Reducing Stress and Anxiety – 3 Things That Work For Me

Over the years, probably brought on by being a startup junkie and always having poured myself unreservedly into work my entire professional life, I’ve developed several bad habits or things that are harmful to health, and perhaps also to relationships.

On the one hand, there is this insatiable passion and seemingly endless energy to take on challenges, get stuff done, being an engine that is always on. Sadly, on the other hand, there is fatigue, irritability, loss of focus, and low quality sleep. Undeniably, according to both ancient wisdom and modern medical know-how, the latter set of things affect one’s health dangerously. And with equal importance, the closest relationships are exposed to occasional bouts of irritability and other forms of negative energy. Broadly speaking, there is a general feeling of stress and anxiety as a result.

Three things I have either changed or started recently are personally helping me a lot without taking away from my productivity, and seem to be helping cut out the bad set of things.

RelaxPool

1. Turn off all audible alerts and lock-screen notifications on devices. (Except calendar reminders and text messages.)

This was a surprisingly welcome change. Sounds simple, but do you really need to be suddenly interrupted from your flow or zone, with a ding and a lock screen message that “Your Facebook friend so-and-so just joined Pinterest.” – and other irrelevant, unnecessary crap? I started going into my iPhone’s Notifications setup each time anything came up (Mail app alerts, Google alerts, Facebook, Twitter, CNBC alerts, and perhaps 10 others), and turning them off. I left Calendar and text message alerts on as I control the reminders I put on my calendar items, and also I am not a defocussed incessant texter - especially when I work, so most texts I get are important. On the same note, during work hours, I only make myself visible to the group of people I am working with on messaging apps. I still check my email and look at my agenda frequently, but on my own schedule, when I am in-between focussed tasks – kind of like waking up in sync with natural sleep cycles. Which leads me to my second thing – sleep.

2. Sleep well. Instead of an alarm clock, use an app like Sleep Cycle.

I started using this about a couple of months ago instead of using a regular alarm. It is ingeniously simple. You turn it on, put it next to your pillow facing down. It tracks your sleep cycles, duration and quality by tracking motion (whatever it detects from your tossing and turning, etc.), and perhaps from movement noise since it asks for access to the microphone. You can configure a window of time to wake up in, and it detects a stage when you are either awake or your sleep is in the waking part of the cycle during that time window, and wakes you up. Also, it measures your sleep quality and gives you a score and a graph of sleep level over time – that way you can correlate various pre-sleep activities with quality of sleep – for example, does sipping some tart cherry juice an hour before going to bed actually help with sleep, does deep breathing right before sleep give you some golden deep sleep cycles, etc. As my friend Chip had said 20 years ago: you should measure things that you care about. Inducing positive energy and a calm disengagement via pre-sleep deep breathing, and cutting out sources of negative energy seem to help in my case – which takes me to the third point.

3. Add positive energy (many choices). Cut out negative energy (namely TV news channels, and social media complainers).

Points 1 and 2 take zero time investment and give heavy positive returns. So that’s golden for the ROI (return-on-investment) fanatics. Point three is also a net positive – consuming about 30-60 minutes of time every day for adding positive energy (meditation / deep-breathing / quiet-time / simple yoga / reading / praying / reflecting / being grateful – look up Positive Psychology when you have a minute), but freeing up much more than that by subtracting sources of negative energy that steal time both directly and indirectly, and negatively affect every aspect of life. I am talking primarily about TV “news” folk, political talking-heads and other assorted villains – kings and queens of ignorance on TV and the internet constantly furthering their narrow agendas by stepping on your gentle minds. They come from the right and the left – ignore them, and instead look straight at what you value – there’s much better stuff there. The negative energy sources are plentiful in our social circles, in person, and more so on social media since it’s a much larger set. Cut. Them. Out. Hide them from your feeds, unfollow them, walk-away, change the topic, do whatever it takes to cleanly disengage. There are always tons of important things that require immense energy, constructive debate, championing ideas, defending values, and much effort without all the shallow and shrill things stealing our precious time. Any issue that is important to you can be engaged with constructively without subscribing to a buffet-line of fast-food class negative sentiments. That frees up more time to embrace positive things. Things you admire. Things you learn from. Things that leave you positive. Spend time with people that enrich you, and take a vacation every now and then!

