Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Day 15: Too Far?

I don't think I'm going to download the Highlight app. The thought of it kind of freaks me out. With more and more GPS-centric apps, I think it's just too much of a security risk to let the whole world know where you are at all times. When a stranger can approach you, know your name, and continue to follow your location from time-to-time.... it's just too much.

I remember when people were worried that "Big Brother is Watching You" might become a reality. Now, we're downloading apps that invite "Big Brother" into our lives freely. Better yet, each one of us is Big Brother now.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Day 14: Let's Talk About Pens

Pens... there are so many! Some are free. Some are colorful. But, most of us, whether we admit it (or even know it) or not, have a "favorite" pen. My favorite is the Sharpie Pen. You can read a great review about it here.

What's your favorite pen? Why?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day 13: Viral Videos

Most businesses, and some people that just like a challenge, try to reach millions of viewers with a video so entertaining, that it is spread by the social media’s version of word of mouth - by “going viral.” Companies may spend thousands of dollars on research about how to make a video go viral to reach a mass number of their target audience. But, I recently discovered a “How to Guide” for making a viral video while watching cartoons with my son. One of his favorite cartoons, “Regular Show” featured an episode during Season 2 (called “Go Viral”) in which the main characters, Mordecai and Rigby, try to create a viral internet video that involves a trampoline, refrigerator, and an elderly gentleman. In their quest for the most viral video ever, they test and discover what works and doesn’t work. And, their results seem to remain true to most research: record something that’s funny and/or stupid, add a pinch of outrageous, and post it online.
However, as Mordecai and Rigby discovered, there must be passion and meaning behind the message in a video that’s intended to become viral, or it will become stagnant. In other words, there must be a psychological reason for the viewer to share the video. This reason is usually an extreme emotion felt by the viewer, most commonly humor. But, wait! There’s more.
Humor is not the end all be all, because other emotions can be just as powerful for the success of a viral video. Ray Wilson created a viral video that helped him to find and bring home his teenage daughter, Haley, after she ran away from home. In this situation, the extreme emotion was empathy for a father in search of his missing daughter, and people shared the video in hopes of being part of the efforts to bring Haley home safely, which is exactly what happened.
Which brings me to my next point: a successful viral video will make the viewer feel included in a worldwide community. The magic is created when, by simply watching the video, the viewer feels like they are part of something, triggering a response to share it and keep their contacts in the know. By sharing a video, the viewer shouldn’t just feel like they are changing the world. They should actually be changing the world, whether that change is reuniting a father with his daughter, making a friend smile, or forever changing the perception of the Honey Badger.
Basically, when it comes down to it, a viral video is easy to make: record something that causes the viewer to feel an extreme emotion and feel connected with the rest of the world while watching it. This will drive them to include their friends and family in our worldwide community with the click of a “share” button and create the next viral video.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 12: Rhodia takes the cake!

The talented and inspiring singer, Erykah Badu, has a lyric describing herself as, "Analog girl in a digital world." Now, that was back in late 1990's, but how prophetic a statement it was of how I would feel from then and well into the second decade after I first heard it. In my new life, at my dream job, I have been experimenting with the best organizational tools in all the land. In addition to my iPhone that syncs to my Google mail and calendar, I have a little moleskine-esque notebook... a Rhodia web book... that is PERFECT for daily notes and to-do's for work and during training, so I can quickly go back and reference what I need with a quick flip of the page. I'm using it in chronological order to record my training and ideas I have for accounts I'd like to suggest, once I get deeper into my job duties and responsibilities. As I've blogged about before, the Rhodia web book has a cover that is amazing to the touch! Two years later, I'm equally as enthralled with the texture of this notebook cover as I was when I first got it.

The Rhodia Meeting Book is larger and has a different format. It is perfect for when I meet with clients. I can write down who attended the meeting at the top of the page, to help me remember names, notes from the meeting on the bottom, and the action steps side bar for what our team promises to deliver and what the client has said they would provide (ideas, data, etc.). These two books are create a balance and professional harmony that I need to stay on my A game! My iPhone calendar and my work (Google) calendar sync up, so that entire aspect is covered electronically, which is good, because they send me automated reminders. But, I still need that emotional connection that I have with paper and more importantly, putting ink on paper. And, if you are writing notes into your iPhone during a meeting, there is still a perception that you're "texting" or "uninterested." So, writing down notes is timeless and still relevant for meetings in today's professional culture.

