lists http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8731/all en-US These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_17027432_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="lists can make life better" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>List-making is highly utilitarian. But did you know that this primitive practice can also improve your health, jumpstart your motivational juices, and boost your memory? It can achieve a great many feats beyond the simple task of ensuring that you remember to buy all the right groceries during your trip to the market. Here are six tremendously beneficial lists you ought to be incorporating into your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-organize-your-paperwork-in-just-10-minutes-a-week?ref=seealso">How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week</a>)</p> <h2>Every Single Amazing Thing You've Ever Seen or Done</h2> <p>Studies show that penning your positive experiences can actually <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20205032">improve your health</a>. So why not put this simple science to good use? Your first kiss, your college graduation day, that time you went skydiving over the Pacific Ocean. Not only will jotting down these triumphs and epic adventures help you to feel better physically, you'll also get a jolt of excitement just thinking about them.</p> <h2>One Enormous To-Do List</h2> <p>It may seem daunting. All those unfinished tasks staring you back in the face might even stir up a wave of anxiety. But studies have found that the simple act of crossing off an item on a checklist is enough to trigger a deep sense of accomplishment and satisfaction &mdash; no matter how big or small the task at hand. So don't be afraid to load up your to-do list! Tackle it knowing that you'll feel more and more fulfilled as you work your way down.</p> <h2>Handwritten Lists to Acquire New Knowledge</h2> <p>The study tips and tricks you picked up in the classroom can benefit you in the real world, too. In fact, there are many occasions other than the night before a big exam that you will want or need to memorize new information. Remember the set of statistics you had to spout out at that recent board meeting? Or the oceanic science you needed to learn to earn your scuba diver certification? As it turns out, one of the best ways to absorb a new information set such as these is to physically <a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/ink-on-paper-some-notes-on-note-taking.html">jot it down</a> using paper and pen.</p> <p>Scientists have discovered that our ability to recall facts and ideas at a later date is heightened when we write them down the old-fashioned way. Add to this another bit of science. By organizing the information you want to learn in list form, prioritizing that list, and then sticking to it, you define what it will mean to be, &quot;finished studying,&quot; thereby improving your odds of achieving knowledge retention success. All too often we approach the task of learning something new without taking the time to delineate exactly what or how much or how long we ought study in order to consider the task complete. By working your way through a list of study material, you'll stay organized and keep yourself feeling motivated as your check your way down the list.</p> <h2>Multi-Step Tasks That Are Complicated or Foreign</h2> <p>A study of Michigan hospitals found that using a checklist can <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090916092657.htm">virtually eliminate common infections</a> in intensive care units. As it turns out, the principle behind these findings stand true outside the operating room, too. Checklists can be used to reduce errors and improve safety in any situation where you're attempting to execute a multi-step procedure correctly. Whether you're setting out to bake a cake or change a flat car tire, a checklist can help ensure that you cover every step. After all, that brand new tire won't do you much good if you forget to tighten up the lug nuts.</p> <h2>List Your Stressors</h2> <p>Everyone feels stressed out from time to time. Next time the feeling strikes you, make a list of everything that is occupying your mind or distracting you. After you <a href="https://drdemartini.com/writings_and_insights/the_benefits_of_making_lists_to_health">quantify your stressors</a>, take a moment to identify which items can be delegated to others and which items must actually be completed by you, and then assign each item a due date. You'll likely find that many of the tasks weighing you down don't need to be done immediately, and some of them can even be delegated to others. This realization can help ease your stress and make you feel more optimistic about conquering all of your to-do's. Be sure to create a new list for those items that must be completed in the future, planning to make sure that each one will be wrapped up in time.</p> <h2>Everything You Want to See, Do, and Accomplish</h2> <p>Popular to the point of cliche, the bucket list &mdash; a list of things one wants to do before he or she kicks the bucket &mdash; is often overlooked. Alas, it is a powerful thing. The trick, of course, is to prevent your list from becoming a thing of fantasy by actually committing to crossing off a great many of the items on the list. Exciting memories, relationship-bonding activities, and self-improvement activities are the stuff of most bucket lists, and all of these things can make life feel more fulfilling. Ultimately, a bucket list &mdash; a thoughtful one that you actually set out to complete &mdash; can make for a life well-lived.</p> <p><em>Any other checklists that would make life better? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-lists">Why I Love Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-not-to-delete-your-emails">5 Reasons Not to Delete Your Emails</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity checklists lists make a list tips to-do list Tue, 05 Jul 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1743314 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Great Lifehack Lists Everyone Should Read http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-lifehack-lists-everyone-should-read <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-great-lifehack-lists-everyone-should-read" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/numbers-139480419.jpg" alt="numbers" title="numbers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&#39;re big fans of lists here at Wise Bread &mdash; mostly because our readers seem to love them more than any other format of money-saving article &mdash; but we&#39;re not the only people making awesome lists to make your life better. That&#39;s why I&#39;ve scoured the Internet to find 20 of the best lists out there. Some are straight-ahead helpful in various aspects of life, while others are a bit more tongue-in-cheek in their approach to enlightenment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-power-of-lists-getting-more-creative-and-efficient">Get More Creative and Efficient With Lists</a>)</p> <p>Browse through my selection and let me know what you think. (Full disclosure: Some of these are Wise Bread lists; you didn&#39;t think we weren&#39;t going to pat ourselves on the back just a little, did you?) When you&#39;re duly educated and entertained, let me know if my picks are spot on or if you have better lists to recommend by telling me so in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. 