How to Use a Daily Reminder iPhone App to Write a Book

How to Use a Daily Reminder iPhone App to Write a Book

    For years I’ve wanted to write a book. Through various notes on documents I have a dozen different titles or topic ideas, and at least 5 book outlines. These are all ideas that I started on but never made much progress. Some ended up just being material for a blog post, but most of the ideas never saw any kind of completion.

    Oddly enough I’m not alone in this desire or behavior. So many people talk about a desire to write a book, but very few actually do. Of the few that start, most are like me and never finish. The follow-through on the initial inspiration is completely lacking. So why am I depressing you with this?


    Well, I have a solution. At least it worked for me. My book was released September 4th 2012. I’d like to share the simple tricks I used to write it.

    The Method

    First I established that the problem wasn’t with my ideas or inspiration, but really just with ability to get words down on paper. So I made a decision to focus on volume written until I was confident in my ability to write. Want to get good at writing? Then write.

    Last year I designed and developed an iPhone app called Commit. The idea behind Commit is that if you want to get good at something you should do it every day. If you want to learn to draw then you will make more progress with 15 minutes of practice every day than you would by practicing in 2 hour blocks once or twice a month. So when you first launch Commit it asks you what you will commit to. The page reads like this: “I will ________ every day”. You fill in the blank and create your first commitment.


    Mine is “I will write 1,000 words every day”. Then you set a reminder time (10:00 PM). If I don’t finish my commitment for that day by the time set it will send a notification to my phone asking “Were you going to write 1,000 words today?” If you already have marked it completed for the day then Commit won’t bother you… until tomorrow.

    But that’s only part of it. Commit keeps track of how many days in a row you keep your commitment. After several days you start building a chain. By the time you have 15-20 days in a row not breaking the chain becomes part of the motivation. If I’ve written 1,000 words a day for 30 days, then I can do it today as well. So when that reminder appears on my phone at 10:00 PM I know I need to sit down and start writing in order to not break the chain I’ve worked so hard to build.

    This chain continues to grow and the motivation to not break it increases. If you were to keep your commitment for 150 days in a row, do you think you would keep it on the 151st day as well?


    The Quote

    But that’s not all there is to writing a lot of content. Sometimes you get stuck and can’t find the perfect way to phrase a thought. So you write and rewrite it endlessly, trying to make it perfect. That’s where this quote comes in:

    “When faced with writer’s block, lower your standards and keep going.” – Sandra Tsing Loh

    Striving for perfection is often what trips us up, preventing us from writing as much as we need to.  Getting the idea written is most important since I can always go back and refine my words later.


    The Results

    For me the results from combining the quote and Commit have been astounding. Not only have I written a book, but also dozens of blog posts (this one included). I went from having a hard time writing one short blog post per week to easily writing 1,000 words per day.

    I bet you could as well.

    (Photo credit: Once Upon a Time via Shutterstock)

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    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

    Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

    Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

    As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

    In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

    Projects and Tasks Management

    1. Monday dot com

      Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

      The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

      The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

      The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

      Check out the software here!

      2. Asana


        The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

        The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

        Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

        Check out the software here!

        3. Trello

          Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

          Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

          Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

          Check out the software here!

          4. Jira

            The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.


            The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

            The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

            Check out the software here!

            5. Evernote Business

              Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

              The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

              Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

              Check out the software here!


              6. Slack

                Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

                Check out the software here!


                7. Spike

                  Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                  Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                  Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                  Check out the software here!


                  8. Office 365

                    Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                    Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                    You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                    Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                    Check out the software here!


                    9. Grammarly

                      Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                      Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                      Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                      Check out the software here!

                      Team Analytics

                      10. ActivTrak

                        ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                        The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                        Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                        Check out the software here!

                        The Bottom Line

                        Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                        More Productivity Tools

                        Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via

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