What are some of your favorite positive energy sources? What kinds of negative energy sources have you successfully cut out? Please share.

Your Family Calendar, All in One Place

Organizing your calendar and schedule is a big challenge when you have a lot going on — and most of us do. And if you’re a mom who’s organizing the whole family, it’s even more challenging. Learn how LifeTopix and our starter app, My.Agenda, come to the rescue.

Transcript

Organizing your calendar and schedule is a big challenge when you have a lot going on — and most of us do.

And if you’re a mom who’s organizing the whole family, it’s even more challenging.

Between Zumba, baseball games, meetings, carpools, and clubs, you feel like your drowning and it’s practically impossible to keep it all straight.

This is when LifeTopix and our starter app, My.Agenda, come to the rescue.

LifeTopix is a central hub for your tasks, projects, shopping, events, travel, and more. My.Agenda is a starter, more economical version of LifeTopix that enables you to start small and expand as your organizational needs grow.

As the central hub of your life, LifeTopix works with all your calendars, including Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, your device Calendar, and others. You just need to configure these items in your device’s Mail, Contacts, and Calendars Settings.

So Why LifeTopix?

You might be wondering why you would use LifeTopix instead of your standard device calendar or a free online calendar.

There’s lots of ways to justify it – with 12 big reasons. The 12 Life Topics, which are intelligently designed topics that manage more than just calendar events.

These topics are connected and in one place, which eliminates the app hopping that you do when you install a flock of apps to do many different, disconnected things.

For example, when your contacts and service providers are linked to your calendar events and other items, you can easily contact them if you’re running late in just a few simple taps. You never have to open your device’s contacts or search for an email address again.

And don’t worry about getting lost with LifeTopix’s location services, you can always view your destination on the map.

LifeTopix keeps the whole family on the same page because it uses cloud services such as Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive for device-to-device sync. Because of this, LifeTopix or My.Agenda becomes the perfect place to share your kids’ doctors appointments, playdates, sports, and other events with the whole family.

And LifeTopix gives you other options for sharing. You can share items via email, text, or social media with friends or family members.

Before you get started with Cloud Sync, all you need to do is go to www.dropbox.com and set up a free account for the family to share.

Once you’ve set it up, everyone in the family can point LifeTopix to the Dropbox folder using LifeTopix Settings.

Next, Voila, everyone can start using Dropbox sync.

You’ll find another video on our website or youTube channel that describes these steps in detail.

Now everyone can be on the same page about what’s going on from appointments, to checklists, to bill payments and more — we’ve got you covered.

Now that everyone’s sharing the same calendar, you can easily add all types of items to your family’s agenda without a lot of nagging.

And your weekly review is a piece of cake with this handy agenda view.

We know you have a lot going on, keep track of it and keep everyone in the loop while on the go with LifeTopix.

If you want to learn more go to www.lightarrow.com or find LifeTopix or MyAgenda at the Apple App Store in the Productivity section. Thanks for Watching.

More info at the Apple App Store:

LifeTopix

My.Agenda

Ladies and Gentlemen: Get Your Valentine’s Day Checklist Ready

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching. We thought we would make it easy for our blog readers by showing you how you can set up your Valentine’s Day checklist so you’re not scrambling on the morning of February 14. And if your Valentine’s date is a procrastinator, feel free to share this blog to give him or her a little hint.

Create a Valentine’s Drawing

If you’re feeling creative, you can “go green” and hand draw a note in lieu of a card for your date and email it directly from LifeTopix (note: this was created with our newest version with enhanced drawing features, which is not yet released). You could even send a new drawing every day, dropping hints, leading up to the Valentine’s Day event.

LifeTopix Love Photo

Create your Checklist

Start by going to your Agenda view and tap Add to create your Valentine’s Day checklist. It’s important to schedule babysitters, order flowers, and make reservations early so make sure you’ve prioritized these items at the top of your list. Here’s an example of some of the items that you might schedule.

