iPhone Apps to Help Increase Productivity

Usually I like to be impartial when it comes to verses battles. Google vs. Bing. Coke vs. Pepsi, etc. A perfect example is Android or iPhone, I love them both! However for this article I feel that the iPhone has developed so many apps that there is literally nothing that the iPhone can’t do!

Although my iPhone screen is covered with pages of apps, there are a few that I use strictly for business and have helped me, overtime, be wildly productive. Here is my comprehensive list of applications can help you reach the top of the class.

1) Daily Tracker. This listing/do-to/organization app does everything for anyone who wishes to get their life in order. The Daily Tracker App makes it easy to have multiple list with check boxes, an area to input notes and MORE! The daily tracker literally has a thousand uses (as stated in its Info section.) In addition, it can be a journal, a to-do list, a counter, a calendar, or even an RSS Feed reader. AMAZING! The Pro version cost $1.99 and for the Lite Version it’s absolutely free with certain restrictions. This iPhone App is definitely #1 on my list.

2) BookMarker. This is one of my all-time favorite apps on the iPhone for reading. Don’t you hate it when you buy a book and read the first 10 pages then after a month you’re still on page 10 but forgot what you read!? BookMarker helps keep you motivated while reading a certain book and allows you to manage multiple books in order to pick up where you left off. It also gives estimated times of when you are targeted to finish a book granted that you keep up your daily reading pace. The cost for this app is $1.99 too. As you can tell, I don’t mind spending money on apps that boost productivity. In the long run, it’s worth it. Better than having unread books on my shelves. There is also a BookMarker Free version that displays ads but doesn’t allow you to export reports which if you don’t need it then go for the free.

Looking to create your own iPhone app? One you can sell? Check out this book!

3) 2Do. One of my favorite to-do applications because it sync with Outlook. I like to-do list as much as the next person and I have to say out of all of the to-do list apps, the 2Do app does it the best. Right now it’s on it’s 2.0 version and cleanly separates the task that need to be completed chronologically. It also animates a pencil crossing off a task once you complete it (which for me is HIGHLY motivating) and on the right side it has a tabbed system that allow you to categorize all of the task that you need to complete. For example, it has a tab for Today, Done, Starred, Home, Work and the list goes on. For me, a big feature that is a must for any to-do list is being able to sync with Outlook. That is why this application is a must have!

4) Goal Meter. Goal Meter is a great goal motivational tool that allows you to track little steps to attain a certain goal. It is simple yet highly effective. All you need to do is input an end number that you wish to reach and increments in which you wish to increase or move toward your goal. An example for me would be to exercise 15 times in a month. I have the goal set at 15 times and the increment amount of 1 for each time that I work out starting from 0. The neat aspect of the app is that it is very visual and basic. It is just a square with a plus or minus sign with the goal right in the middle. With each time that you press the plus sign the number on the top left increases in the increments that you set (the goal is on the right side.) Each time that you accomplish a task you hit the plus sign to increase the number on the left. The bar in the square rises progresses higher. The bar also changes in color as you progress toward your goal. Red being low and green being high.

5) NotifyMe2. If you’re forgetful like me, this app will save your life. It uses the push notification feature on the iPhone and allows pop-up notifications to remind you of events, tasks, items that you need to complete, and other reminders. It is an all-in-one reminder machine! I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably wondering why don’t I use the calendar feature. Yes, that is true but the interface is easy-to-use and makes inputting reminders easy. This application also syncs with a username on a Cloud system which is the web address – www.notifymecloud.com. This feature also allows you to be notified online. Other features include sharing reminders with other users, a snooze button, and pre-alerts. The application cost a whopping $5.99.

6) Dragon Dictation. Do you enjoy writing a lot? Do you wish you could talk your texts or jot down an idea just by speaking, then Dragon Dictation is the application for you. I use Dragon Dictation to type a majority of my blogs and the app allows me to jot down ideas hands-free while driving! Which now I can avoid tickets for driving and texting. This app is also good for those that have long winded writing assignments. With Dragon Dictation, I am able to write entire blogs just by speaking them and then copying and pasting the text to a note pad, which saves me a ton of time. You should try it. The great thing about this iPhone App is that its absolutely free.

