goals

7 essential iPhone apps for the creative professional

7 Essential iPhone Apps for the Creative Professional

We are in the days where technology is in the forefront of all that we  do – and it can either make or break our creative process.  Here are some intuitive and inspiring apps I’ve worked with that will help to keep you up and running.

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PAPER –  news geared toward your interests

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Price: Free

Why It’s great:  Released merely 2 days ago, Facebook has done it again.  Imagine your FB Feed and news articles all in one pretty package.  The news stories displayed are in categories hand-picked by you.  The best part is just how easy it is to navigate through.

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30/30 – fun timed to do list

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Price: Free

Why It’s Great:  With 30/30 you can prioritize and time your to-do list to make sure you’re staying productive and on schedule.  I love this app because when I set it up, it actually keeps me focused and wanting to achieve the goal.  The simple design and quick functions make adding and editing tasks so easy and fun.

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WATERLOGUE –  turn your photos into watercolor paintings

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Price:  $2.99

Why It’s Great:   Because it’s a simple concept – turn a photo into an instant work of art.   As a person who never pays for apps, I will say I think it’s worth it.

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PRODUCTEEV-  project management

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Price: Free

Why It’s great:  Personally I think this project management app blows all the others out of the water.  You can assign tasks to specific projects and set alerts so you are on top of deadlines.  Have your other coworkers join in so everyone is on the same page, and you can even chat about tasks and assign them to users.  An  iPad app is available as well, and it all syncs to the website too if you want to pull it up on your computer.

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VSCOcam –  professional style photo editing at your fingertips

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Price: Free

Why It’s Great:  While I do love Instagram, the filters on VSCO give you much more options.  You can enhance the brightness, contrast, exposure, and color temperature to create exactly the effect you desire.  Bonus:  You are not forced into doing a square picture.

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OVER –  add artistic texts to your photos

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Price: $1.99

Why It’s great:  Now you have the ability to add text quickly over any picture.  You decide the font, color, size, and placement.  Great for creating graphics for your blog, website, or digital presentation.  The free version, Overgram, is pretty good too, but with fewer font options and a lovely watermark in the corner.

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EVEREST – an accomplishment and goal based social network

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Price: Free

Why It’s Great:  Finally! A social network app created with the purpose to motivate others and work together to achieve goals.  Now sharing thoughts is for a common purpose, and you can link up with friends and peers to make things happen.   We creative types often need some type of inspiration to get going, so having a support system is essential, and this app can help fuel the fire.

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{Bonus awesome iPad app}

Paper by FiftyThree 

Price: Free (upgraded add-on features available for purchase)

Why It’s great:  Turn your iPad into a sketch book.   Great for client meetings, brainstorm sessions, doodles, or even beautiful professional renderings.

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(Disclaimer: I am in no way solicited or paid to advertise these apps.  They just truely make my life easier, and I hope will do the same for you.  The pictures are all screenshots of my phone, so please ask permission if you are looking to post elsewhere. )

2014: goals + resolutions

Is it February already?  Well I guess we’re one month down, but the good news is I have 11 more to accomplish my goal list :).   I wouldn’t be staying true to myself anyways if I wasn’t fashionably late.

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More “me” time

You know.. those moments when you just shut out the rest of the world.  I want to be lost in a book, or my own thoughts, or in the treasures of an antique shop.  I want to wander and feel free, and not feel guilty for doing so.  Time is a precious thing, just as much is how we spend it.

make time for yourself

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Prioritize my life better

There’s a theme here: time management.  Something I used to be so good at, and now I’ve become better at procrastinating.    There’s no better time than the present.  I know now that if I want to feel refreshed, I need to be truly devoted to what I’m doing in that moment – whether its work or play.   This process of prioritizing for me includes journal-ing, scheduling, and developing better organizational skills.

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Finish my design licensing exam

It will be two years this fall since I passed the first two sections of the NCIDQ exam… I’m so close, I just need to take that last portion!  Time to hit the books and  pass the test in October.

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Take on a new hobby

What shall I try… learn the guitar?  gardening? pottery class?  Hmmm… possibilities are endless.   Time to make those Pinterest pins a reality.

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Eat healthier

This is a must for me this year.  Not just because I want to lose those 5lbs 2013 stuck me with, but also because of a little thing called Silent Reflux.  It’s a type of  condition similar to GERD, but is concentrated in the throat area.  Not to get all Dr. Oz on you, but it has literally gotten so bad that I cough after every meal, and every morning I wake up with the taste of acid in my mouth and/or a sore throat.  A high fat diet can aggravate the symptoms (ta da – that must be it),  so it is believed a low fat/low acid diet can provide relief of symptoms for some people.    The thing is, a lot of the great things in life I’m supposed to keep to a bare minimum: most fruits, beef/pork/bacon, chocolate, alcohol, soft drinks, milk/cheese/dairy, etc. etc. etc.   But I’m proud to say I’m on week 3 of eating healthier and I’m already feeling better.  Of course I allow myself a couple cheat meals a week so I can have my cheeseburgers and pizza (I mean, how else would I survive!?)

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Run a 5k

This was on last year’s goal list but this time I can GUARANTEE I’m doing this one this year! Why?  Because I just signed up for New Braunfels Doggie Dash.  That means the whole fam will be running together in March!  Let the Couch to 5k program begin. (PS. If anyone has any tips or workout plan for someone such as I that doesn’t regularly work out, your advice is welcome)

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Make a difference in someone’s life

I want to start giving back and volunteering.  I want to help people,  inspire, and encourage.  I realize this one is kind of vague, but I’m not sure what outlet this will be yet.

