Get Organized and More Productive with Apps

So I’ve recently become even more addicted to my iPhone (if that’s even physically possible) and it’s array of apps that just happen to make my life so much easier and more organized! Which is just what this article is going to focus on, getting organized and raising your productivity by using the little gadget that most of us love so much. So so much. I know you’ve been wanting me to publish this one for awhile because of the many times you ask me how I appear to stay on task in the midst of chaos and since I gave you my daily staples for happiness I figured next up should be my staples for productivity and organization. Together we’re going to excel in 2013 like never before! Do you feel me?

Some of the most important applications I need to include in my work days (and weekends as well) are simple and easily locatable in the App Store BUT being an Apple fan I’m going to assume that you, much like myself, prefer the finer things in life. The well designed, well written and most useful of the group no matter the cost. So my basic must haves for any day are: brain wave hacks or meditation music, a journal or scrapbook, a gratitude journal, a mood journal, a calendar, a task list, a notebook, a sketchbook, a daily schedule planner and obviously a camera which comes standard in all iPhones. Enjoy my list of top dogs I’ve carefully selected after using many other sub-par creations.

Audio: BrainHack 2.0 and Spotify
Audio and music are probably not important to everyone but they are must-haves for me. Whether I’m stressed and need to calm myself or get inspired a bit with a brainhack or if I just need some relaxing tunes to meditate to audio is a staple to my every day. Plus if you’re all about increasing productivity even in down time you can learn some new things as you commute by subscribing to some awesome Podcasts and radio programs.

A Journal: Evernote and Evernote Food
Everyone needs their go-to journal that’s easily accessible anytime they need to write what they’re feeling or any number of other things. The good thing about Evernote, the journal application I prefer, is that you can access, create and edit all of your notes on your computer, your iPad, your iPhone and even your Kindle or other android device. Evernote has also created a few other useful apps such as Evernote Food that is useful for organizing recipes, favorite dishes and restaurants you enjoy most and we all know how important food is to productivity and to having an enjoyable day! With Evernote, which happens to also be very clean and nice to look at, you can create as many notebooks as you like, attach photos, visually format your notes and attach locations as well. It’s very simple to use and you’ll only continue to think of new ways to use it. I adore it.

Gratitude Journal: Gratitude Journal by Happy Tapper
Very important to those of us who want to become happier and more aware of the good things we have in our life. In practicing gratitude daily you learn to be more thankful for the gifts you have been given and to overlook the problems you may be going through. With this app you also get a daily inspiring quote, you can rate your days, format your entries and attach a picture. This was one of my first favorite apps and I’ve been enjoying it for a long time!

Mood Journal: iMoodJournal
I originally decided to find a mood journal when my boyfriend asked if I had one. We figured, as any therapist will tell you, by recording your moods you’ll become more aware of bad mood triggers and will be able to track how your moods change throughout the day, week, month and year. This app allows you to rate your day, add as many notes and tags as you like and to attach a picture of your face. It even inspires me cheer up when I’m down and look through my positive mood days and photos of what a happy me looks like.

Calendar
I think it’s best to use Apple’s own calendar for this app as it is also the calendar that is on Apple computers. Plus many apps you’ll download for productivity will be designed to sync with your Calendar for optimal organization.

Notebook: Notes
I also use the default notebook for quick notes as it syncs with my computer and is an official Apple product.

Task List: Any.DO
I decided to look for a more friendly task list manager after I only continued to add tasks to the default Apple task list app, Reminders, and felt very overwhelmed that the tasks were not really organized in any way at a glance which was very overwhelming to me. I often have many tasks per day that I need to do and I really enjoy getting to cross them out on Any.Do which has predictive task writing and can target friends online or by phone per task as well as share tasks with another. It has tons of simple yet useful functions that make it my favorite list manager.

Sketchbook: Skitch
Every artist and designer needs a sketchbook on hand just in case words wont do it and you need a quick visual. Since I got tired of carrying around my lot of tiny notebooks and sketchbooks and even my purse most days I decided to add Evernote’s sketchbook to my list of go-to applications. Very useful for annotating photographs and graphics as well when you’re working on the go!

Daily Schedule Planner: Daily Routine
I most recently found this application and I am already in love. It’s beautiful, extensive and although it’s been said (look at the reviews) to be too tough to figure out I prefer it over every other planner. The visuals, features and options it has top all other daily schedule planners and when you spend a few minutes to figure out how to arrange your daily schedules you’ll love it. It can remind you of each new scheduled event during the day and can set the same schedule for every work day and a separate for weekdays or absolutely any other way you can imagine. Try it! It’s worth the cost.

