Pause and be Thankful

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I’ve been like over the top busy working on BrewStream.  I haven’t blogged in three months.

But, thanks to a gentle reminder from Pastor Matt yesterday at church, I’ve paused a couple of times to stop and be thankful.  Could you imagine living in a country being oppressed and not allowed to worship the way you want?  To be told how to live? What you can have? And, you don’t even have to “look back in history” – it has happened, and happening, our our life times.

So, I’m pausing now, and will again a few times today to be thankful to those who gave their lives, and those today who are serving, or have served.  Thank you all!

Quick Hit – Why I Hate Email, and You Should Too (Because It Kills Productivity) 

[Photo: Tim Gouw via Unsplash]

Ever find that it’s noon and you haven’t accomplished anything on your to-do list? Get a productive jump-start on the day with these tasks.

Source: The First Four Things You Should Do Every Workday

My Vistage leader sent this article out.  It so hits the mark.

Over the years, I find myself cycling back to opening email first thing in the morning, then, basically staying there all day.  This article notes “the morning goes by and nothing got done.”  In my case, much to my chagrin, I find that a week has gone by – and the critical things are not done.  It’s times like these when I need reminders like this.

Reading this article will be the best two minutes you spend today.

Make it a great day.

Use Chrome to Create a Windows 10 App from Any Website

Here is a quick “Technology You Should Be Using” hit for you.

I was getting tired of opening Chrome, waiting for it to load, then, go to the bookmark to open things I use every day like Google Drive, Google Inbox, etc.  So, I wanted to see what the “modern” way of adding bookmarks is and ran across this.

Personally; I’m not a “clutter my desktop” kind of guy (goes towards GTD Mind Like Water); but I’m sure parts of this will let you do that too if you are the “cluttered” type. 😉

Use Chrome to Create a Windows 10 App from Any Website

Clipmate – Technology You Need To Be Using

Let me set the scene….

You are a Windows user.  You need to copy someone’s name, company, street address, city, state, zip from one app to another (say your contact list to an order form).  You open one app, copy, switch to the other, and paste, and back to copy, and forth to paste, and back and forth.  🙁

Or, here’s another fun one – you are working on a proposal.  You cut a paragraph to your Windows clipboard with the intention to paste it elsewhere.  You then get distracted by another “shiny object;” you see something else you want to move and you cut that.  D’oh!  You lost that first clip.

Enter Clipmate….

I have been using Clipmate FOREVER – like since I think 1998?  It’s one of those pieces of technology I live in everyday.  Clipmate captures everything you copy or cut to your Windows Clipboard.  So, now, that “D’oh” moment?  You just pop open Clipmate (either from the task bar or a hotkey shortcut),  arrow down to that clip, and wah-lah; it’s now on your clipboard ready for paste – just flip back to your app.

That address?

Go into your contact list and just copy, copy, copy the name, company, street address, etc.  Go into Clipmate and set it in “Power Paste!” mode.  Now go into the Order Form and just Paste, Paste, Paste – the clips will go on to the Window’s clipboard in sequence, ready for pasting after you click in your next field and paste.  It’s awesome.

Are you a coder?  Want that piece of code or SQL Statement from yesterday?  It will be there in Clipmate, which is fully searchable.

Passwords?  You can set up collections in Clipmate.  I keep one for such so I can quickly get to my most critical ones.  I have another collection called “Templates” that have my return address, Spanish phrases I like to use, but can never get that “~” in the right place – whatever you need to frequently put into a document / code / query.

It does a ton more also.  Chris Thorton has done an amazing job with the software.

Get rid of the “D’oh!” moments; get Clipmate at www.Clipmate.com

Clarity Keyboard – Technology You Need To Be Using

I love Android.  The biggest reason?  Because you can make it work the way you work, or want to work.  Don’t like the background color, you change it?  Critical you see the weather in Laguna Beach?  Add it to your desktop.  You type differently than others?  Pick the keyboard that works for you.

When I was in middle school, I took typing.  Probably the best class I ever took in Middle School (next to Ms. Edwards 8th Grade English) because it gave me a skill that has carried me forward over the years.  Anyway, this class truly taught me to touch type; never look at the keys; always at the “paper.”   So, then came along the Smartphone.  I so want to “look at the paper,” but that’s not the way it works.  You really have to look at the keys.  So finding the right keyboard is critical.

