Things I Can’t Live Without: Apps Gone Free

Confessions of an App Hoarder

I like free stuff. Especially free apps. After not getting my fix from lifehacker.com’s Deal Hacker posts I searched for an app that would send me daily updates of apps that go free temporarily. This is when I discovered Apps Gone Free. Although this is a great app, it has caused me to go waaaay overboard on the app downloads. I’ve downloaded anything and everything from apps to practice stock trading, to guitar apps, to a gazillion productivity apps. I admit I download a lot of apps I may not currently need but I don’t feel too bad. A trick I learned a long time ago is that even if you may not find an app useful or functioning at the level of your liking download it anyway. If the developers eventually charge for newer versions, you won’t have to pay since you downloaded the app previously (unless they’re jerks and release it as a completely new app). Continue reading

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Things I Can’t Live Without: Pocket

View From Any Device
Image from getpocket.com

I first discovered Pocket as an iPhone/iPad app for saving content from around the web. Since then it has expanded to including a Google Chrome extension and web version (they may have had the web version all along). I use Pocket to save articles, website, videos, and other various links that I need to get back to, read later, or share with someone else.

The unfortunate thing about me and storage is my tendency to abuse it. I’ll be flipping through Flipboard (the app I use to read blogs) and with one tap I’ll save it to Pocket to “read later.” Instead of going back soon after to read what I saved, I’ve slowly amassed quite a collection of web content from all over. Luckily, Pocket allows you to tag and organize everything. I use tags to specify the source of content as well as to specify topic.

Pocket 5.0, released in November includes a Highlights section that’s divided into Quick Reads, Long Reads, Trending content, and Best of content that can help you pick something to read, quickly. 5.0 is also supposed to be more intuitive, but clearly I haven’t been utilizing it enough to make use of that feature.

The best part is that it syncs your content across devices and the interface is bright, clean, and easy to navigate.

If you don’t use it already, head over to getpocket.com and let it change your life.

Note to self: Make a post about Flipboard.

Pharrell Williams Covers Fast Company Magazine

Everything happens for a reason. Right? Well I ended up in an auto repair shop on December 12th for about 45 minutes but didn’t even get my truck serviced. Fortunately, as I sat down in the waiting area, I saw Pharrell Williams’ face on a magazine and picked it up. The feature article was titled “GET BUSY: PHARRELL’S PRODUCTIVITY SECRETS.” My heart almost jumped out of my chest! Pharrell and productivity tips?!

This article, in the December 2013 issue of Fast Company, begins by listing all of Pharrell’s current and past contributions to fashion, music, philanthropy, and everything in between. I really didn’t realize how much he does – and how well he does it all. The fact that most of what he does goes under the radar was a point made in the article, too: He’s extremely humble. He surrounds himself with people who are experienced and skilled in various areas on purpose. Most of them are women, too. As a leader, he’s aware of his shortcomings yet, he seeks to be as knowledgeable as possible or at least knowledgeable enough to articulate his creative visions before he sends his team off to make it all happen. Pharrell is also very passionate about keeping creativity untarnished from the business and in all of what he does, placing the artist and/or creative vision first is of utmost importance. I dig that.

I learned that Pharrell is a shower thinker and because of this he is often late, as he hates to cut short a good, steamy brainstorming session. The biggest thing I learned from this article is the importance of capturing each idea as it happens and refraining from hastily judging or correcting it. Just let it flow out as it comes and worry about changing it later. I have a problem with bogging myself down with immediate editing and correcting to the point where I get frustrated with the original idea and leave it alone because I can’t make it right at the moment. This concept was also the focus of the chapter “Shitty First Drafts” in Bird by Bird, a book by Anne Lamott that I’m currently reading. (I’ve realized that when I encounter the same lesson or concept through various mediums within a small time frame, I must be meant to learn whatever the lesson is. Message received.)

Aside from this being a really good article – did I mention the dreamy photos of Pharrell? – Fast Company is a magazine and website that is right up my alley. Their focus is on “innovation in technology, ethonomics (ethical economics), leadership, and design. Written for, by, and about the most progressive business leaders, Fast Company and FastCompany.com inspire readers and users to think beyond traditional boundaries, lead conversations, and create the future of business.” (from the About Us section of their website). This article is a part of their Work Smart series which also features productivity tips from political figures, entertainers, techie entrepreneurs, business people and more more. Expect to see a lot of content here from there and definitely go check them out yourself.

Merry (belated) Christmas!

Between getting my wisdom teeth pulled last week (ugh) and being almost completely free of any responsibility, there hasn’t been much to blog about…Ok maybe that’s a half truth.

I actually have a few posts lined up that I need to beef up and smooth out. Those will be out soon; I promise. I’ve read that lots of serious bloggers plan and schedule out their posts ahead of time so maybe that’s what I was unconsciously doing. I just have to get better at following through.

