Friday Favorites 2.19.16

Do you ever have one of those weeks where Friday just surprises you? I can’t believe today is TTG SMM (1)Friday because the week just flew by me.  For the most part, it was a good week filled with sunshine and good work.

I hope your week was productive as well.  I found a few interesting items for you to take a look at today…hope you enjoy!

I love advice on how to read more books each year

The best book I read last year was Thrive, by Arianna Huffington

Meditation destination? Sign me up!

I’m a sucker for a productivity app and here’s 24 for you

Speaking of productivity apps…here are four that I use daily:

Evernote: I keep my entire life in evernote!

Pocket: This is where I store all my favorite articles.

Feedly: I use this app to read all my favorite bloggers and RSS feeds.

ToDoist: When I use a digital to-d0 list…this is the one I use.

Have a great weekend!

 

Best Blog Posts of 2014

Best PostsThe end of the year always brings out the ‘best of’ lists and I thought I would play along as well by listing my top 10 posts of 2014.  This was the first year for my new blog and I have been really pleased with the interaction and engagement.  I have a lot of great posts planned for 2015 and I hope you will join me in the journey.  So, without further ado, here were the top posts for allysontwiggs.com.

1. My Big News (no surprise here, this was my best post of the year in more ways than one!)

2. How to Leave the Perfect Voicemail 

3. 48 Hour in San Francisco

4. My Christmas Wish List

5. What Makes My Life Easier

6. What About Gen X

7. My Life Runs on Evernote

8. Friday Fab Four 11.14.14

9. What to Give Employees for Christmas

10. Working from Coffee Shops

My Christmas Wish List

My ChristmasIt’s that time of year when everyone is in good cheer and Santa is checking his list…twice! So, in the spirit of Christmas, I thought I would make my own special Christmas list.  So without further ado, these are the things that would make me smile like the Grinch this Christmas.

1. The ability to easily switch from one account to another in Instagram….please, please make this happen.

2. To find an iPhone 6, 64g in Silver…apparently it is easier to find Waldo than this particular phone.

3. For Facebook to just leave everything alone already…no more algorithms, no more policy changes, just leave it be.

4. For Twitter to once and for all demolish bots…I just love when @Suz789$M follows me and has 2 followers and follows 10k.  Good times.

5. Sharpies, lots and lots of sharpies in every style and color.  (The Hubs got me a stainless steel sharpie this year and I LOVE it.)

6. An Evernote scanner…my friend Beth has one and I am seriously coveting that thing.

7. For people/companies to stop with the automatic direct message on Twitter…be original!

8. To put an end to voice mail.

9. For my airdrop feature to work 100% of the time.

10. World Peace.

What’s on your Christmas List this year?grinch_smile_by_zhirafik21-d36m6g0

What Makes My Life Easier

todolistLife is busy and hectic and we need things in our life that make it easier and less hectic.  Things like personal drivers and chefs! I wish.  No, I mean applications that keep us organized and on top of our tasks.  Isn’t that where the stress really starts to get out of control..when we lose track of an important document or we fail to meet a deadline because we weren’t all that organized?

I am always on the lookout for really great software and apps to help me.  Now that I am running a business, it’s more important than ever that I am on top of my stuff! Here are a few apps that make my life easier and if you haven’t tried them, I think you will really like them as well.

Evernote: You already know that I love Evernote…I wrote about it here.  I can’t stop singing its praises.  I take notes, create proposals, write content copy, brainstorm blog ideas and keep many lists in Evernote.  It’s wonderful.

Freshbooks: I could not run my business without Freshbooks…it’s amazing.  I am not accounting savvy…(I’m creative, I drive accountants crazy) but this makes me savvy! It tracks my expenses and revenue, creates the most beautiful invoices and even tracks my time on projects.  If you are running a biz or helping a non-profit, take a look at Freshbooks, it is super easy to use and affordable too.

Buffer: I’ve told you about Buffer before but let me say it again…it rocks! Not only is it the best social media management tool (in my opinion) out there but the Buffer team is amazing.  If you are not following their blog, start today.  Amazing, helpful information daily.

