My favourite and most recommended books
I love books. I read every day. I could make a l-o-o-o-o-n-g list of recommended books here but I’ve already done it in my reviews on Goodreads. You are welcome to go there and look at it and even review one of my books for me. I’d love that.
My favourite productivity tools
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For me this is the best tool for storage and backing up. I have a number of 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB storage devices as well which I use for easy access to large movie files when I am producing video. However for sharing with others, family or project collaborators, DropBox is economical and a great deal. It backs up everything I’m doing on the computer automatically as I work. The other good thing is that I can create special folders and give certain other people access to that folder and that folder alone. They can’t access the rest of my Dropbox folders. Dropbox Basic accounts start with 2 GB of free space. You can earn more free space in a variety of ways. For example, by referring your friends to Dropbox, you can earn up to 16 GB of additional space. Join by clicking this link
I’ve loved Filemaker Pro for about 25 years. I still love it. (See below). However, time moves on and when I discovered Evernote it was love at first sight. Why?
- I type my blogs in it.
- I keep notes in it.
- I drop photos of newspaper and magazine clippings in it.
- I scribble in it.
- I highlight text in it.
- It searches for text in pdfs and images so when I want to write or comment about something I don’t even have to remember the name of the file, the clipping or the photo.
- If I’m writing about Fathers Day, I just type ‘father’ in the search bar and up come all the entries with the word ‘father’ in them, whether typed, scanned or photographed.
You also earn a few points from referring it like I am doing now. Check it out.
This is the Rolls Royce of video editing software. I’ve loved what could be done with it since I bought my kids an education copy of version III. They learned it over night and produced a brilliant resume of our two month world trip. The program has grown immensely since then. It’s excellent for making perfect video, whether for fun in the family or for making a professional training video, promotional video or a real proper movie. I use it to make all my training videos. Get it at www.Apple.com or use this link to see all the features. It looks sophisticated but if you want a quality result, this is the tool.
This is how I keep track of time I spend on a job. If it’s for a client, I can print out the list of all actual tasks I performed and send the client a complete and verified copy of the expenses and time. The website says this: TIME AND EXPENSE TRACKING DONE RIGHT. Thousands of users. Millions of hours and dollars tracked. For $5 a month I reckon it’s gold.
I’ve used Filemaker Pro for 25 years. I created massive databases of names, jokes, scripts, talks, clippings by the thousands. I still love it. I keep no paper in my office at all. Everything is digitised and stored in Filemaker – testimonials, keepsakes, letters, brochures, tickets, notes I might have taken on paper, essays … the list is endless. I have stored records of letters and phone calls from 1991 and emails since 1996. People call me and during the conversation I can look them up and say, ‘The last time we corresponded was when you thanked me for the book in November 18 2012. We also talked about your new grandson. How is Hamish anyway?’ They think I am a memory genius but I tell them I a fastidious record keeper. And it’s easy. I even created a breeding and stock register for my canary collection, an asset register with photos of things I own in case of fire or theft, a pack of affirmations and goals. It’s marvellous. The good thing about it is that I own the copy and once backed up in four places, it is not subject to something like Dropbox or Evernote going ‘toes up’ and my losing everything. Incidental upgrades are free and I take about every third paid-for upgrade. See more.
I bumped into Canva when I wanted to come up with good images for my wife’s blog. I wanted to make every image to conform to a uniform size. I was used to making images in Keynote and Photoshop but I found Canva made the whole thing easier because it comes equipped with its own images (only $1 each) as well as backgrounds, titles, fonts and novel layouts. I set the size and either drop in my own images or use one of Canva’s. Snap, click and upload. All simple.
I’ve been looking for a ToDo list app that suits me ever since the smart phone came out. Wunderlist is my preferred alternative to Nozbe. I tried Nozbe but with the $US:$AUD exchange rate I didn’t think the expense was worth it for the small benefit it had over Wunderlist. When I found Wunderlist I was hooked. To start with it’s free. It syncs instantly across my MAC, iPhone and iPad AND the web and gives me not only a list of major jobs I’ve scheduled for each day, but it allows me to write notes about the task at hand. Sure Nozbe syncs with Evernote, but a copy and paste out of Wunderlist does the same thing. Start here.
Right on top of getting Wunderlist I got hold of Daily Deeds to remind me of the most important things I need to do every day as a routine to achieve my goal. Since about 1983 I used a pencil and paper note-book or day planner thing but it fell over ALL the time. I mean to say that one day missed from my regular routine because of travel or an ad hoc meeting means my daily tasks go down the drain. Before I know it I’ve drifted into doing what comes along instead of doing what I planned at the beginning of the year. I watch the ticks in the circles and for the first time in my life actually keep count of deeds done and see they are getting me closer to the big goals. Get it in the App Store.
iPhone productivity apps I enjoy
These are all available in whichever app store is appropriate for your brand of smartphone
I have acquired several hundred dollars’ worth of apps for free by subscribing to App of the Day. I ignore nine out of ten apps on offer, as you will, but I’ve picked up some doozies, some worth $20 or $30, and many worth only $2.99, but they add up!
Audio Note is improving all the time and I find it very useful for recording a conference speech, lecture, sermon, tutorial or conversation where you can take notes that sync with the time stamp in the recording.
Until the smart phone or tablet you use comes with a built in WIFI air printer app you can use Printer Pro to print from your hand-held device.
I use Time Keeper for Presenter as a timer when shooting video. It’s nice and large, and sitting on the tablet near the camera, it gives a clear image. It’s also handy when you need to give a meeting speaker a running time and a countdown.
There are many electronic ‘slates’ or ‘clapper boards’ for marking takes when shooting film or video but after trialling about ten, including a home-drawn one, DigiSlate is the perfect tool for shooting on the go.
A couple of personal health tools I use
MyFitnessPal growls at you when you eat more than your calorific intake and tells you off for eating too much less. It chastises you for not filling in your weight and food intake and congratulates you for making your entries every day. It helped me lose 10K in 2015 and is monitoring my progress for another 15K in 2016. Also coordinates with the MAC/PC. Get it at www.myfitnesspal.com
My brother had a heat-related diabetes-related ‘turn’ on the tennis court a long way out from an ambulance or hospital. I was able to monitor his heart rate with Heat Rate Monitor while all the women and girl rellies fussed over him with icepacks, wet towels and cool water. He loved it. We watched while his pulse dropped from 180BPM to 80BMP and we were able to talk him through it all calmly. Apart from that, on a regular basis I can see how my own resting pulse rate is going and watch that I don’t over-do things on the morning speedbike. (Small chance!) Get it here.