Boosting your productivity levels
It seems as though each day a new, cutting-edge app is released, making it difficult to stay on top of which app is the best at doing everything you need it to do. A recent survey by Conosco looked at 44 of the most popular apps in eight different categories, in order to give you a quick overview of which app may work best for you.
Most popular to do list apps:
Any.do, Todo7, Todoist, Carrot, Wunderlist, HabitRPG, and PocketLists
How are they different? Each app has its pros and cons (see the infographic for more information), depending on how you need it to work for you.
Todo7 is considered the world’s most powerful collaborative to-do list and task manager, but Wunderlist can manage to-do lists across multiple platforms. If you need more motivation to stay on top of your lists, Carrot may be the app for you: every time you complete a task you are rewarded. Each of this apps offers something useful in terms of productivity, you may have to try them all and see which one works best for you.
Most popular project management apps:
Basecamp, Trello, Asana, RedBooth, Redmine, AtTask, Wrike, and Kickoff
Again, each app offers pros and cons and these will vary greatly from user to user, but, in general, Basecamp and Trello are your best bets. Your budget may be a big consideration with these apps because features and pricing vary greatly.
Most popular time management apps:
RescueTime, Atracker, Toggl, Eternity Time Log, Fanurio, Now Then
Out the apps featured, Now Then is my favorite. It is easy to use and you can export your data, however, it is only available for iOS, which could be a drawback for a lot of companies. RescueTime is a good way to see where you, or your team, spend time. It is compatible with multiple operating systems, making it a better choice than Now Then for some people.
Most popular apps for staying focused:
Focus@will, Focus booster, Stayfocused, SelfControl, Concentrate, FocusWriter, and Anti-Social
Depending on what you need to stay focused on, whether it is a to-do list, or the beginning of a novel, one of these apps can help. Focus@will works well for everyone as it plays background music to help ramp up productivity. Anti-Social is also good for those of us who are distracted by social media, as it turns off these distractions. SelfControl is similar to Anti-Social, but SelfControl is only for Mac users. All offer a way to keep you on task, depending on what distracts you the most.
Most popular goal tracking apps:
Lift.do, GoalsOnTrack, LifeTick, and Habit List
Each of these apps will help you list and stay on top of your goals. However, keep in mind, Lift is only for mobile devices, Habit List is only for iPhone, and GoalsOnTrack does not offer a free version. If you can manage with a mobile-only version, Lift.do is a great option.
Most popular file storage apps:
Stand-alone options: Dropbox and iCloud
Integrated options: Google Drive, OneDrive (also part of Office 365), iCloud (as part of iWork)
Most of these are familiar, allowing you to store and share your documents and photos as needed.
Most popular reminder apps:
Due, Checkmark 2
Both of these options are only for iOS devices, but both are good options if you do not already have a favorite reminder app.
Most popular apps for automating everything:
IFTTT, AutomatiIt-Automate Your Droid, Zapier, Hootsuite, and SortMyBox
IFTTT is far and away my favorite automation app. AG has frequently featured it as the best way to make apps “talk” to one another. Zapier serves a similar function. Hootsuite and SortMyBox organize your inbox and help automate native inbox tasks, but will not help you automate tasks as well as IFTTT or Zapier.
117 inspirational quotes for a prosperous new year
Ring in the new year with these 117 inspirational quotes to get you motivated to take next year by the horns.
Inspirational quotes for your new year
Whether looking for motivation in your personal or professional life, one can find inspiration in the volumes of words spoken and written by those that have come before us, no matter your goals for the coming year. As we wrap up this year and anticipate success and prosperity in the next, and we set our goals for the coming year, may we all commit to turning the corner, not only economically, but through our attitudes.
