Turning a Smartphone Into a Financial Management / Business Management Tool (L40)

Last year for Christmas I got the first cell phone I had had in years; a brand new iPhone 5s. It was beautiful; and having my new toy-camera-textmachine turned out to be much more beneficial than I had previously anticipated. The more comfortable I got with my thumbs on that slick glass screen, the more I found myself exploring the depths of the Apple world. Before I knew it, I was writing essays on my phone waiting for the train, and creating Powerpoint presentations at lunchtime – amazingly, all without a computer. To passer-bys I was another teenager glued to my phone; little did they know that I was teaching myself the value of my time, simply by eliminating wasted minutes. Setting alarms to be awake at certain times, or to keep you on task are extremely helpful as well. There are hundreds, probably thousands of apps available for smartphone users that will allow them to increase their productivity during what would normally be “dead time”. From document applications, to spreadsheets, to calendars/planners and, even “brain training games”.  Waiting for appointments, standing in line, commuting, even short treks to the bank – these are all instances displaying the value of our time, or rather the value of the time we’ve wasted already. Beyond using a smartphone to make calls, send and receive texts and emails, and plan meetings, they can be used to organize, and remind you of these events as well. Downloadable credit trackers, budget planners, and even stocks are now at our fingertips – and so many of us aren’t taking advantage of all the free help being offered.
Jumping back on the Apple bandwagon – there is a product that was released some years ago; it is simple. Just a little tiny white cube that plugs into the headphone jack – however this little block offers a whole new world of convenience to small business owners and self managing people. Being able to swipe and charge credit cards with a touch of your phone screen is a huge step in both time management and organization. This will also build better relationships between buyer and seller due to the interaction, which the bank lacks. This is the time and age of taking charge of our lives; taking control of what we really want. Don’t be afraid to let technology help you achieve this, but don’t let it push you back either.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Steve Jobs (L20)

Before reading, please note that the entire following essay is from a single website (cited below)

Steven Paul Jobs was born in San Francisco, California in February of 1955; adopted as an infant, his new parents took him to the city of Mountain View where he grew up. This area was booming with new businesses at this time, surrounding young Jobs with engineers and electronic growth which strongly grasped his interests. At age 13, he met 18 year old Stephen Wozniak who came to be a good friend of Jobs’ (but we’ll get to him later).
By the time his parents had scraped up enough money for him to go to the college he wanted, Jobs turned around one semester later and dropped out. He took a slight break from the rushing world around him to ‘find enlightenment’ through his world travels and drug trips; once he settled, he found himself part of a ‘hippie commune’ in Oregon.
Once his spiritual spurt was over, Jobs traveled back to California and got a job working for the (then) small Atari video game company. His old friend Wozniak, in the meantime, had been learning all about computers, and had actually been able to build his very own personal computer board. This caught Jobs’ attention, and thus on April 1st 1976 the Apple Computer baby was born with all intentions of making personal computers accessible to software hobbyists, “who wanted to write software without the hassle of assembling a computer kit.” While assembling these computers in Jobs’ garage, newer and better technological ideas were flowing; the two were able to scoop up insanely large investments from people who had both money, and faith. With their growing success over the years came interest from large companies, and their profits (as well as their products) only got more advanced.
The reason that Steve Jobs (and Stephen Wozniak) were so successful is two things actually. The first being that they had a legitimate interest and passion for what they were doing. It had been a calling from a young age, and they were able to combine their background knowledge with perseverance and a dream. This all certainly entails a great amount of self discipline as well. The second reason that they were successful is because they had constantly changing goals. They were quickly adapting to their own ever changing business circumstances. As they became more popular, they were already in the process of trying to make a newer, better version of what they already had. This is exactly what people in the market of technology wanted then, and it is more than anything what they’re desiring today. People want the most attractive, functional, advanced version of anything they can get their hands on – and they want it fast. They were able to stick to their mini goals in advancing the company as time went on because of their main goal: money. This was their greatest motivator of all; it certainly did the trick. (Moisescot)

Moisescot, Romain. “Short Bio.” All about Steve Jobs.com. Romain Moisescot, 7 Mar. 2012. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <http://allaboutstevejobs.com/bio/shortbio.php&gt;.


Calendars and Scheduling : Dayviewer Vs. Apple Calendar (L11)

My task this week was to choose two calendar applications (or online resources) and play around with them for a few days; get a feel of them and then decide which you would be more likely to use and why. I chose to compare an online application titled Dayviewer, and the automatic (comes pre-installed in the iPhone) Apple calender.

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Now, I am going to have to be honest, I am slightly biased in my decision to use the Apple calendar rather than the online Dayviewer. The Apple calendar is what I have been using for years; I am much more comfortable with this format because it’s what I’m used to. However, that being said, I still probably would’ve chosen the Apple calendar even if I had had no experience with either, simply due to it’s user friendly and easy-to navigate set-up. Others may also refer to this set-up as more of a break-down, seeing as Apple offers multiple categories of calendars, and simple steps to set up events and reminders. This includes Calendar, Home, and Work – as well as being able to sync these different calendars with your Facebook and various other accounts to include birthday alerts and Facebook events automatically as well. Dayviewer is slightly less user friendly, with a confusing amount of options and a lack of explanation. The webpage has almost too much going on. Once ones begin to understand the layout though, they will find that many of these options are useless to some. Contacts, and messaging options for other people inside of the Dayviewer community. Unless one was using this deliberately with other people in a group form, these would be virtually unnecessary. This was the case for me. I did however find that there were some extra categories offered for personal organization that the Apple calendar lacked; some of these being Notes, Tasks, Events, Payments, and Online Chats, as well as being able to navigate between either your Personal, or Shared calendars. One thing that I found very useful about Dayviewer was that on the right, about a third of the page is a section titled “What’s Coming Up”. Here all of one’s upcoming events are listed in a to-do list manner; the user can decide to show the next 5, 10, 20, or 50 upcoming events in their schedule. Seeing every event in this manor was useful to me personally. The deciding factor between which one I would be more likely to use was accessibility. Both are electronic, but only Dayviewer absolutely requires internet for access. Also, the only reminders that Dayviewer can send to me are through my email, which is not a very direct way to reach me. I cannot rely on an email the way I can rely on an alarm reminder through my cellphone, which I am rarely caught without. The Apple calendar offers alarms on calendar events as well as secondary reminders of this event at an earlier (or later) date decided by you. The Apple calendar is direct and efficient; it works better with my lifestyle.