|Earliest: July 14, 2003||Latest: April 7, 2020||Total: 44|
Focus on Productivity
The CoronaVirus has caused a lot of people to work from home to be safe and flatten the curve. They are now working with their families. The whole, "Working from Home" is a bit more complicated now.
It's hard to stay focus while there are so many distractions. In addition, you can't just escape to the local coffee shop to "getaway."
Bryann Andrea has the right idea:
?This is a pandemic. Not a productivity contest.?— Bryann AndreŠ (@BryannAndrea) April 5, 2020
Tips and Tricks
Here are four ways to help focus on your productivity.
- Try Meditation by using software like Headspace to help feel less stress, focus more and sleep better. All keys to getting more done.
- Instead of watching the News or silly videos on Facebook, invest in a Productive course, such as this one on Udemy: Become a SpeedDemon: Productivity Tricks to Have More Time. You'll learn practical strategies on doing more with less time.
- Learn the Wacky To-Do List and if a simple change in your routine can help get more done: My Wacky To-Do List System That Has Helped 1,000+ People.
- Drink More Water. This blog post talks about what a simple glass of water does to your body: How drinking water increases your concentration.
Success Principles Survey Results
Kim over at Self Development Secrets did it again, she put together a results of a survey of Success Principles. A few weeks ago they sent a survey to a bunch of Bloggers and Successful Entrepreneurs.
The information gather is truly valuable, its a collection of advice on how to be successful. Everything from the "Best Way to Learn" to the "Most Important Trait" to be successful. There's a great infographic to understand the path to success.
The results of the survey conclude with great advice from all the participants. Each contributor was asked to submit something piece of advice that has motivated them.
List of the Best Self-Help Books
What would happen if you ask 200+ productivity bloggers what their favorite self-book book is? How many different responses would you get?
The people over at selfdevelopmentsecrets.com took a survey of various Productivity Bloggers and asked them which Success book influenced their life. Check out the survey results and then check out the bloggers who responded with books that have influenced you.
The selfdevelopmentsecrets.com has a lot of other survey results. It's a good site to learn about the best books to read in the vast world of business books.
What's nice is that it's an unbias view of books and authors which adds to the credibility of the information.
There are lots of various web forums and blogs online. There's just about one for every nitch group. The problem is dealing with all the various profiles that need to be setup.
For users, they don't want to have to change their profile image on every site that they visit, and for webmasters, the last thing they want to do is build a user interface for avatars.
Gravatar Solves the Problem
Gravatar makes part of the process simple by having a universal Avatar. When you put in your email address in comment field, the website will display data you entered from the Gravatar server.
Here's a brief description from their website:
Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?
Millions of avatar images are being served over 8.6 billion times per day.
It's worth a few minutes of your time setting up your Gravatar. This way you'll have it all ready to go when you need it. It doesn't cost anything to setup or to use. It will make your comments stand out on various internet blogs.
I recently integrated Gravatar to the comment section on this blog. Here are some notes on the whole process.
- It doesn't cost anything to make calls to the Gravatar server.
- It was quick to set up. I spent a few minutes reading through the Developer instructions on their site. Took about 20 minutes total
- Basically you convert the email address to a md5 Hash and then append it to a specific URL.
- Once you have it set up, you can decide what data to pull from the Gravatar server.
- It takes some tweaking the HTML and CSS to format the image. Tip: Make sure have some fail-over plan should the image not return in time.
- Using Gravatar is so much better than having to build some fancy profile page.
Browser Bookmark Bar Icons
Does your Internet Bookmark Bar look like this:
Did you know that you could make it less cluttered by just showing the website icons? How about transforming it to this:
This is very easy to do and to me seems very practical. Having a small bookmark bar can make it a lot less distraction. Chances are you know the sites that the above icons go to.
- Simply right click on any icon in the Bookmark Bar and select "Edit' from the menu.
- Remove the text in the Name Field.
- Click Save
- Simply right click on any icon in the Bookmark Bar and select "Properties' from the menu.
- Remove the text in the Name Field.
- Click Save
This won't work in Apple's Safari as Apple doesn't show the Favicon in the book
At the End of the Day...
This is a good way to have more websites visible in the bookmark bar. I have learned that while it make take time to familiarize yourself with the various icons, it does make the bookmark bar look cleaner.
AnyList (iOS App)
The best way to describe AnyList is: "AnyList is the best way to create and share a grocery shopping list.?
AnyList makes it easy to create a list and share it. This makes it easy for couples to add to the weekly shopping list at any time.
Out of Trash Bags? - Add it to the list. Need more Dryer Sheets - Add it to the list.
You can add pictures and additional description to your shopping item. This way there?s no question about the type of item that you need at the store.
The nice thing about grocery shopping is that the App is smart enough to group similar things. So all your Produce items are together regardless of when you entered it on the list.
This is a real time saver over traditional paper lists where people jot things down. That use to make shopping way more complicated than it should be.
Multiple Shopping Lists
The neat thing about AnyList is that you can create multiple lists. Here's some example of lists types that I created in the past.
