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Bloom: A Different Kind of Productivity App for the iPhone

Bloom: A Different Kind of Productivity App for the iPhone
    Photo courtesy of Mindbloom

    Seattle-based Mindbloom has made waves with its digital inspiration and productivity web app, adding a gamification element to the niche that was both unique in approach and in accessibility. Now they’ve added a standalone app to its arsenal with Bloom, a free app that gives users a real kickstart in doing what really matters in everyday life. It offers a fun and simple way to transform photos and music into a private or shared digital inspiration. Bloom brings what’s really important in life to the forefront, enabling users to connect better with their lives as a whole as opposed to just their to-do lists. I’ve had a chance to play with the app while it was in testing, and the Mindbloom team definitely are onto something with Bloom.

    The digital inspirations that are the foundation of the app are called (fittingly) Blooms, and the app comes pre-loaded with several of them. You can set reminders that will notify you when it’s time to “Bloom” them – and those reminders can be randomized or set for particular dates and times. You can associate different images from your iPhone with each Bloom, and do the same with music from your iTunes library. Each Bloom comes with imagery attached already, so you can choose to go with those defaults or pick photos from your own library that fit the Bloom best. As for musical selections for Blooms, each one comes with a preview of a suggested iTunes song (and offers a download link so you can grab it straight away), or you can go with your own song if you want.

      The "Edit Bloom" Screen

      Blooms can also be shared socially via your Facebook and Twitter accounts, or can be sent to friends and family via email. Once shared, Blooms can be saved in the Bloom app, played, or be used as the starting point for a new, personalized Bloom. Here’s an example of how I’ve used varying privacy settings with Blooms:

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      1. I sent a private Bloom to my wife to be sure that we share a hug every day.
      2. I have prepared a share group-only Bloom with fellow NaNoWriMo writers on “staying the course”.
      3. I’ve got a public Bloom that ready to be “socially shared” (Facebook and Twitter followers) that suggest they give Bloom a look as soon as they can download it.

      Bloom notifications are one of the things I really took advantage of during my testing of the app. It reminded me to reflect, take a break, or trigger an action that kept me focused on what mattered to me most. I’ve never been really good at keeping up with water intake, but Bloom has allowed me to do this.

      I’d never enter something like “Drink water” into my task management app of choice, but since I don’t look at Bloom in that manner, I’m able to do it here. What I consider Bloom to be is a life enhancement app, a companion piece that I can use (along with Mindbloom) to keep augment mindfulness while I let my task manager handle all of the other stuff. It’s part of my combined system, and it works well for me because each component does what it does better than the others.

      But why should you grab Bloom? And more importantly, why should you use it – or Mindbloom, for that matter?

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      Unlike any productivity-type application I’ve seen, Mindbloom basically makes achieving what might be usually considered an ordinary thing quite an extraordinary digital experience.

      Parks Associates, an industry research firm, is studying a growing demand for health entertainment and lead analyst, Harry Wang believes Mindbloom can be just as entertaining as it is beneficial.

      “Many health and wellness applications often take a prescriptive approach when designing the user experience. But we’ve seen that people tend to become less engaged with these types of applications over time,” said Mr. Wang.  “Mindbloom takes a more personal approach, entertaining even, which makes the overall experience more inviting, relevant and rewarding.”

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      I had the opportunity to speak with Mindbloom founder Chris Hewett when Mindbloom first launched and just days before Bloom was scheduled to go public. What I discovered is that he is among those who are developing a new generation of productivity/task management apps that “gets it”.

      It brings to mind this quote, which, much like Steve Jobs, I’ve been a fan of:

      “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky

      Hewett and his team are doing just that with the Mindbloom web app – and now, with Bloom on the iPhone.

        The "Reminder Prompt" Screen

        “Everyday, more than 250 million photos are uploaded to Facebook, Instagram recently celebrated 150 million photos being shared and iTunes recently surpassed 16 billion song downloads,” said Hewett, a former executive producer for Monolith Productions who developed blockbuster hits such as No One Lives Forever, Tron 2.0, and F.E.A.R. ”Photos and music are a powerful way to express ourselves and to share experiences, but we believe there’s an untapped opportunity to use photos, music and inspiring words to remind ourselves and express to others what matters most to us and what we’re doing about it.”