LifeTopix Valentine's Checklist

Schedule Reminders and Make Shopping Lists

Some items on your checklist may require more thought (and some nudging). You might consider setting up reminders. If you haven’t already set up Service Providers for your babysitter, your date’s favorite dinner restaurant, and your flower vendor, you might do so now. Go to that Service Provider, and then add a Reminder. This way, you’ll have all the contact information readily available from the reminder in your Agenda view. Also, create a shopping list and schedule it in time to complete the shopping before Valentine’s Day. Below, you can see a sample Valentine’s Day Agenda.

Agenda

Confirm Your Reservations

Last, but not least, make sure you confirm your Valentine’s dinner reservation. You definitely don’t want to ruin a perfect night by losing your reservation.

Reservations - LifeTopix

Please share with us your special ideas or blog posts for your upcoming Valentine’s Day. We’d love to hear your creative ideas.

Video Blog: Raise Your Productivity to a Whole New Level

LightArrow believes in pro­vid­ing solu­tions that nat­u­rally sup­port the way peo­ple think about the infor­ma­tion in their lives — that’s why we’ve created LifeTopix.

“Every once in a while a product comes along that raises your productivity to a whole new level. And so it is with LifeTopix.”

To learn more, watch our video. Enjoy!

 

Life­Topix is a complete productivity app for personal organization. Manage your calendar, tasks/to-dos, projects, notes, files, shopping, finances, household services, people, assets, events, travel, education, health and much more – with a 9-view dashboard, customizable categories and context tags. It works seamlessly with popular online productivity tools such as Dropbox, Google Docs/Drive, Evernote, Toodledo, and other best-in-class applications.

You can find LifeTopix at the App Store.

Simple Ingredients for Productivity Success – LifeTopix, Evernote, Google Drive, and Dropbox

Getting organized and productive might seem like a complicated endeavor, but with just a few simple ingredients you can achieve your goal of living a clutter-free, organized, and productive life. Just like making bread, you only need the basic ingredients to achieve the harmonious life that you aspire to live.

Start with the Staples

Just like when baking bread, you start with a recipe to obtain the staples or basics — flour, yeast, water, salt, etc. When searching for the ingredients to help you achieve productivity, you might perform a Google search for apps, software, or services to help you get organized. Generally, you’ll find a variety of articles describing the top notes ser­vice (Ever­note), top file stor­age ser­vice (Drop­box), and top col­lab­o­ra­tive doc­u­ment ser­vice (Google Drive). These are the fundamental ingredients to get you started. For example, if you think of productivity as a loaf of bread, you’ll consider these apps as the basic ingredients of your recipe. And just like a loaf of bread, you’ll need something to hold them together or you’ll have a big mound of dough — that just falls apart — a half-baked solution. This is where LifeTopix comes in — the baking pan that holds it all together.

How LifeTopix Pulls it Together

We constantly talk to our users about how they use these top services (Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive). This influ­enced us to sup­port these ser­vices from within Life­Topix, and also helped us to under­stand how users track rel­e­vant pieces of infor­ma­tion in their proper con­text regard­less of its source. For example, with LifeTopix you might create a landscaping project to keep track of the items related to this project. You’ll want to store related files within the context of the landscaping project. For example, you might want to track any receipts or invoices for plants, soil, and other landscaping materials — and you’ll want to be able to quickly access these related items. Because LifeTopix is integrated with these services, you can find these items — all from one app (LifeTopix). Never again will you be searching for these files through disconnected software. Take a look at the following diagram to visualize how a project would appear in LifeTopix, and how you can easily add and find related online notes and files.

Evernote, LifeTopix, Dropbox, Google Drive

LifeTopix provides many capabilities for managing a project, such as landscaping — and our integration with top online software enhances your ability to store, locate, and collaborate via this software. The examples below describe how you might use LifeTopix to plan and execute a landscaping project:

  • Create a task (todo) list — plant seeds and foliage, attach wires to support stakes, decorate with stones, etc..
  • Schedule appointments — call the Utility Locator to mark the lawn.
  • Set reminders — watering schedule, inspect work, etc.
  • Create bookmarks — plant care websites, watering schedules, landscaping blogs, etc.
  • Record audio notes and text notes — capture anything through voice or text.
  • Upload photos — take photos of plants, decorations, invoices, receipts, or contracts.
  • Gather expenses — record each expense for goods and services related to the project.
  • Manage service providers — include all providers related to the project for easy access, shopping lists, and expense tracking.
  • Manage shopping items — create shopping lists for products, goods, and services.
  • Access all files and notes stored in Dropbox, Evernote, or Google Drive — collaborative word processing docs or spreadsheets, notes, invoices, etc.
  • Share and collaborate via Facebook, Text, Email, and Twitter — share ideas with friends, family, and colleagues.

