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Our Favorite Kickstarter Projects (August 2012)

6 Aug

Kickstarter was a tremendous way to get the word out about Clipboard+ Going forward, we would like to contribute back to this fantastic community by staying involved through contributing to projects and providing simple monthly updates of our favorite Kickstarter projects. Please share your favorite Kickstarter projects for August in the comments section!

Art

Pixel Portrait Poster Project

This project is about creating 8-bit pixel portraits for up to 800 kickstarter backers, and bringing them all together into a beautiful limited edition art print!

Comics

The Mighty Titanby Joe Martino

5 Issue Miniseries that wraps Joe Martino’s cancer in a superhero shell. Who will protect The Mighty Titan’s alter ego from cancer?

Dance

And lose the name of action

An evening-length dance by Miguel Gutierrez and the Powerful People exploring embodied philosophy, neurology, improvisation and ghosts.

Design

Build Your Dreams

The PLY90 is a connector to build and bring your ideas to life. It’s like Legos for adults.

Fashion

Ahoy! Pirate shirts! by ManaTee Shirts

We love making funny shirts, and we love pirates. We decided to combine the two with these awesome new designs.

Film & Video

Behind the Diamond Curtain MineCon 2012

See everything that happens Behind the Diamond Curtain during MineCon 2012 at Disneyland Paris. Own a piece of the MineCon experience.

Food

The Boxcar Grocer

The Boxcar Grocer is making fresh food accessible to all communities.

Games

Castle Story

Castle Story is a voxel-based creative strategy game about building castles brick by brick and defending them against enemies.

Music

Flourishby Katie McNally

A debut album of original and traditional Scottish fiddle music!

Photography

The American (Photo) Road Trip

Join photog Kathryn Allen Hurni as she hops into the driver’s seat & shoots American homes: from NYC to the OC & everything in between.

Publishing

A How-To Guide for Freelance Video Game Journalists

Make a living by writing about video games? Hell yes! Break into the gaming industry with this detailed how-to guide for freelancers.

Technology

Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game

Developer kit for the Oculus Rift – the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.

Theatre

Twainfest

TwainFest 2012 – San Diego’s biggest FREE theatrical event celebrates Mark Twain and his contemporary writers on August 18, 2012.

 

We hope you enjoyed our review of our favorite Kickstarter projects from August 2012. Please comment below or on twitter @changeyourwork about some of your favorite Kickstarter projects from August.

10 Applications to Help Combat the “Back to School Blues”

5 Jul

We have officially passed the ‘unofficial’ midpoint of summer, July 4th, which can only mean one thing…BACK TO SCHOOL! Yeah, anyone under the age of 22 doesn’t want to hear those words; for others, it can’t come soon enough. Whether you are excited or not; these apps will certainly help you transition back into the ‘school season’.

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iPhone

Evernote, as mentioned in my previous blog post will help you organize all of your to-do lists, audio recordings, pictures, and webpages.

However, I found an even awesomer (yes it’s a word) app for $0.99; that’s about 99.5% off retail! The Graphing Calculator app can graph multiple equations and you can even email yourself the results. It will not work in an advanced calculus class, but for those who have to take an introductory class of Calculus or Statistics this will work perfectly. You will most likely be unable to use this for a test, but for homework and classwork it will make your life easier. Who wants to carry that brick of a calulator with them anyways?

iPad

Most Apple Applications can run on iPhones and iPads, but the following are some that are best suited for the iPad’s larger screen:

CourseSmart is another avenue of purchasing your eTextbooks and eResources at deep discounts from the hard copy version. This app also allows you to view your text from your iPad, iPhone, or computer. The program is free; you just pay for your eBook like you normally would. (This application is also available on the Android Market).

This application, Stanza, slightly branches off from CourseSmart. Stanza allows you to download copies of ‘the classics’ that have fallen into the public domain (The Sorrows of Young Werther, The Waste Land, even Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as pictured at right). The texts are free and so is the app. You can also pay to download other, currently copyrighted, readings as well. The iPad’s ability with this app, rivals the Amazon Kindle, since the screen is larger and allows other programs to run as well (such as your music).