Anybody have any hacks to help with being thorough? All of the ones I’ve tried have yet to help, clearly.

theSkimm

It seems like I don’t know much about what’s going on in the world now that I’ve scaled back on my twitter usage. Sad, right? Full disclosure: I didn’t find out Nelson Mandela died until hours later when a friend posted a message in GroupMe. When it comes to news, if it doesn’t come across my phone, TV, or computer screen, I probably won’t know about it. When I do seek out news, I prefer to find an online article from a reliable news source but even then it’s frustrating to sort through pages of buzzwords and jargon that I don’t entirely understand or I’m confused because I don’t know much background information about the issue. Why can’t I just find a short and sweet summary of the top news stories from the U.S. and the world?

*Enter theSkimm* a daily newsletter sent to my inbox with a summary of all the major news headlines and links to take me to the articles. I previewed today’s edition and I already feel all smart and grown up-y!

Now I just have to actually read it everyday instead of letting it just clutter up my email inbox.

Striving to Do

So there’s a continuous brainstorm going on in the back of my mind right now. It’s been going on ever since I decided to start this blog. The storm arises from me trying to figure out the style in which I’ll write on this blog. Something that may seem simple to you but to me, it’s very important – or at least I subconsciously find it amusing to stress myself out imagining it is.

I’m very much a conversational writer. I really don’t do much formatting or follow many rules. I guess I just try not to flagrantly commit too many grammatical sins. However, I also want to use this blog as a vehicle to experiment with different styles of writing and to perfect improve the way in which I craft together my thoughts and feelings. I even want to try to *gasp* research and cite correctly. Not that I’ll do it all of the time but just to get comfortable with it and because these are tools that are handy to have. And I also feel the need to eff them up so many times that eventually one day I’ll have no choice but to get it right.

I don’t want to stress myself out by promising consistency; that would make me stop blogging before I even start. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself so far is that too many stipulations around something I enjoy doing will make me run for the hills and I don’t want to do that with this. All I can promise is that I’ll be inconsistent. I’ll be messy. I’ll be incorrect. I’ll be vague. I’ll be too wordy. I’ll basically be all over the place but I’m not striving to do anything perfectly; I’m just striving to do – which will hopefully, even with its shortcomings, still be worthy of reading.

I guess this is also good time to talk about the title of this blog. I am aware that, at first, it may appear that this could be a blog about me being incarcerated, “doing life,” but I like the title. I think the content will speak for itself. I also figure I’ll add some kind of quirky, sarcastic tagline to shortly and sweetly describe the blog and eliminate any confusion. Also, over Christmas break I’ll be working on overhauling the design of the blog. It’s way too blah for me right now.

I already have some posts drafted. I’m excited and ready to hit the ground running. I have so much stuff saved in my Pocket that I want to read and share! That reminds me: I need to write a post about Pocket…

I think this is the start of something amazingly awesome.

First Post!

Hi, I’m Dori. I’m a quarter-centenarian and a serial blogger. (This is seriously like my 5th Blogger blog!). This blog is for me, as all of my blogs have been. I’m somewhat obsessed with capturing and cataloging my life as it happens (this obsession is also fueled by my bad memory, but that’s another story). I’m currently at the age where the world is should be my oyster but I’m not quite sure of how to tap into all of the endless possibilities that are out there.

I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none though I like to think I’m better than most at many. I’m a renaissance woman with a thirst for knowledge but lacking the attention span and willpower to take life by the horns and begin to steer it towards my dreams. A big reason for this is because I’m not sure what my dreams look like. I’m not sure what my purpose is. I’m not exactly sure what my calling is nor what my life will look like in the next 5 to 10 years.

Instead of preoccupying myself with trying to set in stone what I want to do with my life I’ve decided to do life the best way I know how. I’ve accepted that this will involve a lot of mistakes, a lot of learned lessons, a lot of frustration, a lot of feelings of being lost and hopeless. You’ll see some of that here. You’ll also see a lot of excitement, inspiration, motivation, great ideas, not-so-great ideas, articles, tips and tricks, links, videos and whatever else I feel or find that I am in some way inspired or enlightened by.

I think of myself going through life with a BIG toolbox (I love metaphors, by the way). Everyday I face challenges and find resources that will supply me with “tools” to add to my big toolbox. Not really sure what I’ll be building with these tools but whenever that day comes, I’ll be prepared. I also feel that this toolbox is filled with tools that can be shared. The more I use them, the better I can help others use or improve them. Even the tools that don’t really work for me can be shared with others, to put in their own toolboxes and used to build whatever the heck they’re trying to build.

I’m interested in reading about entrepreneurship, leadership, productivity, life hacks, creative and innovative thinking, psychology and anything to do with utilizing technology to make life easier and more efficient. I’m also an aspiring writer/copywriter, entrepreneur, mental health counselor, and an avid crafter, music enthusiast, and general information sponge.

Hopefully, this has been a sufficient intro to this blog. If it hasn’t, just stay tuned and see what I post. My hopes are that you’ll be able to find something to inspire you, to add to your tool box, and to help you do life.