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Posts Tagged ‘words’

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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Start Your Career Transition: Step 3 – Word Research

October 17, 2011 1 comment

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In this step, you get to do job REsearch, without job searching.  Job research for the sake of finding words and work activities that sound interesting to you.  This step will help you focus future job search (or job creation) activities on the type of work that most interests you, leverages how you are uniquely wired, and provides engaging challenges.

Online Job Research

  1. Go online, at least two or three times, and look at job postings that look interesting.
  2. IGNORE job qualifications at this stage (remember, this activity is NOT an actual job search).
  3. Capture critical information along the way:
  • search terms that produce interesting job results,
  • job titles that seem exciting and just sound “cool” to you, and
  • job responsibilities that you find within job descriptions that seem exceptionally interesting.

Read more…

A Written Reflection

September 30, 2011 3 comments

As a strong “ideator” who uses “connectedness” in all things and is an extreme extrovert, so much of how I process my thinking and move it forward happens in conversations with people.   It has been a very effective method for incubating, creating, and drawing important connections and meaning – all through the privilege of getting to know people better, engaging with them and further developing these relationships.

Like so many other great things in our lives, I’ve found a down-side to these activities.  As the type of person who likes to chase “the shiny new thing” I often find myself fragmented and frenzied.   My head starts swirling in thoughts and I’m physically jazzed-up from the interaction; often waking up with thoughts in the middle of the night.  I found myself just disappearing from these activities by escaping into my work and not moving any ideas forward as a way to refresh from the hype.  I was stuck in this cycle of rapid frenzied movement followed by stagnation and it felt unhealthy, unbalanced, and even ineffective.

I lacked balance.  Focus was missing  Solitary reflection should replace the stagnation in order to quiet the mind, process and understand, draw meaning, and be able to keep moving forward.

I was privileged to participate in a writing / journaling conference hosted by The People House and The Center for Journal Therapy recently.  I learned that journaling and solitary reflection would accomplish both things:  quiet the mind AND continue to move ideas and thinking forward.  I’ve been diligently applying these techniques and feel more balanced, have more insight, and am moving ideas and thinking forward more rapidly and with a calm that I haven’t had before.

The tagline for the conference was:  I write to know what my heart thinks.  It is so true!  I’m great at asking questions, but have lacked the discipline to pursue finding answers, including listening for those answers.  If you have never written as a technique to move your ideas forward, try it!

Reflective Writing Steps:

  1. Set aside 10-15 uninterrupted and quiet minutes to allow the free-flow of your thoughts.
  2. Pick a question (of yourself, of someone or something else, of God, or whomever).  See following examples.
  3. Read more…

Can You Tell Your Story in Just 6 Words?

April 7, 2010 3 comments

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My attention was caught by two-month long discussion on the LinkedIn group:

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.

It was posted by Kway Yu and has generated 610 comments as of today.  The premise of his invitation for folks to tell the story of themselves in just 6 words is based on a statement by Ernest Hemingway, master storyteller, that his best work was a story he wrote in just six words:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

This discussion has inspired hundreds of people to share a story of themselves in just 6 words.  My story right now might look something like:

Compelled to become who I am!

therefore…

Inspiring change through interaction about ideas.

In an earlier post (The Discipline of Word Choice in Social Media), I shared how the use of fewer words is a discipline presented to us by several great historical works (73 words) and one that we are forced to develop through use of modern communication technology and social media such as Texting (160 characters) and Twitter (140 characters).  It is also a discipline developed by those who successfully communicate with corporate executives and by those who give excellent presentations.  Some of the best presentations I’ve ever seen are on TED.com where no presentation exceeds 18 minutes.

Storytelling inspires emotion and placement of oneself into the story – it becomes personal.  Steve Denning, storytelling advocate, has had a huge influence on my belief in the power of storytelling (or use of narrative) in business settings in recent years.  Is the art of storytelling making a resurgence?  It’s definitely going through an evolution and technology is helping us to think completely different about it.  I know most of you are at least learning to or mastering the art of communicating in just 140 characters, but can you tell your story in just 6 words?  I invite you to comment &/or Twitter your 6 word story, use #6story.

What is your 6 word story?


While searching for an image of the #6 to include in this post, I came across another blog post from 2008 about a teacher who gave this assignment to his students … check it out, too!

The Discipline of Word Choice in Social Media

March 31, 2010 2 comments

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A recent post on PoynterOnline shows how the use of just 73 carefully chosen words in several powerful historic texts have been so impactful over time.

When Words Are Worth a Thousand Pictures …. 73 Razor Sharp Words

There certainly is an implication for bloggers.  It also brought to mind the discipline that using Twitter brings – how do you craft something meaningful  in just 140 characters or less?  How do you do it in such a way that others will be interested in it, too (because it’s so important – see Value of Social Media)?  Just today, I shortened my twitter name by a couple of characters to help address this character limitation issue (just for you, my RT friends, keep ’em coming!).

This leads me to think about storytelling and how Steve Denning‘s storytelling books speak both to the power of business narrative (aka stories) and to the discipline in using them effectively.  Different story formats work best for different purposes (The Leaders Guide to Storytelling) … and it takes discipline to craft stories in this way!  Even the most gifted storyteller probably isn’t gifted in all ways of telling stories for a purposeful outcome.

So, as I write this post, initially, it was WELL over 500 words (now just 250) and really included three different topics.  Result of applying this learning?  Break it up into 3 separate posts (set to publish at different times, of course) and help my social media / network friends to absorb these thoughts in smaller, more meaningful chunks.