7) ScannerPro. The ScannerPro is an app that turns your iPhone into a full-fledged scanner. In the beginning I didn’t believe that it’d be able to live up to the challenge only because I didn’t think taking a picture of a piece of paper would turn the document into a readable PDF… but ScannerPro proved me wrong. Here is a short story. About a week ago I got a new mac mini. As you know I was totally ecstatic! However, for some reason I wasn’t able to connect my regular scanner to my mac mini as I was able to with my PC. It was very sad. However, I heard about scanning via the iPhone and low-and-behold, I am now able to scan any 8.5 x 11 paper. I send it through my picture by e-mail and it looks as good as if I scanned it with my HP Scannner. The total price for this app on the App Store is $6.99.

For now, those are the best that I recommend. I hope that this list of productive apps equip your iPhone for business readiness. I usually spend an hour a week looking for different apps on the App Store, so I know for a fact that these are some of the best apps in the productivity market. However, it all depends on you and your needs!

If you have any apps that you would like to share, please comment below. I would love to see what other people have to say about their productivity apps and how it helps them to be more effective. Who knows, I could use another 2 more pages of app.

How to Stay Motivated Writing a Blog

If you’re a part-time blogger or even a full-time blogger, you run into those situations where you’re just not in the mood to write (I know I do!) So how do you muster the motivation after 10 hours of work, finding time for pleasurable pursuits and tending to the family? When finishing a long day, don’t you just want to sit and relax? Adding insult to injury, how about the times when you spend 5 hours writing a blog and no one reads it, comments on it or views it, totaling an incredible view count of 1…and that’s because it’s YOU! What a waste of time you think to yourself. Why should I continue doing this? Well…

Here are a few tips I put together in order to stick and stay motivated with a blog. I’m the type of person who has a tendency to actually quit after 3 days of doing anything. However, ever since I’ve started this blog I find myself writing more and more keeping motivated with all that I do (must have something to do with writing for a motivational blog). In any case, there are moments when you’re working on an assignment and you just don’t feel like there’s enough gas in the tank to get you over the hill.

A Short Inspirational and Motivational Story

I recall a story (not vividly) about a man who was searching for oil. He was told about a location where others had struck it rich and made millions of dollars mining for oil (please correct me if I’m wrong because it could’ve been gold). He purchased the finest equipment and invested hundreds of dollars to dig in the exact same place in which the people told him to find the oil. He dug day-in and day-out but found no oil. After a few extra attempts, he decided to give up and sell his used beat up – now old – equipment to a local pawn shop (I can imagine exaggerating the story and causing rumors making this bigger than it actually is). He pawned his equipment to a man that later took the equipment and went digging in the exact same spot. The new equipment owner used the same beat up old equipment and after spending a few days, struck it rich with oil! The news spread throughout the town. As soon as the first man heard the story he went back to seek out the guy he sold his equipment too. He asked, “How is that possible!? I spent days in that exact area looking for oil that you discovered!” The now rich and famous oil miner replied, “I just dug a little further down and hit an oil vein.” Same equipment, same place but the second guy followed through and didn’t give up.

The morale of the story: Success can be right at the very point of when you’re about to give up. You might need to dig a little deeper in order to strike oil.

We often hear people say “I thought of that idea! I just wish I did it before it got big!” or “If I just kept up with that program I could’ve made something of myself”. Those were the cases for Youtube, Twitter, Successful Blogs, and more. If we don’t see results right away we tend to give up. I urge anyone reading this – If you are truly passionate about something, follow it reasonably until you realize the success of your goal, whether it’s to make income with your blog, achieve a thousand views, become famous, etc.

Hopefully this story was able to motivate you to realize that success usually doesn’t happen overnight (I can attest) and that if you’re striving for a successful blog then it’s something that you need to stick with. That being said, we continue onward to the nuts and bolts of staying motivated writing a blog! Here are tips I’ve found effective in staying motivated with writing this blog.

1. Write down all your blog ideas. Any idea that comes to mind, jot it down for future reference whether it’s a blog title or bits and pieces of information. This helps to prevent writers block and encourages a flow of ideas and topics to write about literally forever!