10 Facts About Life After the Apocalypse</h2> <p>I put <a href="http://listverse.com/2013/09/10/10-truths-about-life-after-the-apocalypse/">this list of facts about life after the apocalypse</a> at number one so you get an early sense that the rest of this list will be at least a little fun, and because I&#39;m actively preparing for the apocalypse myself &mdash; zombie or otherwise. True story. There are lots of interesting tidbits on this list, including how we&#39;ll finally be able to drink all the beer and soda we want, how mealworms will sustain us, and how professional wrestling will finally get its comeuppance. All it&#39;ll take is a nuclear winter.</p> <h2>2. 10 Things You Should Not Be Paying For</h2> <p>Everyday we&#39;re telling you to cut back on one thing or another, but there are lots of things you can do without all together. This <a href="http://www.poundstopocket.co.uk/pound-place/saving-money-cat/10-things-you-should-not-be-paying-for">list of 10 items you shouldn&#39;t be paying for</a> &mdash; like, ever &mdash; includes premium TV subscriptions, newspapers, bottled water (like, EVER!), checking accounts, and gym memberships. If you can cut out this excess (considering you&#39;re currently indulging in it, that is), you&#39;ll save hundreds of dollars every month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-yourself-save-more-money">Ways to Make Yourself Save More Money</a>)</p> <h2>3. Top 15 Jobs That Require Little or No Experience</h2> <p>I know a lot of people who spent the better part of their lives as stay-at-home moms and dads, and I have friends whose majors in college didn&#39;t prepare them well for the working world. This post on <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/jobs-require-no-experience/">the top 15 jobs that require little or no experience</a> might help them figure out where to look for employment if they&#39;re having a hard time finding it elsewhere, and if you have people in your life who sound similar it might help them too.</p> <h2>4. 11 Tips to Keep iOS 7 From Destroying Your Battery Life</h2> <p>I made a huge mistake updating to iOS7 a couple weeks ago &mdash; I hate, hate, hate the new calendar format, for starters &mdash; but the reduced battery is workin&#39; my nerves too. Thank goodness I found this article that gives <a href="http://gizmodo.com/how-to-take-care-of-your-smartphone-battery-the-right-w-513217256/1416982678/@ericlimer">11 ways to preserve it</a> so I don&#39;t have to be tethered to an outlet all day. Feel free to rant in the comments about your iOS 7 experience so I don&#39;t feel like the only curmudgeon on the page.</p> <h2>5. Top 10 Ways to Get Free Wi-Fi Anywhere You Go</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/list-laptop-5192044-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Wi-Fi should be free everywhere all the time, but until the day that Richard Branson becomes president we&#39;ll have to consult <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5918856/top-10-ways-to-get-free-wi+fi-anywhere-you-go">this post on 10 ways to get free Wi-Fi anywhere you go</a>. Examples include searching for hidden networks (like you did before you could afford Internet of your own, and everybody got savvy about locking their networks), use coupons (yes, they exist), and consulting a hotspot database.</p> <h2>6. 10 Romantic and Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Your Girlfriend or Wife</h2> <p>Gentlemen&hellip; if you&#39;re constantly finding yourself in the doghouse because you lack the romantic nature that your lady friend craves, this post is for you. Not only is this <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com/romantic-gift-ideas-girlfriend-wife/">list of gift ideas for your wife or girlfriend</a> romantic but it&#39;s also populated with inexpensive ideas that will win you a lot of points without dropping too much coin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful, Frugal, and Personalized Gifts</a>)</p> <h2>7. 8 Everyday Products You&#39;ve Been Using Wrong</h2> <p>This video list on <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/video/elyjahwilbur/8-everyday-products-youve-been-using-wrong">eight products that you&#39;ve been using wrong</a> will blow your mind. Did you know that the pop tab on a can of soda is a straw holder? Did you know that you can keep your aluminum foil roll from coming out of the box by pushing in built-in tabs on the side? Did you know that Chinese takeout boxes fold out into plates? You&#39;re welcome.</p> <h2>8. Top 10 Tricks for Getting Better Sleep</h2> <p>I&#39;m always looking for new ways to get off to dreamland faster, and I hit the jackpot with this list of <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5876083/top-10-tricks-for-better-sleep">10 tricks to getting better sleep</a>. My personal favorites are to prepare a worthy bed &mdash; nothing beats the feeling of climbing into a seriously comfortable bed &mdash; and to cool yourself off at night. I always sleep better when I cuddle up in my own private igloo at night. My husband doesn&#39;t always love it, but that&#39;s what blanket and body heat are for, right? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep">Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>9. 16 Common Product Combinations You Should Never Mix</h2> <p>When I saw this list, it reminded me of that &quot;Who&#39;s the Boss?&quot; episode where Tony mixes ammonia and bleach and passes out on the kitchen floor. Most of us know that we shouldn&#39;t play amateur chemist with those particular solutions, but what else should we be warned against? Turns out vinegar and bleach is a volatile compound, as is Red Bull and milk. Take a look at what other items are incompatible in this list of <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/16-common-product-combinations-you-should-never-mix">16 common product combinations you should never mix</a>.</p> <h2>10. 