Fun
I’m often asked what my favorite apps are just for entertainment. A few fun apps I enjoy using when taking a break or the work day is over are usually horoscope and spirituality apps, design apps, social media apps and more. I’ll add another article with my favorite apps for the beginning of 2013 soon! Our past app list is probably a bit outdated so keep your eyes peeled for a new one coming soon!

Phone Cases
Looking for a new, cute and productive phone case to go with your new array of amazing applications? We have them coming to our store very soon so stay tuned. Our custom cases have gotten so much praise that we’re in the midst of developing some really special ones for you. Stay tuned!

What helps you stay organized and more productive on and off work days?

31 Ways to Reduce Stress

Taste the rainbow~

Who doesn’t get stressed? With the busy and bustling world we live in it becomes harder and harder to leave work behind.

I tend to keep piling appointments, projects and more right on top of each other until I can no longer breathe which is why stress management is so important to me. Stress is harmful to both your emotional and physical well-being so don’t let stress overwhelm you. Take control.

1. Involve your senses.
2. Live one day at a time.
3. Set aside time for yoga and/or exercise everyday.
4. Inhale deeply through your nose and release the breath from your mouth. Try this a few times.
5. Brew and slowly enjoy some chamomile or caffeine free tea.
6. Pet and groom your pet.
7. Get enough sleep. Try to get about 8 hours each night.
8. Voluntarily change your current activity.
9. Discuss it with a friend.
10. Write in your journal.
11. Do something for someone else. Help someone out.
12. Don’t procrastinate, start doing.
13. Don’t think about the past. Forget about it.
14. Don’t think about the future, think about now.
15. Live in the moment.
16. Relax your standards.
17. Ask questions. A lot of questions.
18. Organize your home.
19. Simplify your life.
20. Avoid hanging around friends that are chronic worriers.
21. Eliminate caffeine from your diet.
22. Eliminate or seriously lower sweets and sugars in your diet.
23. Do something you love to do everyday.
24. Eliminate destructive self-talk.
25. Do one thing at a time.
26. Improve your appearance in someway (even if you just paint your toenails!).
27. Delegate responsibility to others.
28. Be more flexible and patient.
29. Be prepared.
30. Count your blessings. Especially when something goes wrong.
31. Learn to say no.

Finding Energy in the Dead of Winter

Wanwan loves her satin pillow~

Why is it so tough? Why do I feel the need to gulp down glass after glass of coffee all day and night long just to stay awake? Is it me? My medication? The season? The amount of close family and friends experiencing the same this time of the year leads me to believe it’s not just me. Everyone feels exhausted.

One way to instantly feel better is to do something. Anything. It will improve your mood and might just inspire you to continue or to try something else. This is one I hear again and again and it’s almost the hardest one to do… just get up and make myself work? When I feel like sleeping? When I feel like pulling the blinds and hiding in bed all day? Yes, even today.

A great way to naturally produce energy is by exercising. No matter how strange this sounds, exercise actually does give you more energy and produces endorphins. I feel like I preach this to myself all day.. exercise and eat well! I’m pretty bad at going for the sweets and caffeine without hesitation. This is why I feel so great one second and like absolute shit the next. These cause you to crash and then it’s even harder to stay awake and energized.

My heart sweets for you~

Take a nap. I know it sounds silly. Even a 30 minute power nap. Tell yourself you’re really exhausted now but when you wake up at (set your alarm now) __:__ you’ll be ready to work on whatever task you’d like to complete.

Don’t make your tasks sound large, break them down. Instead of ‘clean up kitchen’ how about ‘wash dishes’ and later ‘sweep kitchen floor’ and finally ‘clean counters’ ? It makes it a lot easier to get things done when you make them sound manageable. At your MOST LIFELESS you’ll still feel like you can accomplish wiping the counters.

Take in the small things. Light a candle and relax while you breathe the warmly scented aroma it creates. (try mint or eucalyptus scents for energy!) Slowly enjoy and experience a cold, refreshing iced drink. Put an energizing scented lotion on and take in the whole experience as you smooth it into your hands and smell the fresh mint.

One of my absolute favorite ways to find energy is to drink coffee and tea. However be careful because as I said before, caffeine causes a later crash. Have a cup of Earl Grey when you feel like going to bed. Enjoy the tea as you drink it and take in the aroma. You should feel more energized after you’ve had your tea. I know everyone knows this but I feel like we often forget or don’t take time to experience an afternoon tea.

Do you have some more ways to stay energized in the dead winter that don’t involve cold showers? 😉

Make a List: Naughty or Nice?

When we don’t know who we are, what we want or have our priorities intact, we fall into the default loop that was programmed into our subconscious long ago. “I want someone handsome, tall, and strong; someone rich, who will take care of me, someone sexy who is great in le sac, etc.” At some point we start to realize these aren’t things that make a great relationship. Someone we thought was hot becomes really unattractive when their real character starts to show.