2. Take Advantage of energy peaks. If you’re on a roll and are knocking them out one by one, you should keep going and start with another one. No one says that the writing process should stop after just one blog. Note the time in which you’re most effective writing blogs and try to duplicate the environment. This may be a peak moment in your energy at which you’re most effective writing.

3. Keep drafts of multiple blogs entries. I use WordPress to write this blog. WordPress has a nifty feature that I use to save drafts of my incomplete blogs. This way if I don’t completely finish a blog or have a super long entry I can continue writing at anytime and get back to it later. I can edit it from home, at a friend’s home, on my phone, or even at work (shhhh, don’t tell) because its online. If you don’t have WordPress I recommend using note pad on your laptop. If you want it mobile than send an e-mail to yourself. In this day and age of technology, everyone has a smart phone where they can e-mail themselves or at least store notes to be a little bit more productive.

4. Ask for suggestions. Have family members and friends read your blog and allow them to have an open “bash” session with you. It may not be pleasant, but friends and family can be incredible resources to recommend changes to your blog, article ideas to write about, or just good ole encouragement. I’m always bouncing off ideas with my friends! It’s fun!

5. Get Help. Even though readers may not be flocking to your site or adding fuel to your motivation, getting help from an expert or fellow blogger (in the same situation) can boost the motivational gas gauges! These experts can provide real-world advice saving hours of pain and struggling which beats out trying to figure out things on your own. Also, this helps to prevent mistakes that could potentially set you back and lead down the road toward giving up.

6. Write Fiction. At times I get bored with writing run-of-the-mill non-fiction articles (although I love the results it produces 🙂 ). So, on occasion I write fictional material on topics I’m interested in, experiences I’ve had in my life and even keep a dream log. This helps bolster creativity and can bring your writing to a whole new level!

7. Setup a System. If you set a system that you follow regularly it becomes a habit and then automatic! My system (and you may choose to follow it or not), involves me setting a certain amount of time aside during the day, usually an hour, and I write straight through undistributed. Now, this may not be conventional but I literally write and write and write until my hour is up. This allows me to focus on nothing else but writing and motivates me to see a task through completion. Which leads to…

8. Avoiding Distractions. I listen to binaural beats or Hemi-Sync to change my brain waves to keep focused. It actually is quite effective and not as crazy as it sounds. For me, I really enjoy reading but I don’t enjoy distractions. So I do what I can to avoid it. However, there are those moments that you can’t help but be distracted; especially when family members or friends are watching the Final Episode of LOST! Or watching the season finale of American Idol. These are times that if you absolutely need to complete a task, just close the door and don’t let anyone in.

9. Sharpen the Saw. It amazes me to think that so many people although they never achieve the results their looking for, continue doing the same things. Sharpen the saw, made wildly popular by Stephen Covey, means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have – you. A link to the concept can be found here: Sharpen the Saw. The concept I apply here is to actually improve on an aspect of blogging. Before I started this blog, I spent hours reading on techniques, tips, and short-cuts to get this site off the ground! How can you not be motivated by blogging? There are so many resources out there to transform you from a blog amateur to a blog PRO! So, sharpen that saw and stir up your curiosity!

10. Reward yourself. If no one is going to praise you with comments, a book signing deal, free stuff or money, take it upon yourself to externally motivate yourself. It can be as simple as finishing a blog or writing a paragraph. I talk about this in great detail in my book, “The Ultimate Motivational Tool Kit”, however use rewards as a way to move you to action! It might even prove to be a double reward – the satisfaction for finishing the blog and the piece of candy that you decide to give yourself once you’ve finished.

This “How To Stay Motivated Writing a Blog” only scratches the surface of motivation and only gives a basis on where to start and maintain your blogging/writing journey. This is actually a warm-up for me to complete my 40-page book, “The Ultimately Motivational Tool Kit”. I’m nearly finished and can’t wait to give it to you all for FREE! If you want to receive a FREE copy when its released, subscribe to my newsletter and a copy will be sent straight to your inbox.

Thank you for reading everyone and whatever your aspirations are in life, stick with it within reason and it will prove to be a rewarding endeavor!

