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Death by PowerPoint? 5 Programs to Bring Your Presentations to Life

Death by PowerPoint? 5 Programs to Bring Your Presentations to Life

Many of us have sat through countless PowerPoint presentations, waiting and wishing for them to end. Why? Honestly, the presentations are mind-numbingly boring! But when you need to give a presentation and want to avoid the blank stares and awkward yawns, here are five programs you can use that can help breathe life into it.

1. Knovio

www.knovio.com

    Knovio

    is a free, easy-to-use program that allows you to bring your presentations to life by adding video or audio. With Knovio you can take your existing PowerPoint slides and easily add your own video or audio to synchronize with the slide content. You can then share this presentation by e-mail or social media. The best thing about Knovio is that whether your presentation is for business, educational or personal use, you are not limited in the number of videos you create under your free account.

    Check out this video to see how Knovio works:

     

    Helpful hint: Knovio can be an extremely powerful tool in circumstances where you want to deliver a strong digital presentation, but still use a PowerPoint presentation for your delivery. I have used Knovio remotely to give presentations for which I was unavailable in person to present the material. 

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    2. Prezi

    Prezi

      Prezi

      allows you to create presentations in a highly engaging and dynamic way. Prezi creates animated presentations, though instead of creating a series of slides with typical presentation programs, you put all of your content on a single canvas. You trace a path from one item to another until you cover everything in your canvas. When the presentation begins, the browser zooms in the first item you created in your path, then out and back in again to the next item in the path. This continues for each remaining item, until it reaches the end of the path.

      Prezi is a little more complex to use, but the online program definitely accommodates not-so-tech-savvy individuals. Prezi is accessible for free, but for limited use. Under the free membership you are entitled to only 100MB of storage space, which is enough for only a few presentations, and all your Prezis will be marked public. Only paid versions of Prezi receive more storage space, amenities and the option to make your presentations private.

      Here’s an explanation of how Prezi works:

       

      Helpful hint: Prezi can be a more refreshing way to deliver a presentation still covering the content used within a traditional PowerPoint presentation. Many of the premade templates are very professional looking, and the transitions are more attention grabbing than traditional PowerPoint presentations. I have used Prezi when I know that I am going to be presenting to a “tough” crowd and I want to be sure to keep their attention.

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      3. PowToon

      www.powtoon.com

        Looking for an “out-of-the-box”  way of presenting your presentations? PowToon is the program for you. PowToon is video animation software that makes creating engaging, interesting and exciting animated videos extremely easy. You can create an amazing animated presentation without needing design or technical skills.

        Worried that PowToon is hard to use? The PowToon program is extremely similar to creating a PowerPoint presentation, the only major difference is that you have the ability to add animation and timing to your slides. It’s that easy. PowToon is free for limited use. In the free version, you can create as many videos as you want, but your videos can only be five minutes in length. In addition, the PowToon logo will be in your presentation. If you want a longer or logo-free presentation, you can purchase a premium version PowToon for an annual fee.

        Here’s the instructional video showing how PowToon works:

         

        Helpful hint: PowToon should be used more as an introduction or conclusion to a presentation. Although PowToon is an innovative tool for presentations, it may be hard to put a lot of content into them. I use PowToon when I want to present an overall theme or topic during my presentation, and I use it more as a supplement – or my “wow” factor. I find that creating one is a little more time consuming than I would like, so I try not to make them too long.

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        4. Hakiu Deck

        Haiku Deck

          Haiku Deck is the Instagram of presentations. Haiku Deck allows users to be more creative in the presentation-making process by its versatility with text and pictures. Users will find that this platform is easy to navigate, and that you have the option to work web free with a computer or from a free iPad application.

          Once you have completed your presentation, you are able to make your “deck” public, restricted or private. You are able generate a PDF or convert it into a PowerPoint presentation. You are also able to share your deck on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress and through e-mail. You also have the option to copy the link or html and insert it into a website. With all of these sharing options, Haiku Deck is becoming the new way to create online presentations.

          Check out this video to see how Haiku Deck works:


          Helpful hint: If you feel limited with PowerPoint and feel the need to express yourself more, Hakiu Deck will give you that outlet. I like the flexibility of being able to work seamlessly from your iPad to your computer. And for those people who have a strong social media presence or travel often, this is the go-to program for you.

          5. Emaze

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          emaze

            Emaze presentations are simply amazing. Emaze, by far, has some of the best templates of all presentation programs out there. Templates range from a newspaper article to something that looks like it came out of a commercial. In addition, the Emaze website offers a tutorial before users begin to create their presentation, something that many other presentation programs do not offer. Emaze is free for limited use, or you can upgrade to a basic, pro or business version for a monthly rate.

            What makes this different from other presentation programs is the ability to collaborate on a presentation. Users have the ability to password protect their presentation and invite others through e-mail to collaborate. When your presentation is complete, you have the ability to e-mail, link and embed your presentation, or share your presentation on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

            Here’s how Emaze works:

             

            Helpful hint: Emaze is one of the best tools to use for digital collaboration on projects. It’s a great tool for projects that require group work.

            Featured photo credit: Tom Everitt via flic.kr

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            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

            18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

            No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

            If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

            But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

            Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

            Let’s dive straight into the list.

            1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

              If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

              RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

              2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

                If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

                This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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                  This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

                  Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                  4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

                    Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

                    Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

                      There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                      6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

                        Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

                        Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                          Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                          This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                          Available on iOS and Desktop

                          8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                            This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                            This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                            9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                              Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                              MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                              10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                                1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                                Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                                11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                                  When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                                    This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                                    Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                    13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                                      This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                                      Available on desktop (macOS)

                                      14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                                        Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                                        The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                                        15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                          Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                          16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                            Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                            17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                              This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                              Available on iOS and Android

                                              18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                                Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                                Final Thoughts

                                                The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                                So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                                More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                                Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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