Christmas Shopping - What do you get that perfect someone? You can put ideas down so you know what to look for at the mall. Very useful for the last minute shopper. Very useful to start early and add things as you encounter clues that it would make a perfect gift.
Pool Supplies - Create a list of things to get at the local pool shop. You may not need an extra wire clamp right now, but it will be handy to have on the next trip.
Vacation Packing - Make a list of things to bring. You can easily sort things by what suitcase they should go in. Useful when you're running around doing last minute prep work. You don't want to forget that extra charger.
Vacation Shopping - Heading to Disney World? Need to buy shirts and souvenirs? Jot down what you need. You can reference the list while you're waiting in line to remember what you need to buy.
Note to Each Other - Great for couples who are trying to figure out all the things that need to get done this weekend. Great communication tool.
Letter Game - When my daughter was in preschool they has letter of the week. During the day we would jot down creative words around that letter.
Organizing Tasks - Running a school auction? Dance Night? 5k? Use AnyList to track down things that need to get done on the day of the event.
Remember that with AnyList you can share the list so others can add or remove things as needed.
Anylist is a great application to use anytime you need a list. It does take a few minutes to understand the fundamentals. You'll be up and running in no time.
Anylist also has recipes and meal planning. We haven't gotten to use those. I am sure that they are excellent functionality but we usually just plan for the week and make game day decisions.
Tagging in Google Photos
Google Photos is a great way to store photos. Google uses their search technology to help you find photos.
Finding By Date
The search query to find a photo by a certain day is YYYY-MM-DD (Standard date and time notation). Google Photos should support the MMMM/DD/YYYY format. As not everyone uses the standard date format.
Finding by Content
Looking for Photos taken at Sunset? Simply search for the object you're looking for in the pictures.
Some Creative Examples:
- White Wall
- Beach in November
- Castle in Orlando
- Boston Monuments
- Swimming Pool
- Fire in the Fireplace
- Train Tracks in the Winter
There's no way to tag certain photos. Google officially doesn't support this feature.
There's no way to tag a photo of significance, for example, if you want to use a particular photo for a future blog post. Perhaps the photo is something that you want to find again but want to scroll through similar looking photos.
Easy Work Around
A simple workaround is to put a similar text in the image description field. This field is visible when you click on an image. You can come up with a creative hash tag. Then when you want to find the photos you simply search for the hashtag.
Example Hash Tags
- #awesome - great photos
- #blogit - photos that you may want to blog
- #winter - good winter pictures
- #2017 - best photos of the year
You can put multiple hashtags in the description field. In addition, you may want to make a quick note on the photo so that you'll later remember why you tagged it.
The only problem with doing this is remembering the hashtag text that you used. This is why using simple hashtags is a good idea.
You could always keep a running list in an Evernote or Google Doc.
Experiment with this and see if it helps you be more productive using Google Photos.
Do the Little Hole Drill
This week while golfing at Ocean Edge, I noticed a little sign at the putting green near some very small golf holes. Apparently, this is a special training area to help improve your golf game.
Do the Little Hole Drill
Exactly and Completely
Start from 1 foot and make two putts in a row at each position of 1ft, 2ft, 3ft, 4ft, and 5ft. Do not move back to the next position until (2) putts in a row have gone in the little hole.
Repeat this process at the regulation hole.
The holes were about 90% smaller than a standard golf hole. I don't know if this actually works, but it seems like a good practice to help you control your putts.
Post simultaneously to Facebook and Twitter.
Did you know that you can setup your Twitter Post to also post to Facebook? This is handy when you want to just post once and have it appear on both social networks.
Go to your Twitter account's settings, then the Profile tab (or go to the Twitter app on Facebook). There's a large "Connect to Facebook" button right at the top. Click it and everything you tweet will also go on your Facebook timeline and the News Feeds of all your friends.
It's quick and Easy to integrate the two social media services.
Your @Replies and direct messages will not be posted to Facebook.
The fastest way to create basic Social Media graphics is using Canva. The interface and design templates make it super easy to promote anything on any of the popular social media channels.
Canva is Productivity
The faster you get something done, the faster you can move on to the next task. Isn't that the definition of Productivity?
Canva is Fast and Easy
The thing that makes Canva great is that there isn't much thinking of getting the work done. In addition, the vast selection of template designs can help inspire you to create an awesome post. There's also a customer sharing section where people can show off their designs.
Basic Canvas use is Free, there are some images that you have to pay for. You don't have all the power as a full image editor, but for most projects, it should be enough to get you up and running.
Yes you can upload files to Canva, you're not limited to their library.
Promote Your Blog Posts
With Canva you can spend more time writing blog posts and less time promoting. Simply upload your image and then do some basic cleaning.
Sample Designs Created in Canva
SuperBowl Field Sign
I think it's worth checking out Canva and spending a few minutes playing around. It's not for every project, but if you need a quick graphic to highlight a point, you can't go wrong with creating it in Canva.
Once you start creating designs in Canva, you'll want to place the bookmark in your bookmark bar.