Displaying All Posts from February, 2011

Review: GTD Agenda – Versatile Productivity Software

Review: GTD Agenda – Versatile Productivity Software

It seems like every day there’s a new task management app for a new productivity system. GTD Agenda breaks out of that mold by making a task management app that can be used for multiple productivity methods.

In fact, my absolute favorite thing about GTD Agenda is that in addition to the standard tour and features page, they have pages dedicated to how you can use GTDAgenda for different productivity systems (GTD, The 7 Habits and Highly Effective People, and Zen to Done) and different activities (the gym, school, and software development).

GTDAgenda allows you to easily break up your work across Goals, Projects, and Tasks. In addition, you add Contexts to your Tasks and label tasks as Next Options. There’s also checklists, schedules, and a calendar.

Dashboard

The Dashboard isn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s comprehensive. First and foremost, when you login, you see your Next Actions and have the option of grouping them by Priority, Project or Context. On the right-hand side, you have your Calendar. Then underneath your Calendar, you have a box of your Contexts. Underneath that, your Projects.

This setup makes it super-easy for you to have an idea of what’s due when, what to do next, and enables you to quickly pick a task to work on.

Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

gtdagenda review, gtdagenda, gtd agenda, gtdagenda reviews, GTD Software reviews, gtd software, gtd software review, gtd agenda review, agenda gtd, b-folders review

Share Post

5 Ways to Win Back an Unhappy Employee

There will come a time in every manager’s career where he is forced to deal with employee dissatisfaction.  While this is never something a manager wants to deal with, some simple practices can make the incident easier to deal with. As a result, the manager will be less tense and the company might not lose what is otherwise a productive employee. Do not stress; just take advantage of a few employee retention ideas to get your employee back to a place where the two of you are happy working together.

1. Take time to personally talk with the employee.

The first thing to do is to take some time to talk to the employee one on one. This should be done in your office towards the end of the day.  It will provide you with an opportunity to discuss the problems at hand without leaving the rest of the day to chance. That way the disgruntled employee can go home and think about the conversation without being caught up in a lot of water cooler gossip. You will also have the opportunity to get your questions answered.

If another employee’s name is brought up, you may need to set up a time when the three of you can get together and talk. Of course, you should let all parties involved know of the date and time ahead of schedule. That way everyone has an opportunity to organize his or her thoughts beforehand. At the end of the meeting, you should see if anything can be done immediately in order to alleviate any tension that exists.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

employee retention ideas, employee dissatisfaction, staff retention ideas, ideas for employee retention, retention ideas, retention ideas for employees, employee retention activities, Inexpensive Employee Retention Ideas, head in hand, dealing with unhappy employees

Awesome Links #37: AppCleaner, Money or Life, Recipe Search

How to Completely Uninstall Programs on Mac with AppCleaner
It is important to “cleanly” uninstall applications whenever they are uninstalled, be it on a Windows or Mac machine. That’s because the files left over from the programs take up system space, could interfere with other programs and — consequently — hamper your productivity. This post on Guiding Tech talks about how to cleanly uninstall software on a Mac using nifty software called AppCleaner.

Your Money or Your Life
This post over at the Productivity 501 blog by Mark Shead talks about how he gave up a plush job and sacrificed higher paychecks for a life of satisfaction and happiness. I think a lot of us could take a lesson from this post, and probably change our lives for the good.

10 Tools for Training Your New Virtual Worker
It is said that delegating tasks to a virtual worker can significantly boost one’s productivity, especially if she deals with too many things in a single day. That’s a great concept — but training that worker isn’t always a pleasant exercise. This post on the Web Worker Daily blog offers 10 tools to help you train your virtual worker efficiently and effectively.
Click Here to Read Article …

WorkAwesome Podcast: Episode 13 – Gina Trapani

gina.trapani

WorkAwesome editor Mike Vardy had the pleasure to interview Lifehacker founding editor and highly-regarded developer Gina Trapani on this week’s episode of the podcast. Gina’s got a ton of projects on the go on the web, all of which are awesome in scope and in nature. She’s regarded as one of the top productivity experts on the web today (one could go as for to say that her reach expands well beyond the Internet realm as well), and it was truly a privilege to have her on as a guest.

Show Notes

  • Gina discusses the reason behind starting started Lifehacker and the reason for eventually leaving the site.
  • Why Gina believes that productivity has had (and still does have) such an appeal to so many on the Internet.
  • Todo.txt app, Gina’s self-developed task list application, is discussed.
  • Gina gives a rundown of her daily workflow, including IRC, email and other tools she uses.
  • What is ThinkUp? Gina spills the beans.
  • Mike and Gina offer a requiem for the late, lamented Google Wave.
  • The status of Gina’s standing desk experiment.
  • Apparently, Gina occasionally dances while she works. So what’s on her playlist?
  • Gina digs Gmail…she explains her reasons, what aspects of Gmail’s features she uses and some of the other apps she has to keep tabs on things.

