My Photography Challenge: Self-taken Self-portraits

“As long as you can find yourself, you’ll never starve.”
―     Suzanne Collins,     The Hunger Games    

 

I’ve heard people say how difficult it is to take a picture of yourself – not with a timer but by literally turning the camera on yourself. It’s sort of my way of seeing myself through my own eyes… and I do this a lot.  Here’s my best attempt:

IMG_1435

Taken with an iPhone 4

 

The trick is to look as if you didn’t take it!

 

Now it’s your turn. Share your best attempt of a self-taken self-portrait in a post and link it in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

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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: Unfocused

I thought this will be hard – only to find a shocking number of unfocused photos on my iPhone.

20120504-174713.jpg
I’m not sure what was going on there (she says with her hands up looking clueless).

20120504-174933.jpg
I’m not even sure who was holding the camera in this one…probably the microwave is really a camera. Bizarre.

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

How Steve Jobs lived before he died

Steve Jobs shows off iPhone 4 at the 2010 Worl...

Image via Wikipedia

I knew Steve Jobs was sick but I didn’t expect him to go so quickly after leaving Apple. Everyone knows he was Apple. I don’t know if he has an apprentice who shared his passion, to help the firm continue to produce disruptive technologies. I certainly hope so. I feel much closer to my iPhone today. I bought a fanciful cover for it (more about that later) and I keep looking at it, relishing what I have of Steve.

I was still down and out when I read this article about him on wired.com. I felt a sense of relief when I read about his life and his words. I will take this away with me:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life,”
Jobs said. “Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results
of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions
drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to
follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you
truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

He certainly knew how to live before he died. If I learn anything today, let it be this.

R.I.P Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

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