Well, the times, they are a-changin’.
We have cars that can parallel park themselves, 3-dimensional television sets, and now, Mac applications that can do just about anything with the touch of a screen. Even though for many of us confronting this change with an open mind can be difficult, we can take another hint from good old Bob Dylan… ‘If your time to you is worth savin’, then you better start swimming, or you’ll sink like a stone’. In other words, keeping up with the times will help you in the long run, putting you on level playing ground with all the technologically adept who use high-tech gadgets to their advantage.
There may be a ton of useless applications out there that exist simply for distractions sake, but there are also plenty that can help us save time and even increase our productivity.
Only recently, I became a Mac convert. Within the first couple hours of browsing my new laptop, I came across the App Store. Already installed into my dashboard, all I had to do was click and browse. Within ten minutes I had downloaded about six new applications.
Well, Geeeez Louise you must be thinking. We don’t all have that much money to blow at the App Store…
Well guess what?! You don’t need money, or even a credit card. Mac has created a TON of applications for the public use that are FREE! Yes! You heard me right… free. I love free stuff. and at least with these applications I don’t have to worry about filling up my closet with junk I don’t need. If you ever change your mind about a new tool, you can simply drag it into your trash box, and ta-da! It’s gone!
I’ve done some digging, and have compiled a list of some of the best free applications out there that can increase your productivity and help to unleash your inner Juicy Genius!
o Taskcard Mini is a simple application that allows you to create simple to-do lists. You can customize the colors and check off each item as it’s completed. There is nothing jazzy about this app, it will just save you paper if you are an avid list writer!
o Timey is also a simple app. It allows you to turn on a timer for between five and sixty minutes, and counts down. You can pause and refresh the timer, allowing you to keep track of exactly how much time you have spent on a particular task. If you have a small task to complete, you can turn on Timey and commit to working on the assignment until your alert comes up letting you know that the clock has run out.
o Dropbox is a must-have application, especially for those of you who in business and need to share files with others easily. You simply download this tool and can instantly share files (pictures, documents etc) with other drop-box users. Now, if you want to send your parents those pictures of your weekend get-away, you can simply drag a folder of pictures into their Dropbox, and they can see them! If you invite other friends to join, you can increase your space by 250 MB, providing some pretty good incentive to expand your network of Dropbox amigos!
o Timeout is an essential application for those of you who spend hours sitting at your computer for work or recreation. ‘Normal’ and ‘micro’ breaks are scheduled so that, for example, every fifty minutes, the screen will dim and you will be reminded to take a ten minute break to get up, move around, or grab a cup of coffee (this is the ‘normal’ break), and every ten minutes the screen will dim and you will be given a ten second break to stretch and give your eyes a rest. You can completely customize Timeout so that the length of breaks and distance between them fit your routine. You can even synchronize it with iTunes so that a relaxing song can come on at the start of each resting period.
o Simplemind is a brainstorming application that allows you to create elaborate mind maps with ease. Simplemind can be tailored to your preferences, so that different themed ideas can be color-coded. This is an excellent tool to use when you are starting projects or papers, so that you can jot down your initial ideas and build off of concepts. Once maps are created, they can be printed and shared with others.
o Evernote is a great application, and once I downloaded it I couldn’t believe that I went so long without it. This function allows you to create visual, audio or written memos. You can categorize different notes, and share them with others or synchronize them with your alternate devices (computers, iPhones, Blackberries, etc). An interesting feature in Evernote is that you can add images to categories of notes, and the text in the images can become instantly searchable. Next time you’re at a business conference, you don’t need to worry about copying out the diagram that was written on the board, you can simply snap a photo with your phone and add it to Evernote, and you will be able to access it at any time!
Not every one of these apps will be useful for you, but if even one of these tools popped out at you and screamed “download me!” I highly recommend you do so. They’re free, functional, easy to use, and exist solely to simplify your life. Enjoy and let me know how they work for you!
XO & Juicy Love,
The Juicy Geniuses Team