Tag: apple iPad Pro

“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on Your Mobile Device?

There is no rule that we must use tablets, smartphones, and laptops 24/7, everywhere. Citing safety concerns, some municipalities have enacted ‘distracted walking’ laws to prevent people from walking into cars while checking Facebook or texting. Our time and higher brain function were already under attack before these technologies dominated our lifestyles but today, the assault is relentless. Entertainment options are a minefield on your mobile device. Putting limits on when and where to use our devices is important but controlling further distractions through quality entertainment selections will also reclaim our time and attention span. If we practice the restraint I’m advocating, we will reap the additional benefit of becoming more enlightened consumers of the arts.

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BOOKS
15 years ago, I couldn’t get enough of Anne Rice’s vampire novels and no 14-hour drive to Florida was going to interrupt my reading schedule, so using the audiobook versions, I completed two books while driving. 🙂 Today, audiobooks remain an expensive, but an effective option when reading becomes inconvenient. And since I don’t have Donald Trump type money, I make wiser book selections.

PODCASTS
As a former radio talk show junkie, of course, I became a podcast junkie but I refuse to play them in Apple’s confusing podcast app. I use Pocket Casts. Pocket Casts can even sync between your iPad and iPhone so there will be no interruptions in listening. I started out listening to 50 podcasts but today, I have narrowed that list to 15 that really add value to my life.

MUSIC
Apple’s native music app is also a confused piece of junk. Although I don’t listen to a lot of music, there are better apps out there, like EQLRZR PRO and online alternatives such as Spotify and Pandora. EQLRZR PRO handles both music and podcasts but I haven’t had a lot of success using it in this way. My wish is that someday, Pocket Casts will handle video and audiobooks as well.

LONG ONLINE ARTICLES
Not only do I use Voice Dream to review my blog posts. I use it to listen to long online articles. Just copy and paste into Voice Dream. Big time saver.

MOVIES and TELEVISION
Back in the early days of television, you could watch “The Beverly Hillbillies,” or “The Ed Sullivan Show” without feeling that you were rotting your brain. There were 3 networks, a few hundred radio stations, and where I lived, it took 5 years for a big budget movie to even get to our local theater. Today, I’ve lost count keeping up with television and movies. Few deserve your time and attention. Apple’s native TV viewer does work and I find it easy to rent or buy only QUALITY television and movies. QUALITY is whatever works for you. I have the Netflix, HBO, and CBS apps on my mobile devices, but they remain in storage. I try to record programs for later viewing on the television.

GAMING
Tell the truth, for some of us, this is the “elephant in the room.” A friend fixed this for me when looking at the amount of combat and flight simulators I had on my iPad. “Tolbert, the reason you are not writing and creating business opportunities, that you are clearly capable of, is that you are unfocused with too many $#%#&*@#!% games on that thing.” I couldn’t argue with the logic even though I hardly had the time to play with any of them. Their mere presence was a distraction. By the end of that day, I deleted all except the one that actually helps you learn about flying a plane!

BOTTOM LINE-BE RUTHLESS
When it comes to your mobile device and entertainment, ruthlessly limit or cut unnecessary activities and apps which distract from your projects, visions, goals or desired lifestyle. Forsaking “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” has enabled me to restructure this blog and now produce what is now the 60th blog post! 🙂 It’s Not That Complicated!

Minimalist Writing on the iPad

 

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Thinking about starting a blog or sharpening up your social media posts? Due to information overload, we have developed simpler methods of communication. We read, write, even speak in abbreviated ways. Shorter, more concise language is now the rule. How effective you are in getting your message across is dependent on brevity. Text messaging is a prime example.

Here’s an example of the minimalist writing process I use, on the iPad, before I publish to this blog. Even if you don’t blog, you can be short, concise, and to the point in composing emails and social media posts.

(1) Most blog post ideas come at any time, day or night so I keep a supply of index cards in the car, house, office, and bag to get those ideas out of my brain and on paper. Any paper will do. Not to brag, but I’ve written magazine articles on restaurant napkins! 🙂

(2) Type paper notes into an event in my calendar or Evernote: a note-taking, organizing, and archiving app. The software syncs across most devices so it’s always accessible. The goal is to keep the post 300 words or less using plain English and less punctuation. Sometimes I paste the text into iA Writer for its’ clean, distraction-free interface. When I’ve developed something coherent, I’ll still continue to edit, edit, edit. Sometimes, I have to start all over again if it’s too complex.

(3) Copy the text to Hemingway Editor: I bought the stand-alone software for my laptop. They don’t have an app for the iPad but they do have a free website you can use in your browser. Hemingway Editor‘s entire purpose is to make you write more concise.

(4) Paste the text into Voice Dream: Once I’m sure about the post, I’ll review how it sounds. I can even edit within the app.

(5) Paste the text into my WordPress blogging website and format photographs, graphics, and schedule a posting.

The goal is to even shorten this process and I’m finding that the audio and text editing in Voice Dream may eliminate some of these apps in the very near future.

Remember, if you have another tablet brand or device, you can use the same or similar apps  for their operating system.

In the next post on simplifying life on one device, I’ll review social media. Might be the shortest post ever!

Life Organizing Apps

41FAEE61-3287-4A41-827C-D80954BC8FA7Every Tom, Dick, and Harry has an app so we fill up our devices with them because we can. Who doesn’t have three messaging apps or five food ordering apps or four mapping apps on their phones? I’m ashamed to admit that I have 96 apps in my iPad storage folders and if I took all of them out I would be instantly distracted.

Of all the apps on my iPad, these are the ones that are fundamental to organizing life. The remaining 96 will remain in their folders. 🙂

CALENDARS are the Swiss Army knife of organizing. Before computers, we used all types of paper-based calendars but today’s digital calendars are more flexible. For example, I centralize most everything in Google calendar. It’s web based and syncs across all devices so it accommodates my budget, day job schedules, personal appointments, birthdays, anniversaries and a to-do list. Even blog posts are stored as events on Google Calendar.

A few words of caution…don’t fill up your calendar with irrelevant items or it will appear confused and feel uninspiring to take action on. I also recommend using one calendar for both work and personal activities to prevent scheduling conflicts with both.

EMAIL is still king for the transmission of images and documents, despite the popularity of texting. I use Gmail, by Google. It’s web based; syncs across all devices and is simple to use.

ADDRESS BOOK/CONTACTS used to be stored in Rolodexes or small address books but digital address books are much more versatile. Apple Contacts is the default address book database and it works with many other apps. Again, simple to use and syncs across all Apple devices. Throw that Roledex away.

NOTEBOOKS have evolved to include many of the above-listed functions but can be complicated to use. I’ve tried many note taking apps such as Evernote, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, even Apple’s own “Notes” but while Evernote excells at saving whole web pages for later reading, Google Keep is simple to use and syncs across all devices.

Depending on your operating system and personal preference, you may be using different brands of tools (like Yahoo, Microsoft, etc) but these four categories of tools are what I have found to be fundamental for organizing your life on a tablet or smartphone.

In the next post on simplifying life on one device, I’ll review what writing apps and rules I use to create a simple workflow for blogging and other social media.

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