5 Apps To Use For Productivity

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In the digital age of smart phones and tablets there are plenty of tools at our disposal to help get the job done. Of course we all know about the apps that we use thinking they are awesome but quickly fall to the way side of app page four where they are never to be seen again until we need to clear space.

However sometimes there are a few apps the come along that make the grade and stick around. Here are some of my favorite apps that I frequently use for productivity.

1. Evernote

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Image copyright of Evernote

Evernote is great for jotting down notes to taking pictures of recipes to file them for later. Each note can be filed away in specified note books which then can be synched to other devices including tablets and computers.

I use Evernote a lot for recipes I may find in a magazine, articles or images I find on the web that sparks and idea, or even keeping sound recordings that have stuck a cord. It is a great way to keep a digital notebook that you can add to where ever you are.

2. Paperless

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I use Paperless all the time. It allows you to create category lists. I use Paperless sometimes for groceries or remembering things. But mostly I use it for story breakdowns. Kind of how writers use breakdowns or index cards. It is my digital version of that. Because none of the items are static I can move them up or down on the list as needed.

You can apply and icon to each list, create a checklist, customize the background, and sync with other devices. You can also back it up to Dropbox or send a copy of it through email so you can share it or just have an extra copy.

Paperless is only available for Apple right now but a great Android substitute is Wunderlist.

3 and 4. Dropbox/ Google Drive

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These are both great cloud storage apps that allow you to upload files and share them with other devices or other people. Both have a good amount of initial space with room for additional space if needed.

Dropbox is great for syncing with other apps to have automatic backups, sharing folders with other Dropbox users, and anything you place in a folder is automatically synced where ever that folder is. I use it mainly for backing up my writing files and syncing so I can easily pick up and write no matter what device I am using.

Google Drive is great for collaboration. I use it often when I have to write a report with someone else and we can both view and live edit the piece together seamlessly. Synced with a Google email account you can open files without having to download them first and share documents in an email in a flash.

When choosing between personal and professional uses, I usually use Dropbox for personal and Google Drive for professional but ultimately it is up to you.

5. Any.Do/Cal

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I have an iPhone and although the calendar has greatly improved since ios7 I still find it lacking a bit so my go to calendar is Cal. I love the way that it follows when setting up events, how the backgrounds are more stylish, and that it still sinks with other calendars.

Another added bonus is Any.Do which is done by the same company. Any.Do is a to do list that syncs with Cal and you can set tasks for today or a specific date. With each task you complete your completion number increases and when you hit a certain number you can earn Klip rewards which vary from goods to shopping deals. Also any task you don’t finish that day automatically moves to the next day.

Hopefully these apps offer a good idea on what to look for when looking for productive apps. Be sure to test out plenty of apps to find the one that best fits your work flow.

Got any other great apps you think are keepers? Feel free to share them below!

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The Difference between Being Busy and Being Productive

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Being busy is nice. It gives us a sense of purpose and makes us feel as if we are doing something meaningful with our lives, but being busy isn’t the same thing as being productive.

For instance, last fall I took on two short films, blogging for two film festivals, finishing two scripts, and a seasonal supervision position at work that upped my hours to 40-60 per week. To say that I was a little overwhelmed would be an understatement.

I had a constant headache throughout the film festivals due to seeing so many movies in a row. I was supposed to take point on the second short film was unable to. The scripts never made it that far. I had worked so many hours between my job and everything else that on my days off all I wanted to do was sleep.

All of this got me so wound up that in February I said enough and left for Florida for eight days of sunshine and mind clearing. Super busy but not that productive.

Lesson learned.

We have to find the right balance between busy and productive. Knowing which projects to take on and how many is essential not only for giving our best but for our well-being.

So when ever you start to feel overwhelmed or things being to suffer and you are falling behind, stop and ask just how productive you are and change things. By the way it’s okay to say no. Saying it isn’t a bad thing because if you can’t give your all then don’t. As they say “less is more”.

“Image courtesy of jesadaphorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

Don’t Compare: You vs Everyone else

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As humans we have this constant habit of comparing ourselves to others. We do it when it comes to things, happiness, looks, careers, and what have you. Sometimes we do it without even realizing that it’s happening. And we don’t just compare ourselves but each other. There have been many times that I’ve done this without even realizing and had been surprised. I most often do this when it comes to the career tracks that I have taken in comparison to others.

I see where my friends are in their financial success and often wonder why I can’t do the same thing. Sure I could get a “real” job and work for years under corporate management, making a salary, and climbing the ladder; but that was never what I wanted. So here I am on the other side of it trying to make it as an Entrepreneur, never really committing to a job because I know that is not where I want to end up forever.

Sometimes I think man why didn’t I just pick an easier route?

Because yes, it is much easier to follow a path that has already been made then to carve your own. Not saying the other one doesn’t come with tribulations but it’s different. Do I wish I was were they are financially? Yes. Definitely yes. But do I want to do what they had done to get there? No. What I want is something of a different type of success and that’s why I’ve learned (and keep telling myself) that I can’t compare where I am at to someone else.

So don’t look at your friend who has the successful job while you have the struggling business. And don’t give up because you think the other road is easier because it may not be. Stay on the path that you have taken, you never know just how far you are from the break through.

Poem above is by Robert Frost