The My.Shopping App Overview

Note: We no longer support My.Shopping app.

We’re happy to announce that we’ve made our My.Shopping app free just in time for the holidays. We’re excited to make My.Shopping free. It brings visibility to LightArrows powerful productivity apps for a larger number of users. As demonstrated by our LifeTopix app, our approach to productivity is very comprehensive. Organized shopping is a crucial component, and My.Shopping powerfully stands out in a crowd of overly simplistic shopping list apps.

If you’re not familiar with My.Shopping, it’s a flexible shopping list app for organizing and creating shopping lists for groceries and personal items. The app tracks details for sellers, things to sell, gifts given and received, coupons and products. Moreover, you can build reusable shopping lists with photos, detailed descriptions, and categories such as grocery aisles or sellers. Maps allow you to better plan shopping trips by location. Sharing is available as an in-app purchase for collaboration purposes with family, friends and housemates.

Unlike many shopping list apps, My.Shopping does not require web logins and is without advertisements. Shopping lists are kept private on your devices. No data is collected by LightArrow or other third parties.

My.Shopping App Overview

To take advantage of My.Shopping today, find it at the Apple App Store.

5 Things You Can Learn about Productivity from Olympic Athletes the 2014 Winter Olympics starting today in Sochi, Russia, I’ve been reminded of the motivation and determination that these remarkable athletes possess in order to train to be the best in their sports. I began to wonder about their secrets to productivity, motivation, and their unique perspectives on their passion to win. I concluded that there’s a lot that we can learn from these athletes. Through these athletes’ inspirational words and accomplishments, I believe everyone can learn a little something about reaching his or her fullest potential. Keep reading to learn more about their inspirational and motivational words and wisdom.

Find Your Confidence

If you’re a fan of track and field, then you’re probably familiar with Carl Lewis who was an American track and field athlete who won 8 Olympic gold medals. It’s been said that some might consider Lewis arrogant, but you have to admire the fact that he’s used his ample confidence to his advantage. He’s been quoted as saying,

If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win.

Self-confidence is one of the most significant traits to lead to success in life and business. A positive outlook and the ability to perform any type of task without second-guessing whether your work or the decisions that you make are satisfactory, is key to being productive and successful.

To become more self confident, visualize positive outcomes. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Seek out new experiences to promote growth in yourself. And most importantly, don’t rely on the opinions of others – accurately judge your own work and behaviors.

Be a Doer

Many of you might be familiar with Bruce Jenner because he’s become famous from the popular television series, “Keeping up with the Khardashians.” What you might not know is Bruce Jenner is one of the most successful Olympians in history. In Montreal in 1976, he won gold and set a world record for the decathlon, which consists of ten different track and field events and is considered one of the most difficult of all events.Bruce Jenner

In Jenner’s book, “Finding the Champion Within: A Step-by-Step Plan for Reaching Your Full Potential,” he tells a story of watching a winner’s ceremony and examining what sets apart losers from winners. Jenner says,

The difference, I decided, was total, undiluted focus on a singular goal. As soon as I realized this, I went from being a “dreamer” to a man obsessed with “doing.”

Bruce Jenner” by jla0379 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What’s a “Doer?” A Doer is someone who actively gets things done instead of just thinking about or discussing them. A Doer takes a dream and strategically makes a plan to convert the dream into reality. Anyone can be a dreamer, but it takes commitment, drive, and initiative to develop into a doer.

Make Your Colleagues Look Good

Mia Hamm cornerThose who make others look bad are usually lacking in self-confidence. This is a way to elevate their feelings about themselves or to deflect their inferior work or behaviors onto others.

Mia Hamm is considered one of the best women soccer players in history. She won the Women’s World Cup in 1991 and 1999, and took Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004. In her book, “Go For the Goal: A Champion’s Guide To Winning In Soccer And Life” Mia Hamm devotes an entire chapter to “Making Your Teammates Look Good.” In the book, she says,

An average team that passes well will often beat a physical stronger opponent that doesn’t.

Can you imagine the disaster that would result from poor teamwork in a soccer team? Consider this – good teamwork is essential for the success of business people, families, and Olympians. Teamwork and team rapport is imperative for success. When people work together efficiently, passing tasks to one another when needed, projects are seen through and completed on time. Working together to solve problems; constructing interpersonal relationships; and building trust results in highly effective teams and positive outcomes.