10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together</h2> <p>Are you feeling a little out of control lately? Too much chaos around you? Take back the wheel with this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together">list of simple ways to get your life together</a>. Tips range from super-easy solutions like making your bed (strange how such a simple task makes you feel so good, isn&#39;t it?), getting a haircut (I always feel freshly confident after a new &#39;do), balancing your checkbook, and cleaning out your wallet or purse.</p> <h2>11. 21 Cheap and Effective Tricks to Keep Your Home Safe</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/list-180682740-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Can&#39;t afford a monthly security subscription? Don&#39;t fret. You can potentially keep harm away from your home by instituting a plethora of <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/18-cheap-and-effective-tricks-to-deter-burglars">cheap and effective tricks to deter burglars</a>, which include installing dummy cameras; remembering to remove flyers from your doorstep; keeping your landscape well groomed; and perhaps the most genius one of all, pretending to say goodbye to someone in your home when you&#39;re on your way out.</p> <h2>12. The 5 Steps to Take to Get Your Finances on Track</h2> <p>What I like about this <a href="http://blog.avantcredit.com/personal-finance-2/the-5-steps-to-take-to-get-your-finances-on-track-2">list on how to get your finances on track in five steps</a> is its simplicity. There&#39;s no financial mumbo jumbo to decipher, and, most importantly, it doesn&#39;t talk down to you. We all get in a bind at times, but this piece will help you better manage your money puzzle without stressing too much.</p> <h2>13. 10 Best iPhone Apps to Help You Save</h2> <p>Chances are you have no lack of money-saving apps clogging up your iPhone, but do you have the best of the best? These 10 are <a href="http://www.quickquid.co.uk/quid-corner/2012/11/26/10-best-phone-apps-to-help-you-save/">the best according to British personal finance blog Quid Corner</a>, and as it turns out they use the same apps we do.</p> <h2>14. 5 Ways to Stay Out of Debt in 2013</h2> <p>Sure, the year is coming to a close, but any way you can stay out debt is relevant now and forever. The tips in this piece on <a href="http://www.cashnetusa.com/blog/5-ways-stay-debt-2013/">how to stay out of debt in 2013</a> include limiting your expense (it&#39;s easy to go overboard at holiday time, especially), rethinking big-ticket items (even during those holiday sales), and reeling in your trips to restaurants.</p> <h2>15. How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</h2> <p>I had to include this list of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">how to answer the 23 most common interview questions</a>, because it&#39;s still one of the most popular posts on Wise Bread six years after it originally was written (although it was updated just last month). If you&#39;re preparing for an interview, this is the post to consult so you can enter your potential new employer&#39;s office with confidence.</p> <h2>16. Top 10 Grooming Mistakes</h2> <p>My grooming habits are probably a little more comprehensive than many guys&#39;, but I don&#39;t know it all. Which is why I was happy to stumble upon this list featuring the <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/21/top-10-grooming-fails/">top 10 grooming mistakes</a>, including forgoing moisturizer; skimping on the sunscreen; and the one that&#39;s very near and dear to my heart (or should I say head): balding denial. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quick-and-dirty-skin-care-for-men-how-grandpa-used-to-do-it">Quick and Dirty Skin Care for Men</a>)</p> <h2>17. 15 Ways to Make Money While You Travel</h2> <p><img alt="" src="http://static1.killeraces.com/files/fruganomics/u784/list-travel-665229-small-ggnoads.jpg" style="width: 605px; height: 303px;" /></p> <p>Most of us spend money &mdash; and lots of it &mdash; when we travel, but what if you could make money as you make your way around the world? It&#39;s totally possible &mdash; and there are more than a dozen ways to put some cash into your pocket while on vacation &mdash; according to this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-while-you-travel">list of 15 ways to make money while you travel</a>.</p> <h2>18. 7 Things You&#39;d Rather Not Know About Hot Dogs</h2> <p>The title of this list is completely accurate. I&#39;d rather not know <a href="http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/07/04/7-things-youd-rather-not-know-about-hot-dogs/">what I now know about hot dogs</a>. Tread lightly, lest your summer barbecues be ruined forever.</p> <h2>19. The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in America</h2> <p>I warned you in the intro that not all the lists that I deemed to be the 20 best on the Internet would be pretty. This <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-cities-in-america-2013-6?utm_source=ob&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_content=hgh&amp;utm_campaign=Sept2013-hgh">list of the 25 most dangerous cities in America</a> is a prime example, but it&#39;s a must-read for anyone thinking about relocating to new city&hellip; whether it was before or after clicking through all 25.</p> <h2>20. 12 Important Things to Check When Inspecting a Potential Home</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/important-things-to-check-when-inspecting-a-potential-hom">subhead to this article is &quot;Or live in misery FOREVER&quot;</a> &mdash; and anyone who&#39;s ever bought a home knows how true that is. The tips range from checking cell phone reception &mdash; which I should have done before moving to New York City (I live in the center of the freakin&#39; universe and I can barely make a call) &mdash; to making sure there are delivery joints nearby (you pull your hair out on a lazy Friday night if you haven&#39;t done your due diligence in this regard) to taking a peek inside the cabinets and underneath the sink to see what&#39;s going on. The latter is an issue my husband and I faced when we recently moved into a new home. I&#39;m glad we caught it before we closed on the property so it wasn&#39;t another pricey fix that we had to make after signing on the dotted line.</p> <p><em>Well that&#39;s my list of my favorite lists. Is yours on there?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-lifehack-lists-everyone-should-read">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-engineer-the-best-time-of-your-life">Reverse engineer the best time of your life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips best of lifehacks lists Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:36:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1083925 at http://www.wisebread.com The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/post-its-4676604-small.jpg" alt="post-it notes" title="post-it notes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have three kids, a business, and a few blogs, and I just signed up to become a Girl Scout leader. When people ask me, &quot;How do you do it all?