To see inspirational quotes by subject, click any of the links below, or continue to scroll to view the entire collection:
- 12 quotes to inspire success in your business
- 21 quotes to inspire achievement of your goals
- 10 inspirational quotes for leaders of any industry
- 9 inspirational quotes depicted typographically
- Succeed by following your passion: 10 inspirational quotes
- 19 inspirational quotes on the art of negotiation
- 11 inspirational quotes: getting past professional adversity
- 25 motivational quotes to kick off another year
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford
“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar
“All lasting business is built on friendship.” – Alfred A. Montapert
“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford
“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” – Scott Allen
“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker
“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two.” – Lee Iacocca
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.” – Michael Leboeuf
“Do what you love to do and give it your very best. Whether it’s business or baseball, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it. Life is too short. You’ll be an old man before you know it.” – Al Lopez
“It is difficult, but not impossible, to conduct strictly honest business.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch
“I do not believe a man can ever leave his business. He ought to think of it by day and dream of it by night.” – Henry Ford
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein
“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reach, don’t adjust the goals; adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.” – Earl Nightingale
“Not every end is the goal. The end of a melody is not its goal, and yet if the melody has not reached its end, it has not reached its goal.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind before you actually arrive at your goal.” – Zig Ziglar
“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Anthony Robbins
“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” – Walt Disney
“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Stephen A. Brennan
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale
“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.” – Orison Swett Marden
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Larry Elder
“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
“Goals provide the energy source that powers our lives. One of the best ways we can get the most from the energy we have is to focus it. That is what goals can do for us; concentrate our energy.” – Denis Waitley
“You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn
“Your ability to communicate is an important tool in your pursuit of your goals, whether it is with your family, your co-workers, or your clients and customers.” – Les Brown
“We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” – Maxwell Maltz
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
“High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.” – George Orwell
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” – Lao Tzu
“No man can stand on top because he is put there.” – H. H. Vreeland
“Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.”- Mark A. Clement
“What chance gathers, she easily scatters. A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
“A leader is a dealer in hope.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
“One of the things that may get in the way of people … is that they’re not in touch with their passion. If you’re passionate about what it is you do, then you’re going to be looking for everything you can to get better at it.” – Jack Canfield
“If you want to be successful in a particular field or endeavor, I think perseverance is one of the key qualities. It’s very important that you find something that you care about, that you have a deep passion for, because you’re going to have to devote a lot of your life to it.” – George Lucas
“Chase your passion, not your pension.” – Denis Waitley
“Never follow your dreams. Follow your effort. It’s not about what you can dream of. That’s easy. It’s about whether or not it’s important enough to you to do the work to be ready to be successful in that business.” – Mark Cuban
“There is no greatness without passion to be great, whether it’s the aspiration of an athlete or an artist, a scientist, a parent, or a businessperson.” – Anthony Robbins
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he had imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Follow your passions, believe in karma, and you won’t have to chase your dreams, they will come to you.” – Randy Pausch
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor
“A strong passion for any object will ensure success, for the desire of the end will point out the means.” – William Hazlitt
“During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” – Brian Koslow
“Negotiation in the classic diplomatic sense assumes parties more anxious to agree than to disagree.” – Dean Acheson
“The most difficult thing in any negotiation, almost, is making sure that you strip it of the emotion and deal with the facts.” – Howard Baker
“This is a classic negotiation technique. It’s a gentle, soft indication of your disapproval and a great way to keep negotiating. Count to 10. By then, the other person usually will start talking and may very well make a higher offer.” – Bill Coleman
“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy
“Don’t bargain yourself down before you get to the table.” – Carol Frohlinger
“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat.” – Robert Estabrook
“You must never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fellow make some money too, because if you have a reputation for always making all the money, you won’t have many deals.” – J. Paul Getty
“The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way.” – Henry Boyle
“The worst thing you can say is ‘I want $X for this job,’ leaving no opening for negotiation by the other side. Better language is ‘I hope to earn between $X and $X.’ That gives the other party more flexibility.” – Bill Coleman