Don’t Be Afraid to “Flop”

Dick Fosbury, Olympian from the United States, dared to be different by inventing the “Fosbury Flop.” In Mexico in 1968, Fosbury was the first to high jump backwards (instead of forward).

At first, Fosbury was “seen as a novelty” and there were safety concerns around the new jumping technique. However, now we can’t imagine high jumping in any other way. There’s a lesson to be learned – just because something has been done a certain way, year after year, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve or change the technique.

So, what’s the lesson? Find new ways to be better, stronger, and more efficient. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Creativity is crucial.

Remove Your Fears When Presented with Challenges

I recently watched a video of an interview from JoAnn Dahlkoetter with Melissa Hoar on the Sports Psychology Network, and something Hoar said caught my attention. Hoar is an Australian Skeleton Racer who’s competed at the 2010 Winter Olympics and will also be competing in the 2014 Olympics.

In the interview, Hoar explained how she changes her perception when she comes into a difficult curve. She said she changes her perception by changing her thinking from…

Oh no here comes this curve [to] but here I come to the curve.

The takeaway here is when you have trials and tribulations – those challenges that are presented to you – if you change your perception of them and remove your fears, you can tackle them with more ease.

Your Turn

Do you find inspiration from Olympic athletes? Please share your stories.



Introducing My.Agenda, and What’s Next for LightArrow

Dear Friends and Followers of Team LightArrow:

Today is an exciting day for us. Today we have expanded our app portfolio with My.Agenda — for users who desire an easy-to-use app for managing their busy lives, but want more than just a simple to-do list app. My.Agenda, a complete organizer and planner, lets users start small and add new productivity topics as their personal organization needs evolve.

Since 2010, LightAr­row has been providing users with one of the most comprehensive apps for managing all aspects of their lives and businesses. My.Agenda targets a new segment of users who want to start small without sacrificing power. If you already have LifeTopix, you do not need My.Agenda, since it is like a “starter edition” of LifeTopix.

If you are an avid user of LifeTopix, you have most likely been in active conversations with us regarding improvements that are coming soon and down the road. In our next update of LifeTopix in May, there are several significant improvements, specifically in the areas of Shopping, Notes, People, and also in the My Calendar views. There are many improvements in other areas as well, and we will continue to enhance LifeTopix frequently with updates over the next months and years.

We have been adding exceptional talent to our development team. We are planning to offer several new apps for personal organization and business, and expand our support of platforms to include Windows 8, Android, and also full app support on the Mac. We will also continue to improve our integrations with existing and new online services popular with our users.

Team LightArrow works tirelessly to support our users and improve our apps. We have been fortunate to have users we love – you inspire us every step of the way. We are very grateful. We do recognize that in several areas we have a long way to go. We are in it for the long haul. We love what we do, and we will continue execute fiercely on our great vision. We believe in it passionately.

Team LightArrow thanks you!

Best regards,


CEO, LightArrow Inc.

Austin, Texas

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.”

Watch the LifeTopix Video

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.

LifeTopix Optimization for iPhone 5 Unveiled

The iPhone 5 has hit the streets — with a larger four-inch screen and higher resolution. All of Apple’s older generation phones have had 3.5-inch screens — so this is big news. This new screen changes the user experience for iPhone app users, and app developers are scrambling to optimize their apps to take advantage of the newly-added real estate. In fact, according to “Notable apps yet to take advantage of larger iPhone 5 screen” from the Los Angeles Times, many notable apps still haven’t updated their apps as of Sept.24, 2012.

LifeTopix on the iPhone 5

LifeTopix on the iPhone 5

Today we announced that LightArrow has updated LifeTopix for the iPhone 5. Version 5.04 is optimized for the new iPhone 5 and iOS 6, taking advantage of the iPhone 5’s larger four-inch screen and higher resolution. Now, you can do more, be more, and live more, but also see more!