QuickOffice is as close to a windows tablet as you can get currently, until the Surface makes its launch. This app is not Office itself, but it allows you to edit documents from those programs. It pulls from your Dropbox or SugarSync folders, let’s you edit them, and then you can send them back to your cloud. You can also bring in Evernote documents. For $9.99 it sounds like a great deal to me!

iAnnotate PDF allows you to take notes, highlight, circle and just about anything else you can think of for $9.99. The price it a little steep, but it has more abilities than I can fit in this post. My favorite aspect is that you can use different highlighter colors depending on the content; also it makes sure you highlight in a straight line, something I seem to be incapable of doing. The app even allows you to add a secondary level of protection on your documents with another password; it also supports iOS data protection and Keychain functions. It will also flatten your files to keep them from being modified at a later time without your knowledge. Similar to Evernote, it also has a search function for all your documents. So you can easily find what you need, when you need it.

Android

I was only able to find one Android specific application ready to help combat the ‘Back to School Blues’; Layar. Layar is pretty epic looking, I must say. This application aggregates information from third party apps, such as Yelp and UrbanSpoon, and layers the information on your screen, as the camera scans your surroundings. You can choose what you are specifically looking for and narrow the results from the 1,500 layers they have in the database. Note: Apple has an app called Layar as well, but it has a different purpose.

There is also an app called Pocket, originally ReaditLater, which is Android’s version of Instapaper, which I explained in my previous post as well.

All Platforms

With the race in smartphone technology never ending, there are many applications that span from the iTunes Store to the Android Market seamlessly. Two of the best are Pageonce and GroupMe.

Pageonce helps you keep track of your bills and where your money is going. You can receive alerts BEFORE your bill is due, keep track of your cash and look how much you have put on your credit card all on one screen (as seen at right). Oh and it’s free! You can even pay your bills from the app for 30 cents, that’s less than a stamp.

Who actually likes group projects? Anyone…anyone? Exactly, but this app can make your life slightly easier when your class takes the “group work is essential to learning…” turn. GroupMe allows you to add all your members phone numbers to one unique number so you can text everyone, by texting that one number. You can also see where your members are through the GPS feature; no more Starbucks stops when you “forgot your papers at home and have to run back”. This app is free as well and will definitely be a timesaver when your group projects start piling up.

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As I write this post, and just about every other writing related thing I do, I have Pandora Radio playing. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I CANNOT work in silence. I have to have music in the background and Pandora is my lifesaver. Late nights writing a paper; Pandora playing through my headphones. Reading Business Law; Pandora kept me sane. I am sure Pandora is not new to most of you, but it sure is a good old standby in terms of music. Pandora is run by the Music Genome Project and has 80,000 artists and over 800,000 tracks. You can create stations based ona genre, a couple singers/bands you like, or one of their preset stations (i.e. Sounds of Summer). A “Thumbs Up” keeps the song on your list, a “Thumbs Down” takes the song off your list forever. You can create a playlist completely tailored to you! Everyone can find music they like on here, and did I mention its free, and you can log into your account anywhere?

Back to ‘that which must not be named’ is on its way, but if we are prepared, we can make it through.

3 Apps Every Engineer Should Have

5 Jul

Professional Engineers and Engineering Students Alike Will Love These Apps

Steam Tables


Anyone who has ever taken a heat transfer, thermodynamics, or fluid mechanics class knows how time consuming it is to search through countless pages of appendices just to find one figure for an energy transfer problem.  Thanks to Steam Tables, an app by Carmel Software Corporation, the time-wasting nature of technical problem solving may soon become a thing of the past.

Steam Tables is a fantastic app that takes all of the information from steam tables and makes it easy to search and access.  Variables such as pressure, temperature, and saturation level are easy to change and the app will instantly find the correct table that matches any inputs. I can personally attest to steam’s reliability and have witnessed how much it can improve productivity.  Steam Tables is a definite must for all Engineering disciplines.

Check Out Steam Tables here!

Free Graphing Calculator

Engineer or not, most people have owned a graphing calculator.  If you’ve ever bought one, you know that they easily run over $100! Furthermore, they are big, bulky, and very droppable.  Enter the app : ‘Free Graphing Calculator’, by William Jockusch.

I know what you’re thinking ‘there’s no way an app could ever perform as well as the real thing.’ Nothing could be further from the truth!  Not only does this app save money and space, its also easier to use than any graphing calculator out there! Free Graphing Calculator is customizable and displays information on the large, easy to read screen of a phone or ipad. Not to mention, new updates will ensure that your calculator is never out of date!