&quot; my usual reply is, &quot;I give up, how?&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-best-productivity-advice">What Is Your Best Productivity Advice?</a>)</p> <p>Turns out, &quot;How do you do it all?&quot; is not a joke, or if it is, I'm still waiting to hear the punch line. In reality, I'm supposed to figure out how to get it all done in a day, on my own. Well, not completely on my own. I have a smartphone, and therefore I have a choice of to-do list apps to help me.</p> <p>Here are the 10 apps that most experts consider to be the best at helping people like me get it all done.</p> <h2>1. Todoist</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.todoist">Android</a>, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Ftodoist-to-do-list-task-list%252Fid572688855%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30/">iOS</a>, Windows, Mac, Web</p> <p>Cost: Free or $29/year for Premium</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://mashable.com/2012/08/29/to-do-list-apps-mobile/">Mashable post</a> commended <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Ftodoist-to-do-list-task-list%252Fid572688855%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30/">this uncluttered app</a> because it &quot;has enough power to take on a nearly infinite task list, meaning that there's no data ceiling to hit.&quot; You can create any number of projects with deadlines for each, break each one down into the steps you must take to accomplish it, and color code everything to keep it straight.</p> <p>If your to-do list isn't only for you, try their free online collaboration product, <a href="https://wedoist.com/">Wedoist</a>.</p> <h2>2. Awesome Note</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fawesome-note-%252Bto-do-calendar%252Fid320203391%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a> or Galaxy Note</p> <p>Cost: $3.99</p> <p><a href="http://ipod.about.com/od/bestiphoneapps/tp/Top-To-Do-List-Apps-For-The-Iphone.htm">About.com's iPhone/iPod expert gave this app 5 out of 5 stars</a> because you can easily sync your to-do list with Evernote or Google Docs.</p> <p>&quot;I also love the monthly calendar view for getting an overview of your tasks for the coming weeks,&quot; wrote iPhone expert Tanya Menoni.</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fawesome-note-%252Bto-do-calendar%252Fid320203391%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Awesome Note</a> isn't just a to-do list, either &mdash; it's a full-function note-taking and organizational app. That means it has a bit of a learning curve, but the time invested is reportedly worth it.</p> <h2>3. Wunderlist 2</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fwunderlist-to-do-task-list%252Fid406644151%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TMPJP6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004TMPJP6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20">Android</a>, Mac, Windows</p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>Simple and good-looking,&nbsp;<a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fwunderlist-to-do-task-list%252Fid406644151%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Wunderlist 2</a> was flagged as one of the best by <a href="http://www.techradar.com/us/news/software/applications/6-best-to-do-apps-and-extensions-to-manage-your-time-1144266">TechRadar, which raved about its ease of use and flexibility</a>. You can view your to-do items as a simple list, or you can have alerts or emails pop up to remind you when things come due.</p> <p>Your lists are stored in the cloud, and you can share them, turning this into a group productivity app.</p> <h2>4. Remember the Milk</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fremember-the-milk%252Fid293561396%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00657XVYY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00657XVYY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20">Android</a>, Blackberry, Web</p> <p>Cost: Free or $25/year for Pro</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fremember-the-milk%252Fid293561396%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Remember the Milk</a> plays well with others, interacting with Siri on iPhone, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-gmail-account">with Gmail</a> and Google Tasks. The Pro version syncs with Outlook. <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5924093/five-best-to+do-list-managers">LifeHacker raves about the recent iOS and Android overhauls</a> that make the app &quot;even easier to use.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Do It (Tomorrow) HD</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.adylitica.android.DoItTomorrow">Android</a>, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fdo-it-tomorrow-hd%252Fid418104857%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: Free for phones, $4.99 for iPad</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fdo-it-tomorrow-hd%252Fid418104857%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Do It (Tomorrow) HD</a> tops <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3009179/dialed/a-list-of-the-6-best-alternative-to-do-list-apps">Fast Company's list of &quot;alternative&quot; to-do apps</a> because it helps users &quot;efficiently procrastinate&quot; by moving items from today's list to tomorrow's with one little swipe. I like this idea, because there's nothing more disheartening than looking at a to-do list full of unchecked tasks at the end of the day. I'm not sure if this app would actually help me get things done, but it could help me sleep better at night.</p> <h2>6. Any.do</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006HUC29E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B006HUC29E&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20">Android</a>, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fany.do%252Fid497328576%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: Free</p> <p>The San Francisco Chronicle recently named <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fany.do%252Fid497328576%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Any.do</a> the <a href="http://www.sfchronicle.com/technology/article/App-of-the-week-Any-do-4651566.php">App of the Week</a> because it doesn't wait for you to tell it what you need to do &mdash; the app tells you. It integrates with Gmail and other email, and it guesses based on your messages what you need to do to follow up. If it guesses right, you don't have to type the to-do item, just accept it.