As a robust and complete organization and productivity app, LifeTopix utilizes very powerful navigation and views. Our development team was very excited about optimizing LifeTopix for the taller screen because they knew the greater value that it would provide for our customers. The additional room really makes LifeTopix shine on this new device — giving users a similar experience to using LifeTopix with the much larger iPad.

In case you haven’t had a chance to upgrade to the iPhone 5, we’ve included some screenshots below to give you an idea of how LifeTopix appears with the larger 4 inch screen.

Click the images below to see the full size.

iPhone My Topics

iPhone Home

iPhone Project

iPhone My Apps

iPhone Calendar

You’ll see that By filling out the iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen, you can better take advantage of LifeTopix’s 9-view dashboard, Quick Menu, 12 topic views, and detail views with side panel support. The detail views in LifeTopix are designed for height because of the richness of the app so the larger screen results in enhanced usability.

A lot of apps have been updated, and I’m sure we’ll see more in the weeks to come.

Why Most To-do List Apps Are Doomed to Fail

As the iOS, Android, and Windows mobile platforms mature, the devices themselves are becoming more and more useful directly out of the box. The makers are building more features into the OS so users aren’t required to download several apps before finding their devices useful. Of course, the success of 3rd party apps is a key part of the strategy of success for the platforms, but over the last couple of years, we’ve seen the devices include more and more features and apps of their own to raise the Day-One-Experience bar. The continuing commoditization of basic functionality will only increase, sometimes blurring the line between the platform and 3rd party apps. As a consequence, the overly simplistic, one-trick pony apps will continue to lose the most — especially in the categories of productivity and social networking, unless your software is a platform like Evernote, Toodledo, Dropbox, Google, Facebook, or Twitter — and not just an app.

Various interconnected factors lead to commoditization risk for these one-trick ponies.

The Novelty Factor

The latest to-do list and simple notes apps are cool — and clever. Hats off to Clear as being one of the latest examples of “coolness.” The novelty of an app that is different and fun brings in many users in the app world, and sustained success – for a few weeks. Then another even cooler list app comes out and the current cool king is dethroned. The cycle continues. They inspire new usage paradigms, and copycats emerge — a little too late to the game with no new innovation, and get lost in the crowd. With new innovation, the cool kings also raise the bar on simplicity of use, the fun factor, and user delight. Once the bar is raised, the user wins. However, novelty is a just feature and it cannot sustain an app forever because it eventually wears off.

The Task Factor

Tasks are mostly transient, meaningless after they are done and checked off. Sure, in business, metrics enthusiasts want to historically analyze completed tasks to understand a team’s performance across types of tasks, across skills, across teams, and across long lasting projects. The typical person, using to-dos to track things they don’t want to forget to do, could not care less. The simpler the task or to-do app, the less interesting the completed tasks become. Some cleverly designed to-do list apps simply get rid of the completed tasks for that reason, leaving the user with less clutter and a happy sense of a clean plate. But ultimately, tasks are a feature, not an app.

The Note Factor

Notes are a different beast. Notes are forever. Evernote gets that (the elephant never forgets). So they chose to be a service/platform for notes, allowing browsers and other apps to easily get information into Evernote, making the information available from anywhere. The act of note-taking is also made fun in apps like Paper and Penultimate. For people who make a lot of free-flowing notes (classrooms, meeting rooms, and boardrooms), those are the killer apps since they make free-style note-scribbling and picture-doodling fun — and useful. For capturing simple text notes, there are 1000s of overly simplistic apps. Message to them — text notes and checklists are a feature, not an app.

The Completeness Factor — Features versus Apps

Users tell us that they want more from their apps — one or two features doesn’t satisfy their needs. They also tell us that they want “simple” apps. Keep in mind that “simple” should not be confused with “simplistic.” Simplicity should not be accomplished by sacrificing power. Simplicity is the user experience. With a clutter of apps on their device that just do one or two things, users constantly switch between them — which is counter-productive. In fact, users tell us that they can’t even remember what information is in which app. The users are demanding more simplicity and completeness in their apps, and these two concepts should not negate one another. In addition, due to the nature of simplistic apps, they don’t have stickiness with users and are constantly replaced.