We hope this sparks some ideas of how you would use LifeTopix with Evernote, Google Drive, and Dropbox to achieve the harmonious, organized, clutter-free life that you aspire to live. Please share how you use LifeTopix to manage your projects and how our integration has helped you achieve your goals.

EVERNOTE, the Evernote Elephant logo and REMEMBER EVERYTHING are trademarks of Evernote Corporation. All other company and product names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners in certain countries.

6 Tips for Boosting Your Productivity With Your Smartphone

Happy Woman with SmartphoneIf you’re anything like me, it’s hard to remember a time that I checked my email on my personal computer at designated times at my home or at the office. The smartphone has made me much more productive, allowing me to answer email while waiting at the coffee shop, salon, doctor, child’s lessons, or restaurant — giving me more time to schedule things I need and want to do like workouts, chores, and family time. Often times, by the time I’m at the office, my inbox is at zero, which allows me to focus on getting things done. More and more, I’ve embraced this freedom to get things done on my own schedule — my way.

What? You Don’t Have a Smartphone?

It’s amazing how everyone is embracing smartphones and tablets. According to Pew Research, 46% of all American adults use smartphones. Also, after the September 12 announcement of the iPhone 5, Apple announced that they sold two million iPhone 5 models in the first 24 hours of pre-orders. This is more than twice the previous record from 2011. Furthermore, according to research by Frank N. Magid and Associates, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. online population has downloaded an app.

If you’re one of the 44% of adults who hasn’t purchased a smartphone yet, this post might prompt you to make a change. Clearly, more and more people are adopting smartphones and tablets to help them get things done on the go. And if you’re someone who doesn’t work at the traditional office, the ability to get things done while mobile — such as bringing your own device to your kids’ school, a friends’ playdate, or to a co-working space is invaluable.

There’s some controversy about whether or not your smartphone use makes you more or less productive. Many believe that downtime is good for your creative self, and that the smartphone blurs the lines between your work and personal life. But using your device in a “smart” way can help you be more productive. The following ideas and tips are meant to help you use your device in a smart way — maintaining a healthy balance between personal time and the workplace.

1. Be smart about email

Checking email while you’re waiting for an oil change, while you’re at your child’s gymnastics class, or while in line at the coffee shop is a great way to optimize your time. However, keep it balanced. Don’t check email 24 hours a day, but respond within an acceptable length of time.

If email is your primary way of communicating at your company, it’s not necessary to be notified each time a new email is delivered — silence your email notifications and disable push notifications. Be consistent with the people you communicate with — for example, if you’re consistent in answering email within eight hours, your employees, managers, and peers will expect a response within this length of time. Setting a precedent of an immediate response can suck your productivity. Unless you’re required to answer each email immediately due to your job function, email can be answered when it works for you and your business.

2. Manage your projects, tasks, and to-do lists

The Apple App Store includes an entire category of productivity apps. It’s a broad category, but generally apps in this category help users be more productive or work in-sync with productivity services and software. Within this category, you can find mobile apps and software to help you manage your time. For example, an App such as Life­Topix™ manages your cal­en­dars, to-dos, projects, notes, files, shop­ping, peo­ple, assets, finances, events, travel, health, activ­i­ties and more. Apps to manage your life help you to get organized, which allows you spend your time doing the things you really want to do.

3. Boost your creativity and productivity with voice notes

When a great idea, quote, joke, or to-do pops into your head, you can immediately record it via your voice notes. Or, perhaps you’re in a meeting with a customer and you want to remember an important item. It’s not always convenient to type it out or pull out a notebook, but it’s incredibly easy to record a voice note. It also makes you look cool and tech savvy.