</p> <h2>7. Conqu</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fconqu-for-iphone%252Fid478176628%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a></p> <p>Cost: $4.99</p> <p>There's nothing more maddening than driving right past the library without remembering that you've got a trunk full of overdue books to return. So I love the idea of <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fconqu-for-iphone%252Fid478176628%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" click.linksynergy.com="" fs-bin="">Conqu </a>in its <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2027216/master-your-tasks-the-10-best-to-do-list-apps.html">best apps list</a> because it doesn't merely let you list tasks, but helps you prioritize them. &quot;You can set up the app to organize tasks automatically by context, energy level, time required, and so on,&quot; the magazine enthuses. And look at all the devices it works on!</p> <h2>9. Toodledo</h2> <p>Works on: <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Ftoodledo-to-do-list%252Fid292755387%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">iOS</a>, Web</p> <p>Cost: $2.99 for iOS, free for Web</p> <p>You <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system?wbref=slide">may already be familiar</a> with <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Ftoodledo-to-do-list%252Fid292755387%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30">Toodledo.com</a>, the popular online task manager. The app takes your Toodledo to-do items on the road, and <a href="http://www.macworld.com/product/89336/toodledo-to-do-list.html">MacWorld praises its powerful sorting and filtering functions</a>.</p> <h2>10. Yahoo To-Do?</h2> <p>Works on: ?</p> <p>Cost: ?</p> <p><a href="http://astrid.com/">Astrid</a> deserved a spot on this list, but it was acquired by Yahoo, which shut the <a href="http://blog.astrid.com/blog/2013/07/08/astrid-winding-down/">service down</a>. Keep an eye out for new improved to-do functionality from Yahoo.</p> <p>As if this isn't choice enough, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system">stand-alone to-do lists aren't your only option</a>. You could turn to overall productivity apps such as EverNote or OneNote, or just use the Google Tasks built into the Gmail you probably already use.</p> <p>Me? I chose Remember the Milk because I've been meaning to increase my use of Google Calendar, with which it interacts, and also because I liked the cute line drawing of a cow's face that represented the app in the Android store. I would have chosen Checkmark if I had an iPhone.</p> <p>So far, I've found Remember the Milk easy to use for setting up and checking off to-do items. Setting up reminders and figuring out how to get it to play with Google Calendar have proved more challenging. But I like having a handy way to keep myself focused without having to search my purse for that dog-eared list that I probably forgot at home anyway.</p> <p><em>What's your favortie to-do app or tool?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-lists">Why I Love Lists</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-ways-to-spend-the-first-10-minutes-of-your-workday">The 5 Best Ways to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-apps-every-dad-needs">6 Apps Every Dad Needs</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity apps getting things done lists to do Wed, 07 Aug 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Carrie Kirby 980651 at http://www.wisebread.com Why I Love Lists http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-lists <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-i-love-lists" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/notebook-5002427-small.jpg" alt="notebook" title="notebook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love making lists. In fact, lists of all sorts organize and drive big parts of my life. I scrawl <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-streamlining-your-shopping-list" target="_blank">grocery lists</a>, make quick lists of what I need to accomplish each day, make detailed lists of my tasks at work, keep lists of books I want to read, make lists of financial goals I want to achieve each year and &mdash; this one&rsquo;s weird &mdash; I even make a list of every single article of clothing I&rsquo;ll need to pack before I leave on a business trip or vacation. Call me anal, call me obsessive, call me a Type A personality &mdash; just give me a pen a piece of paper so I can keep track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-hi-tech-to-do-lists-get-it-done" target="_blank">5 Hi-Tech To-Do Lists: Get It Done!</a>)</p> <h2>A List Is an Idol</h2> <p>For me, and I suspect for many others, list-making is an exercise in meditation. It&rsquo;s a clearing of the mind long enough to understand what needs to be done, what gets priority, and how many of our to-dos are interrelated and mutually dependent. Lists become a way to not only keep several balls in the air (a juggling trick many readers have practiced to perfection), but also a way to structure our days, or weeks, or months so that all of these little lists add up to some serious accomplishments.</p> <h2>A List Is a Promise</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s something about making lists that&rsquo;s supremely active. After all, isn&rsquo;t making a list the very first step in achieving everything on it? Isn&rsquo;t writing down what needs to be done a sort of declaration that you intend to do it? I think so. An honest and well-intentioned list is a promise to your future self, even if that future is just eight hours or a week away. Together, the humble list and the reflective list-maker plot to get things done &mdash; and it&rsquo;s all documented on sticky-notes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system" target="_blank">on the backs of receipts</a>, in daily planners, on our laptops and smart phones, on blackboards and whiteboards &mdash; even in the dust on the dashboards of our cars.</p> <h2>Making and Managing a List, Step-by-Step</h2> <p>My personal list-making process has been refined by years of trial and error. It goes something like this.</p> <ul> <li>I make each day&rsquo;s list the night before in my daily planner (a cheap little thing that I buy for $2.29 at my local dollar store quite ceremoniously every January).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As I complete each task, I check it off my list &mdash; an act that&rsquo;s so sweetly satisfying that I blush to write about it here (die-hard list-makers, you know what I mean). The goal is to have nothing but a series of checkmarks by day&rsquo;s end (and that&rsquo;s a good day indeed, a red-wine-before-bed kind of day).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Whatever I didn&rsquo;t accomplish from the previous day gets carried over to the next.