As devices such as Smartphones and Tablets become more popular, users will expect more from their apps — apps that do one thing will no longer cut it. According to ZDNet in an article about mobile madness, the amount of time people spend on their mobile devices has significantly gone up. In fact, half of workers take their phones to bed with them. The desire for more powerful apps has only gotten stronger. Tablets will become the “preferred, primary device for millions of people around the world” by 2016, as not only consumers, but businesses gravitate towards convenience over computing power, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

Unlike desktops, people use mobile devices throughout the day in short bursts, making the loss of context even more of an issue when there is significant app clutter on their device. Nothing is in context when each app does just one thing, and the user is constantly replacing each one with the next cool thing.

The Apple Factor

Apple introduced the very simple, but very precise Reminders app in iOS 5.0. If I was a simple to-do list app user, my search for an app would be done upon finding an app that includes built-in reminders, iCloud sync across devices, and location aware assistance. I’m not, but if I were, this app would be it. For others who seek simplistic list apps and to-do list apps, when they find Apple’s Reminders app, where does that leave Clear, Any.DO, or the 1000s of other to-do list apps?

For simple note-taking, assisted by dictation and Siri, the built-in Notes app is good enough for folks with simple needs. Heck, many people I know manage their to-dos and checklists in it as well. So unless it is an actual notes service (platform) like Evernote, or an amazing new way to capture notes like Penultimate or Paper, what differentiates it from the 1000s of simple note-taking apps?

Game On

The app explosion has barely begun. Apps have not yet matured, but I expect to see users demand more usefulness and completeness over time. Consider the desktop software of the 80s and 90s. It was simplistic and incomplete — as adoption increased so did the usefulness of the software. The super app era should be fun for the next few years — the platforms surely have been doing their part. We’re looking forward to see how app developers balance usefulness, completeness, usability, and simplicity as the bar is raised. This is the time for app developers to raise their game.

-Adi Mishra, CEO, LightArrow, Inc.

Get Smart About Preventive Healthcare

Routine preventive care services to maintain your health and prevent disease for you, your family, and your pets is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. And as you may know, mobile apps for health are hot these days. There’s an abundance of apps that provide an awareness of the health of our families and pets. Tech savvy people are now using apps to track medications, prenatal care, alcohol intake, pain, fitness, nutrition, and more. However, you’re stuck installing several apps to track everything. This is why LifeTopix is different. You’re able to track ALL of these items (and more) — in one place, which helps you to understand the relationships between them. For example, you’re able to see the cause and effect relationships, such as nutrition and feelings of well being.

LifeTopix Preventive Care Tracking

Take Control of Your Own Healthcare

Many doctors track and prompt you to schedule preventive care; however, it’s important to keep a personal record to alert you of preventive services for many reasons. For example, you might change doctors, a doctor might leave the practice, you might see a variety of doctors (both holistic and traditional) to track different disorders, or your doctor may not recommend care and tests that are important for you. Types of services and items to track include prenatal care, children’s and pets’ immunizations, pediatric preventive health, dental care, medications taken, test results for blood pressure, and screening tests such as mammograms.

Watch Your Budget

Keeping track of the cost of preventative care is also important for budgeting — and is especially important if you elect to use an FSA (flexible spending account). An FSA is a tax-advantaged financial account set up from your employer in the United States, which enables you to use those funds for health care without resulting in payroll taxes. If all funds aren’t used by the end of the year, you lose those funds — so keeping track helps to remind you if you’re spending the right amount and the right times.

Tracking – the LifeTopix Way

We’ve included a brief introduction about using LifeTopix to track pet preventive care below. This guide is meant to provide you with an understanding of how you can use LifeTopix to track your own needs — your own way. As a reminder, always consult a doctor about your family’s or pets’ healthcare so he or she can recommend the right care.

In this example, a family adopted a new puppy, Lucky. As you know, puppies require immunizations, well checks, and medications to prevent diseases such as rabies, heartworm, fleas, and ticks. View our slides below to learn how simple it is to track preventive care with LifeTopix.

LifeTopix Preventive Care Tracking

View more presentations from LightArrow

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Does Your Fitness App Measure Up?

