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21 Quick Actions You Can Do Today To Change Your Digital Life Forever

21 Quick Actions to Change Your Digital Life Forever

I know sometimes it’s too easy to sit and think and think and think about how to improve your life rather than take…what’s the word, oh yeah: action.

Action is the thing that will get results. Your desired outcome. Move the ball down the sportsball field.

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”― Zig Ziglar

So today you’re going to start an organized and awesome digital life, because here’s a list of 21 QUICK actions you can take. (more…)

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Essential Guides for Organizing Your Digital Life

You want solutions not only for your physical clutter, but also the more elusive and mysterious digital clutter too. It’s sneaking up on your Mac and iOS devices day by day until you’re seeing the dreaded pinwheel or “2,4620 unread email” bubble. My friend David Sparks (aka MacSparky)’s Field Guides have provided a ton of inspiration and help to me over the last few years and I wrote all about them over at my friend Geralin Thomas’s Managing Modern Life Organizing Blog.

Read my guest post: the essential guides for organizing your digital life. (more…)

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LISTEN to how eating frogs helps you get more done

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You want to learn stuff, you said back in high school, that you know it’ll be time to throw in the towel on this whole thing, if you ever stop being open to new ideas. And yet, you’re also saying that you have to move that body and fold that laundry. “I can’t always be sitting in front of my Macbook watching videos on folding towels, Deron!” you shout. (Okay, maybe you just raised your voice, fine.)

The answer for the portable, free, and priceless education, my friend: (more…)

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How Organizing Accomplishments and Failures of This Year Will Help Plan Next Year

Annual

“The older I get, the more I believe that gratitude is the answer to almost every problem we face. It can transform anxiety, anger, and depression.” – Michael Hyatt

It’s universally popular to set some sort of expectations, resolutions or goals for the coming year. What I discovered this weekend is that it’s equally important to take some time and evaluate the year that’s coming to a close before you jump into the goals for next year. (more…)

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How Organizing Will Help You Keep the Holiday All Year

How organizing can help you keep the holiday all year long

On December 24 2011, in the midst of a crowded house and overwhelming Christmas I downloaded at the suggestion of internet wunderkind Andy Ihnatko, the Audible edition of Patrick Stewart reading A Christmas Carol.

As a kid and later a teenager, the book, the George C. Scott version, and my high school’s production moved and captivated me. I wanted to renew that story’s power for myself, experience it as I had in younger days, and feel some of the thrill again that I had found in the American Christmas Carol (It’s A Wonderful Life) each time I watched it as an adult.

I wanted the pure stuff, the great language of Dickens, no motion-captured Jim Carrey for this guy. And so while driving my two year old son around the neighborhood for naps I listened to Patrick Stewart commandingly deliver the goods. I’ve listened to it by myself every year since 2011 and there isn’t a year where the 14 year old in me isn’t cheering inside my heart at the end about Scrooge’s miraculous transformation. (more…)

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The Digital Organizing Toolbox

Los Angeles based professional organizer/Apple tutor Deron Bos's digital organizer's toolbox.

Inevitably when I’m teaching one of my clients one app, I’ll mention other apps that help me keep me organized in Apple Land. One client strongly requested that I compile all of this tools into a list…and being a gentleman who likes to help, I have done so! (more…)

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The Ultimate Guide to Transforming your Old iPhone into a Kid’s Dream iPod Touch

 

iPod Touch 2

Update:Exciting news! This post has proven so popular that I’ve refined, updated and improved upon it in the form of not only a PDF eBook but an accompanying collection of 8 videos that walks you through this entire process. Find out more by clicking here.

If you’re a parent and an iPhone owner you probably hear the same plea from little voices on the hour that I do:

“Dad can I play with your iPhone?

The iPod Touch was created with this audience in mind: wee folks who don’t need a cell phone, but would love an iOS device of their own to play Minecraft Mobile and FaceTime Grammy.

The problem: the iPod Touch starts at $199 and can’t easily be bought by the pennies your 5 year old found in the couch.

The solution: your old iPhone that you’re about to trade in for the new model.