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>I review my lists briefly at the end of each day, considering what I accomplished or didn&rsquo;t accomplish as I craft a more realistic and strategic list for the next day. Now, I&rsquo;ll be the first to admit that I have some serious nerd tendencies (a moniker I wear with pride), but I truly enjoy these end-of-day list reviews. It&rsquo;s as if in these moments I&rsquo;m able to tell myself, &ldquo;If you accomplished nothing else today, at least you did these things.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <p>The list creation and list review become bookends to my day, and the cycle seems to work.</p> <p>In our multitasking world where we&rsquo;re expected to check email, complete a report, and review a spreadsheet all while driving and cooking a nutritious meal, lists are a line drawn in the sand of insanity. They are a methodical, reasonable, wonderfully old-fashioned method of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day" target="_blank">getting things done consciously</a>. Lists are a nod to the joy and the wisdom of mono-tasking; they're a way to carve out some mental space to plan, to keep a healthy pace, and really complete a task before moving on to the next. And when you factor in those hard won checkmarks, well&hellip;let&rsquo;s just say that list-making can be deeply rewarding.</p> <p><em>Are you list-maker? How do you keep yourself motivated as you work through each task? What advice would you give to new list-makers?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-lists">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-ways-to-spend-the-first-10-minutes-of-your-workday">The 5 Best Ways to Spend the First 10 Minutes of Your Workday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity getting things done lists love Tue, 28 May 2013 10:00:34 +0000 Kentin Waits 975249 at http://www.wisebread.com The Power of Lists: Getting More Creative and Efficient http://www.wisebread.com/the-power-of-lists-getting-more-creative-and-efficient <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-power-of-lists-getting-more-creative-and-efficient" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/making_a_list.jpg" alt="Making a list" title="Making a list" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Efficiency and creativity aren&rsquo;t two qualities that typically go hand in hand. You never picture the creative genius going, &quot;I'll spend five more minutes on this idea because I need to get started on the next project.&quot;</p> <p>So what&rsquo;s the best way to become more efficient and more creative? Read a bunch of books? Take some classes? Spend a whole bunch of money?</p> <p>I have a much simpler solution &mdash; create a list.</p> <p>Here are two techniques that can help you get things done faster and come up with great ideas, whether you work in a creative field or not. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/solve-problems-study-and-brainstorm-using-mind-maps">Solve Problems, Study, and Brainstorm Using Mind Maps</a>)</p> <h2>Becoming More Efficient</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m horrible at remembering things &mdash; I must&rsquo;ve been dropped on my head as a baby, as a young boy, and a few times as an adult. My memory just plain sucks.</p> <p>I used to spend a lot of my time at work and at home trying to remember things. Errands, article ideas, putting on my pants before I leave the house, etc. It&rsquo;s really bad.</p> <p>But after reading a piece in the New Yorker about the <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/10/071210fa_fact_gawande">power of checklists</a>, I had one of those &quot;aha&quot; moments &mdash; a list was my way around my memory problems! If a simple checklist can help doctors improve their patient care and save lives, then I can surely use that same strategy to remember where I left my shoes.</p> <p>The concept is simple &mdash; you&rsquo;re offloading the responsibility of remembering to a sheet of paper. Spend a decent amount of time on the checklist, and the next time you need to do a project or complete a task, you just follow the checklist to make sure you completed all the steps.</p> <p>So as a freelance writer it could be things like:</p> <ul> <li>Great headline</li> <li>SEO-friendly headline and keywords</li> <li>Some humor</li> <li>Something interesting/useful</li> <li>Strong voice</li> </ul> <p>Sounds silly, but once you sit down to write (or do anything), this isn&rsquo;t the stuff you want to be focusing on. We forget about it.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve used checklists at work, and they&rsquo;ve made my life a lot easier. Once you find the fastest way to complete a task, write it down as a checklist. Then, next time you can just run through it and be done instead of agonizing over how to go about it. Again.</p> <p>Checklists are like the crumbs of bread that you leave behind for the next time so you'll find your way faster. That&rsquo;s efficiency.</p> <h2>Creativity and Good Ideas</h2> <p>A lot of people think that being creative is simply in your blood. These people wake up in the morning and write a three-act play on their way to the shower.</p> <p>Those people do exist (I hate you all), but that&rsquo;s not how most people come up with great ideas. This is something we&rsquo;re all capable of &mdash; we just have to put in a little bit of work to get there.</p> <p>If you really want to see how creative you can be, you&rsquo;re going to have to do some digging. Don&rsquo;t expect to sit down with a sheet of paper, spend a few minutes thinking, and then boom &mdash; you&rsquo;ll hit on a great idea that will be brilliant. Not gonna happen.</p> <p>Instead, try this tip from the copywriting world &mdash; come up with a <a href="http://litemind.com/tackle-any-issue-with-a-list-of-100/">list of 100</a>.</p> <p>Wait &mdash; 100 ideas??!!</p> <p>Yup, that&rsquo;s right. This will force you to do a few things:</p> <ul> <li>Churn out a bunch of ideas</li> <li>Turn off your inner editor that&rsquo;s constantly telling you an idea is dumb</li> <li>Force your brain to keep working, to keep digging, to keep churning and coming up with more and more ideas until you hit 100</li> </ul> <p>The first few ideas will be pretty predictable. But then you&rsquo;ll hit a wall. You&rsquo;ll want to quit. You&rsquo;ll think it&rsquo;s a dumb idea to sit down and write 100 ideas down. You&rsquo;ll think I&rsquo;m an idiot that can&rsquo;t remember squat. Which is true, but give it a chance.</p> <p>Once you&rsquo;re done, you&rsquo;ll have <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">100 ideas</a> to choose the very best from. This is a concept a photographer once told me about &mdash; in order to get an amazing picture, you have to take a whole bunch of crappy ones.