Top iPad Apps for Productivity

After reviewing the repertoire of productivity apps on my iPhone, I thought that I’d take a crack at checking out the top productivity apps for my iPad! Although a ton of the applications on the App Store are similar with regards to the iPhone and iPad, the difference in resolution (and price) are astounding.

Apps on the iPad are much more enjoyable because of the bigger screen! It’s difficult squinting at a little 3.5 inch screen attempting to play Angry Birds. However, because the screen is bigger I do get a lot of finger prints…it looks very unappealing when the screen is locked. Anyway, moving on to the best apps I use for productivity.

The unfortunate (or fortunate) thing is that the iPad that I currently own is jailbroken. I also installed an application called Installous which is a hack for the iPad. Therefore, for this article, I will not be including pricing. If you need to find pricing please visit the iTunes Apps store here.

Few of my top apps:

ToDo1) Todo. This is a completely different app from 2Do (which was in my last review). The application mirrors an actual note book with different task types. It includes Normal Task, a Project Hierarchy, and Checklist. The Todo app can also classify actions such as Call, E-mail, SMS, visit locations and visit websites. A perfect organization tool for a tablet PC.

 

Calendar2) Calendar. A 2nd productive application is Calendars. What I love about Calendars is that is allows me to sync my Gmail Calendar, which is tied to my iPhone to create a central point for all my appointments, commitments, and future events. It truly makes life less stressful and allows you to work easily on the go!

 

iCardSort3) iCardSort. For iCardSort, I actually paid full price ($9.99) because it was that good! It’s a virtual sticky post-it board that allows you to rearrange different notes. In every presentation and every meeting I attend, I ensure to open a fresh deck in my iCardSort application and organize everything from ideas, plans, and notes. This application unfortunately was not on Installous, but I highly recommend that you buy this app. It save tons of time!

4) SelfClassics. This is an app to enjoy on your downtime. SelfClassics is a eReader with the best Self-help books money can buy! It is one of the best applications that continues to add value as you update it. They already have a long list of quality self-help books and they continue to add more! The list of books are the following:
Success & Law of attraction:

✽ “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill – Probably the most successful motivational book in history
✽ “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles – A primary source for the bestselling The Secret
✽ “The Master Key System” by Charles F. Haanel – Developer of the Law of Attraction theory
✽ ‘Art and Science of Personal Magnetism’ by Theron Q. Dumont – a practical course about developing one’s personal magnetism, and charisma
✽ “Dynamic Thought” by H.T. Hamblin – practical course in the Law of Attraction
✽”A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis” by Melvin Powers
Leadership and Entrepreneurship:

✽ “The Art of Public Speaking” by Dale Carnegie and Joseph Berg Esenwein – the art of how to express yourself to convince and influence others
✽ “Art of Money Getting/Golden Rules for Making Money” by P. T. Barnum – the first and most controversial American show-biz millionaire
✽ “Certain Success” by Norval Hawkins – a practical book on personal branding and success by the greatest marketing and sales guru of the 20′s.
✽ “Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie” – the autobiography of America’s first self made billionaire
✽ “A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis” by Melvin Powers
✽ “Fundamentals of Prosperity”, by Roger W. Babson
✽ “The Art of War” by Sun-Tzu
✽ “The Prince” by Nicolo Machiavelli
Inspiration and Motivation:

✽ “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell H. Conwell – the most successful motivational speech of its times
✽ “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen – the most famous of Allen’s works
✽ “The Path to Prosperity” by James Allen
✽ “Self-Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
✽ “Creative Mind” by Ernest S. Holmes
✽ Several inspirational essays by Albert Einstein
✽ “The Game of Life and How to Play it” by Florence Scovel Shinn
✽ “The Secret Door To Success” by Florence Scovel Shinn
✽ “Self Help” by Samuel Smiles
Better Living:

✽ “Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca the Young – the masterpiece that helped change countless lives
✽ “The Way to Wealth” by Benjamin Franklin
✽ How to Get on in the World (A Ladder to Practical Success) by A. R. Calhoun
✽ How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day, by Arnold Bennett

Isn’t that a lot?