4. Record and store important documents

When you need to have access to an important document, it’s much easier to take a photo with your smartphone than it is to scan it on your PC. You can also easily and seamlessly store the photo by using a service such as Dropbox. With Dropbox, you can sim­ply place a folder on your com­puter, copy any file into that folder — and it becomes avail­able on other com­put­ers and Android, Black­Berry, and iOS apps. The iPhone and iPod touch version of the Dropbox app allows you to upload any videos or photos taken from your device or synced to your gallery. Dropbox is a great way to share and save photos and other docs.

5. Take advantage of free HD mobile video conferencing

FaceTime, courtesy of Apple, Inc.

FaceTime, courtesy of Apple, Inc.

From experience we know that face-to-face communication is the most valuable method of communication, but it’s not always possible due to location or economic constraints. When not communicating face to face, you can miss non-verbal cues and ultimately end up wasting valuable time because of miscommunication. Luckily, mobile video conferencing is easier than ever before, which allows you to communicate face to face via your smartphone or tablet. Unlike traditional, expensive, video conferencing and telepresence options — FaceTime, Skype, and Google Plus (Hangouts) provide free and low cost options for video conferencing via mobile-to-mobile and PC-to-mobile. And now with the advancements in technology, video conferencing on your mobile device is a quality experience. According to a recent article from Telepresence Options, iPhone 5 with 720p FaceTime Camera May Bump Mobile Video Growth, “for the first time, iPhone users can use their mobile VC apps to attend meetings on an even level with the other 720p meeting participants. Hook the iPhone to a medium sized display and you have an instant 720p VC endpoint.”

6. Save time and money with barcode and QR code scanners

According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, “Sixty-two percent of moms surveyed have a barcode scanner app on their mobile device to help them find deals (29 percent more than the general population).” Barcode and QR code readers can save time and money. You can scan the barcode of most products with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and then apps such as RedLaser search the Internet for the best price — no more driving from store to store to find the best price.

What are your thoughts? Does your smartphone make you more or less productive? What are the apps and tips that you use to boost your productivity? We welcome your thoughts and tips.

Secrets of Power Shopping with LifeTopix

Power shopping means spending less time in the stores and more time doing what you really want to do. LifeTopix can help you make your shopping trips more efficient so you can achieve this goal. Many of you might not think of LifeTopix as a powerful shopping app. Perhaps to your surprise, LifeTopix includes many of the features you would expect in best of breed shopping apps such as reusable shopping items, location services, and collaboration features.

What really sets LifeTopix apart from the typical shopping apps is that its Shopping topic infor­ma­tion is avail­able across other LifeTopix top­ics. For exam­ple, the items you need to buy for a trip or event auto­mat­i­cally show up in your Life­Topix Shop­ping lists. The result is a bet­ter orga­nized view of every­thing you buy, need to buy, or had bought for you, and where you shop.

Shopping Lists for Events

Let’s discover the power of LifeTopix. Imagine your son, Johnny, is going to be attending a field trip to the zoo with his class. You’ve volunteered to be a chaperone and to donate items, such as bottled water, paper plates, and bananas. As you can see in the following example, in LifeTopix you can create an event that shows on your calendar, and the associated shopping list is linked to this event as “Shopping Items.” This is what makes creating lists with LifeTopix unique — the ability to link them to the items to which they are associated.

Shopping Items Database

If you’re like me and buy the same items at Whole Foods, Target, or Home Depot (insert your favorite stores) every week. LifeTopix saves you time because you can create a database of shopping items that includes the seller, price, and quantity. You can use these items over and over again in your shopping lists. You can easily select the shopping items that you wish to include in your lists. Those items can be divided among sellers or categories (such as clothing, groceries, or home + garden) and are pre-loaded or user-defined. Viewing lists by sellers really makes it easy because there are some items that you might buy from different retail stores due to limited inventory or better prices.

Location Services

The key to running errands efficiently is planning your day based on the most efficient path from point A to point B. Using Location Services helps you to plan your route. The Near Me fea­ture gives you one-tap access to a view of the Life­Topix items that are in the vicin­ity of your cur­rent loca­tion. For example, if you set sellers for shop­ping items, you can see the sellers in the Near Me view.