</p> <p>Your brain has pushed through a few walls and taken you into some random places to keep coming up with ideas. You&rsquo;ve managed to shut off your <a href="http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/01/quieting-the-lizard-brain.html">lizard brain</a> and open up your mind to the possibility of new, different, creative ideas. Some of them will suck. Some will be OK. What you&rsquo;re hoping for is to review the list later on and fall in love with one or two of them.</p> <p>Welcome to the creative process.</p> <p>Even if you're not a writer, this is a technique you can use. You can come up with lists of ways to make your company more efficient, new products/services your company should start selling, etc. Anything new can be born this way.</p> <p>Now get a sheet of paper, and start getting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day">more efficient</a> and creative.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-power-of-lists-getting-more-creative-and-efficient">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">25 Ways to Boost Creativity</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-go-for-inspiration">10 Places to Go for Inspiration</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-tested-tips-for-creative-efficiency">15 Tested Tips for Creative Efficiency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-more-eureka-shower-moments">How to Have More Eureka! Shower Moments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity creativity efficiency lists Fri, 02 Dec 2011 11:25:20 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 791585 at http://www.wisebread.com How to find the sweet spot when buying electronics http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-sweet-spot-when-buying-electronics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-the-sweet-spot-when-buying-electronics" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/CPU Closeup by Miles Bannan.png" alt="CPU closeup" title="CPU closeup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><strong>The &quot;sweet spot&quot; is the <em>ideal</em> point where you get the highest performance (and quality) at an optimum price.</strong> It can refer to many types of goods, but electronics are of particular interest because of their phased lifecycles and planned obsolescence. There's the old joke that by the time you've bought a computer, it's already an antique &mdash; and while that's not quite so true in an age where even a low-end PC can do basic 3D gaming, sweet spots still exist.</p> <p>The word &quot;<em>ideal</em>&quot; here isn't without context, as technology keeps moving forth, and it's always worthwhile to refresh yourself every quarter to be aware of what trends are coming down the line, and what previously unattainable electronics are no longer such a distress to your pocketbook. So keep that in mind, keep moving, and here's some tips to keep close:</p> <h2>Search Amazon.com, eBay, and Newegg to discern the best price-per-part</h2> <p>There're other sites, but no matter where you end up buying from, you'll go right using this trinity. Let's use a solid example: Secure Digital cards, which once were specialist forms of memory, but thanks to their proliferation in digital cameras, MP3 players, and other gadgets, they're common. Sizes go up to 32GB, but <strong>which size is the sweet spot?</strong></p> <p>First, a little research: the higher-capacity ones are specifically known as SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity, which makes sense). So you'll want to search for that. And what gets revealed?</p> <ul> <li><strong><a target="_blank" href="http://amazon.com/">Amazon.com</a></strong> - Their search engine has iterated from one generation to the next. As of this writing, simply typing in &quot;sdhc&quot; will autocomplete and reveal the 2nd-most popular search is &quot;sdhc 16gb&quot;, a useful clue. If you just search for &quot;sdhc&quot;, among the top matches are 3 <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0015AOK1O/?tag=torllive-20">Transcend-brand cards</a> for 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. <br /> &nbsp; <br /> <img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3517/3221068327_c8d451fdcf.jpg?v=0" />&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> &nbsp; <br /> 32GB cards exist, but they're upwards of $100, which clearly puts them out of the running, since you could buy a stack of 16GB cards @ $30/each for that price. From initial inspection, you might think the 4GB is the &quot;sweet spot&quot;, since it tends to have the lowest cost-per-gigabyte. However, that isn't the only factor; <strong>the sweet spot is largely about finding the price point before a sharp spike to the next-highest model</strong>. Thus, we have tentative confirmation on 16GB.</li> <li><strong><a target="_blank" href="http://ebay.com/">eBay</a></strong> - Highly-useful feature here: many categories, including electronics, are subdivided sensibly. Try searching for &quot;sdhc 16gb&quot; and you'll see something like this on the left-hand side: <p> <img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3385/3221608974_fba4114cf2.jpg?v=0" />&nbsp; </p> <p> (Something similar also shows up for RAM and hard drives.) Wow, look at how many 16GB cards there are compared to the others. Evidently, there's market demand. Sometimes it isn't so clear, but in this case, we have a winner. Looking at eBay's own &quot;Buy It Now&quot; prices shows 16GB SDHCs to go for about $25-30, around the same as Amazon, so you know short of a surprise deal, this is a choice price.</li> <li><strong><a target="_blank" href="http://newegg.com/">Newegg</a></strong> - This is perhaps the geekiest of the 3, because it focuses on electronics. A quick search here can reaffirm what you've also already learned on Amazon.com and eBay. Also, note that like Amazon, Newegg's search shows &quot;Best Match&quot; (sometimes known as &quot;Relevance&quot;) by default, so scanning the first page of matches is a helpful overview to establish you're on the right track.</li> </ul> <h2>The &quot;sweet spot&quot; is also about quality</h2> <p>An component of quality is &quot;convenience&quot;. No one wants to save their money on unusable junk. Continuing on the SDHC trail, further reasoning why 16GB is generally the best choice here: it gives you convenience to pay a few extra bucks, rather than be annoyed by swapping smaller-sized cards repeatedly. Some devices have limitations which can't use higher-spec cards so be sure to consult the manual, but for the sake of simplicity, it's a good guideline.</p> <p>In other words, <strong>don't skimp on several dollars if spending them will save you <em>time &amp; trouble</em>. Which can't be replenished, unlike money.