Google Productivity Pad: November 2013

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks for an Era of Miracles: Thanksgiving Day post

As I reflect on what I am thankful for this year, and particularly in relation to this blog, I can only think that I am grateful to live in an era of miracles. I have often thought that we fail to think many things are miraculous, not because we can explain them, but because we believe that somebody can (click to tweet).
In our currant age of wonders we have become so accustomed to the amazing things around us that we fail to be grateful for them. In fact we, like the Israelites of old, often complain about little things that we perceive wrong with the miracles of today. Food falls out of heaven, or we pull information out of the air, and we complain that the taste is wrong or that the speeds aren't fast enough.
Although I certainly complain about technology problems as much as anyone else, there is a lot of value in taking a moment to think about the incredible world in which we live.
I can learn almost anything I want to know in just moments by using a device I keep in my pocket. I can keep contact with people who live all the way around the world and who I have not seen in years, and yet we are able to share the details of our lives with each other.
The things we are able to do now were once only dreamed of in science fiction stories, these things that were once considered fantasy have been brought into reality by brilliant men and women who have seen beyond limitations. They have allow us to do amazing things, for which I am grateful.
So when your relatives arrive by flying through the air, or you send a pictures of your feast to your friends through iMessage, or you cook said feast without ever lighting fire, just take a moment to be grateful for the Era of Miracles in which we live. Then comment below or tweet me to let us all know what miracles you are grateful for.
And remember, live better.
Just sending a little thanks via the communicator.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How you can become a morning person, Part 3(of3): System for success

Now that we have gone over Part 1 and Part 2 of getting up early we will look at Part 3 which involves the actual act of waking up early.

Third, System for Success
Once you have your belief and your cause it is all a matter of setting yourself up for success. You need to make it easy for yourself to wake up each morning. This means developing a routine that will help you do two things:
  • Get out of bed
  • Get your brain working
Even with a cause worth completing, getting out of bed is often the hardest mountain you have to climb each morning. Getting out of bed litterally goes against the laws of the universe, at least so far as Issac Newton understood them. Consequently, it often requires being acted upon by an outside source, namely the alarm clock.
You are going to defy this guy!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

How you can become a morning person, Part 2(of 3): Cause worth completing

This is the second in a three part series on how you can become a morning person. For review purposes here are the three parts:
1. Belief in the principle
2. Cause worth completing 
3. System for success

Today we will talk about number two, Cause worth Completing

"Two wolves struggle inside me...
Which one wins?
The one I feed"
Native American Folk Tale

Everyday when my alarm goes off I face an internal struggle between my good self and my bad self. The only way to have my good self win is to have something to "feed" it. I need to have a great reason that it can get up and start doing something.

For me, my cause worth completing right now is blogging. I know that when I wake up I will be able to spend my time blogging, accomplishing something that will not get done if I do not wake up. That motivates me.

You have to have a cause, or you will not get out of bed, especially not at first. It will be a fight every moment. Even if you have part one down and you truly believe that being a morning person will be better for you, you still will not do it in the moment unless you have a cause that you care about.

How do you get a cause worth completing? It's something hanging out at the back of your mind or on your someday list that you would really like to get done if only you had the time. It may be something you want to DO, or LEARN, or DEVELOP.

So, right now, this very moment, write down 5 things that you wish you were doing, learning, or developing in life that you are not right now. Now choose one or two of those that you can really commit to. Decide to begin doing that in the morning. Write your answer in the comments below so we can all be inspired by what you are about to do.
Don't forget to check out Part 1 if you haven't yet. Part 3 will be coming soon. I hope you enjoyed this post, and remember, live better

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How you can become a morning person, Part 1(of 3): Belief in the principle

Well since I took the liberty to tell you that you can and should be a morning person, then I told you how I did, I thought it was only right if I told you how you can do it too. I'm going to warn you right now though that it is not fun or comfortable, but the results are worth the effort.

"Can you make yourself do something you don't want to doin order to get a result you really want?" Andy Andrews (paraphrased)

That is really so true of why so many people fail to do the things they really want, because they will not force themselves into uncomfortable positions, such as waking up earlier.
Here are the three things that will make all the difference:

1. Belief in the principle
2. Cause worth completing 
3. System for success

We are going to consider all of them because they are all essential for success in this endeavor you are about to begin. In this post we will consider the first.

First, Belief in the principle
In the film version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep says:

"We have nothing, if not belief"

This is a very true statement, if you do not believe in something that you surely will not make yourself uncomfortable to achieve it. You must believe, in order to achieve, or at least want to believe enough to experiment.
Do you believe that waking up early will help you be more productive?
Probably not, that's why you are not doing it. First you need to believe, I suggest looking to you faith or philosophical tradition if you have one, most contain this principle of early rising. For me this belief is born out of the scripture Doctrine and Covenants 88:124,

"...cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated"

You can likely find similar sentiments in your own tradition.
Belief in a principle we have not yet lived an be aided by seeing its effect in the lives of others. If you begin to study people you admire who achieve great things you will likely find that they wake up early, it is an uncommon trait among the common, but a common trait among the uncommon(click to tweet).

