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One Simple Smartphone Trick to Help You Get Things Done Faster

One Simple Smartphone Trick to Help You Get Things Done Faster

If you are anything like me you use your smartphone constantly. It is the number one electronic gadget that you are never without. Some of us even panic if our phone is not within easy reach 24 hours a day.

Our phones have become our diaries, our address books, our CRMs, our books, our game consoles, our iPods, our note books, our cameras, the list goes on and on. Oh, I forgot, they also make telephone calls.

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Some of us are so wedded to the things that we pick up and play with them, almost as a matter of habit. Not waiting for a beep or some other notification, we grab them, flick through the screens, put them down again and then minutes later do it all again.

One thing we all have in common is how we set up our smart phone screens. We do it in order of importance. The apps you use the most on the home screen, and then other apps you use less often on the others, and some stuck away in folders.

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So, let me share a little trick that I have discovered that has made me more effective and productive, and takes nothing more than a few minutes to set up and use.

In his book ” The Pursuit of Wow!” Tom Peters, who tells a story about putting a dictionary on his hall table. It was a book he wanted to use but seldom did, so he put it on his hall table. Once it was there he passed by it several times a day. And an interesting thing happened. He started using his dictionary more and more often, until it was one of the books he used most often.

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He put something he wanted to use where he always saw it. It become more visible, and as a result was used more often. And the great side effect was that his vocabulary grew.

We all buy and download free productivity apps. Apps that we think if we used them will help us to be more productive. Apps that we install, use a couple of times, put in a folder and forget to use again.

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So, bearing in mind Tom and his dictionary, here is the simple trick that really works.

Re-arrange your smartphone screens to get things done faster

Instead of putting the apps you use most often on the home screen, put the apps that you want to use most there instead. And hey presto, you start to use the productivity apps more often. You read the blogs you never seem to get around to. You organise and act on projects more regularly, you spend more time on personal development, and less on Facebook, Twitter and the like.

Turn that picking up and flicking into useful, productive and effective time use. Re-arrange your home screen now, and see how much more you get done.

Featured photo credit:  Vector smartphone Icon via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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