</strong></p> <h2>Browse popularity lists</h2> <p>Yes, the &quot;sweet spot&quot; is amidst a popularity contest. <em>Why?</em> High-volume sales facilitate lower prices. A wonderful example of this is the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LRMR26/?tag=torllive-20">Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600</a>, the first &quot;quad-core&quot; processor to break into the mainstream. I remember hearing a rumor that the prices would be slashed 50% in mid-2007. I didn't buy <em>after</em> the drop actually happened. Thanks to this and other factors, the Q6600 became a <em>very hot chip</em>. It wasn't the fastest at the time, but that's another lesson:</p> <h2>There's <em>almost always</em> a hefty price premium for the &quot;best&quot; model</h2> <p><strong>Often, #2 is &quot;deluxe-priced&quot;, too. Then, a steep exponential drop downwards.</strong> Whether that premium is worth it depends on your needs. The Q6600 adhered to this rule, with the Q6700 and &quot;Extreme&quot; X6800 costing significantly higher. But with all those Q6600 sales, the prices came down even more, and it kept topping the sales charts. It happened to be a very nice performer at a very nice price. From its debut at $850 to its current tag at sub-$200, that's substantial change in a year-and-a-half.</p> <p><strong>Graphics cards are another area where #1 is loads more costly than #2 and #3.</strong> Like CPUs, double- or triple-price doesn't necessarily mean that much more raw results. There's a big leap between a great midrange performer like the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DDYSLA/?tag=torllive-20">GeForce 9800GT</a> ($130 or less) and the GTX285 ($500, and graphics card numbering is seriously confusing, but that's another story). And by extension, whole computer systems containing &quot;#1 parts&quot; (which will soon be #2 in a few months, if not already) rack up the charges. Which is why you'll see the same &quot;sweet spot&quot; parts (like the Q6600) used in so many factory-built PCs.</p> <p>If you can't wait because you believe purchasing <em>now</em> will give you a cumulative advantage <em>in the long run</em>, then go for it. E.g., if this gear is for business and will increase your profits. But if it's merely a mindset of wanting the &quot;latest and greatest for its own sake&quot;, I encourage you to look deep within yourself before dispensing dollars.</p> <p>HDTVs are commonly prone to this <em>spenderlust</em>, and I've held off on buying one because I don't feel the price/performance ratio at this time for, say, a 42&quot; 1080p model justifies my entertainment. Yet.</p> <h2>Popularity lists (Part II)</h2> <p>Besides computer chips, digital cameras are another great gadget to trendify. If you're thinking of buying one, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/cameras/"><strong>Flickr has a Camera Finder</strong></a> which graphs their popularity, as measured in pictures taken with those digicams over time. If you cross-reference this with Amazon.com and others, it's no surprise there's a strong correlation between the most popular and the best value. For example, the Canon Powershot SD1000 and its sequel, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0012YC7AE/?tag=torllive-20">SD1100 IS</a> (which I own &mdash; I practice what I preach), which are #8 and #9 on <a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/cameras/canon/?s=rank#models">Flickr's current list</a>, right after the #1-7 domination of the much higher-priced DSLR models (which are arguably popular to a smaller, professional audience):</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3427/3222052008_b7b0a34de4.jpg" /></p> <p>And <strong>don't forget </strong><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_e_1_1"><strong>Amazon's most popular electronics</strong></a><strong>, which is one of the best overviews out there</strong>. (Remember: even if you don't buy from them, you can get info about the same products you'd purchase elsewhere.) Another plus: popular items also have a high amount of reviews, allowing you to make a more informed buying decision than obscure pieces which may be good, but aren't as supported &mdash; that's a risk you take. <strong>If there are undiscovered gems, speak praise loudly so others will be enlightened.</strong> Altho it's highly unlikely the manufacturer will give you a retroactive discount, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/forums/">helping your fellow WiseBreaders</a> is an awesome thing to do.</p> <p>Numerous other sites have their own popularity lists, and since no one is all-authoritative, running multiple searches and observing patterns will all bolster your knowledge.</p> <h2>Be aware of sales cycles</h2> <p>This includes not just &quot;those times of the year&quot; like holiday season when prices are lowered to make way for new stock, but also ties into industry events like the <a target="_blank" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer_Electronics_Show">Consumer Electronics Show</a> where the latest and supposedly greatest is debuted. For the Mac faithful, there's been Apple's presence at Macworld, although this year was their last. Still, I don't know a Macaholic who'd buy a new Mac days before an Apple event if that model hadn't been refreshed in a year. <strong>Become familiar with your preferred companies' sales cycles.</strong></p> <p>The end lesson is the same: <strong>you can't hold off forever, but if you're a couple of weeks or less from new products being announced, you can likely wait</strong>. Even if you don't buy the newest versions, you can save on an older model which is very capable &mdash; perhaps it was yesterday's &quot;sweet spot&quot; and no longer is, but may serve you just fine.</p> <p><em>The above only contains Amazon affiliate links to &quot;sweet spot&quot; products I have bought and used extensively. I'm a strong believer in only recommending what I have direct experience with.</em></p> <p><em>Do </em>you<em> have advice for finding the &quot;sweet spot&quot;? Let us know!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/torley-wong">Torley Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-sweet-spot-when-buying-electronics">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/modifiers-5-things-that-change-an-items-final-price">Modifiers: 5 things that change an item&#039;s final price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/simple-ways-to-shop-around">Simple Ways to Shop Around</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-amazon-prime-day-actually-worth-it-this-year">How to Make Amazon Prime Day Actually Worth It This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon digital cameras eBay electronics graphics cards lists newegg Sat, 24 Jan 2009 07:37:56 +0000 Torley Wong 2772 at http://www.wisebread.com