Top 8 Smart Apps for the Task Mistress

Photo courtesy of http://womenonthefence.com

I’m the tech-geek in the family. My 3-year old daughter is a close second.

Therefore, it didn’t surprise anyone when I upped and bought the new iPad, replacing my first generation tablet. I’ve come to love apps. There’s an app for everything – and people don’t just say that, it’s true! With home, work, school and life, I’ve come to depend on quite a few apps. ‘Top 8 iPhone apps for busy women‘ in Forbes.com identified some interesting apps but I’m not just busy. I’m a task mistress so here are my top 8 smart apps:

1. CloudWord
This app is fantastic as it helps me create editable documents, with formatting. It saves it in the ‘cloud’ such that I can pick it up anywhere and it doesn’t take up space on my pad. Also, I can email the document as a jpg, PDF, png and so on. It really keeps me working on my dissertation on the fly. Plus, it’s free – as are most of these.

2. iThoughtsHD
I discovered this app a few months ago when I was looking for something for mind mapping. It’s expensive but I use it a lot to join my ideas together in order to arrive at something coherent. I’m not sure where I’d be mentally without this beloved app.

3. DocScan
At first I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I came across this free app. It actually scans documents such as receipts, business cards etc and saves them. Scans can be sent as emails. It’s great for scanned business cards (in case I lose them), the kids’ party invites (again in case I lose them) and so on. I’m basically a walking talking scanner!

4. WordPress
This post is written with my WordPress app. It is a must-have for me if I’m going to inject life into my blog at any sensible frequency. I can upload photos, and files – editing on the fly. If I had to wait till I was in front of a PC and steaming with ideas at the same to write a post, posts would be bi-annual.

5. SudokuBook
One of my hobbies is numbers so Sudoku is right up my alley. I own volumes of sudoku workbooks but this app is a good option. Actually, it’s a great time waster. Waiting is not my strong point so it helps me focus my brain on something else while I wait for the next challenge. It’s great in queues, public transport, banks and school pick-ups. Not that I’m anti-social or anything…

6. Evernote
I recently downloaded this free app. I feel as if I’ve been thrown into an endless garden. A creative junkie’s amusement park, in short. I’m still discovering the many abilities of Evernote. It’s been talked about a lot and even featured in the article I’ve mentioned on Forbes.com. I can pour my ideas down with words, photos, audio, amazing. And I can send my thoughts to any computer or device! I can finally trap these thoughts in one place….forEvernote.

7. Audio Memo
It’s no wonder I’m into audio, thanks to Evernote. I also need to interview folks for my dissertation so I’m loving this app. Before I discovered it, I was on eBay hunting for a tape recorder! (I thought you said you were techy???) This app helps me capture an interview with a lot of cool features such as marking the beginning of each question. This app has a free version that has a reasonable amount of capability but the cool feature that I mentioned comes at a cost. Still, it beats the tape recorder idea.

8. Angry Birds
I haven’t come across statistics about whether men play this game more than women (if it’s not out there, I’m sure it will soon be). But I play this a lot. In fact, my son, my daughter and I play this, and we basically get in an orderly (rarely) line and take turns. Another time waster but great fun! It’s not as subtle as Sudoku so I tend not to play it in the parking lot or on queues (I can’t make it look like I’m texting like I can with Sudoku).

So there you have it. 8 apps any woman who calls herself a task mistress should have.

Thanks for reading.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

Whoooa, I love the sunset! I’m not getting much sunshine in Scotland at the moment so that makes my obsession with the fiery ball slightly worse. I can’t complain too much though. I just returned from Majorca on holiday – there was sun there. Last week, it was snowing in Aberdeen where I live. Fortunately, the sun still sets in the snow like in this picture of the North Pole.

Photo courtesy of http://www.stopgeek.com

The sun setting over the beach is absolutely stunning. The reds, oranges and yellows – glorious!

Photo courtesy of www.my.opera.com

Oh, this boat sailing on the sea in the sunset makes my heart skip a beat. Talk about the deep blue sea. How could I ever remain blue with such a phenomenal view?

At this point, I’d be glad just to see the sun. Oh there it is. Ahhh :-).

Photo courtesy of http://www.in.com

Searching for randomness

RandomnessI have a personal chore to navigate WordPress “random” tags. I want to find out what warrants a post to be tagged “random”. I have tagged a few posts as random in my time – but looking back, I doubt they were really random. Random means unsystematic, accidental or haphazard (yes, I used the synonym checker on Microsoft Word). So if I have a whole bunch or posts tagged “random”, surely it defends the purpose. Clearly, quite a lot of posts are unsystematic, which perhaps means that there is in fact a system. Well, there’s a task I’ve set out for myself – to browse as many posts as possible tagged “random” and find a new meaning. For now, I’ve come across this blog with a post tagged “random”. It’s about the death of an inspirational person. “Death” is probably as random as it gets.

Randomness   125-365 #2

Another interpretation of Randomness (Photo credit: Samyra Serin)

Tribute to Professor Pete Tayo Olafioye.

Posted on February 24, 2012

This Death, where’s thy conquest?

If there’s anyone who wrote his pain out in words, in beautiful words of poetry, such would be Professor Tayo Olafioye. He was such an inspiration to me at the University. Despite the pain he went through and challenges, he made it to school daily, lectured and even supervised some of my friend’s final year projects. Some even wondered why he couldn’t sit his butt at home with all the money he had. He was passionate with his niche!

Death where’s thy gain?

