Commuting doesn’t have to be the hellish experience it has been made out to be. You can learn a lot while commuting. I used to despise jumping on the train or taking the bus, but not anymore. I have everything set-up for my commuting adventures.
I always have a book ready, or my iPod loaded up with material for me to listen to. I like to read and fill my brain with knowledge, so finding material is easy. The biggest problem you’ll face is preparation. You have to prepare yourself for your commutes, otherwise you’ll most likely not bring the best material with you.
I’ve learned a lot while sitting on trains, buses and airplanes. It feels more cumbersome to bring something with you, but you’ll be thankful you did when you’re sitting there with nothing to do.
You’ll almost feel forced to do something, which is when it’s a perfect time to fill your brain with precious, tasty knowledge.
Here are a few productive things you can do while commuting:
Read a Book You may not have time to read books, but if you’re commuting and doing nothing, you’re wasting a good opportunity to get friendly with the interesting world of books.
If you aren’t an avid reader, it may feel hard to get started, but as you keep reading, you’ll find it more and more fun, at least I did.
Write If you’re aspiring to become a blogger or writer of any kind, you can grab a laptop, put on some music and start writing while sitting on the train or bus.
If you don’t have a laptop, there are a lot of ways to find a really cheap one. If you’re only using it for writing and surfing the web, you don’t really need the best of the best.
Listen If you’re commuting by car and can’t really read or write, you can always buy audiobooks and audio courses on many different topics.
There really are no excuses to squander your commuting time. No matter how you commute, you can always take advantage of the time you have.
Solve Problems Have anything in your life that isn’t clear or that’s bothering you? Grab a pen and a piece of paper and start putting down your thoughts on paper.
Whenever I write down whatever I’m trying to solve, it helps clear my mind, and I’m sure it’ll help you as well.
Start a Business Online businesses are started every day in every way. Even if you only have one or two hours of free time every day, you can get a lot done by prioritizing your time.
There are a lot of different online income streams you can build. You can get involved in affiliate marketing, or in creating your own products.
It’s easier said than done, I know, but it is possible, and there are people doing it. The only thing standing in your way is you.
Visualize This is for those times when you’ve somehow forgot all of your stuff at home. Whenever I’m on the bus with nothing in my hands or in my ear, I like to visualize and play around with my imagination.
That is, of course, if there’s no beautiful scenery to marvel at. Visualization can be anything you want it to be, but I personally like to use it to feel good.
What you do is you visualize something you want. Say you want to travel. Think about as many details as you can and start living your dream, inside your head.
Feel the feelings you would have if you were already traveling right now. You’ll know it works because you will start feeling better and better.
Learn A Language Have you ever thought about learning a language? I think we all have at some point in our lives. I’ve recently started learning Spanish and am having a lot of fun doing it.
Language learning can be fun. You don’t need to sit in school and study grammar to learn a language. You can immerse yourself in it and absorb it.
If you can devote 30-60 minutes to a language per day, you will make progress. If you can do more, you will learn more.
Commuting may at first seem boring, but when you really think about it, it’s an opportunity for you to do awesome things while the world passes you by.
Q & A: How Producteev benefits a team of 8 interactive media specialists
Jessie Eckert is an Interactive Specialist at Blind Acre Media. She appreciates fancy gadgets and uses Producteev with seven other people on her team in the firm’s strategy division.
Q: How do you use Producteev? Jessie: I use Producteev to help my team as well as myself stay organized, determine priorities, delegate tasks, and track results.
My division uses Producteev for very important, smaller-scale tasks. We are lucky to have a team that works well together. It also helps that our workspaces and tasks are similar. Adding Producteev to our workflow has helped us accomplish tasks in a well-ordered fashion. I begin by organizing tasks by client, and I assign them accordingly to team members.
I have always been a ‘list’ person. If I had multiple tasks to be completed, my first instinct was to create a list. My one list always turned into multiple lists, and my original intention to not leave anything out was lost in the mix. With Producteev, I can see my task lists within separate workspaces, so I can prioritize and organize my day accordingly.
At first my team members were not as excited as I was about creating [to do] lists, but Producteev has gotten them into really great habits. Whenever they have a new task, they automatically add it to their workspace.