Click Here to Read Article …

The On/Off Principle

If you’re the kind of person who thinks outside the box when it comes to work (as most WorkAwesome readers are), then you probably know all sorts of tricks and techniques for getting the most out of the working day. Whatever your “top tips” for time management are, there’s one element which underpins them all; one fundamental ingredient which determines whether you stick to a program of time management or slip back into chaos or procrastination.

Working State

If you’ve ever read a list of tips or even a detailed manifesto like David Allen’s GTD system, you were probably sold on the principles instantly. You’d spent a couple of afternoons being productive, but then promptly fell off the wagon and straight under the crushing wheels of habitual routine.

What matters most isn’t so much your system, but rather your state of mind. You might have had days when work just happened effortlessly — like an athlete in the zone — when everything just seemed to come together. Unfortunately, if left to chance, this doesn’t happen so often.

The key to any program of self-management, self- motivation, self-improvement — call it what you will — is to take responsibility for your own brain first.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

on and off

How to Network Like a Law Student

school

Law students have their work cut out for them. The economy doesn’t have jobs for them, the public refers to them as “ambulance chasers” (at least the personal injury ones) and law school only teaches them theoretical topics that will be useless to the firms hiring them.

You’re pretty much useless straight out of law school, since the firm that hires you (if you’re lucky) will spend most of its time training you to do the tasks that they need you for. And that’s just if you’re in the top percentile of your class. If you’re an extraordinary extra-curricular law student that is involved in every aspect of the social scene but do not have straight A’s…well, you’re pretty much passed over in the job hunt.

So what’s someone going to do to make some contacts?

Network. Network like crazy. Because people like friendly, out-going people that are easy to communicate with.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

networking for law students, how to network in law school, law student networking, how to network law student, how to network as a student, how to network law, how to network as a law student, how to network in law, law students network, networking in law school

5 Smart iOS Apps to Revolutionize Your Workflow

Most people have a schedule or timetable to be able to plan out their days. But if you have one for work, this’ll probably be the most hectic. Luckily, there’s a wealth of ways to help you manage your schedule and a lot of those solutions are available on shiny Apple devices. After paying $500 or more, surely an extra few to save you countless hours is worth it, right? Being able to have a clear view of what’s ahead will help to increase your productivity by reducing the time you need to work out what to do. Then you can just get started on what’s important: the work. A lot of my free time is spent writing for various causes. The biggest, coincidentally, are for the various Envato sites that I contribute to. Even since getting my iPad early last year, I’ve been trying to find a viable timetabling app that’s oriented around tasks rather than events. Here’s my roundup of the five apps that I’ve found to be the best.

1. Sorted

Sorted is a fairly simple, yet ingenious app for the iPad that serves as a checklist. You can add tasks to it with all only a title required. You can leave it at that or you can add notes, set priorities and schedule reminders. The highlight of this specific app is the role that priorities serve. You can create levels of priority in the settings (from a bank of many colours) and use these to easily identify the most — or least — important tasks. Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

workflow app, filofax app, workflow apps, ipad filofax app, iOS workflow, ipad workflow app, filofax app for iphone, app workflow, work flow app, best workflow apps

6 Ways to Rise Above Workplace Politics (and Emerge Unscathed)

Unless you have always worked by yourself, you are likely to have come across office politics in one form or another. When you think about it, it is just another way of describing human relationships. It’s not surprising that workplaces usually have some type of politics — especially when the nature of many jobs means you don’t get to choose who you work with. So how do you rise above workplace politics and yet still save face?

From observing my own and other people’s behaviour, I have noticed that it is possible to navigate workplace politics and come out smiling. It is not always easy, and it takes practice but there are mindsets and behaviours that make it easier to do.

1. Treat Others As You Want To Be Treated

Gossiping is the fuel for workplace politics. Gossiping means that things are not dealt with directly and can be very damaging. Whatever has been said is usually distorted as it is passed around, whether intentionally or not. Be direct and deal with things professionally. Try not to gossip — and if someone tells you something, don’t pass it on. You can let your co-workers know (verbally or by your actions) that you don’t want to engage in gossip. This can be hard initially but once people see that you mean what you say, they will respect you for it. At the end of the day, we all view life through our own unique and subjective lens; try and see the bigger picture. This doesn’t mean that you can’t be understanding to your co-workers, but there are always two sides to any story. I have seen people swallow up everything that is said to them and turn on other people as a result. Take a step back and try and be objective — it will help you to keep a professional distance and avoid being pulled into politics yourself.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

workplace politics, politics in the workplace, politics at workplace, work politics, how to rise above office politics, politics in workplace, WORK PLACE POLITICS, navigating politics at work, politics in the office workplace, politics in the work place

Get That Job! 5 Great Tips to Ace the Interview

With all of the challenges the current economy is throwing at us, more and more people find themselves looking for new jobs. Many people perform great in the initial screening process only to find themselves being passed over after the in-person interview. Here are five job interview tips that you can use to increase the chances that you’ll ace your next job interview.

