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How to Get More Out of your iPhone’s Home Screen – Improved Layout with Launch Center Pro

23 Jul

Launch Center Pro made by App Cubby, is easily the most useful productivity apps on iOS.  We have discussed this app’s usefulness in our past post, The BEST iPhone Productivity App is Finally Here!  It is currently integrated with over 300 apps, but has the potential to work with any iOS app through App Cubby’s Developer Integration Guide. With so many options, we thought it would be helpful to discuss how to create an awesome layout guide for Launch Center Pro. Here is what we have come up with thus far:

Page 1 “App Home Screen”

My first page of apps is minimal with only four apps to allow for a large “swipe row”, in a design implemented by Steve Lyb on his blog Astro Aficionado. The “swipe row” allows for quick access to the second page without any accidental app launches.

Page 2

As you can see my folders are organized by action, instead of category. This technique puts the focus back on action-oriented productivity and cuts down on the amount of time spent staring at your phone wondering, “what next?” Kudos to Gina Trapani on Lifehacker for sharing the brilliant “action folder” approach. By condensing all of my apps on page 2 with action folders, we remove the need for multiple swipes from page to page searching for a specific app. Launch Center Pro further removes the need to go searching through folders, as it is lightning fast and can be programmed to access any app and perform and variety of actions.

Here is our current Launch Center Pro Layout:

Launch Center Pro (Home Page)

Quick Launch

Significant Other Group

Brightness

Bookmarks

Connect

Launch Center Pro is full of options and while we have tried our best to create the most efficient layout possible, we realize everything can be improved. Please feel free to make suggestions or share your own Launch Center Pro layouts in the comments below or join the conversation with us on Twitter @changeyourwork

Look out for future posts that will include the new layouts created by the CYWY team and community! Submit yours today and #changeyourwork

-Patrick

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Leadership Lessons From Game of Thrones

9 Jul

It took almost a year of my friends telling me how much I would love the HBO series Game of Thrones for me to get around to watching it. Truth be told I didn’t have the time, but when I found myself with some free time earlier this summer I tore through the first two seasons on HBO GO. After I finished the TV series I still wanted more Game of Thrones, so last week I began reading the books on which the series is based. I’m about half way through the first book right now and it’s awesome. George R.R. Martin is a master of his craft. The books are a wonderful supplement to the TV series providing a wealth of detail and background unavailable in the show, and it does so in a beautiful and enthralling manner. The books revolve around the lives of leaders and it is only natural that they should espouse leadership lessons left and right. Even though I’m only half way through the first book I wanted to highlight a few quotes from the book I think impart valuable leadership wisdom.

Know Your Men

“Her father used to say that a lord needed to eat with his men, if he hoped to keep them. ‘Know the men who follow you,’ she heard him tell Robb once, ‘and let them know you. Don’t ask your men to die for a stranger.’ At Winterfell he always had an extra seat at his own table, and everyday a different man would be asked to join him.” 

This passage is about Eddard Stark and his thoughts on a Lord’s relationship with his people, but it is relevant for any leader. Having a pulse on the life of one’s organization is vital, and what better way than to interact with those you lead first hand. There are handfuls of CEOs famous for following this principle. From simply walking the office floor and chatting with workers to having formal programs in place, communication throughout an organization is a quality embodied by many successful companies.

The Man Who Passes Sentence Should Swing the Sword

“…the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die. … A ruler who hides behind paid executioners soon forgets what death is,”

While this maxim of House Stark obviously doesn’t relate to today’s leaders in a literal sense, it still has value in its overall message. A leader should be fully and personally committed to any undertaking that he or she is planning. Without being personally involved in project implementation a leader loses sight of operations and loses touch with what it takes to carry out their plans.

The Lone Wolf Dies While the Pack Survives

“Let me tell you something about wolves, child. When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. Summer is the time for squabbles. In winter, we must protect one another, keep each other warm, share our strengths.”

This quote, spoken by Septa Mordane to Arya should be readily apparent to any leader, however I liked the manner in which Martin packages the message. While arguments are okay, and in some cases they can be constructive, the team must also be supportive of all members if it hopes to survive. In times when your team is under a lot of pressure keeping a positive atmosphere amongst members is key to maintaining morale and productivity.

You Must Be Afraid In Order To Be Brave

“Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid? He heard his own voice saying, small and far away. And his father’s voice replied to him. ‘That is the only time a man can be brave.’”

I particularly enjoyed this quote, and to me it means it says two things. First, that it is okay to be afraid. Second, that in order to be brave you must first be willing to take the risks necessary to put you into the situation where you must confront your fear. Leaving your comfort zone requires a certain amount of bravery, but it is not until you are faced with fear that you may prove your courage.

