IFTTT App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge Day 5! Yay! Almost one week down! 

If this is your first article of the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

First up in the series are productivity apps. Today’s app is the IFTTT (If this then that) app. 

 

IFTTT App

The IFTTT app is a free app where you can set up triggers for tasks to happen succinctly. In other words, you can automate a ton of processes by setting up “applets” that automatically respond to one another. One of the best rated applications on the App store and very popular among the digital age entrepreneur.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Signing up for the IFTTT app is as easy as pie. All you need is an email address and create a password. Next you are prompted to do the tutorial (which I always recommend so you can understand the lay of the land) and then you are brought to the home page. Here you will find some applets that were compiled by the IFTTT team (some are simply amazing) and you can see what each applet requires. You will have to allow access to the accounts you have in the applet, but IFTTT makes it easy to connect your accounts (especially if you have the apps for the accounts on your phone already).

2. Functionality

Being able to set up triggers for your account is the best feeling in the world. Well, not the best, but a really close second. The applets are seamless in their connectivity and you can literally set most of them and forget them. One warning- make sure you are checking your applets every so often because things do happen and some applets require you to update your account info. IFTTT also allows you to set up your own applets so if there is something that is not offered in their presets, you can certainly create it. Just be sure the apps you want to trigger are ones that are compatible with IFTTT.

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5

  • 65 Supported apps and counting
  • iOS Calendar & App store Applets
  • Smart home capability
  • See all applet collections in app
  • VoiceOver capabilities
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

There are currently 65 apps that the IFTTT app supports and that constantly increases. The most popular ones are the social media sites Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and a long list of others. There is also a website version that has a lot more applet collections to choose from and a more thorough interface that explains the applets in more detail.

 

Overall grade: 89.99%

 

IFTTT is such a great app. The downfall of this great app is the restriction of setting up applets for certain functions. What I mean is, I have become a spoiled user who wants the app to be a personal assistant instead of an app with triggers. After writing that, I realize I may have to increase the final grade. The only issue I have had with this app so far is spending too much time setting up applets because I have found joy automating my digital life (lol).

Small Business Application

The biggest issue small business owners run into is time leverage. We are constantly spending hours on top of hours performing tasks as different departments. The IFTTT app allows us to set up automation and gain some of that time back. Digital efforts are really important in running your business, that is why IFTTT comes in handy. The power of automation will prove to be a time saver and a huge reward.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with IFTTT or any other scheduling app.

Swipes App | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

Hey guys! Welcome back to The 30 Day Accountability Challenge! We are on Day 4 and it feel so good! If this is the first article you are seeing in the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

First up in the series are productivity apps. Today is the Swipe app

Swipes App

The Swipes app is a free app that allows users to create simple to-do lists and organize your tasks according to your personal priorities. The game changer with the Swipes app is your ability to tackle tasks one priority at a time. When you sign up for Swipes, you will immediately notice how simple and straightforward the app is from the tutorial tasks.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Swipes has proven to be one of the more user friendly “advanced” to-do list creators in the market. You have two options for labeling your tasks (whether home or work) and can set new labels or “workspaces” as they are referred to) to organize your lists. Adding tasks is very intuitive and archiving is as easy as a swipe left. Speaking of swiping, you can schedule tasks for later by swiping right and there is an option to view all of your accomplished and archived tasks by swiping the empty space on your list (swipe left for completed tasks or swipe right for scheduled tasks).

2. Functionality

Swipes has “hidden” capabilities outside of the simplistic nature that allows you to add more depth to each task. For example, you can create action steps- the precise actions you may have to complete in order to complete the task. You are also able to create reminders so the task can be repeated daily, weekends, weekly, monthly or annually. Just like its competitors, Swipes allows you to add tags and even additional notes for the tasks.  

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5

  • Gmail integration
  • Evernote integration
  • Dark and Light Theme
  • Data saved in cloud storage
  • Focuses on one tab at a time
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

Swipes is killing the game with the ability to 

 

Overall grade: 89.99%

Swipes really impressed me. For a to-do list app it has a ton of features that make it stand apart from its competitors. I really enjoyed the ability to add action tasks to my to-do lists and the reminders to plan the day. Not only that, but the fact that Swipes is compatible with Google and Evernote (both services I use almost daily). Swipes ease of use allows anyone to find use in creating tasks. Well done overall!

 

Small Business Application

Being productive as a business owner is one of the most essential parts of owning a business. Swipes is a great way to plan out your week and stick with it through reminders and focused lists. When you are able to narrow down the action tasks of your to-do list, it creates more attainable tasks, which means getting more done!

 

 

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with Swipes or any other To-Do app.

Google Keep App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

 

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge is moving right along and I couldn’t be more excited! For all of you who may be seeing this post as the first of the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

First up in the series are productivity apps. This review is covering Google Keep.

Google Keep App

The Google Keep app is a free app that allows users to take notes, collaborate and set reminders all in one place. When you sign up for Google Keep, you will realize how simplicity makes for a pleasant and straightforward experience.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

As with all Google products, Google Keep requires you to connect your Google account. I did not see any way to bypass this, but if you have a Gmail account, it works seamlessly. Once you are signed into your account, you are lead to write your first note, which was very easy to do. The no extra bells and whistles approach Google takes with this app is pretty convenient.

2. Functionality

The Google Keep app reminds me a lot of Evernote in that you can synchronize your notes anywhere you access to your gmail account. Google Keep also allows you to add collaborators and organize your notes through the use of labels. The most noteworthy feature of this app’s functionality is the shortcuts. You can add a label by simply using a hashtag in the body of your notes, this way you can organize without having to leave the note. You can also pin your notes so they show up at the top of the home page when you open the app.

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5

  • Smart suggestions for lists
  • Swipe to archive notes
  • Transcribe voice memos
  • Quick filters for easy search
  • Synchronization across all your devices
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

 

Google Keep is entirely free and unlike its competitors, allows you to access your notes on unlimited devices. There is a desktop version of the app so you can easily access your notes from any PC, Mac, Tablet or iPad. This is where Google Keep is truly winning.

 

Overall grade: 99.99%

 

Like I’ve said before, it’s hard to give anything 100%, but Google Keep is definitely pushing the perfect score. From the sign up to the note taking, this app is simple, easy and useful. The BEST part is the voice memo to text feature. Google has outdone themselves on this one. Although it is not perfect, the fact that it is an option is excitable.

Small Business Application

As a business owner, you must be able to access your notes or proposals with minimal effort. For this reason, Google Keep is a keeper. As long as you have a gmail account, Google Keep will be a great option to take notes, set reminders, collaborate with others, and share ideas. Keeping your ideas organized will help you stay focused on what’s important.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with Google Keep or any other note taking app.

Goals are meant to be crushed 2017 Donut Socialite Blog

How to Set Goals and Crush Them 2017

Goals are meant to be crushed 2017 Donut Socialite Blog

Goals are meant to be Crushed

You have been here before. You make New Year’s resolutions, you constantly set out goals for yourself, and you fall short. Isn’t that frustrating? Well, you can kiss those days goodbye because today we are going to break the habit of failure FOR GOOD.

Are My Goals Too Big?

There are so many people who honestly think that they need to scale down their goals in order to accomplish them because the goal is just “too big.” Well, we are going to challenge that idea. Dream big. Make HUGE goals. But learn how to manage the responsibility of a HUGE goal. That is where this guide comes in.

Building the Foundation for your Goals

You will need  to get the grounding together in order to crush your goals – of any size- this year. Meaning, you will need some essentials in order to get this ball rolling. Here we have broken down the process into the main categories that we will focus on to actually get things done this year.

Organize Icon Donut Socialite

Organization & Planning

Get the thoughts out your head and into action

Motivation icon Donut Socialite Blog Image

Motivation & Accountability

Gather up the nerve to get your goals done 2017

Results icon Donut Socialite Blog Image Vector

Execution & Results

Doing action items that matter and see results.

organizing donut socialite blog

1. Organizing

You have an idea of what your goals are. Great! The next step is to organize your thoughts and start planning.

A great tool that we have found super useful to help organize thoughts, ideas, and especially goals is the app mindmeister. This app allows you to do some serious mind mapping and sync across your phone and desktop/laptop when you are conjuring up your concepts. It is available to both Apple and Android users and has a great user friendly website.

If you are more of a pen to paper type person, we still advise mind mapping. It will help you figure out what ideas you are serious about right now and tie ideas together so you can have a more focused goal for the year.

When you are getting your ideas on paper (or screen), be sure you are asking yourself these questions:

  1. How long does this goal take realistically?
  2. Will I need to learn new information to accomplish this goal?
  3. Do I know anyone who has already accomplished this goal?
  4. Have I had this goal in the past? What can I learn from my past mistakes?
  5. What ideas tie into one another? Can I accomplish multiple goals with one action?

Once you have a clear understanding of these questions and have your focused goals written down, you can start planning for how to get these goals accomplished. You next step is planning

organizing donut socialite blog

2. Planning

Now that you have narrowed down your goals to focused ideas and concepts, it is time to get your plan on! Planning can be an excruciating process, but I have found some really cool ways to make it less painful. One of those ways is to use tools that help you stay focused on the road ahead.

My favorite tool is the website/ app Evernote. If you have not been introduced to Evernote, let me be the first to let you know it has been a heaven send.

If you have been using Evernote and you are familiar with some of the awesomeness, but have not found a rhythm with the platform, don’t worry, all hope is not lost.

For both instances, I have done a video on some of the best features I have found on Evernote that have helped me get stuff done. Seriously. You can check out that video here.

I used to be overwhelmed by how much I could do on Evernote when I was introduced to it back in 2013, but now I don’t know what I would do without it. So with that being said, I fully suggest that anyone who is trying to crush their goals use Evernote to do so.

Here is a screenshot of how I use my Evernote account to plan out a goal:
Evernote Screen Shot Donut Socialite

A little basic at first sight, I know. But let me explain how this works. The way I plan out a goal is to take the end result I want and plan backwards. Meaning, if I wanted to lose 12 pounds in 3 months, I would break it down into how many pounds I would have to lose each month to accomplish the goal. Then I would take it a step further and see how many pounds that equals in a week.

From here I can determine so much more about what I have to do in order to get the goal done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This way I can plan effectively to crush my goal and set some hard deadlines.

 

Don’t worry, some goals require less research or extra work to plan. The major take away is to reverse engineer your goals so you can see the timeline and workload required to get the job done.

Oh! Before we move on let me share this little gem.

Another app that I use to save time in the long run is “Remember the Milk.” This app allows me to set up reminders in my phone for all of the day to day tasks I need to get done for my goals. “Remember the Milk” has been a major helper in planning for my goals.

 

Here is a screenshot of what the app looks like:
Remember the Milk Application Donut Socialite

 

 

Now that we have covered Planning, we are ready for the next step; Motivation and Accountability. The things that are going to really help you get stuff done in 2017

 

motivation and accountability icon Donut Socialite blog images 2017

3. Motivation & Accountability

So now we have learned how to take our ideas and make them into focused goals, plan out our goals, and start to execute our goals, but the most important piece (in my opinion) is being able to keep the momentum after all of the initial work. The best way I have found (that has literally changed the way I operate in all aspects especially my goal crushing) is having an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone who will hold you to your word when you set out to crush your goals. This person is also very honest about what they see in your habits.

I have a quick checklist of what traits my accountability partner has to possess in order to be my accountability partner. If you need more details on this, check out my article on “How to Pick the Right Accountability Partner.”

  1. The person has to be determined to reach their goals
  2. The person has to be honest & transparent
  3. The person has to be able to accept criticism
  4. The person has to be trustworthy

Conversely, I have to be these traits to my accountability partner as well. Remember, it should always be a mutually beneficial relationship.

After you speak with your accountability partner you will be surprised at how big a difference it makes when you can share your small victories with someone who is listening critically. The best benefit of having an accountability partner is having someone who can help you organize your thoughts and processes for achieving your goals.

Right now I have a weekly checkin with my accountability partner. Try it out on a weekly basis and see if you need more checkins.

In addition to having an accountability partner, it is important that you set your self up for success by staying motivated.

Keep yourself around motivating people, environments and situations so you can make sure you are constantly reminded of you goals. If you are looking for some motivation on social media, I have found the most motivating pages you can follow.

It is also a good practice to let your friends and family know that you are seriously pursuing your goals and get morale support. Sometimes our closest friends and family don’t know that we have a masterplan so it is always good to give them the heads up.

 

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4. Execution & Results

Congrats! You are now equipped with the tools to successfully CRUSH your goals in 2017! We now have turned our ideas into concrete goals, taken those goals and broke them down into actionable items by planning. We have recruited an accountability partner to help us stay on track and we have changed our environment to keep ourselves focused. Now we have to continue to execute and make it happen everyday so that 2017 can be the best year yet!

Just remember, you are well worth the results of  your labor!

Still Need Help?

 

After your first deadline if you still need some guidance, feel free to reach out. We are here to help. In the meantime, check out our free “Evernote Guide for the Super Goal Oriented.” You will find a ton of value in some of the tools we have mastered in Evernote.


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