To report "from the field," I will tell you that nearly every single person here - from the Creative Director who designs websites and Facebook pages to the CEO, have notebooks they use in meetings to jot down reminders. But, they all have smart phones too, because well... it's a mobile media company - they BETTER all have smart phones! It's really cool to see the combination of digital vs non-digital tools that creative and professional people use!

I wonder if Erykah Badu has an iPhone...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Day 11: Sick with a sick kid

I'm sick... and my son is sick. Rolling out of bed with a sore throat and congestion isn't half as hard as rolling out of bed to take care of someone else that is sick too. Consoling when you want to be consoled, getting up and cooking when you wish you could have breakfast in bed, and getting up in the middle of the night to check for a fever when you, yourself have the chills and need rest... it's exhausting. But, no matter how sick I feel, I never lose that maternal instinct. Somehow, strength is conjured up when I feel my weakest, and I'm able to take care of him, because I know deep down that he is completely dependent upon me to get through the illness. I believe the strength comes from my love for him, proving once again that love conquers all.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 10: One Less Thing to Remember

One Less Thing to Remember
Here’s another reason why my iPhone is my Valentine: the reminder feature associated with my To Do list. I rely heavily on my iPhone as a source to dump all those loose ends into my To Do list, but I also depend on it to tell me WHEN to do all those loose ends. By setting up GPS locations associated with my job, my house, or anywhere else I want, I can set my To Do list to remind me of a task as I’m leaving a specific location or when I arrive at a specific location. For example, today after I leave work, I need to stop by the store and pick up cupcakes for my son’s Valentine’s Day party they’re having at his daycare. But, knowing me, my brain will go onto auto-pilot as soon as I get into the car, and about the time I am pulling up to the daycare today, I’ll think to myself, “Dang it! I meant to stop and get cupcakes first!” Guess what? That’s NOT going to happen today, because when I set up the To Do item of “pick up cupcakes,” I went into the Remind Me tab, selected “ At a Location,” entered into the location (my current location/my job), and then selected “When I Leave.” So now, as I’m driving away from my job, my phone will remind me to go pick up cupcakes! Ok, here’s the other cool side of that. If I want to remember to call my sister as soon as I get home, I can type “Call Sis” in my To Do list, select “At a Location,” make the location my house, and then select “When I Arrive.” So, when I pull into my garage, my phone will remind me to call my sister! Does this freak you out or make you feel relieved that once you set it up, you would have one less thing to remember?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Day 9: Organization - Digital vs. Tangible

Organization: Digital or tangible?
With all of the options available, both digital and tangible, what is the best way to organize my life? There is a plethora of options – I just have to find what’s available and what works best for me. Easy enough, right? If so, then why am I feeling hints of frustration swelling inside me? I know I’m not the only person in the world that struggles to organize his/her many facets of life: professional, family, personal, social, etc. In fact, there’s a whole blog (and loyal following) that is dedicated to the pursuit of planner nirvana, called Plannerisms.
I have an iPhone, so I should be synced, reminded, and organized with my pocket-sized computer, right? Well… maybe. I could have it remind me to pick up milk as I’m leaving work and alert me to take the dog for a walk when I pull into my driveway. But, that’s not quite enough. When I’m in a meeting, I still want a notebook to write down my to-do list for each project. And, there’s something about having a special reference point for goals and action items completed towards reaching that goal. There are apps for that. There are also journals for that. I suppose this comes down to personal preference, but for me, I feel like there’s got to be a happy medium. Synching my phone to the Cloud provides reassurance that shattering or losing my iPhone won’t erase every picture, app, and note that was on it. Having all information in a notebook or planner feels a little bit safer. Other than it catching on fire or being misplaced/stolen, it’s not as likely that would be destroyed in a millisecond. And, there’s something sentimental about going back through the past year of my life when flipping through a notebook vs scrolling through notes in my phone.
So, I have options and considerations. And, here they are:
1. Go all digital: Use my iPhone to its fullest extent and use it exclusively for all notes, planning, and scheduling.
2. Walk the line: Use my iPhone for some planning and scheduling but also rely on notebooks &/or planners to keep track of to-do items, finances, notes for projects at work
3. Get an awesome notebook “catch-all” for personal and professional items, such as a Reflexions notebook, or a structure planner/diary such as The Woman’s Success Planner or the Collins Home & Work Diary.
Similar blog: Consolidating Calendars on the Plannerisms blog