Check out Free Graphing Calculator here!

iFactor Quadratics

For many students (myself included) math is kryptonite. No matter how high the level of math gets, trinomials are always present. Now, the app iFactor Quadratics, by iStuff, gives students a tool to combat these inescapable equations.

iFactor Quadratics can solve any solvable trinomial and gives students the confidence to conquer one of the more frustrating mathematical concepts.  It can save tons of time and stress…I wish this app had been available earlier!

Check out iFactor Quadratics here!

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

5 Must Have Productivity Apps for iPhone/iPad

23 Jun

My generation, the late 80’s early 90’s babies, have never read directions for technology. We just can innately figure out random devices, but as I enter my senior year of college, I finally had to “read the directions.” I’ve never written for a blog. I have written just about every other type of prose, even poetry, but the “post” has always eluded me.

First, I read WordPress’s directions; one line really struck me, “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” Then, of course, I Google’d “do’s and don’t’s of writing a blog.”  What would we do without Google? Actually, maybe that should be the topic of my next post… hmmmm…

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Let’s talk about Apple Apps. (Say that three times fast.) You don’t need to be super tech savvy to rock an iPhone, iPad, even the iTouch. With the application riff-raff, over half a million apps, which ones are worth the money, let alone using up your monthly data allowance? Here are five, in no particular order, that I think are definitely worth it.

iStudiez

I have been in love with my Google Calendar, and the other Google Applications, for years now. I questioned how I would have ever survived hectic college life (and summer where the days run into each other) without it. I was wrong, dead wrong. iStudiez allows you to organize your classes, syllabi, to do lists, important deadlines, and just general events to remember…all in one place, your phone’s calendar. It allows you to color code your events, organize your tasks in countless ways, and gives you a ‘today’ view of everything that needs to be done. With the countless items that need to be done today you will never forget with notifications on your phone reminding you. All of those things are great, but my personal fave; the class countdown. Oh and there’s a free version that does everything except track your GPA, who needs to do that anyways…

Evernote

Evernote for iOS iconYou know that infomercial on at 3am, when you are struggling to find sleep, about the machine to ‘read’ your receipts and notes and organizes them on your computer? This is even better, AND FREE, for your phone! Evernote has over 20 features to keep all your information in one place; you can make to-do lists, record audio, search for text inside images, email or tweet your notes, take pictures of the black (or white) board full of notes, even view web pages when you are no longer online. Best part? You can sync all of your notes across your computers and devices.

Pulse News and Instapaper

Instapaper

Instapaper (Photo credit: Johan Larsson)

Keeping up to date with various social media, newspapers, and even epic blogs (like Changing the Way You Work) can take a lot of time and energy. Pulse News allows you to combine all your news sources into one screen, no more swapping windows, or missing out on ‘the newest thing’ while checking another source. Instapaper, on the other hand, allows you to save web pages to read later, offline. We all know there are times you don’t have a signal, or you have to turn on ‘airplane mode’, but you need to keep yourself occupied. The app also lets you change the font and text size to what suits you. Pulse News is free; Instapaper is $2.99, but well worth it to catch up on news, gossip, friends and family while on the go.

iParkedHere

Okay, I’ll admit it, I have walked out of a building and rhetorically asked, “Where did I park…?”, but I swear it’s only been a few times! Some parking lots are straight up labyrinths and even if you ‘kinda’ remember where you parked, everything looks the same. iParkedHere to the rescue! It uses the GPS in your phone to ‘drop a pin’ where your lovely vehicle is and will help you find it later. It also has a handy parking meter counter so you will get notified when your meter is close to running low. For a $2.99 price tag, it will easily be worth it when you don’t get another parking ticket.

ScanBizCards

Remember back to that time you went to a job fair, or really any networking event, and you had countless business cards to keep track of. Not to mention, having to email thank you’s to some and resumes to others. This app, ScanBizCards, allows you to take pictures of all the cards and then automatically imports the information into your contact list for easy emailing. I wish I had known about this app when I went to the job fair, I had so many cards and couldn’t keep straight who had said what and I think a few fell out of my folder. I was a mess. For the super low price of free you can be much classier than I was last spring.

