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3 Productivity Benefits in the Microsoft OneNote 2013 Preview

3 Productivity Benefits in the Microsoft OneNote 2013 Preview

The upcoming launch of Microsoft Office 2013 (and OneNote 2013 in particular) promise some solid productivity enhancements. OneNote becomes more collaborative, gains a bit more interactivity/intelligence, and becomes even more mobile friendly. After all, Microsoft OneNote is perhaps the best thing to come out of the Microsoft Office group and OneNote 2013 builds upon some of the additions we got a taste of in previous releases. I spent some time with the OneNote 2013 Preview and I really like what I see from a productivity standpoint because Microsoft is building upon lessons learned from OneNote 2010 — and a multi-platform approach that should help OneNote gain even more fans inside companies and amongst the solo set.

We’ve already shown some love here for OneNote  at Lifehack and I’ve seen some solid improvements in the next release that will benefit new and longtime OneNote users alike.

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Improved Sharing and Synchronization

When OneNote 2010 became an official part of the full Microsoft Office suite, it opened up the door for OneNote to take on more project collaboration roles whether the OneNote user is a freelancer or works inside a corporate cubicle. With OneNote 2013, you can synchronize OneNote across multiple devices using mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. There is also a web interface to OneNote that you can access from any Internet-connected PC. The sharing and synchronization by default extends to SkyDrive and SharePoint, which I like for virtual teams who need to share information. Once you have OneNote content saved to your SkyDrive account or SharePoint site, then you can email other team members a link to the latest OneNote content and never have to worry about emailing the content around — and the hijinks that can ensue as a team tries to stay on the same version.

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    Improved Tables

    As a technical writer, I use tables quite frequently in the documentation and training guides I produce, so I was happy to see improved tools for creating and manipulating tables in OneNote 2013. If you are a frequent user of tables as I am, you’ll find it easier to manipulate table headers, rows, and columns. I didn’t spend too much time on using the tools to create charts and perform calculations, but would definitely want to put them to work if I had a project that could benefit from the feature. This kind of intelligence in OneNote 2013 can open up a lot more potential uses for this already handy application inside businesses and project teams that work with numbers (and other tabular data) and are tired of management by spreadsheet.

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      Improved File Embedding

      When I create OneNote notebooks for projects, I invariably embed files in them. Typically, they are PDFs and Word documents that I gather as part of my research phase. Now with OneNote 2013 , you are able to embed new and existing Excel spreadsheets while providing you with a preview of the charts and diagrams next to your notes. When you update the Excel spreadsheet, you’ll be able to preview the updates in OneNote automatically. If you frequently capture images as part of your notes in OneNote, OneNote 2013’s search feature even lets you find words in pictures. I find this feature to be very handy for me when it comes to finding word in screen captures. I use it in Evernote Premium quite regularly, so its inclusion in OneNote 2013 could push me to reconsider returning to OneNote on a more full time basis.

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        Final Thoughts

        While OneNote 2010 marked OneNote’s full-scale entry into the hearts and workflows of many users, the release of OneNote 2013 takes this productivity and note-taking application to a new level because of its cloud and mobile device integration from day one.

        Are you going to upgrade to OneNote 2013? Let me know in the comments below.

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        Last Updated on January 13, 2020

        11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

        11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

        Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

        Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

        Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

        1. Lumosity

        This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

        Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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        Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

          2. Fit Brains Trainer

          This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

          Free.

          Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

            3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

            Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

            First four games free, then $13 a month.

            cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              4. Brain Fitness Pro

              The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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              Buy for $3.99.

              5. Happify

              If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

              Free to use.

              Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                6. Clockwork Brain

                You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

                Free.

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                Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                  7. ReliefLink

                  Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

                  Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    8. Eidetic

                    Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                    Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                      9. Braingle

                      Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                      Free.

                      Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                        10. Not The Hole Story

                        If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                        Free.

                        Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                          11. Personal Zen

                          This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                          Free.

                          personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

                            More to Boost Your Brain Power

                            Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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