Collaboration Features

You can eas­ily share your shopping list with your spouse, partner, or other family members via email or SMS. You can also share via Face­book or Twit­ter if you want the list to be pub­lic. Sim­ply click the appro­pri­ate shar­ing icon in the right panel to share the list. Email is a great method to use. The recipient can open the list directly from the email and view it in their Life­Topix app. They can make changes and send it back, which allows you to collaborate on the shopping list.

My Apps – Launch Other Apps

Last, but not least, you can launch other apps from LifeTopix, such as barcode scanners, recipe apps, traffic apps, and more which truly makes LifeTopix the All-In-One organizer for everything you need to make your shopping trips efficient.

LifeTopix My Apps

LifeTopix My Apps

Whether you enjoy shopping or not, we hope this post helps you make your shopping trips more efficient so you can spend less time at the store and more time doing the things you really want to do.

You can find LifeTopix at the App Store.

5 LifeTopix Tips to Help You Manage the Family Calendar

If your household is anything like mine — with my work schedule, spouse’s schedule, kid’s school and events calendar, social events, household chores, and pets — things can get a little crazy. I rely on my digital calendar to make sure I stay on top of everything. For me, a digital calendar is the way to go since we’re rarely at the same place at the same time. Having the ability to access our schedule, any place and at any time, keeps us on track. Because LifeTopix works with iOS calendars, it’s my main point of entry for the family’s shared calendar.

1. Add iOS Calendars Automatically

“Calendar” (formerly called iCal) is the calendar application by Apple that runs on Mac OS X. It offers support for multiple calendars, and includes the ability to publish and subscribe to calendars from Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) servers. In other words, the calendar that’s located on your Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch supports calendars that are published on the Internet. Users can collaborate on those calendars and your calendar can pick up the schedule, as well as the changes by the authors of the chosen Internet calendar. Because LifeTopix supports iOS calendars, you can view the schedules from published iOS calendars. Subscribing to or downloading published calendars on the Internet, such as holiday calendars, sports calendars, or school schedules allows you to view those scheduled items directly in LifeTopix — which saves you precious time by avoiding manual entries.

To subscribe to iOS Calendars

  • On your iPad or iPhone, go to http://icalshare.com/ or other sites that allow you to subscribe or download calendars (.ics files). I’ve chosen the following US Holidays calendar from iCalShare.

iCalShare

  • Locate the calendar you wish to use, and then tap Subscribe to Calendar (in blue above) or the button that allows subscribing.
  • “Calendar” adds the calendar and like magic, you’ll see the schedule in LifeTopix.

2. Share Calendars with Children

If you’re the family caretaker, most likely you manage the master family calendar. A great way to manage a shared family calendar is through Google calendar. By creating a free Google account for each family member, you have access to many tools such as shared calendars, email, file storage, and document creation on any platform, such as a web browser, iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. LifeTopix supports Google Calendars via “Calendar.”

If you need help setting up your Google Calendars to work with your iOS devices, Google provides a concise set of instructions at Set up Google Sync with your iOS device. This description shows how to sync the calendars through the native applications on your device. You can also connect them through CalDAV as explained at CalDAV Calendar Sync.

If you’ve set up your Google Calendar(s) to share data with iOS calendars, then you can view that information in your LifeTopix My Calendar through our native integration with iOS calendars. Our native calendar integration even supports multiple calendars. We suggest that the main caretaker’s calendar is the main calendar, and that this calendar is shared with the family members. In a later release, we plan to extend our support for multiple calendars so that when you create a new date-oriented item, you can specify the specific calendar that item should be added to.

3. Make Meal Planning Easy

An important part of the family schedule is meal planning. LifeTopix is very flexible, so there’s many ways to set up meal plans. I’ll show you a quick and easy way to plan a week of meals.

To set up meal plans:

  • Create a Project called “Meal Plan” (Tasks + Projects > All Projects >). Start on the current day and choose an end date that works for you.
  • Create tasks for each day’s meal for the Meal Plan project. Add a task for each day’s meal (Meal Plan Project > Add Item > Task > New Task).
  • Create a shopping list for the Meal Plan (Meal Plan Project > Add Item > Shopping item > Product). You can select and add multiple shopping items all at once. Your meals will appear on your task calendar and (if you wish) on your main calendar (My Calendar).
  • You can also create bookmarks to recipes you’re using (Meal Plan Project > Add Item > Bookmark > Save the URL), which makes it super easy to find your favorite recipes.