I want to do so much more than just visit this world

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What are you determined to accomplish in 2014?

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(images link back to their source)

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2013 report card

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were filled with joy, delicious treats, and treasured family & friends!  🙂

Every January to me is new beginning – a time to reflect and plan.   I first like to look back on the previous year’s accomplishments and shortcomings before making my goals for the next year.   So remember that little goal list I posted last year around this time?  Well time to pull it out of the wood works and see how I actually did…

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Listen To Myself For Once    PASS

I left a job I was not happy at, and that alone would tell me I succeeded in this aspiration.  I also took a job that is more entrepreneurial and out of the box, which by the way, I’m LOVING.   I’ve realized over the last year that deep down only I know whats best for me, no one else.  And that voice is one I have to listen to.  It’s kinda funny how you can know something your whole life and still have to relearn to apply it.

what's good for your soul

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Be More Spiritual   FAIL

I could be doing a lot better at this one.  I think I’ve improved  my stress level but there’s still a lot of progress to be made in terms of how I spend my time.

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Own my Own Piece of Earth     PASS

We did buy a home earlier this year, and it is everything I thought it could be and a whole lot more… of unexpected pop up work.  But that’s fine.  We locked in a great interest rate and we absolutely love our new neighborhood.  We are on the way to making our home uniquely ours.  It feels good only throwing 75% of our payment away instead of the full 100%.  🙂

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Go to Europe    FAIL

Geesh,  let’s put this one on 2014’s list yet again.   We need to just up and do it!!  I’m not getting any younger here.

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Run a 5K    FAIL

This really is not that hard of a goal…and yet I still haven’t accomplished it.  Crazy.  Well this will have to change!  Who else is with me on the Couch to 5k program?!

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Live a Healthier Lifestyle    BEYOND FAIL

I would love to say I totally nailed this one….but not so much.  I still eat way too many cheeseburgers, slices of pizza, and sit around much more than I should.  And I’ve gained like 5lbs…. so yes, massive fail.  But I kind of am forced to change my ways this year (I’ll get into that more in my next post: 2014 goals and resolutions).

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Develop & Maximize my Unique Talents    BARELY PASS

The fact that I have picked up a paint brush again, started journal-ing and writing, and also reading whole books (other than House Beautiful mag) has told me that I am going in the right direction.  Now it’s taking the knowledge I’ve acquired, the countless hours thinking and planning, and turning it into a reality!

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So I’m 3 for 7.  Not bad.  How did you guys do last year?  What are you putting at the top of your list for 2014?

2013: goals and resolutions

To some, New Year’s Resolutions may be lame.  But you know what?  I love them.  I love anything that allows me to reflect and grow.  So here is my list.

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Listen to myself for once

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have developed a habit of drowning myself out.  Somehow, deep down, I think we all really know what’s best for us.  I have lived pretty “safe” the last few years…maybe to protect myself from getting hurt or because of a fear of failure.  But I’m determined to give that up, and have some faith instead. Which leads me to the next item on the list….

wake up and live

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Be more spiritual

I want to become more spiritually connected.  Getting caught up in the 9 to 5, day-to-day routine has been robbing me of so many things.   Focusing my thoughts toward inner peace and a higher power will ultimately reduce my stress level and make life more gratifying.  It takes discipline, but I think I can get there.

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Own my own piece of the earth

This is a semi-big deal announcement….we have been taking the beginning steps to purchase a home!  Our searches began back in November.  With the interest rates low and our love for this lil town growing, we decided we want to stay put here for a while.  Texas has been good to us so far.  My nomadic self thinks about where our next big move will be….but realistically I’m sick of paying someone else’s mortgage and can’t see ourselves anywhere else right now.

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Go to Europe

This has been on my list for years, and I REALLY hope I finally make this one happen.  My dad is European (Bulgarian to be exact) and travels often between Europe and USA.  Practically every summer since I graduated high school, he has been trying to get me to make the trip.  I’ve never been across the pond, and every summer there seems to be some reason I put it off.   Plus, I really want to go before I pop out a kid!

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Run a 5k

For those who know me very well, you know my small frame is a total hoax.  I don’t eat very good (aka cheeseburgers and pizza), and I don’t work out on regular basis.  Running a mile is very hard for me (not sure I could do it today without stopping to walk).  Every year I set this very attainable goal and fail miserably.  Well I’m putting it to rest – this is the year I finally run my first race!

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Learn how to use my camera

I’ve had my Canon Rebel for a little over a year now, and you’d think I’d be at pro status by now.  Not so much.  I understand photography – I took manual photography classes back in high school – but I don’t set aside the time to learn how to be really good at it.  Now’s the time.

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Live a healthier lifestyle

As stated above, I’m not the most healthiest of individuals.  I want to start eating better and being more active.  Being healthy is so much more than a number on a scale – it’s a whole way of life.

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Develop & maximize my unique talents

I’ve realized for so long I haven’t made time to do things I’m really good at.   Each one of us is so different… yet so many of us never take the time to refine the skills that set us apart from the rest.  These I think life is too short to waste these wonderful talents God has given us.

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If there was one thing you could accomplish this year, what would it be?

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(All of the images link back to their original source, if known)