With a few steps you can turn that iPhone into a iPod touch that will give you relief in countless situations from the Great Mac and Cheese Delay At CPK to the “How much longer to Grammy’s?” Onslaught of 2012, 2013, and 2014.

But listen, this is not just a simple article telling you how to turn an iPhone into a iPod Touch, this is an EPIC how-to on turning the iPhone into the ULTIMATE iPod Touch with features and apps to delight both you and your progeny, plus security so everyone is safe. (more…)

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How a professional organizer can HELP! you

anorganizer helps

Inevitably, all small talk conversations (despite some interesting alternatives) will turn down the path of, “What do you do?”

As an American, I don’t think we can help ourselves. We wonder how you spend your day and how you support yourself, and maybe your family.

Yesterday, at my son’s 5th birthday party my 11 year old nephew asked me what my business was all about.

“Aha!” I thought, “An opportunity to describe exactly what I do in concise, intelligent, but simple language. Challenge accepted.” (more…)

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The Essential App for Digital Security (And organization, huzzah!)

I wanted to start this post with the observation that on-line security breeches have been in the “news” a lot lately.

What with the lead star of Hunger Games leak and the supposed Gmail password leak (this one turned out to be not as critical as first reported) it’s made me anxious all over again for the state of our passwords.

But the fact is that these leaks are almost always in the news at this point, in fact it’s a sad, but inevitable fact that there will be more and more password disasters each year.

And I’m concerned when we begin a session and you either start entering the same password for every site or you’re checking the notes on your iPhone (not secure!) or even when you’re consulting a dedicated internet passwords paper notebook. (not secure!)

It’s 2014: you need a super easy, but super-powerful solution for this password madness. (more…)

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Why and How to Track Positive Habits with your iPhone

The things that you do during the day can almost be divided into two categories: tasks and habits.
Today, let’s join the conversation about habits.

Certainly there’s no shortage of dialogue about habits in the productivity geek realm these days.
Remember a short while ago I recommended James Clear’s excellent free eBook about habits? Which was partly inspired by Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit. Gretchen Rubin, the Happiness Project author, (who I quoted last week)’s newest focus is habits too.

However, what really has me narrowing in on habits and tracking them currently is a podcast by Michael Hyatt about his morning ritual and this subsequent spin-off post by Jeff Sanders about his own morning routine.

So, what’s the deal with habits, you say, why be deliberate about them?

For you, this isn’t our usual focus here: the organization of space – rather it’s the equally as important organization of your day and your mind. If you can organize your habits and track them you’ll have a greater success with both personal growth and goals.

Now, tasks can be organized in task manager systems like Apple’s Reminders or my newest choice: Todoist, but I also find it motivating to track my habits (ala Jerry Seinfeld.) However, the inclusion of them in my task manager creates clutter and is distracting.
Enter another app category: the habit tracker!

Originally, I thought I would go on a spirit quest for you of habit trackers and show you the pros and cons of each one I tried, but I reminded myself that trying out a new habit tracker app every day was not the kind of habit I was trying to develop.

So after kicking the tires of a number of different options I returned happily to Habit List, an app I found through our friend MacSparky’s coverage of this genre of apps.

Habit List met all my qualifications of what I wanted:

  • A clean and simple design. Includes the ability to set your list in a choice of five tasteful fonts.

 

Habit List Home Page Bos Organization

Habit List Font Screen

  • An easy interface to set the frequency of habits. It allows you to set habits for only certain days of the week, or intervals (ex. every 2 days), or non-specific days(1 day per week.)

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  • Ability to arrange the order of the habits in the list. Most of my habits right now are in the morning or in the evening, so naturally I like to have all the morning habits at the top of the list and then the evening ones at the bottom so I can check them off as I go. This is easily accomplished by clicking on the “<” in the main view and then clicking on the “all habits” center tab.

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  • I make this easier, by labeling each habit with its context first. You can see this in the first image above for example, “Morning: make bed.”

Now, I want to hear from you, what’s the positive habit that you’d like to adopt and “not break the chain”?

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