5) Friendly Facebook Browser. The Friendly Facebook Browser may stricly be a productivity app for me because part of my work is done via Facebook. Since I work for a company that does social media management, promotion and advertising, we are constantly on Facebook doing status updates, promotions, and communicate frequently with the community and the public. The interface for this app is clean and friendly for business or personal use and can help anyone stay on top of their social media conversation.

6) DocsToGo. DocsToGo is a iPad application that allows you to create Word and Excel Documents as well as read PDFs, Word Docs and Excel Docs. It has a Wi-fi syncing module and desktop application that allows the user to sync between their PC/Mac and their iPad. Great for those writing a long blog!

7) GoDocs PRO. This app is another savvy time saving application. I’m the type of person that likes to have a mobile office wherever I go (I know, this is not normal..). Whether it’s working from my iPhone or my iPad I truly enjoy staying connected. This application works with GoogleDocs (which I will cover in another post). GoogleDocs is a heaven sent! I upload documents on the “cloud” and share with friends, co-workers, family and anyone else I need too. GoDocs PRO, allows me to mimic the GoogleDocs interface helping me to complete blogs that I started on GoogleDocs or edit documents that my co-workers might have uploaded in the Cloud.

And there you have it! My list of productivity apps for the iPad. Hopefully this will help you get on the fast track to higher productivity. Look for more productivity articles on Doalittlebit.com in the coming future to help you accomplish your dreams and goals by doing a little bit.

On another note, I recommend that if you have both an iPhone and an iPad that you keep both in-sync. It defeats the purpose of an app if you have it on both devices and they are not in-sync. When I first got the iPad I tried to just keep both updated manually but things slowly slipped through the cracks which can be a bummer. Learn from my mistakes! After that I decided to just sync both devices with their corresponding applications and I’ve been happy ever since. 🙂

Good luck on your productivity endeavors!

Regular Motivation

We could all use a little inspiration, a little nudge and even a slap to the head! Small jolts of inspiration can help push us through difficult times and motivate us through life’s obstacles. This is a completely separate section from the blog and will post motivational, inspirational and encouragement blurbs (mainly quotes) to help get everyone through the day. It will be later integrated with the blog and DALB newsletter but for this section, Regular Motivation, you will receive much more frequent information than any another area to ensure you have the boost in your day that you need! Come back regularly!

”Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.” -Albert Einstein

What does this mean? As we strive to achieve our goals and accomplishments it’s the journey and not the success that makes the person. We build character along the journey and from our actions we gain values. This is how millionaires after they’ve lost all their money are able to start from scratch and make millions again. They have gained values through the journey of success and have become what they strive to accomplish.

The morale is to not be a person who is bent on success but be someone who is worth something to others.

“Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity.” -Bo Bennett

What does this mean? It takes a component of elements to create Enthusiasm! To some it comes naturally and individuals exude it perfectly. What do you see when someone’s enthusiastic? They are very excited about their product, service, topic, etc. They find the motivation in what they’re doing; they are inspired and their creative juices start flowing!

Find what makes you enthusiastic and you may find just what it is you’re meant to do in life. 🙂

Contest/Giveaway

For the month of December, Doalittlebit.com wants to get you ready for the New Year! That’s right. We want to help motivate you into 2011 with style and extra UMPH! In order to do that, we want to give you an incentive.

December’s Contest and Giveaway is a $100 Visa Gift Card to receive right before Christmas! All entires will be accepted via e-mail at quincy@doalittlebit.com. Here are the rules:

What would you like to accomplish in 2011?

1) First, “Like” us here:

2) Then make a list of 10 New Years Resolutions that you know that you’ll stick to and accomplish in one year. These resolutions must be reasonable and attainable within the year.

3) After putting together the list of 10 together, write a 300 word action plan of how you’ll do a little bit to stay on task and keep motivated throughout the year.

This will hopefully motivate two fold: 1) Push those to create their resolutions early to think of aspirations for 2011 and 2) Make the person think about how they will accomplish the resolutions they set.

As you all know, there is no right or wrong answer, only what comes from who you are and what motivates you in life. Final day for submissions will be December 12th and the winner will be announced December 18th. Winner will be selected on the meaning of resolutions (not just put together), the quality of plan of action, and creativity!

Good Luck Everyone and Hope You All Have a GREAT Holiday Season!