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Want To Learn How To Code? Check Out Tickle, A User-Friendly Coding App

Want To Learn How To Code? Check Out Tickle, A User-Friendly Coding App

Just a decade or two ago, coding was a relatively unknown skill, but massive advances have now brought technology to the forefront of almost every industry. Since working with more technology is inevitable for virtually all of us in the future, learning to code is a valuable tool and an investment in your future too. That being said, however, many different coding languages exist and getting started can seem overwhelming.

Thankfully, user-friendly apps and languages have started to make coding almost like playing a game. One such app, Tickle, strives to introduce simple coding rules to kids and teens. Also an effective way to learn for adult beginner programmers, this app goes far beyond teaching users the basics, and will have you familiar with coding syntax in no time.

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    Visual coding approach

    The unique Tickle app brings a new approach to programming by organizing commands into visual elements. This lets users learn basic concepts without needing to memorize complicated syntax. In this way, users learn functions much faster.

    Jackie Wang, co-founder of the app, states, “We want to make programming education more fun and freely accessible to everyone.” The app’s layout certainly supports this goal, since users are encouraged to play with code, rather than just learn the rules. Not only that, the app is designed for multitouch gestures, so controlling each element is straightforward and intuitive.

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      Simple UI

      Tickle brings visual control to coding elements, letting users rearrange buttons to build commands. The app lets users create games and interactive stories, as well as control smart toys and smart objects around the home.

      The user friendly interface breaks down commands into easy-to-access sections, such as sounds, looks, data, and events. This makes complicated commands easy to comprehend and implement. This way, users experience the excitement of their coding coming to life immediately.

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      After a little practice, kids can jump right into controlling smart toys and designing basic games, making the app an efficient tool. Intended primarily for older children and young teens, Tickle is the perfect mobile app to learn the basics behind coding.

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        Scratch 2.0

        Tickle introduces the concepts of coding by teaching users the programming language Scratch 2.0. As the creator of Scratch, Professor Mitchel Resnick of MIT, once said, “Coding is the new literacy.” Especially for beginners, there’s no faster way to become coding literate than by learning Scratch. This language breaks complicated commands down into fill-in-the-blank-like sentences. Reminiscent of Mad Libs, Scratch 2.0 is likely the fastest, most uncomplicated way to learn computer languages and syntax.

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        By putting a user interface on top of coding language, users can learn the basic rules of computer programming without technical know-how. In turn, knowing these basics then makes learning other languages much faster. This is particularly valuable when teaching kids how to code, because memorizing endless syntax rules usually doesn’t appeal to a 10-year-old. On the other hand, Scratch 2.0 is intended as a beginner language, so real-world coding knowledge requires delving into other languages like HTML and CSS. For beginners however, Scratch 2.0 can be incredibly valuable.

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          Other Features

          Since programming knowledge is required in an increasing number of industries, learning the basics early on should really be considered essential. For now, Tickle is available only on iOS, but Android development is reportedly next on the list for release in spring 2015.

          The app is available in English Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Catalan, and Dutch, and was successfully funded on their Kickstarter.com page in September 2014. Tickle is expected to be available late fall 2014 on the iPad, though the price is still unknown. Judging from company statements, however, the app is meant to be available for everyone, which hints at a low priced or free app.

          Find out more about Tickle.

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            Alicia Prince

            A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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            Last Updated on October 16, 2019

            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

            11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

            Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

            Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

            Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

            In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

            1. ScheduleOnce

              ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

              ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

              ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

              Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

              Available on Web

              2. Calendly

                Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                3. Assistant.to

                  For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                  From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                  While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                  Available on Web

                  4. Acuityscheduling

                    Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                    It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                    5. Pick

                      Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                      At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                      Available on Web

                      6. X.ai

                        For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                        This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                        Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                        Available on Web

                        7. YouCanBook.me

                          is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                          They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                          Available on Web

                          8. Doodle

                            Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                            It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                            You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                            While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                            Available on Web | iOS | Android

                            9. WhenAvailable

                              WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                              Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                              Available on Web

                              10. Rally

                                Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                Available on Web

                                11. NeedtoMeet

                                  Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                  NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                  While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                  Available on Web

                                  Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                  In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                  To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                  Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                  A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                  Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                  If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                  Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                  With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                  Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                  Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                  Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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