“If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.” – Harri Holkeri
“If you are planning on doing business with someone again, don’t be too tough in the negotiations. If you’re going to skin a cat, don’t keep it as a house cat.” – Marvin Levin
“Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously.” – Lance Morrow
“The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is no. The second most dangerous word is yes. It is possible to avoid saying either.” – Lois Wyse
“A negotiator should observe everything. You must be part Sherlock Holmes, part Sigmund Freud.” – Victor Kiam
“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” – Sir David Frost
“Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction.” – Mark McCormack
“It’s a well-known proposition that you know who’s going to win a negotiation; it’s he who pauses the longest.” – Robert Court
“Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person.” – Harvey Robbins
“The truth is, unless you let go…unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” – Steve Maraboli
“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don’t look back at it too long. Mistakes are life’s way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.” – Og Mandino
“There is no failure except no longer trying.” – Elbert Hubbard
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“You must make a decision that you are going to move on. It won’t happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life.” – Joel Osteen
“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” – Karen Ravn
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
“Crystallize your goals. Make a plan for achieving them and set yourself a deadline. Then, with supreme confidence, determination and disregard for obstacles and other people’s criticisms, carry out your plan.” – Paul J. Meyer
“Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest of most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” – Anthony Robbins
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.” – George Sheehan
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.” – T.S. Eliot
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” – Benjamin Franklin
“Today’s patience can transform yesterday’s discouragements into tomorrow’s discoveries. Today’s purposes can turn yesterday’s defeats into tomorrow’s determination.” – William Arthur Ward
“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but you have ceased to live.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
“To dream anything that you want to dream. That’s the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do. That is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits. That is the courage to succeed.” – Bernard Edmonds
“Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.” – Benjamin Disraeli
“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller
“A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie
“Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is love, enjoy it!” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Your brand is vulnerable just like Cracker Barrel’s recent troll spotlight #BradsWifeMatters
(BUSINESS) Brad’s wife got fired from Cracker Barrel which has sparked internet outrage and has presented us all with a few lessons.
Crack in the barrel
It’s been an eventful week for Cracker Barrel so far. The Tennessee-based chain of family/country-style restaurants has found itself in the midst of not one, but two, trending hashtags on Twitter, #Justiceforbradswife and #Bradswifematters, and have seen their Wikipedia page altered multiple times over the past three days as well.
So, what’s behind all of the free—if unwanted—publicity?
They fired Brad’s wife.
The TL;DR of it is this: Bradley Byrd of Milltown, Indiana, thrust the company into the trolling spotlight on March 4th by posting a simple question to the Cracker Barrel corporate Facebook page:
“Why did you fire my wife?”
Brad’s wife, Nanette, had apparently worked for the local Cracker Barrel for the past 11 years as a server, and was, to the best of Brad’s knowledge, terminated for lack of cause.
Rubbing salt into the wound
That she was fired on Brad’s birthday, and fired two weeks before earning vacation pay for this year.
What was posed as a question from an upset spouse has since taken a life of its own.
It gained a much wider audience when shared by comedian Amri King on Facebook this week.
Note from the Editor: if you want to spend a few hours digging into the many hilarious forms the topic took, click around here (warning: most of it is totally unsafe for work or around children).
People want answers
Not only do more people know about Brad’s wife being fired, but they’ve taken to trolling the Cracker Barrel Facebook page and Twitter feed, with thousands of comments being linked back to Brad’s wife, no matter the tenuousness of the thread connecting their comment to the original post.
There’s also been a petition started at Change.org to get Nanette justice, with nearly 9,000 signatures to date.
The range of feedback that Cracker Barrel is receiving spans the gamut from nearly nonsensical to rather witty and droll. But driving the continuation of the onslaught is their reticence; as of the time of writing, Cracker Barrel hadn’t yet responded to either the flood of negative public opinion or to Brad’s original question.
And that’s the smartest move that they’ll make.
The Sound of Silence
It’s so very tempting when your company, brand, or person is being dragged through the public arena, (for right or wrong) to comment back and defend yourself with the same vigor that you’re being attacked by.
That temptation, however, has real consequences if given in to.
In a termination case, you may find yourself in a similar situation.
A beloved employee has done a “VBBT”: a very big, bad thing, and has to be let go. Or, perhaps, it was an employee popular with both internal and external customers, but, while they were nice and good for morale, their job performance had been lacking over time, and you’d worked with them to try to correct it, unbeknownst to the public.
Either way, you should steel yourself for impact.