There’s an abundance of fitness programs and crazes today — including Crossfit, Body for Life™, Zumba™, Boxercise™, P90X™, Yoga, Pole Dancing, and more. Whatever you follow — whether it’s your own plan or a regimented program, a mobile app can help you schedule, track, and monitor your workouts all in one place — rather than relying on notebooks and binders that are cumbersome, and don’t allow you to easily identify trends based on the data.

Purchasing specialized apps for fitness programs can be expensive — with some apps costing up to $60.00! There’s plenty of fitness apps that can track the number of miles you’ve cycled, swam, or run and allow you to post that information to your social networks. You can also find apps that track your cardio workouts and strength training — but not necessarily in the same app. Some apps let you track your workouts, but not schedule them. Others track your nutrition and weight, but not your fitness. It’s all very confusing, so how do you choose the app that’s right for you?

We suggest that you look for the following capabilities in a fitness app:

Plan Your Workouts – Your Way

If you’re anything like me, you follow a mixture of exercise and diet plans. For example, I follow the Body For Life strength training program, but I follow my own cardio program consisting of cycling, spinning, running, and swimming. Sometimes I use a personal trainer or take a fitness class so my specific workout will be unexpected. In this case, I will schedule the fitness appointment, but not the specific exercises. Make sure you choose an app that’s flexible enough to adjust to the changes in your fitness plan, and also the level of detail you wish to record.

Schedule Your Workouts – Within Your Calendar

Ninety percent of success is just showing up. It never fails. The moment you plan to go to the fitness club, something gets in the way — your boss sends an email you need to address, a friend calls and invites you to happy hour, your child needs help with a homework assignment. To ensure workout success, plan a regimen that fits your lifestyle. It’s important that your fitness app lets you schedule your workouts, and view these workouts on the same calendar that you use to schedule all the other items that are important in your life. For example, if your child always needs help with their homework between 3:30 and 4:30 PM, schedule your workouts outside of this time to make sure you show up.

Set Your Own Goals – One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Beware of apps that aren’t flexible enough to adjust to your fitness level. Exercise caution when choosing an app that doesn’t take into account your fitness level and blindly recommends workouts for you. Choose apps that let you set specific, attainable, and measurable goals within your limits and level.

Use Instructional Information – Files, Instructions, or Bookmarks

At times, you might need help in remembering the specific form for a particular exercise. Make sure your app includes instructions for exercises — whether they’re included via bookmarks to videos or articles, file storage, or sets of instructions.

Keep Track of Food & Drinks – Nutrition Tracking

According to Livestrong, “both exercise and nutrition play a role in your level of health. Together they affect your ability to gain weight, lose weight or maintain weight.” When choosing an app, make sure that you can track both nutrition and exercise, as they have a synergistic effect on your overall health.

Analyze Patterns – Exercise Log

Keeping a log of exercise, and analyzing a corresponding graph for patterns helps you make improvements. For example, you may notice when you view your running log, your speed or mileage is decreased after too many workouts in a row or on a certain day of the week. Using graphs helps you see a correlation between exercise, nutrition, supplements, performance improvements, and fatigue. Graphs can also make some people feel motivated when they see a pictorial representation of activity. When selecting an app, choose one that provides graphs for viewing and analyzing this data.

Monitor Results – Weight, Measurements, BMI, or Body Fat Tracking

After all your hard work, it’s important to analyze your results to evaluate if you need to adjust or not — and seeing positive changes in the numbers as you progress gives you motivation to continue. You may choose to track your measurements, weight, body fat, Body Mass Index (BMI), or other statistics. (BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height. It’s used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.) Make sure you choose an app that’s flexible enough to track one or all of these statistics and gives you the ability to graph the results.

LifeTopix – The Answer

LifeTopix was designed with all these factors in mind — and much more. It’s different from standard fitness apps because it manages all your life information in a single app. With LifeTopix, you’re free from the burden of re-entering the same data multiple times in different apps — which gives you more time to do the things you want to do – like keeping those personal training appointments!

Take a look at the following slide show to see examples of how LifeTopix keeps track of exercise routines. We’ve used the Body For Life strength training program as an example.

In a future post, we’ll do a deep dive into tracking nutrition, medication + supplements, and measurements / weight / body fat / BMI so check back later. And please comment and let us know how we “measure up.”

Download LifeTopix: