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The contextual and exponential future of Facebook

Everything you do on Facebook will affect what comes in your view in the future. If you like crappy things that you don’t care about, you’ll see more crappy brands that you don’t care about in the future and it might even affect your experiences when you walk into bars, churches, schools, shopping malls, etc.

Great but I’m not going to all of a sudden spend the time to clean up and organize my information so I can get more relevant ads.  Did anyone see the mutiny Instagram faced yesterday after it posted terms and conditions changes to match Facebook’s?  

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The Right Tools: Apps That Will Save You Time and Headaches

As a worker, blogger, and commuter I’m always searching for the right tools to capture content.

Here’s the breakdown of a some essential apps that will help you on the go or at the desk. It took me a while to realize these were the best tools so I hope it helps save you time and money.

The Toolkit

Instapaper: Use this to save your favorite articles across the web. Those articles are like pennies you may never use but at least you know where they’re saved when you need to come back to them. You may also want to create categories to classify those articles further. I have built folders for anything social media related to health.

If you use Google Reader or even the Safari browser on Mac or iOS, make sure you install the “Read Later” Instapaper button for instant one click saving.

Evernote: I resisted using Evernote for years. The UI was a bit clunky and I had other ways to dump content. However, the last two months at work have been nuts and I needed a quick reference tool for all my notes and next steps on projects. Basically, Evernote saved me from rummaging through my Microsoft Inbox to find that important email. It also enabled me to send people a URL of clean summarized notes with snapshots and examples. Additionally, I use Evernote to dump blog posts ideas.

Scrivener: If you’re a writer and publisher this is your best tool. Scrivener excels in keeping your chapters formatted as you visualize them and most importantly, compiling the finished product in the right file format for distribution to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.

The program is as advanced as you want it to be.

Drafts app: The best notebook is the one you have with you. The Drafts app is the quickest way to record and store any idea, opening right up to a blank page. Once you get your idea down, you can also share it everywhere with one click: to social networks, Evernote, Day One, et al.

I write my blog posts on Drafts and then copy it in Markdown. This saves me time from manually entering HTML on the Tumblr app.

Day One: This is the modern digital diary. It’s beautifully designed to collect private thoughts and memories in a clean, easy to navigate interface. I’ve been writing in Day One daily for more than a year. I love scanning back to a random entry and seeing where I was and futuring to see where I want to go next.

Dropbox: Dropbox is the definition of cloud access. I keep all my files on Dropbox, off my computer so I can access them from anywhere. I also use Dropbox to save all my images. I even have an ifft recipe set up to save each of my Instagram photos.

Camera+: Camera+ should be your default camera app for iPhone. It opens fast, allows rapid shots, cool filters, focus tools to avoid tilt, and instant share options.

All of these tools, minus Scrivener, are available as Smartphone and desktop apps and share everything in the cloud for ubiquitous access.

What’s in your tool Arsenal and why is it so useful? Please chime in on the comments below.

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Evaluating Change

If you want to keep up with modernity you have no choice but to evolve. You can resist change until the evolving market resists you. #amwriting #blogging #selfimprovement

There’s always something better. A better phone, a better bike, a better restaurant, and better business partners. But to find that newness takes time, trust, and proper funds.

It’s much easier to stick with the status quo.

But at some point the old product or relationship becomes stale; it starts underperforming and getting in the way of your existing expectations. That’s when you need to make a change and look for other something better.

If you want to keep up with modernity you have no choice but to evolve. You can resist change until the evolving market resists you.

Technology is obviously the most rapidly changing. Fax machine anyone? Of course, not everything should be tweaked. You can’t trade in your family. Love is not fungible. Plus, some things are just incredibly convenient; why try another coffee shop if Starbucks truly makes you satisfied?

Do what makes you happy but be open to changing certain things, especially if the old way puts you at a comparative disadvantage. Keep up, conform where necessary, and love what you already have.

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SAYING GOODBYE TO NOW

It’s possible that the act of taking a picture has such appeal because it manages to do several opposing things at once—I am allowed to pet the phone, to let the phone flatter me with its news, to let the phone mediate reality for me, and also to see what is going on around me and bear witness to a moment in my children’s lives, even if I am seeing it on-screen. To mitigate this, I often shoot blind, like firing a gun at the hip while I look directly at the action.

We are blind to reality, losing our memory to the obsession of digital capture. Snap back into reality by deliberately putting the phone aside. Live it, let it be a brain memory only. That’s how magical stories get passed along. The truth is sometimes better forgotten, the story hyperbolized.

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Creativity Tech

In a constantly plugged-in world, it’s not all bad to be bored

Photo by meredith hunter

“In an environment where we are constantly overstimulated, it’s hard to find ways to engage when the noise shuts down.”

We’re always entertained if we have our Internet-connected devices around.  There’s intentionally something to do:  socialize on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, check email, play a game, view new apps, read, browse the net, SMS, and so on.

We can go in and out of the list above all day because there’s always new content.

The only time we really get bored is when we don’t have our devices.  That’s when we get really antsy.  We start thinking about all the things we’re missing online and how great it’s going to feel when we can reconnect.

But when we remove the devices and let the mind actually pursue ennui and wonder, we actually begin to ponder about our environment. We also realize how fast our mind shifts between different thoughts.

Meditation is a great way to challenge boredom and refocus the mind.  The constant bombardment of uncontrollable thoughts during meditation reminds us of how vulnerable our brains are to distraction and how susceptible we are to quick fix attention through addictive technology.

It’s hard to get back to a state of boredom in a hyper-connected world.  We can hardly remember what we did in dull moments pre-Internet.  Boredom is now something we have to control and practice deliberately, not the other way around.

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When I Started

Starting anything new can be both a joy and a burden. We get used to certain ways of doing and saying things.

Meanwhile, the person that’s never endured transformation approaches it with such ease and understanding. That’s the advantage of living through the evolution.

But what happens when the routine or newness is a step backward and you know there’s a better way. That’s when you step up and say something, provoking change.

The status quo needs to be challenged if it’s inferior. If you can lead by example and create a clear vision of improvement, people will follow.

With every action there’s a reaction, whether you’re right or wrong. Take a chance or live with antiquity.

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