In the world of digital presence, it’s going to be relentless. And personal. And, usually, mostly wrong on all of the details. It may certainly hurt, and your bottom line may take a brief hit, but remember: you don’t get to comment back on things like this.
Your role is to stay above the fray and remain professional
You made the decision to terminate, and before you did, you did your research as to why it was the right time to terminate the employee (Shame on you if you didn’t—in that case, your problems with an Internet backlash are both deserved and the least of things you ought to be worrying about).
Now it’s time to keep the course and focus on moving forward.
By responding to these comments, you don’t appear to be in control. Making no statement is more useful at times that making a statement that compromises you, be that legally in an employment context, or in the marketplace by mis-stepping and giving the trolls something real to write about.
Issue a statement
If a response to media inquiry or public opinion does become unavoidable, a well-scripted response that is vetted by counsel in advance of releasing it to ensure that you haven’t inadvertently given rise to a defamation or unlawful termination suit, is your best friend.
Make it once in outlets that are responsive, and then let it stay.
No further comment is necessary, nor useful.
An Audience of One
The only person that Cracker Barrel owes an answer to about why Nanette was fired is Nanette. The world at large certainly doesn’t need to know, and, neither does Brad, frankly.
If the employee doesn’t know why they’re being terminated, and provided something in writing to that effect, then that’s an area to address.
Everyone deserves to have clarity in the workplace, especially about something so critical as employee performance feedback leading to termination. Having the cause of termination in writing will also help you to defend against any “re-telling” of the termination story by the employee after the fact.
Also, remember that you have an audience of just one when it comes to discussing the details about those who have been fired: the terminated employee.
Just because it’s a spouse asking the question of why their partner was terminated, that doesn’t give them any additional standing to have that information shared with them by the company.
You Signed Up For This
You’re looking to the long view for your company and brand.
Making a hard decision that is the right thing to do and is evidence-supported isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t always popular. But it’s the job that you’ve got to do.
In a hyper-present media environment, in which the next meme is lurking around the corner, it’s a good idea to extend that planning to include a media crisis so that when the spotlight is turned onto you, you’ve prepared for it and made certain that you’re putting your best foot forward, by not getting it stuck in your mouth.
Uber’s tipping policy is janky, also potentially illegal
(BUSINESS) The tipping policy that Uber has in place is not much of a policy, nor is it 100% legal everywhere.
Tipping your Uber
Uber has an interesting policy on tipping, On the Uber website, in the Help section, this is what Uber tells passengers:
“As independent contractors, drivers may request tips at their discretion.”
The current pseudo-policy
Drivers care about rider ratings and do their best to create an ideal trip experience.
While Uber does not require riders to offer drivers a cash tip, you are welcome to do so.
Should you choose to tip, your driver is welcome to accept or decline.
Tipping is illegal in some places
Uber’s app has no place to add a tip for the driver, unlike Lyft, which does allow tipping through the app.
Uber drivers still hope for tips, but Uber’s policy of allowing cash tips might be illegal in some of the states and cities where Uber operates.
Michigan and Pennsylvania are just two of the 13 states which ban cash payments for ride-hailing services.
New York and Texas states are both considering legislation that would ban cash payments to drivers.
Some states simply ban drivers from accepting cash while others ban drivers from soliciting cash payments.
Uber has not updated its website to reflect the different laws in different states where it does operate.
Do you tip Uber?
Proponents of tipping say that Uber serves in the role of a taxi, although it is a private vehicle.
It is nice to tip your Uber driver the same 15 to 20 percent you would tip a taxi driver.
At the very least, you should leave a 5-star rating, unless something was really wrong with the ride.
The point of tension
Critics of tipping your Uber driver worry about whether Uber driver will serve lower-income areas, hoping to go into wealthier neighborhoods where they are assured of bigger tips.
Then there is concern about passenger ratings. Uber drivers would know if a passenger tipped or not before leaving a rating. Is it fair to rate passengers on the amount of a tip or not?
Uber drivers want the app to allow tipping, but Uber wants to keep things, “hassle-free.”
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