These quotes are only a small sampling of the leadership lessons that can be found within A Game of Thrones, and adequately doing the subject of GOT leadership lessons justice would require many pages. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed my selections and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or some of your own takeaways at kevin@clipboard-plus.com

Also please check out the Kickstarter campaign that we are running for our line of smartphone and tablet integrated clipboards, only one week left!

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Contest: 101 Uses for Clipboard+

2 Jul

The Gestalt Theory, which can be easily understood in regards to art as well as philosophy, is the idea the “the whole is other than sum of its parts” (As I’ve found out, its often mistranslated as “greater than” but still…)

Clipboard+ isn’t just a clipboard.
And it ain’t just an accessory either.

It is more than a clipboard that can hold your mobile device.
Its a way to mobilize your desk. A way to change the way you work.

And there’s more!

The Clipboard+Smartphone’s suction cup technology is ideal for chameleon-esque utility-shifting for whatever situation you’re in.

Need to study while headed to the shower? Clipboard+ShowerCaddy.

Need to go over those presentation notes while spending time outdoors? Clipboard+Baseball Mitt.


Gotta double-check that write-up and grab your pal a brew?
Clipboard+Party Time

 Reviewing your notes while getting yourself fresh in the morning?
Clipboard+Deodorant Applicator

The Contest

We’ve come up with plenty of these ideas for out-of-the-box uses for Clipboard+, plenty of them silly, and a few of them practical.
What other ideas can you think of? We’re trying to count as many as 101 uses for the Clipboard+ and we could use all the help we can get! Please comment, tweet (@clipboard_plus), or post your ideas on our facebook page.

Great ideas will be rewarded with a shout-out on the blog including a picture of the Clipboard+Your Idea in action!
In addition, all creative, original ideas new ways to use the products will be judged by the Clipboard+ team, weekly champions will win a free Clipboard+Smartphone!
Once you have it in your hands, I’m sure you’ll find great use for your Clipboard+, whether attaching your smartphone, hanging a masterpiece on the wall (the suction cup makes the Clipboard+ an ideal temporary picture frame!) or anything you can imagine.

Thanks for reading! We can’t wait to see what we’re sure will be some incredibly creative submissions!

Dollar Shave Club Rules!

1 Jul

With close to 5 million views, the hottest viral video on the internet is currently about shaving and a some very inexpensive razors. Similar to the surreal Old Spice commercials, Mike Dubin from Dollar Shave Club is taking the world by storm because yes, his razors are f’ing great! This video is really funny and is getting quite a bit of attention. Take the time to watch it, we guarantee at least two hearty gut laughs.

Everyone from Business Insider to the Huffington Post is writing about Mike Dublin’s hilarious video and awesome idea. Basically for $1 plus shipping and handling you get five two blade cartridges per month. That is 60 cartridges per year – a very unbeatable price, even by Roger Federer. As a man who spends over $150 on razors per year, signing up for Dollar Shave Club is a no brainer. Head on over to their website and change the way you shave today!

The BEST iPhone Productivity App is Finally Here – Get Launch Center Pro

28 Jun

Say Hello to Launch Center Pro

Launch Center Pro is the hottest app to hit the App Store since Angry Birds. It has completely changed the way we work with our iPhones. If this sounds like an app you would like to buy, invest now, as it is 40% off for the rest of June!

40% OFF FOR A LIMITED TIME
Launch actions, not just apps!
It’s like speed dial, but for more than just phone calls! Launch Center Pro creates lightning quick shortcuts to specific features buried deep within apps. Call a loved one, message a friend, launch Instagram’s camera to quickly snap a pic, tweet, or turn your iPhone into a flashlight. Launch Center Pro gets you to where you’re going faster than ever before!

Sample shortcuts:

– Call your Mom
– Message a friend
– Email your boss
– Search Twitter using Tweetbot
– Create a new item in Omnifocus
– Search Yelp for nearby coffee shops
– Fire up Instagram’s camera, instantly
– Jump right to your favorite website
– Use the iPhone as a flashlight
– And so much more…

Launch Center Pro Reviews

Launch Center Pro has been on every major information outlet covering apps, iPhones and productivity. We were extremely impressed by the rave reviews and have included some of our favorites below. Enjoy!

