Simple Productivity Boosts for 2017

Simple Productivity Boosts for 2017

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Happy New Year from VIVO360!

Yes, it is February, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to get a jump on making some positive changes in your life. In our fast-paced world, we all have so much content vying for our attention; technology makes media of all kinds available at our fingertips, driving us to become more compulsive about checking our phones, emails, and social media. This is not to say these developments are negative in and of themselves, but they can be severe distractions in our productivity. They can also drain away our time, taking seconds, minutes, and hours away from the people and activities which hold higher priority. We decided to share a few tools and techniques that can move you towards getting more out of your day, so by the end of 2017, you’ll feel more accomplished and be closer to whatever goals you want to achieve.

Check that list!

Having a fixed “To Do” list is one way to free up your mind so you can focus on the task at hand. It takes a lot of mental energy to remember all of the stuff you need to do, and it’s so easy for something to slip through the cracks if you don’t have a list going. If you already have a reliable process for keeping track of all of the things you need to do, then you’re one step ahead in the game; however, if you haven’t quite figured out a solid organizational plan, there are many options out there for helping you keep things straight.

If you like to experiment with apps, there are a number of list ones out there…probably too many to count. Here are a few that rise to the top of the heap.

  • Google Keep: While primarily a list and note-making app, Keep really helps you build a single repository of any sort of content that you find interesting and useful, so you can access it later. Since it is part of the Google family, if you have a Gmail account, you just use that to sign up and get started. You can have multiple list items going, and set reminders on them. There’s also an extension you can add into Chrome to pin links to your Keep for easy reference later.
  • Todoist: This is a free app you can download from the app store, but certain features (such as Labels) require you to upgrade. In this app, you can create different lists, set reminders (which can, based on your settings, remind you via push notifications), and see your productivity progress via a graph which keeps track of items accomplished. You even get an email in the morning letting you know which things are due that day.
  • Sorted: This app costs $3.99, but it was chosen by LifeHacker as “the task-juggling app you’ve always wanted”. This app makes it very easy to create lists and then drag items to put them in order and assign due dates. It uses a tickler file system, a mainstay in the productivity world, to assist in prioritization of your activities. You can easily personalize with themes, and if you use iCloud, you can sync it, so it appears on all your devices.

If you don’t want to download another app, you probably already have organizational tools at your disposal that can be used to keep your “To Do’s” on a list and not on your mind. Reminders, notes, and calendars are standard apps on smartphones, and email apps such as Google and Outlook have their own calendars to which you can assign tasks. Even if you don’t consider yourself an organized person, familiarizing yourself with these features can help streamline your activities. The benefit to these types of tools is that they are easily accessible, since you are already checking your email and phone throughout the day.

As with any tool, it doesn’t work if you don’t use it, so it may take a little time to get a system down for adding your items to these lists and calendars.

Keeping your focus = stretching your time

We all know that person about whom we wonder “How do they find the time to do it all?”. Sure, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, but there are just some folks who manage to stretch their time a little further. One important aspect of this is that distractions abound, and each time our attention is taken away, we lose focus from what we really need to be doing. Here are a few methods to keep you on track.

  • Move that phone: It’s too easy to become a compulsive creature of habit with our mobile phones. Different researchers have acknowledged that the habitual checking of your phone can lead to addictive behavior, setting off the same reward centers as other types of addictions. It can also be detrimental to personal relationships, making other people feel ignored or unimportant. Beyond these harmful effects, notifications from texts, emails, and social media really can eat away precious time from your day. Proximity is often an issue; just moving it out of sight and reach can make you more conscious of how often you check it. This means you may also need to turn off notifications, so the alerts don’t bother you. Checking your phone (and emails) once an hour for five minutes is certainly less distracting than checking every five minutes.
  • Stay on track: Piggy-backing on the previous tip, uninterrupted work time is key to keeping your mind focused and getting more done. The Pomodoro Technique is one method for helping increase your productivity by training you to dedicate short but targeted blocks of time to your activities. The premise is that by using 25-minute increments where you focus on a single item, you can improve your efficiency, focus, and overall quality of work. Use a kitchen, watch, or phone timer to start your 25 minutes, and then work through, uninterrupted, until the timer goes off. At that time, you can get up to stretch, check your phone or email, or whatever you need to do to stay fresh and productive. There’s even an app called ForestApp, where you set a timer, and as long as the app is not disturbed, a virtual tree will grow, so as you use it, your dedicated time will create a forest.
  • Where does the time go?: If you lose track of time while on your computer and end up wondering where it all went, there’s RescueTime https://www.rescuetime.com/. It runs in the background on your computer, and can tell you what percentage of your time is going to different categories, such as Design & Composition, Social Networking, and Reference & Learning. You can also write out your goals for the day and lifetime milestones, so it acts as a motivational tool as well. It can be a real eye-opener once you see what percentage of your time is spent on distracting versus productive activities, but as they say, knowing is half the battle.

