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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

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 2 – Engage Others

October 10, 2011 2 comments

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Step 2 – Engage Others

Now that you have a clear picture of yourself (see Step 1 post), take some time to engage others who know you, such as:  friends, family, co-workers, peers, clients, professional colleagues, fellow volunteers, etc.  Think of ~15-25 people who you can invite to participate in your journey – more is better.  Tell them you are seeking some feedback from people who know you or who you’ve worked with as you do some career and life planning.  Ask for 15 minutes of their time (or take the opportunity for a longer coffee meet-up or lunch, or …).

Questions

  1. How would you describe me and my work?  As if you were recommending me for a job or someone asked you as a reference.  Please be honest with things you think are good or might seem bad.
  2. How does it FEEL to work with me?  They may struggle with this one a little, but allow them time to think and process.  You may need to offer one word that another person used in response to this question to help get them started.

What You Are Doing During the Conversation

Read more…

Start Your Career Transition, Step 1- First Know Thyself

October 3, 2011 2 comments

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I was privileged again recently to speak with someone interested in making a career transition.  She wanted to make sure she didn’t just transition without being thoughtful in how she proceeded.  Frustration and longing for something different can actually get in the way of thinking about how to tactically move forward.  This series offers several steps to help you get moving forward in a purposeful way.

Step 1 – First Know Thyself

Use several different sources to get a crisp picture of who you are – to take a long, slow, inquisitive look into a looking-glass to discover and learn about how you are uniquely designed:

  • What you are great at doing
  • What you love to do
  • What you are passionate about / what gets you jazzed-up and excited
  • What you want in life
  • In what way / environment you do your best work
  • How you communicate and relate with others
  • What is most important to you

Do some assessments and use other resources to better understand yourself.  If you have access to these types of tools at work, say YES!  If not, there are some great reasonably priced resources (several provided below).  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…