        As mentioned, Bloom can act as a standalone app, or can work in conjunction with the Mindbloom web app through the recently launched free-to-play “life game”, which serves to inspire people to define what’s important, discover what motivates them, and take meaningful daily actions in all areas of their life. Users can connect Bloom with their Mindbloom life game, where it builds on these goals by focusing on the science behind behavioral change – integrating technology, art, and human psychology to make personal growth more effective on-the-go.

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        Bloom is now available as a free download in the iTunes App Store .  I recommend you give it a look – it’s not your ordinary productivity and lifestyle app.

        In fact, it’s quite extraordinary.

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        Published on October 16, 2018

        7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business

        7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Business

        There’s nothing more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment you get by achieving your business goals.

        Gone are the days when you used pen and paper to take notes and manage your work day. As millennials are relying heavily on technology to manage almost everything from finances to their personal fitness, goal tracking apps are also becoming increasingly popular.[1]

        In this piece, we will shed some light on 7 such goal tracking apps that you can use to streamline your operations.

        I have handpicked these apps from a software rating web services site Best Online Reviews. Industry experts review software on these websites and help businesses to find the right solutions to meet their various, unique business requirements.

        1. Aha!

          Aha! is a California-based roadmap software provider and offers excellent goal tracking app that lets you define goals and objectives for projects. The app also lets you list out primary tasks and allows you to focus on them.

          Hosted securely on the cloud, the app offers enhanced communication tools for sharing updates through emails with select colleagues or the entire organization.

          Aha! is available on multiple platforms such as the web, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and starts from $59 per month per user.

          Available for Web

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          2. Asana

            Asana is one of the more popular project management apps available for businesses. It lets you organize all your team’s work, such as setting up and tracking goals, creating tasks, sharing files and notes, etc.

            Asana also allows your team to organize all their tasks and focus on urgent priorities. Moreover, the app offers a delightful user experience that makes task management simple and easy.

            Asana is available on multiple platforms from PCs and Mac to iOS and Android. Multi-channel adaptability makes Asana the perfect choice to track your goals anytime, from anywhere.

            Available for iOS | Android | Web

            3. Basecamp

              Basecamp is an excellent tool to manage all your team’s projects and keep your activities organized. It opens a new thread for every task and that task is visible by the whole team.

              With Basecamp, you can schedule tasks, add to-dos, discuss tasks by adding comments, add files and attachments, and much more.

              The app is available on both mobile and desktop platforms and costs $99 per month. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms and offers excellent multi-channel access.

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              Available for iOS | Android | Web

              4. Forecast

                An efficient tool for successful task management, Forecast is also a popular goal tracking app. Apart from effective milestone tracking, the app also offers convenient status reporting.

                Forecast uses project history to let you know the status of your current work. Moreover, it uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high-quality assistance. It is a robust app for small teams to track goals and time.

                Forecast is available for free and comes with Android and iOS app support. The premium version of the app starts from $19 per month per user.

                Available for Web

                5. Wrike

                  Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management app that successfully manages projects from start to finish. It lets you create tasks, track work progress and retrieve reports with ease.

                  The app also gives real-time work updates and helps team members to understand their work priorities. A custom report builder helps you to generate in-depth reporting.

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                  Wrike’s premium version is available from $9.80 per month per user and is available on multiple platforms.

                  Available for iOS | Android | Web

                  6. Todo.vu

                    Todo.vu is a unique platform that delivers enhanced customer relationship management (CRM), task management, time tracking, and billing functionality in a single app.

                    According to Capterra, it’s an ideal app for freelancers and consultants, who are looking for tools to improve efficiency and transparency.

                    Although the app is free to use with basic features, the premium plan starts from $5 per month per user. The app also comes with calendar sync and task reminder functionality to keep you on track, always.

                    Available for Web

                    7. Flock

                      Looking for a tool to simplify task management? Try out Flock.

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                      Flock comes with enhanced goal tracking and additional features like instant messaging.

                      Moreover, Flock offers tons of integrations with tools such as Google, MailChimp, Jira, Dropbox, etc. It is a powerful tool that’s packed with robust features such as reminders, notes, polls and to-dos.

                      Even though you can use the tool for free, the paid version of Flock is available from $4.50 per month per user.

                      Available for iOS | Android | Web

                      Conclusion

                      Businesses need high-quality project management tools to streamline collaboration and operations. Enhanced goal tracking apps make it easy for your team to improve productivity by keeping its tasks organized.

                      But it’s essential that you choose an app that meets your unique business requirements. You can choose from the above-mentioned apps to streamline operations and improve the productivity of your team.

                      Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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