To-Do Lists: I know there are very fancy to-do list apps out there and I’ve tried teauxdeaux and trello but I wanted something simpler…a to-do list that was more like a paper list and that’s exactly what I got.  The lists pop down on my screen like post-it notes and I can check the box and it gets crossed off my list…so rewarding! (See the pic above)

Skitch: The sister to Evernote, I use Skitch every single day to take screen shots and annotate them for clients.  It’s a great tool if you need a crosshair shot or screen shot.  Skitch is an Evernote product so everything you create in Skitch goes directly to your Evernote account.  Easy, breezy!

These are just a few apps that are keeping me sane.  What apps do you use to stay organized?

Wish Lists

If you know me or have read even a few of my blog posts you know that I am a huge believer in showing gratitude.  I have many gratitude journals, lists and gratitude practices.  Almost everyday on the drive to work or home I do a 10 finger gratitude list.  Yep, it’s very scientific, you count on your ten fingers ten things you are grateful for that day.

Much of my gratitude is about what I am grateful for in my life.  The other day I was writing about how grateful I am for my circle of girlfriends and how much they mean to me.  I started thinking about what I would ‘wish’ for them…what does each of my girlfriends need in their lives and could I send this to them through gratitude.  So…I started a list in Evernote called “Wishes for my Girlfriends” and I write down each of their names and put a wish into the universe for them.  It was very refreshing to think about gratitude for someone else and make a wish for their happiness.

Here are examples:

My wish for (insert name) is for her to follow her dreams.  No matter how big or small, I want her to take the road less traveled, step off the edge and focus on her true north.  I want (insert name) to be immensely happy.

My wish for (insert name) is vision.  I want her to always know something great is out there for her and that she’s making a difference everyday even when she doesn’t think so.

I cannot tell you how good this felt.  I always feel great after doing a gratitude exercise, but there was something about making wishes for someone other than myself that felt even more gratifying.  I encourage you to give this a try, it can be really uplifting for you.  I have only shared my wishes with a couple of my girlfriends, for the most part, I want it to be my secret.  Just someone out there wishing great things for their life without them knowing it.

My Life Runs on Evernote

evernoteAre you ever boggled by the amount of paper humans can produce? I am boggled every. single. day. I get paper from work, paper from my son’s school, paper from my 401k plan, paper from utility companies and bank statements.  Paper is out of control.  Since I have all this paper in my life, I need some way to manage it and store it.  While I am old enough to remember filing cabinets (just barely), I do not use them.  That’s when Evernote rushes in to save the day! I simply give it all to Evernote and it graciously keeps it all for me nice and neat.  Then, I recycle the paper and feel a whole lot better about the world…until the mail runs again.

I get many important papers from my son’s school and I want to have them close at hand when I need them.  Unfortunately, having them in the basket above my refrigerator doesn’t make sense when I’m not at home.  So, I scan them into my Evernote account and they are with me at all times.  His shot record, test scores, teacher syllabi…everything.  I have a notebook in Evernote called ‘Spencer’ and all that stuff goes in there.  Then…when I need to look up a teacher’s information, I just use the handy dandy search tool.  It’s pretty amazing.

It’s also a great web clipper tool.  I’ve mentioned before that I read many articles a day and when I find one that I want to hold on to for the long term, I just clip it into my Evernote account and it’s there for me whenever I need it.

I also use Evernote for work…when I am working on a document and need input or help from my team, I can share the document with those team members and we can work on the document together.  I keep my to-do lists in Evernote, my gratitude journal and even my Christmas card address list.  When I tell you my life runs on Evernote, I absolutely mean it.

To recap, here’s what Evernote can do for you:
  • Scan in any document, receipt, business card or slip of paper that you want to save.
  • Search tools to help you find any of the above that you scanned in to Evernote.
  • Web clipping tools to save articles or photos that you find on the internet. 
  • Ability to share documents with one person or a team of people.
  • Great for to-do lists, journaling, book or blog writing…so many things. 

Don’t use Evernote now but would like to? My friend Beth Stephens is the guru of Evernote and she recently wrote these great blog posts about becoming an Evernote Ninja.

Becoming an Evernote Ninja Part 1: An Evernote Primer

Becoming an Evernote Ninja Part 2: Adopting the Ways of the Cult

Becoming an Evernote Ninja Part 3: Enabling Super Ninja Powers