  • “There’s no direct equivalent to such keyboard-based utilities on the iOS. But Launch Center Pro from App Cubby offers a robust, touch-driven interface that affords power users an impressively clever way to navigate the iPhone or iPod touch more quickly.” (Lex Friedman, Computer World)
  • “Launch Center Pro is an app of verbs. Search. Shoot. Call. Text. Add. In creating shortcuts you must pause and think about what you actually want to do. In a way, it’s akin to creating an effective to-do list. For example, “Friday’s presentation” is not an action step, but “outline presentation” is. The difference, of course, is the verb “outline.” As the clever demo video above explains, “Messages is an app. Messaging your friend is an action.” (Dave Caolo, TUAW)
  • “If you found yourself having to scroll through over nine shortcuts on a daily basis, like I have, then you will definitely welcome the new interface and easier layout for launching your favorite apps.” (Christine Chan, Appadvice)
  • “Launch Center was simple and brilliant. Launch Center Pro is simply brilliant. Go get it now while it’s on sale for only $2.99 in the iTunes App Store. It truly is a productivityist’s best friend.” (Mike Vardy, Vardy.me)

Final Thoughts

The beauty of Launch Center Pro is that it uses a menu system we all know and love, while also providing extensive icon customization. This missing feature is often pointed out as a weakness of the iPhone.

It is also easy to get bogged down with the thousands of available iPhone apps. Launch Center Pro consolidates all of the apps you need with a friendly action-oriented display, perfect for everyone from soccer moms to social media gurus. This app is one of the first to completely alter the way we use our phones. It is for that reason that Launch Center Pro is being named to our list of Essential Apps that Change the Way You Work.

Congrats and thank you to the team at App Cubby. You have an amazing product that has forever made our iPhones more efficient.

Feel free to contact us or give your own impressions of Launch Center Pro in the comments. Please follow us @Clipboard_Plus and support us on Kickstarter!

-Patrick

Minecraft in Education (Intro)

24 Jun
  • Survive in a massive sandbox world
  • Fend off enemies
  • Create anything
  • Collaborate with friends

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a sandbox PC game created by Marcus “Notch” Persson and his company, Mojang. Gameplay has two primary play modes.

  1. Creative – allows characters unlimited resources, unlimited health, and the ability to fly
  2. Survival – the player must collect resources, maintain their health and fight monsters

Minecraft is a wonderful game for video game veterans and new comers alike. Foregoing the usual goals and requirements for its players, Minecraft is more like a toy, not a game. Similar to Legos or Lincoln Logs, Minecraft is a fantastic toy that has the capacity to foster divergent thinking and imaginative reasoning. As of November 7, 2011, Minecraft had over 16 million registered users.

Why does Minecraft matter?

Minecraft, Notch and Mojang are extremely influential for a number of reasons. As a member of the Minecraft universe you will:

  • Foster creativity
  • Promote collaboration
  • Support the independent community
  • Challenge the traditional video game model
  • Have a lot of fun

How can it help me educate?

Here at Changing the Way You Work, we like to find creative ways improve current technology. As a K-12 teacher, it important to be aware of the latest and greatest. As we have already established, Minecraft is a popular game with the ability to educate. Many teachers, like Joel Levin, the Minecraft teacher, have already begun to adopt Minecraft in the classroom. Check his site for teachers, MinecraftEdu for more info on how to get Minecraft in your classroom.

Build Anything

Many Minecraft users have taken quite a bit of time to build some amazing structures. Below are just a few of the most fantastic structures built on Minecraft.

Even a Computer

As you can see, truly anything can be built in this fantastic game. If you don’t believe us, check out this computer built by the Changing the Way You Work Team.

Look forward to our next post which will explain Binary code and detail how you can create your own binary code in Minecraft!

Seth Godin Drives Traffic (Kickstarter Day 2)

20 Jun

Kickstarter

Clipboard+ has only been up on Kickstarter for two days and already we have over $2,000 in funding from our beautiful backers! If you haven’t had the chance to support us, check out the Clipboard+ :: Changing the Way You Work Kickstarter Project for more information. Every dollar helps!

Seth Godin

Our posts at Changing the Way You Work have evolved since our inception earlier this month. We have focused on things like productivity, technology, and innovation. But, one constant in all of our most popular posts have been the presence of this man, Seth Godin.

Seth Godin

Our only theory is that Seth Godin must be driving traffic to Changing the Way You Work. This makes perfect sense because of his recognizable name and all of the fantastic content provided by Godin on his blog, books and TED talks. If you want to get an idea for just how big his following really is, go to Seth’s Kickstarter page for his new book, The Icarus Deception.

In honor of Seth Godin’s ability to attract attention, we have posted our favorite Seth Godin books, TED talks, and blog posts. Enjoy!

Books

TED Talks

Seth Godin at Gel 2006 from Gel Conference on Vimeo.

Blog Posts

Thanks for Reading!

With 33 books, 2,500 blog posts and multiple videos online, Seth Godin has something for everyone. Be sure to let us know about your favorite stuff by Seth Godin on Twitter @clipboard_plus or comment on this post.

-Patrick