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Use iOS 6 as Your Entire Personal Productivity System

Use iOS 6 as Your Entire Personal Productivity System

The newest iteration of Apple’s iOS brings the user some more features like Do Not Disturb, VIP notifications and email handling, Passbook, Maps, and more. Apple has also made many enhancements to other stock iOS apps to make them easier to use as well as more powerful.

As iOS matures and more and more apps are added to the stock experience, could iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) be the only device you need to create a fully functional productivity system?

Reminders

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    When Apple first announced the Reminders app I was quick to judge; “It will never be as powerful and functional as ‘’.” But, I simply missed the point and the much larger market of people that don’t need (or want) all the bells and whistles of a tool like OmniFocus, Toodledo, Remember the Milk, etc.

    Reminders lets you make simple lists of tasks that can repeat, have reminder dates, associated locations, contain notes and even links. For a simple task manager, Reminders is actually quite powerful and useful. There is also a new Reminders interface at iCloud.com.

    Most people can be very productive with a simple list of items that need done. In fact, I challenge you to give Reminders a try as the only tool you use to keep track of projects and tasks and see how much you can get done. Sometimes simplified tools are just the tools that we need to do our best work.

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    Mail

      The iOS Mail.app is not something I would deem as ideal, but it’s definitely usable and one can be productive with it. It supports pretty much any email account you can throw at it, rich text, attachments, conversation view, and now the new VIP feature. VIP is a way to have Mail notify you of email from people who you have recognized as VIPs. You can then set up VIP notifications in Notification Center. I turn off all email notifications except for my VIP contacts.

      If you have an iCloud email account you can access your email through iCloud.com and on your device making your email accessible almost anywhere you can think of.

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      Calendar

        The Calendar app on iOS 6 hasn’t changed too much from iOS 5. Calendar supports calendars from Google calendar, iCloud, Exchange, gives you agenda, day, and month views, allows you to handle calendar invites, supports multiple calendars and more. The Calendar app on iOS is the one stock application that hasn’t left my home screen. It’s

        Notes

        Notes may be one of the stock applications on iOS that I have used the least, but I’m surprised at how many “normal” iOS users use it every single day.

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          I work in a company where I iOS devices are becoming the norm, and most people rather than use Evernote or the billion different plain-text/Dropbox syncing applications stick with Apple’s Notes app. It’s fast, simple, and gets the job done. Not to mention you can add things to it via Siri.

          The simple Notes app on iOS lets you add any number notes, search all notes, send your notes via email or SMS, and even print the note to a recognized AirPrint device. For people who want to jot down a quick note and stay productive, Notes may be just the app that they need to not get bogged down in additional features.

          Can you be productive with an iOS device alone?

          At Lifehack, we have touted that it doesn’t necessarily matter what tools you use to get stuff done; it’s more about the process and steps you take to become and stay productive. Therefore, you should be able to use any device/system that has the necessary tools that allow you to be productive. Apple has made a strong attempt at creating a device/OS that has all of those productivity tools that anyone wishing to get things done would need. But, is it enough to become your entire personal productivity system?

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          Last Updated on August 21, 2018

          8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

          8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

          You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

          Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

          When you train your brain, you will:

          • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
          • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. Hello promotion, here I come!
          • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. No, thanks Alzheimer’s; you and I are just not a good fit.

          So how to train your brain to learn faster and remember more?

          1. Work your memory

          Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

          When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

          If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

          The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

          Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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          Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

          What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

          For example, say you just met someone new.

          “Hi, my name is George”

          Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.” Got it? Good.

          2. Do something different repeatedly

          By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

          Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

          It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

          And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

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          But how does this apply to your life right now?

          Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

          Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

          Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

          So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

          You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

          That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

          3. Learn something new

          It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

          For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

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          Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

          You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

          4. Follow a brain training program

          The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

          5. Work your body

          You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

          Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

          Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

          Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

          6. Spend time with your loved ones

          If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

          If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

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          I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

          7. Avoid crossword puzzles

          Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

          Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

          Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

          8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

          Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

          When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

          So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

          Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

          Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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