When he arrived in Nigeria from the United States of America where he was based, to launch books he wrote at the point of death, not many people recognized him. The frail-looking writer, battled with prostate cancer, he could hardly talk. But I remember that smile on his face that said quite a lot. His health improved remarkably over the years but I guess when the time comes, who are we to fight death? Death where’s your victory? His first lecture I attended was many years in a matchbox-like room with a lot of students screaming on top of their eccentric voices. He walked slowly into the classroom and scribbled on the chalk-board ‘’The Grandma’s Sun’’. I was the kind of student who usually fought to have a space in the front row, doing that paid off during that lecture. In the midst of the noise, he shared his memoir growing up and the mishap when he got a ‘head-cap’. My inquisitiveness let loose listening to him in his whispers, I spent the whole week studying his poems. ‘Bush Girl Comes to Town-1988’ remains my favorite till date.

Death where’s your defeat?

 Over the years, Tayo Olafioye published a series of works and most importantly, collections of poetry that cover divergent subjects such as culture, family, international encounters, politics (The Parliament of Idiots), and an array of the human condition. His works celebrate and testify to the survival spirits of mankind, and, where possible, offer hope to human disillusionment he gave me hope! Death be not proud as you only took away his body and pain but his muse will continue to live in my heart and the heart of millions of people all over the world who knew him.

Die not Professor Tayo Olafioye! Rest in the Bosom of the Lord! Till we Meet to Part no More!

4 things I wish WordPress could do for me

There have been several cool features added to WordPress. These include the ‘related article’ and ‘just write’ feature, the ability to send drafts to people and much more. I particularly enjoy my WordPress app. It’s very cool as it enables me type posts on-the-go as well as taking pictures with my iPhone that can be uploaded immediately. Asking for more is perhaps too much to ask but I want more. There are a few things that could UP this technology and frankly, I think it’s not too much to ask for WordPress to:

ONE. Add a feature that allows me to nominate other bloggers’ posts for ‘freshly pressed’. Don’t get me started about the randomness of the current selection process. The Apple website for instance allows users to mark answers/posts as ‘helpful’ or ‘correct’. A similar thing could work here.

On Apple's website, users identify useful posts

How the posts are scored

TWO. Link building is a big plus on the web. So just as I can hyperlink to one of my previous posts with the list provided, I should also see posts that I have ‘liked’ and be able to link back to those too. This feature will make link building seamless and thus easier to do. At the moment, I have to copy and paste links into the window below.

Dear WordPress, I want to see posts I've 'liked' in this window.

THREE. Importing Word documents seems like a no-brainer but I can’t do it on WordPress. Yes, I can copy and paste (Honestly, I’m surprised no one has invented something that replaces cut/copy-paste) but it would be neater to just import the file. Also, I seem to lose all my formatting i.e. paragraphs and fonts when I paste from Word or Pages. Am I missing a trick? I would like to import directly without losing my format.

FOUR. This brings me to my beloved WordPress app. Although I can create a post on my phone, it would be even more impressive if I could export (or send) it as an email such that I can further edit it when I’m in front of a PC. Posts I create on my phone cannot be seen when I logon my desktop because these are saved as ‘local’ posts.

My blogging experience so far has been amazing. I just want more. Always.

Yours sincerely,

The Task Mistress

Why I’ve never been Freshly Pressed.

WordPress.com

Image via Wikipedia

What is Freshly Pressed?

Come on. You knew I was going to write about this sooner or later.But don’t worry. I’ll try to be reasonable.

For those who don’t blog on WordPress, every day a handful of blog posts are selected and featured on the Freshly Pressed page. Selected posts are usually ones that are well-written (free of grammatical errors), have a catchy title and preferably have a picture in them. I suppose the post itself has to be interesting too but that’s just my guess.

My Wonder Months

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I try to aim high whenever possible. This means I’m very fairly competitive so winning stuff e.g. featuring on freshly pressed is something that would be nice to happen. But nine months in, it hasn’t. My first 10 posts or so were written with a certain “this may be freshly pressed” anxiety. I REALLY wanted to feature – as in on purpose. So when I wasn’t featured, I was convinced I was hopeless at blogging or that I wasn’t interesting enough. But I enjoy blogging. It’s my corner, my thoughts. To this end, I decided that I was just going to write without the added pressure of wanting to be freshly pressed. Hell, I may invent ‘Staley Pressed’ – as long as I feature in something. Hehe!

To put this in perspective, you must know that there are around half a million(500,000) or more new posts every day. If you followed the Freshly Pressed link in ‘What is Freshly Pressed?’, you’ll also find that just 10 or so posts are selected. Therefore, my chances are 1 to 50,000. Not a FAT chance, to be honest.

In good terms with being undiscovered

I’m not sure how but I have gradually come to terms with this. I doubt my grammar is great and I sometimes find spelling mistakes that make me gasp for air. But hey, I have a full-time job, a full-time husband and two full-time kids (both under 6 years old). I’m also a part-time student and a part-time a-bunch-of-other-things so I admit that I don’t check my grammar or spelling as thoroughly as I should. I probably have uninteresting post titles and guess what? I’m not one in a million. Or even one in half a million.

You know, I have a funny feeling that being Freshly Pressed comes with an acute anti-climax. I suspect it’ll be kinda like the time when someone I desperately wanted approval from finally said they were proud of me. Thousands come to your blog because you’ve been featured, there are hundreds of comments to read (and respond to) and you worry yourself sick about how to keep these readers coming back. I’m guessing a huge proportion don’t return.

Well, maybe I’ve talked myself out of the desire to be featured through this rationale. Who knows. But my posts are reasonably interesting if I do say so myself. I’m just (happily) undiscovered.

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