If ever we need to find a specific task, we search using labels. Labels, which are like tags or categories, allow easy navigation through our lengthy task lists.
Q: Describe your experience with Producteev. Jessie: By far, my favorite feature of Producteev is the iPhone App. This App allows me to add tasks as soon as they are presented and check the status of a task when I am out of the office. Not only can I make sure deadlines are hit, I can stay on top of team tasks anytime. It is truly the perfect pocket management tool!
I have tried other services in the past, but nothing seemed to work. They were flaky, hard to navigate and seemed disorganized. With an easy to use interface, organized format and helpful tools, Producteev has been a workflow solution for us!
Although I am currently the only one using the Producteev iPhone app, I’m sure other members of my team would use a mobile app if they had a phone that supported it!
Thanks, Jessie, we’re working on building more mobile apps as we speak!
Let’s marvel for a bit at the design mastery behind the binder clip. It’s made of one solid but flexible piece of metal and two hinged metal wires. When folded back, the binder clip’s metal hooks provide the leverage necessary to open the powerful spring-loaded clasp. After you’ve bound your papers (or whatever you’ve fit into the mouth of the binder clip), the metal arms fold forward, flush against the bound object. Or you can remove them altogether.
Unlike its older and significantly more simplistic cousin, the paperclip, the binder clip binds significantly larger stacks of paper together with ease; unlike staples, hole-punches, or thread, the binder clip is a completely non-destructive method of binding and organizing paper with a vice-like grip. (You can even completely remove the wires if you prefer to keep the clip fastened and want to lose the cruft.)
Per Wikipedia, the binder clip has undergone next to no significant design improvements or changes since it was invented nearly 100 years ago. You can find the indispensable gadgets in a variety of sizes, from the tiny roach-clip style to clamps the size of your hand (but with a significantly stronger grip).
In the UK, it’s called a bulldog clip. Yeah.
So yeah, binder clips hold paper together. That’s not terribly sexy, and even the fact that it’s stood the test of time and remains one of the most reliable and ubiquitous office supplies doesn’t really change that. But the binder clip transcends the yawn-factor of office knighthood through the many brilliant and clever ways they’ve been put to use outside the piles of workspace papers. Let’s look at a few of our favorites:
Sick of digital tools like Evernote and long for the days of analog capture? Personal productivity guru Merlin Mann’s classic Hipster PDA is a bundle of 3”x5” notecards and a binder clip. Done.
Announcing 1st & 2nd Place Winners of Developer Throwdown
First of all, thank you to all of the developers who participated in the first ever Developer Throwdown! We received some very cool apps submissions! It wasn’t easy, but the web entrepreneurs serving as judges have decided.
Out of over 53 participants, we’re proud to announce the winners of this developer challenge:
1st Place $2500 Voice2Teev, a voice recognition app that works with Android
2nd Place $1000 Blackberry app, allowing you to stay in sync on your Blackberry device
Congrats to the developers with the winning entries!
We hope you’re as excited as we are about these new additions, and we’ll officially release them momentarily.
When you were a kid and wanted to do something your parents or teachers didn’t like, you may have heard the question, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?” The idea is that it’s not good to do something stupid, even if everyone else is doing it. The logic is think for yourself instead of following the crowd.
It’s good advice, regardless of the motivations of the authority figure giving it to you. But one day, you grow up and suddenly the tables are turned. People start expecting you to behave very much like they do. If you disagree and don’t conform to their expectations, some of them get confused or irritated. It’s almost as if they are asking: “Hey, everyone else is jumping off the bridge. Why aren’t you?”
Every day, you’ll encounter the bridge in countless decisions and conversations—but the choice of whether to jump or not is completely up to you. How can you back away and make your own choices?
1. Ask why. A powerful, annoying question, why is frequently used by three-year-olds but usually abandoned by adults. Support the why revolution. Start asking why of everyone, including yourself.
2. Clarify. What’s it all about? What do you really want to do, and how can you make that the priority?
3. Simplify. That’s what minimalism is all about—letting go and living the dream. But the best part of simplicity has nothing to do with how many socks you own; it lies in being clear about your intentions and motivations.