4. Create “Honey Do Lists”

Face it, we all have them — those chores that we ask our spouse or partner to finish. If you’re not familiar with “Honey-Do Lists” or need advice on how to effectively use them, see what is a honey do list from wisegeek. If you’re accustomed to creating Honey Do lists (and your significant other is a willing participant), I’ll show you a simple method to create the lists, and to share them with your significant other.

To create Honey Do Lists:

  • Create a Project called “Honey Do Lists” (Tasks + Projects > All Projects >). Start on the current day and choose an end date that works for you. I prefer to keep the end date empty.
  • Create a checklist for the lucky recipient. Add an item for each thing to do (Honey Do List Project > Add Item > Checklist > Add). 

You can easily share the list with your spouse or partner via email or SMS. You can also share via Facebook or Twitter if you want the list to be public, but this method is usually not recommended for chore lists. Simply click the appropriate sharing icon in the right panel to share the list. Email is a great method to use. Your significant other can open the list directly from the email and view it in their LifeTopix app.

5. Managing Family Outings and Trips

Managing family outings; college trips; and out-of-town sports, band, or cheerleading events can be challenging for a busy family. LifeTopix includes native support for handling trips.

To create family trips:

  • Create a Trip and name it appropriately (Travel + Places > Trip Calendar >) and enter the start and ending dates for the trip. In the following example, it’s a college trip to Texas A&M.

After creating the trip, there’s a variety of options that you can provide, such as tasks, checklists, appointments, reminders, bookmarks, files, audio, photos, video, notes, expenses, and shopping items. What’s really handy is adding itineraries as files and bookmarks to websites that you might visit while you’re at the location. You can also take photos and view them later. You can add trip companions, and share this data via social media, text message, or email. Email is a great method to use to share the trip with your family members. They can open the shared trip directly from the email message and view it in LifeTopix.

How does your family stay organized with LifeTopix? Please comment and share your tips & tricks.

You can find LifeTopix at the App Store.

Launch 3rd Party Apps with LifeTopix’s “My Apps”

In the true spirit of LightArrow’s mission to build software products that dramatically improve our customers’ everyday lives and to help our customers be more productive, we’ve introduced an exciting new feature in LifeTopix 5 — My Apps. Continuing with our quest to help you easily find your apps on your iOS device, you can now launch many popular apps all from one place — within LifeTopix — which makes entering important data even easier. For example, perhaps you’re logging calories and you’re entering the number of calories for foods and drinks from a different app. This is a quick way to access this 3rd party app.

And it gets even better — not only can you launch other iPhone or iPad apps from LifeTopix, you can also access common views or functions of those apps in a single tap by including custom shortcuts (URL Schemes). For example, you can instantly see your Twitter mentions or Facebook news feed in one tap from LifeTopix.

Using iOS folders is one way to easily find your apps on your device; however, My Apps can hold so many more Apps than an iOS folder and also include shortcuts, so it results in a super-powerful tool to fuel your productivity engine. Also, keep in mind that Team LightArrow will be continuously improving My Apps based on your feedback so please share your ideas and thoughts.

The LightArrow team is collecting a list of shortcuts for your favorite apps and publishing the list at Launch URLS for Popular Apps; feel free to submit your favorite apps through the comments on this page.

The App Launcher

My Apps is one of the main views of LifeTopix. Just tap on it from the View Selector in the left panel. Facebook and Twitter are automatically included in the App Launcher. Below is an example:

My Apps - App Launcher

To add more apps, simply tap Plus Sign and then add an App Name, Launch URL, and App Id. You can find more information about how this is done in your LifeTopix 5.0 Online Help.

Here’s one of my own shortcuts, which allows me to see Twitter mentions of LifeTopix. Go to the App Detail in My Apps, and type information such as the following (with your own Twitter handle) to see your own mentions:

In this example, in one tap, you can view all mentions of your Twitter handle from the Tweetbot app. Hint: You can find many of these types of shortcuts by performing a Google Search. You can also find URL schemes at handleopenurl.

