Saving Stuff for Work and Pleasure (19 Uses for Evernote)

I frequently de-clog my phone’s memory and email those cute pictures of grandchildren and other family members to Evernote.

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510750075_eeee488cd6_zEvernote is a flexible electronic filing cabinet available for desktops, phones, and tablets.  It means I can easily create or store information wherever I am.  And equally importantly, because the information is stored electronically, I can easily search it and track information down.  I can use it to type documents or save handwritten notes on screen; it will receive scanned documents or photographs; and I can even use it to create dictated notes or store other sound files.  And zapping webpages into it (in a variety of save formats) or those important emails, is a synch.

Because security of information is important to me, I am able to use the internal encryption system built into it to lock sensitive documents.

I use Evernote in a multitude of ways.  To give you some idea of its flexibility and usefulness, I have listed the ways below.  They are not listed in any order of importance. Continue reading “Saving Stuff for Work and Pleasure (19 Uses for Evernote)”

Using Free Apps for Visual Drama

We see things very differently. She sees real features an identifies their actual species. After over twenty years learning about photography, I now see features an ask, “I wonder if I could develop that into something that has visual impact.” I see what is, but also more of what might become.

It was a bland and blustery afternoon.

“Let’s go for a walk by the river,” she said.

“Ok,” I said, silently thinking, “Why?” and, “No!”

“You need the exercise,” she said, reading my expression.

“How true, and how kind …” I might have thought on a less bland and less blustery afternoon.

We walked by the river doing what we often do.  She plays adult Where’s Wally looking for birds, bees, butterflies, and wild flowers, and I look for potential photographs.

We see things very differently.  She sees real features and identifies their actual species.  After over twenty years learning about photography, I now see features and ask, “I wonder if I could develop that into something that has visual impact.”  I see what is, but also more of what might become.

Continue reading “Using Free Apps for Visual Drama”

SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter

I was well past 50 before the SmartPhone arrived. I had lived most of my life without one. I shouldn’t be missing mine so much. I had coped before. Why is coping now so difficult?

510750075_eeee488cd6_zI thought I could easily survive without it.  I was wrong.  I could survive, but it wasn’t easy.  In fact, I was surprised about how hard I found it.  It should have been a doddle.  It is not as if an iPhone has been part of my life for most of it.

I could be described as being in young old-age.  I can remember when we didn’t have a television, and how when we got one, our neighbours came round on a Saturday evening to watch the small, black and white screen.  I can remember the envy when some relatives got their first colour TV set.  I can remember my girl-friend at university spending hours using a calculator the size of a small house in order to process by hand the statistics needed for her research.

I can remember too the joy of the first personal computers – the ZX81, the ZX Spectrum (“What on earth do you want one of those for?  What good will it do?”) – and learning to use code to make machines do relatively useless things.  And then the big breakthrough, the Amstrad PCW – technology that actually did things that made life much easier for someone who regularly typed thousands of words. Continue reading “SmartPhone Cold Turkey at Easter”

Things You Need To Know About Siri, Appointments, and Calendars

I am happy to report that several years on from those early failures, I now frequently and routinely use Siri to manage my diary, and it has saved thousands of manual text letters, and must have saved hours of time.

426799067_55027d4244_zSiri is Apple’s virtual personal assistant for the iPhone and Apple computers with the latest operating system.  It can take dictation for messages, put appointments in your calendar, tell you the latest hockey score, or give you directions to the nearest Indian restaurant.

Despite Siri being around for a number of years, my early experience of using it wasn’t always positive.  However, I am glad to say that things are different now.  Siri’s capability and flexibility have increased, as has my knowledge of how to exploit it to meet my particular requirements.

Because I run a business that involves me in meeting lots of clients during the course of a week, I use the calendar on my iPhone (synced with my desktop machine and iPad) to help me keep track of my many appointments.  It would not be uncommon for me to make around half a dozen appointments a day, entering them manually into my electronic calendar.  I knew that Siri could theoretically make this easier for me.  I could theoretically simply speak to my phone and tell it to make a diary entry for me with John Smith for X time on Y date.

Unfortunately, after several attempts of trying to make appointments with Siri, I initially gave up because of the problems I encountered.  In essence, there were three main things going wrong:  Continue reading “Things You Need To Know About Siri, Appointments, and Calendars”

Keeping It In Saferoom

Whatever you might want to use Evernote for, Saferoom now enables you to do that with even more confidence than before.

426799067_55027d4244_zI find it so satisfying when someone develops a piece of software that meets a real need and makes my life a lot simpler.  I was really pleased to discover the Saferoom app (and the desktop versions for Mac and Windows) this week.  It has solved a professional problem that I have had for some time.

I work as a counsellor/psychotherapist in Private Practice, and since 2009 I have been using Evernote to help me run my business.  Evernote is basically an electronic filing cabinet that lets you store notes, documents of all kinds, photographs, web pages, audio and video recordings, and hand written scribbles.  However, despite its usefulness and amazing flexibility, Evernote has always had a minor problem that Saferoom has now solved.   Continue reading “Keeping It In Saferoom”

Easily Format Your Blog With Markdown

If Markdown is enabled on your device you can concentrate on writing and simply insert the style options with easy to remember characters.

Markdown is a simple way of styling text without having to search for particular buttons on your wordprocessor, and without having to learn complex HTML.  It is an easy way for writers to convert text to HTML using just plain text.  If Markdown is enabled on your publishing platform you can concentrate on writing and simply insert the style options with basic easy to remember characters.  So, for example, you can easily insert bold, or italics, or subheaders, or lists, or active links, into your blogs, comments, and emails.

You can use Markdown on your WordPress blog if you enable this feature.  To use Markdown in a WordPress post (blog or comment), you need to do the following:

  • Login to your site.
  • Click the “My Site” tab on the top left corner.
  • In the left hand menu, select the bottom item “Settings”.
  • At the top of the Settings page select the second tab along – “Writing”.
  • About halfway down the page tick the box that says “Use markdown for posts and pages.” Then click “Save Settings”.
  • Next, go to your compose screen.  Enter your text as normal but include the Markdown stylings.  Then click the “Preview” tab before posting just to check the text appears in the way you intended it to.

I have listed to basic Markdown elements below. Continue reading “Easily Format Your Blog With Markdown”