How Audiobooks Made Me Appreciate Non-Fiction by Yaika Sabat

This is a good article to introduce you to a new format, or rather an old format that you might not have considered before.  This author has trouble reading non-fiction books.  Not that she lacks the desire, interest, or intellectual capacity, they just tend to be a bit dry and hard to get through.  I find myself with the same problem.  Like this author, I tend to look more toward the fiction books, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, etc.

This author emphasized that the reader (voice actor/actress) can make a difference in your reading experience, just because you dislike one voice actor doesn’t mean that the entire genre is bad.  I know that the voice actress that helped create the early Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich was not to my taste. Eventually then switched voice actors and now I really love listening to the new installment in this series.

If you are having trouble getting through non-fiction, detective novels, epic fantasy, science fiction, or another genre then try listening to Audio books.  (maybe not romance unless you can take hearing graphic sex explored…found that out the hard way, fortunately there was  ‘skip ahead 30 seconds’ button….hit that 4-10 times and you’re usually past the graphic bits. )

In recent months I have found that Audible has access to the Great Courses.  I love the idea of listening for 20+ hours at the same price of a 7+ hour book.  (I’m a bargain hunter at the root of it which is why I like libraries *free* best of all).  Now that the author of this article informed me that The Devil in the White City is about H.H Holmes and the Chicago World Fair I have that waiting for me….just as soon as I figure out where Overdrive downloaded it to on my iPad.

Happy Reading!


How I Use Evernote to Keep My Entire Life Organized

This is one persons utilization of Evernote to keep their life organized.

  • A master list of everything that they have to do in their life. Work, personal, etc.  They still maintain  a daily list, but this is their overarching document.
  • Create a packing list for trips, if you travel often have a master list like warm places packing, cold places packing, leisure, family, etc.
  • Keep a list of long term goals, even adding photos etc, to make it more visually interesting.
  • Scan important papers, receipts, business cards, etc.
  • Use evernote e-mail address to subscribe to newsletters so they don’t clutter up your inbox
  • Clip web pages to read later
  • Make digital post it notes so that brainstorms are not lost later and work is not interrupted
  • Pick meals from a master list of favorite recipes
  • Keep a running grocery list

*The first few items seem silly, I can use any word/pages document even the notes function of my phone/ipad for making, keeping and maintaining master lists.  Scanning important documents, okay that might be useful.  Clipping web pages to read later, I do that with instapaper but it is a useful function of evernote.  Make digital post it notes, that can be useful if you have evernote integrated into your work computer.  Picking meals from a master list, this is a great tip, I think I’ll make one on pages.  Keep a running grocery list?  Again that’s what I have Notes for on my phone, and why is syncs up to my ipad.  On a more practical note I was just checking why I stopped using evernote and here it is: Sync across 2 devices  If I want to sync my notes on more than 2 devices I have to pay evernote $35 per year.  (the ‘evernote e-mail’ thing also requires the ‘Plus’ subscription.) Admittedly $35 per year is not that much in digital terms, but when you can do barely more than my already included with purchase, or free apps then why should I pay you $35 a year?  Let alone the $70 subscription where you can scan and digitaze the business cards.  No wonder this author uses Evernote for everything you have to justify $70 a year somehow.*  Just my 2 cents.

Siri Tips and Tricks

Siri is becoming more and more like a personal assistant every day.  Making reservations, changing appointments, putting someone on speakerphone, checking sports scores and stocks.  According to this article there is very little that Siri cannot do.  Now Siri can even add punctuation, and put things on specific lists.

This is a great article for tips and tricks to get the most out of siri.

How to View iCloud Drive & Top Apps for Design

Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive -> Show on Home Screen to On

From this you can launch the app from the homescreen, it can be hidden again if desired.

Colora- this free app allows you to create mood boards, theoretically expressing complex concepts through color.  They can be sent to clients, etc. (Student in art courses can use this to play with colors and fiber artists could probably use this before dying.)

Mind Node- Color coded mind mapping

ColoRotate- can work with colors in 3-d, extract colors from a photo, generate random schemes, export palettes to your desktop

Word Swag- turns your words into art (this is a bit vague and I would have to work with it to see what it really does)

Over- this adds text over your pictures.  You can use the fonts it includes, buy more or import your own fonts.

Phoster- allows you to create your own posters and flyers. (why you would not just use Pages, I will have to explore).

Vinylize me- this allows you to create a retro record cover (why?)

Dropvis- allows you to easily create a visualization for data or concepts

Foldify- this allows you to visualize and create 3-d things from paper (I wonder if this could be used to transform something like plywood into chairs, etc? If not it would be fun for kids)

Book Creator- this seems to be the app answer to iBooks author, I might want to check it out and see if it works as such.  You can add photos, videos, etc to your book and even export it to be sold on the iBooks store.

iFontMaker- Just what it sounds like, a font creation software

Tayasui Sketches- a digital sketchbook, illustrations, drawings, cartoons and even watercolors can be created using this app

iDraw- graphic design and vector app.

Pixaki- Creates pictures as pixilated images?  (I’m not sure why you would want to)

Isometric- “Isometric vector image editor. Add styles or save as a seamless pattern. Export your geometric drawings as vector graphics in the SVG file format to continue working on your artwork in other vector apps.” (If you know what that means you are doing better than me, the best I can come up with is to use it as a stencil creator for geometric shapes? Probably not.)

App Cooker- allows you to create apps without worrying about the coding.

Animation Desk- storyboards, storybooks, ecards, or short animated movies.  Draw your own characters and use them any way you wish with this app.

iOrnament- create seamless patterns and color them in to make backgrounds, wall papers, etc.

MyPrice- this allows you to figure out what to charge without over-valuing or under-valuing your work.

Unstuck- Everyone gets stuck on a project sometimes this app allows you to get past that hangup.

5 New Assistive Modes You Never Knew Existed On Your iPad

5 Assistive modes you never knew existed on your iPad

Set up a triple click to get to the accessibility menu from anywhere.

You can get it to speak a paragraph/text you have highlighted

Guided Access allows you to focus on a particular app, or limit the ability of children/students to get to other apps.

You can also invert the colors on your iPad to make it easier for the dyslexic or some people with visual disorders to see/understand the screen.