Alright that is it for part 1, the next 2 parts will be up soon. Please tweet me your thoughts or leave them in the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this post, and remember, live better.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

LDS Gospel Library app tips

I heard someone in church recently mention how difficult it was two switch back and forth between the lesson manual and the scriptures in the gospel library app. That is when I realized that everyone might not have the knowledge of how to use the functions of the gospel library app as I do, and I might not know everything that others do,so I figured I would write a post to start a discussion about it.

Opening multiple books at the same time
Remember the old paper days when you had to bring three or four different books to church and have them spread across your lap during the lesson? Fortunately those days are over and it is still easy to have both your scriptures and the lesson manual open at the same time. Simply open up a new window in the app by tapping the window button (red arrow) and then the plus button (orange arrow). Now you have a new window where you can open up the other book. You can easily switch between these windows by tapping the window icon again.

Returning to a recently opened spot using the back arrow
If you don't want to switch back and forth between windows you can easily get back to the last place you were reading by hitting the back arrow button (yellow circle). This works very similar to the back button in a web browser.

Returning to a recently opened spot using the history 
Similar to usin the back arrow you can also get back to any recently opened spot by going to the history. You do this by clicking the clock button on the side (green arrow), you will then see a list of all the document you have recently opened in the app organized by date. You can click on one to return to it.

Using links to easily stay with the lesson
When you are in Sunday School, Priesthood, or Relief Society class you can easily be wherever you need to be reading by using the lesson manual in the app. The lesson will have links to most if not all of the scriptures you will be reading. For example see the Doctrine and Covenants manual below with links (blue arrows). You can then, of course, easily return to the lesson page usin the back arrow as mentioned above.

Sharing a passage
It is easy to share a passage to social media, or via email or the messages app. Simply highlight the passage you wish to share and then hit the share/export button (Purple circle). Then choose the way you want to share it. The nice thing about this is it will automatically take out the footnote letters and create a link back to the page with the scripture for you.

So that is just a few tips for the app. I have others that I will probably share another time. If you have any please share them with everyone using the comments below. I hope you enjoyed this post, and remember, live better.

Friday, November 8, 2013

My problem with iPad cases

Is that I hate them.
And I think they look stupid.
And they are way to expensive.
And they make your beautiful iPad as clunky as a laptop.

These are smart covers, I'm ok with them
it is cases I have an issue with.

Ok, so clearly that is problems not problem, but many cases don't have all these problems, so I did not feel I could very well put problems in the title, although some do have more than one of these problems.

They look stupid
It never ceases to amaze me how case designers can take a product as beautifully designed as the iPad and wrap it in a case that makes it look absolutely aweful. I don't want to offend anyone, but I got an iPad, and I kind of want it to look like an iPad

They are way to expensive
I cannot believe how pricey these things get. Its like because they are making an accessory for a premium product people think they can charge a premium for the accessory. I refuse to pay those kind of prices for something I really just want to forget I even have.

They make your beautiful iPad as clunky as a laptop
Now don't get me wrong, I fully understand why otterbox exists, and I recommend them to people in many circumstances, even my own family members.

Unfortunately this is not one of those posts where I get to give you a solution to life's problems, this is a post in which I hope to glean some help from you.

Here is my criteria for what I need out of a case:
Minimalist -- I shouldn't feel like the case is there, it should not cover up the bezel
Thin -- it needs to add almost no weight to my iPad
Protection -- needs to cover both back and front (when closed)
Stand -- it must allow me to make the iPad stand up for typing
Price -- a case is an accessory I should not feel like I am buying another I pad when I pay for it

So that's all, I don't ask for much, just perfection. So if any of you have any ideas or can point me in a good direction please do by commenting on this post or saying something on twitter to @halduauthor.

Monday, November 4, 2013

5 reasons your email cannot be your todo list

email can easily get out of hand,
because it is controlled by others

I've talked about email productivity before in my post on inbox zero. This particular post is about the very common email productivity  mistake of using your inbox as your todo list. This mistake is, in fact, so common that I find myself doing it every couple days.

You may be having this problem if you:
  • Find yourself continually marking emails as "unread" so you will come back to them
  • You tell people "send me an email" even though you already have all the information so you will remember to do it
  • You send yourself emails to remind you to do things
You are probably saying to yourself, so, what's the problem? If email works as a todo list why shouldn't I use it as one? There are several problems:
  1. Other people have control over it
  2. You didn't write it down
  3. It discourages the "2-minute rule"
  4. You do not get an email about everything you need to do
  5. You can't trust the system