We hope these tips motivate you to take charge of your time and make the most of it in 2017!

VIVO360 is so proud to be a part of the NAACP Image Awards

VIVO360 is so proud to be a part of the NAACP Image Awards

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VIVO360’s Trevor Noahhero Trevor Noah to present tonight! VIVO360 is so proud to be a part of the NAACP Image Awards. We developed the website (www.naacpimageawards.net) and will be all dressed up this evening for the NON-TELEVISED 48TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS DINNER TO TAKE PLACE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10

(Photo Credit: Ruminasean: Sean Gallagher Photography)
Erica Ash and Deon Cole to Co-Host – Attendees include
Viola Davis, Holly Robinson Pete and more…

Virtual Reality: The next generation of marketing with Pokémon Go

Virtual Reality: The next generation of marketing with Pokémon Go

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Location based gaming and mobile applications have shifted the way advertisers market towards consumers. By showing content geared towards specific mobile users, online advertisers are able to reach their desired target markets. Pokémon Go, however, has placed the power of marketing into the hands of the local business owner. While larger corporations are waiting to eventually cash in on sponsored advertising through PokéStops and gyms, small business owners are using guerrilla tactics to lure and profit off of their existing and new customers.

pokemon-go-app-zuigt-batterij-leeg-94405

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Companies updating their brand. Part 1

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In the past year companies have been updating their brand… from Aquafina to the newest company Instagram. A brand is what defines a company. Rebranding is a way to start over without having to start from scratch. Anything new is exciting, and for some of us… we like change. Rebrand is a great way to reintroduce their company to consumers. Also to show current consumers we are the same company but has grown with the time and is a better company. It’s no fun having an out dated logo. You can’t grow if you are the same you were when you first started whether it be 5 years ago or a 100 years ago.  Time are a changing! Your company brand needs to stay fresh. New logo is the new tread! Below are a few of the most resent companies that changed their logo and brand.

 

Instagram

instagram_2016_icon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only 5 years old and Instagram completely changed their brand. Still the preferred social media platform for many users. Instagram took its skeuomorphic style glyph and transformed it into a minimal, simple design, with a bright colored background, but yet you still know it’s a camera. I absolutely love this new brand. The bright colored gradient and simplistic design is what’s on trend for logos of today.

We realized we needed to move past a rendered camera to get a flexible, scalable glyph, but the previous glyph proved to be a weak basis for an icon. To maintain the previous icon’s gravity, we had to figure out how to give the new mark more character while also removing what was unnecessary.

The question then became, how far do we go? If you abstract too much, the glyph doesn’t feel tied to the history and soul of Instagram. If you make it too literal, it’s hard to justify changing from what we currently have. After a lot of refinement, we landed on a glyph that still suggests a camera, but also sets the groundwork for years to come.
– Ian Spalter, head of design at instagram, on medium

 

Guinness

guinness_logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guinness has been around for hundreds of years and since then Guinness has had many logo and brand changes. Still using the key mark, which is a harp. This new logo is not with the current trends and actually does the opposite. The harp is realistic then it never was before. It’s because they did in-depth research with real expert harp-makers. The final logo captures a detail version of a harp with light and shadow.

To bring their vision to life, Design Bridge made models and mock-­ups of their initial harp sketches with expert guidance from London-­based harp-­makers Niebisch & Tree. This collaborative process allowed the team to fully immerse themselves in the harp’s shape and form, from the characteristic curve of the harmonic neck to the way shadows are cast on the instrument, ensuring their design looked and felt as authentic as possible. Design Bridge then sought the expertise of renowned illustrator Gerry Barney, who had drawn a previous version of the Guinness harp in 1968, who hand drew the new icon from their collection of sketches and harp models.
Design bridge provided press release

 

Part 2 coming soon