his shoes on I will say ,”do you want to put your star wars shoes on or your shark shoes on?”

                                              Pro-tip: In some cases, this works on adults.

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                                                22. Your action affects your attitude more than your attitude affects your action.

                                                As my former teacher said “You can jump and dance FOR joy, but you can also jump and dance yourself joyful.”

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                                                23. When a group of people laugh, people will instinctively look at the person they feel closest to in that group.

                                                Notice who you look at and who look at you when you laugh with a group of people!

                                                24. If you want to build rapport or gain someone’s trust quickly, match their body posture and position.

                                                If someone is sitting with her legs crossed, cross your legs. If they’re leaning away from you, lean away from them. If they’re leaning towards you, lean towards them.

                                                Mirroring and matching body position is a subconscious way to tell if someone trusts you or is comfortable with you. If you’re sitting with your arms crossed and you notice someone else is sitting with her arms crossed, that is a good indicator that you have/are successfully built/building rapport with that person.

                                                25. The Benjamin Franklin Effect (suggested by Matt Miller)

                                                I find the basis of the Benjamin Franklin effect is very useful and extends far beyond pencil borrowing. This knowledge is useful in the world of flirting too.

                                                Asking a girl in your class if you can borrow a pencil or her notes or to explain the homework will make her more likely to like you than if you let her borrow your stuff or are the one to help her. Even just asking a girl to buy you drinks (facetiously) leaves a much bigger impression than offering to or actually buying a girl a drink.

                                                The best part is it kills 3 birds with one stone: you get the advantages of the favor itself, the person subconsciously likes you more, and it makes them more open to future favors and conversation.

                                                26. Handle panic and anxiety behaviors by tapping fingers (Suggested by Jade Barbee)

                                                When you’re feeling stressed, worried or angry, tap each finger tip while thinking (or speaking quietly) a few specific words about what is bothering you. Repeat the same words while tapping each of your 10 fingers, including thumbs.

                                                For example, tap while saying, “I’m so angry with her…” Doing so will likely take the charge out of the feeling and return you to a more resourceful (better feeling) state of being. It’s called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping,” and it is useful in many life situations – emotional sadness, physical pain, food cravings, traumatic memories…

                                                Featured photo credit: Nicole Wolf via unsplash.com

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