Here’s an email I got recently:

“I wanted to thank you also for your story about “presence” that you told at your talk recently at Open Secret Book Store in San Rafael. I had an important experience of that this weekend. I have been contemplating dating a man I met recently who is a financially successful lobbyist, and we have many other interests aside from politics. The wining and dining is great, but when we’re together, it is odd: he is always distracted by his cell, a meeting, not enough time, etc.

This weekend, another man, a very old friend, came to town…we’ve known each other 35 years (college). He came to my studio and asked about my work, and he was incredibly “present” with me. And you are right, it was a total and complete turn-on. Whoa!

The next day, I had dinner with the other man (the lobbyist) and he spent most of the time talking about how his recent ex-girlfriend is using a popular dating site and how her profile is full of lies, and that he ought to get his own profile on the site so he could compete in attracting new women (so what am I, chopped liver?). Not present at all. Big turn-off! We were supposed to go on a date this Saturday, to the ballet, but I canceled it because I decided I would rather have my own precious company, than his….

So I just wanted to echo what you said, that presence is really “IT”! and my back-to-back experience of it, with these two men, absolutely convinced me of what I want, and do not want, in a relationship with a man. Thank you for your teachings, Maryanne!”

A few days later…

“Hi Maryanne, so interesting what happens when I choose me. I came home to find a huge box of flowers from my college friend. I’m sure that saying goodbye to that lobbyist was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Thank you…”
J.Alder, Nor Cal

Bottom line, ladies and gentlemen: when we don’t know who we are, what we want or have our priorities intact, we fall into the default loop that was programmed into our subconscious long ago. “I want someone handsome, tall, and strong; someone rich, who will take care of me, someone sexy who is great in le sac, etc.” At some point we start to realize these aren’t things that make a great relationship. Someone we thought was hot becomes really unattractive when their real character starts to show.

I have met too many people who, time and again, confess that the things they thought they wanted weren’t essential at all—or, at minimum, fell lower on the priority list than they once realized.

Perhaps rather than “hot and successful” being at the top of the list, you could alter it some and require that certain other qualities be immediately apparent:

Present
Kind
Interested
Honest
Generous
Purpose-driven
Attractive
Sensual, etc.

So, yes, make that list, but check it twice as the holidays approach. Do you really want someone naughty or do you want someone one who’s mostly nice (and maybe a little naughty only on special occasions)?

Making Mondays More Miseducated

Monday jokes rain out of people’s ears at offices.. I don’t know how it is where you work but I’m sure whatever day the work week begins on someone’s complaining.

Instead of thinking of Mondays as a bummer, think of them as a beginning to your inspiration overload sessions every week — begin to plan fun and personal growth activities *as well as* work, errands, tasks, etc.

.. and if scheduling seems like absolute hell to you and you have no issues with procrastination.. simply pass to Step 2.

Want more mood therapy techniques like this?
Key to Living the Law of Attraction
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated
ALL Business is Show Business

Step 1

Schedule your day per hour — Write what you actually do beside it and next to that make 2 columns for you to rate how much pleasure you experienced during the activity and to what percentage you mastered it.

Again, make sure you allow time throughout the day for activities you look forward to.

taste
Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette

Step 2

Incorporate more Miseducated whimsy and special you time into your Mondays.

Instead of taking a shower before you start your work day, take a bubble bath using sensitive Mr. Bubbles or your favorite bubble bath — play some inspiring music that you can hear while in the tub and brew a cup of earl grey tea.

Create your own (lots of recipes here!) or buy a new scented lipgloss to apply throughout the day, not just when lips are chapped! Think of ways to incorporate other new smells into your day such as an aromatherapy candle, nice-smelling lotion, sweet solid perfume, etc.

Master your skills. As you’re working imagine what you might do to keep on task better while still enjoying your day. For me this means the occasional walk-around break, snacks optional and listening to music or inspiring pod casts while I work.

Keep a little notebook in your purse or briefcase especially for inspiring sketches, notes and pieces of inspiring found-items. These little carry-along scrapbooks can be great sources of inspiration and remind you about experiences when you’re sitting down to work and communicate your ideas.

Decide that you’re going to rearrange a room in your home/apartment and surf online for delicious decor in your free time. Find ways to make your environment a little more you, a little more unique and much more inspiring! Sometimes just changing things up is very revitalizing.

My favorite movie since childhood, the delicious 80s glitter rock fest (The Labyrinth) complete with faeries and the rock king himself, always inspired me as everything, even the dirt, was covered in glitter. Sweeping your floor and feeling a little bummed? Sprinkle glitter in with the dust and even dust bunnies become just a little more magical.