4. Do … more. That’s right, do more, not less. When you don’t know your core passions and are staring out over the bridge, it’s good to back off and strip everything down. But when you’re crafting a remarkable life, why wouldn’t you want more of it?
Here are a few options for step four: learn a language. Write a book. Take a trip. Learn to walk on hot coals. Enroll in trapeze school. Volunteer.
Or do something else—it’s a big world out there. The main question is: How can you wake up tomorrow and live the life you want, while also connecting with the world around you?
Most of us don’t really want the simplest possible life. We want a life that is free from clutter, yes—but we need to connect our lives with a greater purpose. We don’t need to own things we don’t use, but we should spend freely on meaningful experiences. We should invest in ourselves and invest in others.
Take a hard look at the life before you. Are you staring out over the bridge? Take a step back. Decide for yourself what’s best.
Results In-House Developer Challenge, Cast Your Vote Today!
The results of our one-week In-House Developer Challenge are in! You now have two new apps to enjoy! Take a look at our entries and let us know which entry you think deserves the gift card prize.
Firefox Gmail plugin
Once installed, creating tasks from emails is easy. With one click of the plugin, a task will be created from the selected email. The subject line will be the task title and all opened email conversations will be task notes. As an added bonus, you can access your gmail from the task details! Just look for the link to go back to your gmail, and that way you can immediately reply to the sender!
"Producteev Applications" now fueling TechStars selection process
TechStars, a seed capital and mentorship program for startups, now has its application process managed by Producteev.
So anytime someone has startup ideas they want to submit as an application to TechStars, from start to finish— it will be overseen by the nifty “Producteev Applications” product.
"Producteev Applications" offers effortless collection, management and collaboration around your organization’s applications (Universities, HR Departments, VC firms…). More information on this new product soon.
If you’ve got the next stellar submission, go for it at http://techstars.producteev.com! A New York program is being launched from January 10 to April 8, 2011. The deadline is November 21st before the strike of midnight, so get a move on it!
PS: If you’re an organization or institution interested in having your own “Producteev Applications,” email contact at producteev.com today!
Q & A: How app helps Super Mom "crank out the tasks in a technologically harmonious wonderland"
Michele K. is a suburban super mom. She and her husband Howard have three beautiful children: Alyssa, 11; Alex, 9; and Jared, 7.
Michele was delighted to have discovered Producteev through Android’s Astrid add-on. She finds much to love about Producteev and quickly became a hyper-user because it’s free and has an attractive, “simple” interface.
Q: How do you use Producteev? Michele: I share a workspace called “Command Central” with my husband. I love that it helps my man and I are see the most up-to-date list at all times. Having a single repository is awesome. We’re able to see the same Google calendar, which makes the kids’ chauffeuring needs crystal clear. Also, we’re both on the same page when it comes to household duties, and even simple little questions that we would forget to ask otherwise.
The convenience of our tasks showing up on the Gmail page, where we are already synced with a calendar for each person in the family, is great! We are looking at it all day, anyway. Google tasks is woefully and pitifully inadequate.
With all this info at our fingertips, we waste a lot less time and mental energy having purely logistical conversations about “remember to do this” or “where is the party” or “what is left on the yard work list” or “who do I give it to at school” and so on. Thankfully, we now have MORE time for the good stuff.
My husband is hooked and has started his own account now, with one tab for Command Central and another for work!
I have other workspaces just for myself. For example, I have a “Packing Workspace” with our packing list for family vacations. The labels represent the people in my family and the rooms in my home.
Q: Tell us about your experience with Producteev. Michele: I especially love being able to assign tasks to each other. Leaving notes, questions, or web links for clarity is also pretty awesome. And the smart prioritizing of tasks, including being able to star each other’s tasks to indicate our opinion of its priority. And the ability to give a task many different labels! I think the label icons could be more exciting. I love the colors. But it would be even more fun to add stars, hearts, pluses, and other basic shapes that could also be custom-colored. I would color-code every person in my house and maybe see things at a glance easier.
I like having Producteev available on my nice, big desktop for major editing. And if I am out of town on vacation or waiting for an appointment, it’s right there in my hand. Woo hoo!
I’m super excited to crank out the tasks in a technologically harmonious wonderland. Especially once we get recurring tasks going! I think we’re going to have a long and meaningful relationship!