1. Be On Time

This seems very simple. However, you would be amazed at how many candidates who look great on paper wind up not getting the job because they were late for the interview. This is a common “kiss of death” among corporate interviewers everywhere. There had better be some serious extenuating circumstances. Otherwise, your interview was probably over before you got there.

In today’s world of cell phones and PDAs, being late without notification is pretty much inexcusable. If anything, you should try to arrive at the interview 10 to 15 minutes early. This will not only ensure that you make it on time (leaving earlier to arrive earlier will help you offset any delays you might encounter on the way), but give you enough time to center yourself. You can go over any questions you may have for the interviewer. This will help you feel ready, confident and not rushed.

2. Dress the Part

As a bank manager, you have to maintain the right “look” for your branch. Many candidates who have great experience and interview are ultimately passed over because they do not look the part. Nose rings and blue hair may be “edgy”, but a bank is not an “edgy” environment. At the same time, showing up for an interview at the local record shop in a three-piece suit may not be right, either. So do your research — get an idea of what the dress standards are for the business with which you are applying. Then dress slightly above them. This will show the employer that you understand their business and that you take it seriously. This does not mean you always have to wear a suit; it means you have to know what is “professional” for the position you are applying for.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

great interview tips, how to ace an interview and get the job, how to have a great interview, how to have a great interview and get the job, How to get that job, how to ace the interview and get the job, how to do great in a job interview, how to do a great job interview, TIPS TO ace an interview, tips for a great job interview

Awesome Links #36: Mac Apps, Fitness, Getting More Freelance Work

How I Train: Fitness for the Everyperson
If you read Zen Habits regularly, you would know that its creator Leo Babauta likes to talk about his fitness and exercise routine. IAnd to think that just 5 years ago he was in terrible shape. In this post, he talks about his past and then about how he made himself fitter and healthier. Inspiring to say the least.

Fifteen Ways to Enjoy Your Work More—Whatever You Do
The FeelGooder blog has a great post which has some useful advice on how to really enjoy the daily grind at office — or wherever you work. Some of the tips are common sense while some — like doing your toughest work first — are something that not everyone knows about (or, more likely, implements).

My Essential Mac Applications
Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder lists his essential Mac apps in this series of posts (Note: The above link lands on part 5 of the series; he links to the previous posts in this article, too). That means there’s a list of 25 useful Mac apps that the author felt he had to install on his new Mac shortly after purchasing it in order to be more productive. If you own a Mac (or are planning to buy one), I suggest you bookmark the post for quick access.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

best fitness apps for mac

The Netsetter: Web Pages vs. Web Sites

A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to explain to a friend why links from high PageRank sites is often overrated. When he then insisted that I was contradicting advice I had given him earlier, I was confused for a moment, until he gave me a concrete example.

“Didn’t you say that a link from a high PageRank site like HubPages or Squidoo was better than a link from a low PR site?”

I finally understood his confusion. It wasn’t what I said, but what he heard. Whenever I talk about “web pages”, people hear “web sites” and assume the two are synonymous. You might think that going over this distinction (which I’ve alluded to in earlier posts) is splitting hairs, but it actually does matter for link building and content development.

Pages Matter More Than Sites

Links point to individual web pages, not sites. Google results list individual web pages, not sites. Occasionally, Google will list a site’s home page as a search result, but the result itself is for that page specifically, not a referral to the site as a whole. These facts are pretty obvious when stated plainly, but they’re easy to lose site of when listening to some SEO theorists.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

web page vs web site, websites vs web pages, web site vs web page, web page vs website, web pages vs web sites

Why I Love My Dumbphone

Cellular Destruction

When I was recently checking out the top five mobile phones in America (according to the Nielsen Company), all but the Samsung Intensity were smartphones.

  1. Apple iPod 3GS
  2. Samsung Intensity
  3. Motorola Droid
  4. RIM Blackberry 8500 series
  5. Apple iPhone 4

And just to make a case for Apple, the iPhone 3G was 6th on that list. Now it’s possible some of the rankings on this list has changed since then, but the fact remains that smartphones dominate the mobile marketplace.

Why are they so popular? Well, on smartphones you can do things like check your email, update your Facebook and Twitter statuses, get turn-by-turn driving directions, play games, watch videos, read a newspaper and listen to music. All that and you can make a phone call.

When my boyfriend and I snuggle up  under the covers at night, the very last thing he does is check the news headlines on his iPhone. This is not romantic. Besides doing that, his new obsession is Words With Friends; he plays it constantly. If he can’t sleep, he’ll play Ragdoll Blaster while holding his iPhone so close to his eyes that it’s practically resting on his nose. He loves his iPhone with a passion that I can’t quite understand.

As for me, I do not own a smartphone…and I don’t even want one.
Click Here to Read Article …

Popular search terms for this article:

dumbphone, dumb phone, going back to a dumb phone, what is a dumb phone, i love my smartphone, going back to dumbphone, i want a dumb phone, dumbphones, should i keep my smartphone, smartphone to dumbphone