It’s off to your local handmade market for you! Purchase some incense that smells great and a little decadent snack. When home, burn the incense as intended and relax near it reading and enjoying the occasional whiff of fragrant smoke. Don’t like incense? Try scented candles!

Write your best friend a good morning letter when you begin your work day. Chances are you’ll brighten her day as she is also at work and it’ll make you smile knowing she’s smiling. You might even get some sweet messages back throughout the day that make you feel wonderful for opening communication.

Grab a pack of post-its in your favorite color and write inspiring and positive messages to everyone signed, Happy Monday. Stick these on electric posts, subway windows, in your lover’s briefcase, on the milk in the fridge, on your coworker’s computer mouse, etc. <3 Don't overdo it, it's more special for those that find the surprises anyway. Kitty Rave! (both my and my best friend’s favorite way to wind down at night!) At night time when you’re relaxing and feeling a little excited that you’ve gotten through another Monday, turn up the dance music and dance around the house in your pajamas with your cat or dog. (my chihuahua gets really excited about this and bounces around the room) You’re getting exercise, they’re getting exercise and it’s really quite fun.. especially if you’re jamming to Kissy Sell Out. Often my husband even plays his electronic music live on kitty rave nights.

Have a great Monday!

Share Your Dreams in the Dreamland Journal

When you go to sleep and fall into a dream you get to play around in the amusement park of your mind. Whether you’re a lucid dreamer or not, you probably remember your dreams occassionally and are reminded of them throughout the day. Why not let them live on for others to enjoy as well? Your dreams are as unique as you are!

I was back at this HOOJ kiddiepark that I used to go to near Los Angeles .. I have no idea where it was now, or what it was called. The coolest thing is it was “kids only” – the parents had a place they had to wait and the kids could just run rampant – it seemed to go on for miles. The BEST thing there was the “Dragon Slide” – this GIANT slide where you slid thru a dragons head and down its tongue .. allll the way down a hillside. I dreamt I was there again and was 9 years old, and I was with some girl named Amanda (I have no idea who this was ..) and we were just running around like crazy, and I was healthy and alive again like I was as a kiddie. It felt simply wonderful. We came to the merry go round and they had closed it down, which made me sad because I love those things .. so Amanda and I broke in thru the chain link fence and rode on it ourselves. I cant express how amazing this dream was – it was just beautiful. Cottoncandy-ish, warm and fuzzy, kitten soft ..
Kimi

I had a dream, that my boyfriend and I welt to a cliff and laid out a blanket to lay and watch the stars on their nightly treck across the sky.. the whole time we held hands and laughed and smiled, telling jokes and whispering sweet nothings.
Jazz

Ok, ok. This will sound REEEEALLY weird, but I had a dream that I was lost in a bowl of macaroni & cheese. I was about to be eaten by my cat (who was giant & i was in HIS macaroni bowl) when Tuxedo Mask saved me. Weird, huh?
Shampoo Juliet

Chibichibi was chasing me. And the scary part was, she wasn’t cartoon, she was human. She was the scariest little kid I’ve ever seen. Can you imagine a little one-year-old with huge blue eyes, tiny nose, itty-bitty mouth, and pinky-red hair? (Not to mention she’s shouting “Cheebee cheebee!” in that little voice of hers).
Suzu

I had a strange dream! I was in the mall and I was fighting some evil, thing! I had powers like SailorMoon, but I was me in regular clothes! And after I had finished killing the thing the manager of the store said I could have anything I wanted in the store! I was in there for days trying to figure out what I wanted! Finally I picked an entire outfit out. And thats all I really remember! I think it was from the snow I had eaten that day, b/c on the news they said not to eat it!! lol!
Kiwi Kitten

I once had a really sweet dream that I was in like this grape place (with Grapde vines) and i was with my friend (Trisha) and we saw this lollpop shop and they had the worlds biggest lollypop there and we brought it.. lol I had that dream 3 times and then it happened (we went to this grape vine place and saw a HUGE lollypop – except we didn’t buy it we brought big ones but not HUGE) heehee that was cool
Tamara

okaie dokie.. i had a dream that i was going through candyland, and there was gumdrop trees and stuff (kinda like willie wonka, but with more cotton kandy. and then, this boy names jash started chasing me, i was scared to DEATH! when i tried to run, my fee got stuck to the ground with a BUNCH of bubble gum.. i couldn’t move! Then, i fought him, and he fell into a zillion different pieces. Then, he turned into a million little TINY JOSHES! (and he’s pretty darmed tiny!!! All the while, that Song Candyman by aqua was everywhere.. like those crazy movies.. (i forgot ALOT of this dream, it was REALLY scary!
Sasha

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