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Posts Tagged ‘procrastination’

Exploration of iPad Apps to Use for Work

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I started writing this post as a discussion on LinkedIn and then realized I should be putting this in my too-long-neglected blog instead!

Basically, I have been exploring how to better leverage my iPad (and my iPhone) for work and have been exploring apps to support a variety of work needs. I’d very much like to hear how you use apps in your work.

Working with documents, collecting and storing information, ideating, writing, taking notes, handwriting / text / voice to text options, sketching, to do’s, etc…

 

Most recently, I’ve been using:

– QuickOffice Pro: Creating and editing office files (Word, Excel, and PPT)

– OneNote: Sync entire notebooks and edit real-time via SkyDrive to my work Windows-based laptop

– Evernote: It is my lifeline for mostly personal and some work related content. I have been exploring accessory apps to make the most of Evernote. I just discovered that they are releasing a (rather pricy) Moleskin notebook that integrates VERY nicely with Evernote. I LOVE Moleskin notebooks for my “idea” books and I’ve had the HORROR of losing one of them … of losing many months of ideas, thoughts, recommendations, etc. This is already on my Christmas list, if I can hold out that long ($25)

– Handwriting apps: I’m trying a few (PenUltimate, Notability, NotesPlus) to see which one works best for my needs.

– I have Dragon Dictation on my iPhone and have played with it a little.  If I drove more, I would use that tool more.  Don’t really think I have a heavy need for a voice-to-text tool on a regular basis.- Sketchbook (Free): This is a fantastic tool to sketch-out that stuff that I’d normally doodle on a whiteboard or on paper and then take a picture to insert into a notebook app (Evernote or OneNote). It supports layers, too. Great for process mapping, too.

– Index cards: There are a few different apps (one is called Index Cards) for just capturing ideas, then easy grab and move organizing. I like this method for initial ideating and outlining. I looked up storyboarding apps, but didn’t really find anything better for my needs than index card apps.

– Manuscript: I’m looking at a couple that help you to brainstorm, craft out aspects of a book or other written deliverable. This app seems quite robust, allowing you to have brainstorm ideas on the left as you write on the right.  I’m thinking I might be able to use an index cards app to get started and then transition to using a simple writing interface with minimal distractions (theres a few of those out there).

– TouchFire Keyboard:  I chose this one because I don’t use a keyboard for extended periods of time and this one is very portable and 1/2 the price of most.  I mostly use a keyboard while traveling for work and on airplanes and I’d rather not have a much bigger cover and clunky keyboard to add to the bulk.  It takes a little getting used to, but it’s working for me and I feel that $49 is a reasonable price point.

– To Do’s:  Anyone got a great app you love for managing to do’s?  I’d prefer one for the iPhone over the iPad. I’ve tried a few and none worth really mentioning because I’m still searching…

– Mind Mapping: I haven’t really used an app in a while, but this method of ideating is something I often go back to.  Any recommendations?

 

I’ll try to add links to apps later, but I’d love to hear your tips in the meantime!

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Embracing Procrastination AND Developing Discipline

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In my quest to better understand how people are uniquely wired so as to better leverage gifts / talents / strengths / type, I learned that chronic procrastination can actually be attributed to certain personality types.  (Ahem … yes, including my own)

 Wow!  It is actually part of how I am wired and that can’t make it wrong, right?  I embrace my procrastination, fully!!!

Yes, there can be benefits to understanding one’s procrastination.  For me, I am EXTREMELY efficient AND effective and even quite creative under the “healthy” tension created towards the end of that procrastination cycle.  I have also come to understand that some behaviors I previously thought were attributed to procrastination in the way I work actually are not.  For example, I cannot just sit down and begin to write or create, I have to learn, think, and talk about it A WHOLE LOT before I’ve formed the idea well enough to begin writing.  Because of the way I mentally process in this way, when I do sit down to write, the ideas are more fully formed and that is part of the reason why I can knock it out so very quickly.

This is just one personal example related to my own unique wiring.  It makes me wonder about others’ and how their unique wiring mixes with procrastination behaviors in different ways.

But what about discipline?  Does a correlation exists between the two?  Do all extreme procrastinators, also consistently lack the ability to develop discipline in all aspects of life?  It can affect home, relationships, health, sleep, spirit, and just about anything else you can think of.

Nothing [is] so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”
–William James

After searching for resources on the development of discipline, I failed to find anything connecting the two together.

So, the question becomes:

How do procrastinators embrace the creative attributes that lead to procrastination while also developing discipline capabilities to better work towards and achieve goals?

Maybe there’s another way to look at it, another word besides “discipline”.  This reminds me of the process I use when leading teams through the Go Put Your Strengths To Work process by Marcus Buckingham.  After identifying your weaknesses, look at them through the lens of your strengths.  How might you re-frame weaknesses or use your strengths to accomplish the desired outcome as a way to skirt those weaknesses?

In the same way, how might you analyze your procrastination through the lens of your unique strengths?  How might you even leverage your strengths / preferences / type to overcome some of the negative affects of procrastination while still harnessing some of the creative benefits?