Picking apples on a fine day...
It's been high time for me to look at some new stuff at the App Store. If you read here regularly you know I'm all for finding technology that makes life smoother, more efficient, and I happen to think...more fun. Here are a few recent finds, completely unrelated to each other, that I think stand out:
Unstuck - http://www.unstuck.com/, free for iPad. Do you ever get "stuck" on a particular problem or issue, personal or professional? Unstuck takes you through a set of questions to pinpoint the characteristics of your "stuck" moment, then makes targeted suggestions about how to trouble-shoot and move through the problem. Kind of like a high-tech Magic 8 Ball with more bells and whistles, it's also a website and free newsletter. I wish I had had a resource like this during my various career changes. I might have had more tools to work through things like... "I have no rising 8th grade tuba players - what will I do?", or "Which daycare? College prep, Montessori, or nice lady who runs it out of her home?" While it's a little bizarre to think that an app can help you solve major life issues, I think it's very effective as a starting point (particularly if you are not ready to share your stuck moment with the outside world). The only downside - at this point the app is only for iPad.
CamCard - https://www.camcard.com/. Works for iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Mac and Windows 8, and syncs across devices. Free and "pro" versions. Every office I go into seems to have an endless dumping ground of business cards tucked into a drawer or shoebox or, often, just piled up on the desk. It's time consuming to get everything typed into your contacts, and pawing through a shoebox is frustrating and inefficient. With CamCard you simply take a picture of any business card with your smart phone. It will automatically scan, crop and straighten the photo, and get the information about 75% of the way into your contacts. I say 75%, because if it's a card with a lot of graphics or unusual fonts it will miss some of the fields, but it's still so much better than trying to enter everything in from scratch. Most of the time I just end up viewing the actual card photo anyway. You can create groups for sets of cards to keep the categories straight, for instance, "Home Improvement", "Networking", or "School." You can call, text or email directly from the app, and even request to connect via LinkedIn. If you find that you're just not using a particular contact it can easily be deleted. So, are some of you out there still clinging to your Rolodexes?
Foresee - http://foreseetheday.com/. iPhone and iPad, $1.99. Billing itself as "Your personal Activity Forecast", Foresee allows you to check out weather conditions for most any activity you'd like to plan. I'm a serious planner, so anything that gives me a leg up on the future is perfect for my world. What's the difference between using this app and just checking the weather? Well, what if you actually love walking in light rain? Or wind? Each activity you choose allows you to create personalized settings for things like the time, temperature, precipitation, humidity, and even UV Index. The activities are pre-set and include everything from skiing and biking, to mowing the lawn and planting flowers. I especially got a kick out of "picking apples" (what is the perfect UV Index for picking apples?). It would be nice to be able to create an activity (attending outdoor concerts or frisbee golf are choices I would appreciate), but perhaps that feature is coming. If you want to get a group of friends to join you in your outdoor endeavors, you can tweet your conditions or post them to Facebook ("Weather at 8am on Friday looks good for Walk the Dog! via @foreseetheday "). All in all, a pretty neat tool.
I'm always looking for new things to try, so if you have a favorite app or tech tool you'd like for me to check out put it in the comments. Here's to all things smooth, efficient, and fun!
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, and serial list-maker. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?