Do you have favorite shortcuts / URL schemes that you commonly use? Please comment to let us know your favorite shortcuts, or websites that include great lists of shortcuts.

7 Tips to Get Organized for Back to School

Note: This post shows screenshots of the next update of LifeTopix – 5.0. For the latest news about the update, subscribe to our blog. Keep in mind if you download now, the update, which is coming soon, will be free.

college studentThe LightArrow Vision

The vision of LightArrow is to provide affordable software that manages all your information in a single app, freeing you from the burden of purchasing several apps and re-entering the same thing multiple times in those apps. Also, if you’re on a budget, you’ll find that LifeTopix gives you the same features of several apps. Customers tell us they’ve replaced more than six apps with LifeTopix.

Tips for Organizing Your Education

The lazy days of summer are almost over, and it’s time to start getting serious about back-to-school organization. Before school begins is a good time to prepare for what’s ahead. Whether you’re a mom managing a schedule for your kids or if you’re a high school or college student — LifeTopix makes it easy by providing powerful capabilities for all your education-related data. The result is better learning with less time and effort.

LifeTopix allows you to manage everything in your life, but we provide specific features for organizing your education. Read the tips below to help you organize — and to learn how LifeTopix can help you achieve your goals.

Tip 1 – Create Shopping Lists

Before you start school, create shopping lists for all the items that you need to purchase. This is especially important if you’re a college freshman who’s going away to college. There’s several items you’ll need to purchase to get ready, such as dorm room items and textbooks. Strayer University includes a great list of the items you’ll need at [Pack It Up - What to Bring to College]. LifeTopix makes keeping track easy by providing features for both shopping lists and checklists. Or, if there’s an online list of supplies, you can bookmark it or link to the file.

Tip 2 – Organize Your Class Schedule

It’s important to keep track of your schedule. There are several ways you can approach this in LifeTopix. We suggest that you set up a “Subject” and a recurring appointment for the subject. This way, the class always displays on your calendar. Another way you can keep track is to attach a file of your schedule or create a bookmark to an online schedule. If there’s an app that keeps track of your schedule, you can use the new built-in app launcher “My Apps”, which is available in the upcoming 5.0 update.

Tip 3 – Track Your Assignments

LifeTopix provides a lot of flexibility for tracking assignments. If your teacher or school provides assignments online, you set up a bookmark to them — and you can choose to create the bookmark for the class or “subject.” You can also set up assignments directly for each subject. Setting up reminders for tests and quizzes is a good way to make sure you prepare. Using the LifeTopix collaboration capabilities, you can discuss assignments with study partners or instructors over Twitter, Facebook, text messages, or email.

If you use Evernote for taking notes, LifeTopix includes built-in integration so you can easily find notes that you capture on any of your devices. The LifeTopix app also includes built-in features for taking notes.

Tip 4 – Make Sure You Know the Priorities

In the 5.0 version of LifeTopix, we’re introducing the “Hot List.” The “Hot List” gives you quick access to your highest priority items. You can add items to the “Hot List” from other views in LifeTopix. Quizzes, tests, and homework assignments are great items to add to the hot list.

Tip 5 – Use Location Services

If you’re just learning your way around campus, location services are a great way to make sure you find your classes, dorms, libraries, student union, banks and atms, and other important places.

Tip 6 – Use Bookmarks and “My Apps”

Once school begins, you’ll find that you frequently visit the same websites and use the same apps over and over again. Set up bookmarks and use the new app launcher “My Apps” for quick access to those items.

Tip 7 – Track Expenses

LifeTopix includes all the tools you need to track expenses for school, such as tuition payments, food, entertainment, and other costs. With LifeTopix, you can add all your accounts — check­ing, sav­ings, etc. You can record all your recur­ring bill pay­ments for any ser­vices you use — and you can view these pay­ments in a time­line view. You can also set a passcode to ensure all this information is secure.

Screenshots

Get familiar with the 5.0 version of LifeTopix for Education by viewing the slides below.

Download LifeTopix:

We hope you’ve found this post useful. Please comment, and let us know your thoughts!

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