I’ve used Swiftkey for years now.  Its prediction technology is amazing.  It really knows what word you need next most of the time.  I was intrigued by their new neural network keyboard.  It takes prediction technology to a whole new level.  The original Swiftkey’s predictions where always good.  But now they are great.  Alas, it’s beta, so it’s missing the Swiftkey features of “learn from your Evernote account, Gmail and text.”  I hope they can add that.  (Also, for what it’s worth, I guess because it is beta, it’s a hair fuzzy, graphically, and only has two themes.)  If they bring it to market, I’d consider switching for sure.  But, with this keyboard, you are still having to look around – at the Keyboard; at the Predictions.  So, then I saw their other beta, Clarity.

No “predictions” here.  Well, that’s not 100% true. Their goal with this keyboard is to let you “just write.”  So, that’s what you do.  You keep your eyes on the keyboard and just type.  It does its predictions in line with your typing; multi word – auto-magically (thanks Blake) correcting as you go along. When you do look up, your writing is pretty darn accurate.  It lets you focus, and focusing is important to productivity.

Looking to “just write” on your Android and have focus.  Give Clarity a try.

Epilogue: In my introduction post to this series, I said “no iOS.”  Well, I somewhat fibbed.  Swiftkey is available for iOS also.  Give it a whirl.

Food for Thought – Integrity

I was in Discount Tire a couple of weeks ago and saw this posted in the store.  Turns out they post it in every store.  Good food for thought to kick off the week.

“Integrity: When you are looking at the characteristics on how to build your personal life, first comes integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience.

“Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity, understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind. Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to good use by people with all other qualities.

“Make absolute integrity the compass that guides you in everything you do. And surround yourself only with people of flawless integrity.” — Karl Eller

(Photo Credit – Yelp.com)

Technology You Need To Be Using

 

Vintage IBM Technology

(Photo Credit: Jeremy Brooks

I’ve wanted to write something like this for a long time.

Today is the day I’ve decided to stop procrastenating.

I’m going to write about some pieces of technology , mainly software for Windows or Android, that I find really help with productivity.  (Sorry, no iOS here – except Evernote.  And, hey, I’m open to guest posts.)

I use some tools every day that just make me fly on these devices and I want to share the magic with you.

Have any requests or suggestions, let me know.

Patience is a Virtue

Hourglass by Rachel

That is a phrase I have heard and used for a long, long time.
Before my Faith, it was more of a cliche I used.
Coming into Faith, I saw it work in my life more and more. Many times completely Faith based where I saw Him work in my life. Many times, just in everyday life.

Next time you are waiting to turn left, across traffic, without a stop light, and you feel like you are not getting a break – just tell yourself “patience is a virtue” and watch what happens.

Now, I’m fully exercising this as I am really reaching out to Him, and giving it all up to him. At times, me being without a job is very unnerving for me and Beautiful. But, He and Faith have come through before, and we know He will again.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Cupid’s foot, as used by Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Courtesy of Wikipedia

Yesterday was my last day at Improve Group.   And, as Monty Python’s Flying Circus use to say….

And now for something completely different.

What is that?  Well…..

A Break

The last nine months at IG were a “long row to hoe.”  My amazing wife (who I loving refer to as Beautiful – because she is in so many ways) has been holding down the fort in North Carolina while I’ve been working in New Mexico.  I miss her a lot and I’m looking forward to spending time with her.

Charlie, my two year old son, has been tearing up the fort – that little turkey!  But I sooo miss him also.

My girls, now young ladies, have given me so much grace and understanding during this time that I’m looking forward to more attention for them.  And, they got me and Beautiful Imagine Dragons tickets for Father’s Day / My Birthday!  Woot Woot!

Oh, yes – and me.  At first “doing nothing” sounded good.  But, my brain on day one of this new chapter is spinning.  So, when the time is right during this break, I plan to get my ducks in a row for the prose of that chapter.  I’m not 100% sure what those ducks look like yet (hence, see my post).  However, this has been a new test for me – to test my Faith and see what He brings.  Stay tuned; more to come.

Here to help you move forward.