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Those were my five-ish, yes I combined two, apps to help you get your life together, but this next one I had to post about because it is just plain awesome. Daniel Chao, ten years old, created the iReadMonthly app to keep track of how much time he spent reading. Entrepreneurial spirit is starting earlier and earlier. Love it!

I survived my first blog post! And you survived reading it! Congratulations! So maybe, blogs are not so enigmatic. For years my English teachers told me I “wrote too conversationally”; what they didn’t know was my style was perfect for blog postings. According to Mashable.com, a blogger must “be willing to talk like a human being…show feelings and a point of view. Let your inner self come out…Just speak!” Hope you all enjoyed my first ever blog post, you are now part of history. I would love some feedback on it, other topics you’d like to read about, or just questions/comments in general.

~Sam

Kickstarters with Practical New Apps (Day 4)

22 Jun

Just 3 days after the launch of our own Kickstarter crowd-funding project, Clipboard+ has already recieved shout-outs from popular blogs like App Advice and Business Insider In the spirit of mutual back-scratching and good karma, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few of our favorite peer projects, just a few of the innovative, practical ideas found on Kickstarter that we will soon see changing the way we work.

I’d also like to present my pick for the most entertaining (if slightly ambitious-the investment goal is upwards of $21,000,000) Kickstarter promotional video for a moon-bound recording artist whose mission is “to be the John Denver of Space Folk

Chameleon

Android tablet users will love this application which provides a personalized and easily customizable tablet experience. Chameleon lets tablet owners create beautiful displays and easily navigable home screens which adapt to your needs related to what’s important to you when, and where; A morning screen when you wake up, with widgets for news, scores from last night, daily reminders and today’s weather. An office home screen where your emails, industry updates, datebooks, spreadsheets and presentation applications are front and center when you walk into work (via GPS settings). An evening home screen with facebook and twitter updates, what’s new on Netflix, games and ebooks. These are just the listed examples and only a few of the ways in which Chameleon can personalize, enhance and simplify your tablet experience.

Example

Created by Teknision Inc., a Canadian design company, this is Chameleon’s second fully-funded Kickstarter release, the first being cancelled due to payment complications, a result of team members not having American citizenship. With 12 days left of their 20-day funding, Chameleon has greatly surpassed its $30,000 goal, and a $5 investment is still the quickest way to recieve the app before it is released on the Google Play Store.

Pressure Sensitive Tablet Drawing Styli

For designers, dreamers, doers and doodlers, the advent of pressure-sensitive writing styli will be a welcome site, compared to the frustrations of original digital drawing tools where the drawing function was merely either on or off. At present, there are three similar models in different stages of funding and production. These are very innovative tools and are extemely useful for anyone trying to create, edit or share images on a tablet.

The jaja, whose kickstarter raised over $65,000, claims to be the world’s first pressure sensitive iPad stylus. Without Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections, this pen literally speaks to your device to capture the pressure of your pen strokes. Jaja emits high-frequency sound waves, too high for human ears, that communicate with your device’s microphone.

The jaja- an Australian import- like its peers, enhances drawing on tablets by enabling precise, pressure-sensitive penstrokes

Adonit’s Jot Touch, which uses bluetooth connections, works great with pressure-sensitive Apps, and for non-sensitive Apps, users can utilize its own pressure-sensing disk to get precise readings and perfect lines.

Another current Kickstarter stylus project, PressurePen, created in North Carolina by web developer Charles Mangin, is an inexpensive, battery operated device, designed to last through hundreds of hours of use. The way it works will remain a mystery for now, as the technology is currently being withheld due to licensing ambitions.

Further changing the way you work with an iPad is the Collusion App, a virtual whiteboard which combines a stylus with cloud capabilities to create a collaborative brain storming app to increase team productivity from anywhere with an internet connection. Created by the Collusion development team, this fully-funded Kickstarter project has already seen praise for its use in design team collaborations, inter-office meetings, and executives digitally co-signing documents in real time.
Collusion App: Real-time collaboration to increase productivity of meetings, designing, and note-taking.

Thanks for Reading!

Be sure to follow @Clipboard_plus on Twitter, and if you haven’t yet, check out our Kickstarter project, and fabulous new webpage!

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