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[The Million Dollar iPad] The Apple Watch: I’m Late, I’m Late for a Very Important Date

The Apple Watch: I’m Late, I’m Late for a Very Important Date

by

Scott Grossberg

I’m late!
I’m late!
For a very important date!
No time to say “Hello”, “Goodbye!”
I’m late!
I’m late!

– The White Rabbit (Disney’s Alice in Wonderland)

The concept of wearable technology isn’t new. We’ve fantasized and immortalized such devices for years. Just take a look at Dick Tracy and his 2-way wrist radio or any of the communicator devices from Star Trek. And I’m sure a fair number of you had or toyed with the calculator watches of the 1980’s. Now, we have the Apple Watch with its own variation of iOS. The question is: Do you really need this?

The answer, of course, depends on whether the Apple Watch will remarkably make you more effective, more efficient, or more bankable – or all three.

The use of an Apple Watch isn’t just about looking trendy, monitoring your health, letting you answer a phone, or responding to text and email messages. I suggest to you that it’s really about ensuring potent and impressive knowledge transfer (“the process through which one unit (e.g., group, department, or division) is affected by the experience of another” – L. Argote & P. Ingram). To put it another way, the Apple Watch — because of its synchronization with your other iOS devices, the playfulness of its abilities, and its sheer novelty — is going to motivate you like never before to share information, monitor and measure data in a mindful way, and to actually use the messages and details available to you.

I think we all know that knowledge is completely futile unless we actually use it. So let’s get to it . . . here are some ways I predict the Apple Watch will take you from the downright novelty of the device to massive breakthroughs in your current disconnected way of handling all the information that others want to send you, and your continuing need for automated content creation:

1. You can easily dictate content. I have been a fan of using voice dictation through the Siri interface since the last iOS version. In fact, I’m dictating emails, text messages, and documents more now than ever. You simply can’t type as fast as you can talk.

2. You can get important and potentially life-saving “it’s time to move” reminders. I’m a pretty active guy and even I didn’t realize how much I was actual sitting throughout the day until I started using a Nike Fuel band. The Apple Watch will remind you to get up and move when you’ve been sitting too long. By the way, one recent study from Toronto revealed that sitting for too long creates a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and death even if you have a regular exercise program. And, of course, the Apple Watch will do its own fitness tracking.

3. You’ll get fast and efficient and accessible content through “Glances,” “Actionable Notifications” and “Apps” screens and messages. From read-only items to iPhone and iPad app extensions, you now merely need to peek at your wrist. You will also have Passbook accessibility. This means no more fetching your phone for the information you previously stored on your phone like plane tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards, etc.

4. You’ll have a backdoor to a lot of powerful apps: Calendar, Maps, Apple TV, iTunes, Stopwatch, Timer, Alarm, Stocks, Weather, Photos, Siri, etc.

Now, by this point, you must be asking: “But I already have an iPhone or iPad and they do this same stuff. Why do I need a watch, too?

Well, let’s start with the fact that the watch will likely be with you (or “on you” as Apple likes to say) all the time unlike your other iOS devices. Because your watch is on you, you’ll receive notifications, messages, and information and be able to act on them right away, if needed. This, then, permits you to establish a new workflow with your office and colleagues as you give new meaning and thought to handling time-sensitive matters. Most importantly, the Apple Watch works with both Bluetooth and WiFi. That means, in a WiFi environment like your home or office, you can be nearly anywhere and still have access to your data. When time is truly of the essence, having such immediate and easy access to notices, warnings, and information may make all the difference.

On a practical level, what does this all do for you? Well, by incorporating wearable technology into your workflow, you’ll effectively be shifting your focus from taking time to find your phone, retrieve out of your purse, pocket, or briefcase, unlock it, and only then getting or creating content to actually saving time because the notifications on the watch come right to you so long as the watch is on your wrist and locked (that’s a security feature you should be happy about).

As business people, time is money. And if you insist on being late to the wearable technology game, you’ll be losing time. I guarantee your competition isn’t going to suffer the same foolishness. Need I say more?

If you’d like more information about the Apple Watch, here is the official website:

https://www.apple.com/watch/

Let’s take this discussion further . . . You can find me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn and at http://theipadlawyer.wordpress.com or  https://milliondollaripad.wordpress.com.

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And, if you’re interested in finding out how I can make a presentation to your law firm or association, please contact me at 909-483-1850 or email me at sgrossberg@cgclaw.com.© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

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[The Million Dollar iPad] You Are Not Alone — Dropbox and Your Office Apps

You Are Not Alone — Dropbox and Your Office Apps

by

Scott Grossberg

Based on the old pain/pleasure principle, I think you’ll agree that most people will fight to the death to keep what they have (what they think works) rather than implement a new workflow or new option or new opportunity. And this is true even if they logically understand the “new thing” and rationalize that they “want it.” Actually using your iOS devices in powerful, new ways is no different. Most of you will do more to keep things the way they are than adventure out into the exciting world of new apps.

So, today, I’ve got good news for those of you who don’t want to learn new stuff.

And I’ve got even better news for those of you who do want new stuff.

For the “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” crowd, I’m going to talk about apps you’re already likely using — Dropbox and Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

For my “cutting edge” crowd, I’m going to be discussing a new workflow that will make you even more productive and let you breathe easier.

See . . . something for everybody!

Microsoft Office remains the primary way business people perform their day-to-day work on a computer. Dropbox remains the primary way we store and access online files due to the fact that app developers make Dropbox integration part of nearly every successful app that is released. Still, it came as a surprise for most when, in November, Dropbox and Microsoft announced an unheralded partnership.

For the first time, the major online storage provider (Dropbox) was essentially unified with Microsoft’s Office suite of apps. This now means that the apps from the two companies collaborate in real time with each other. In other words, you can now edit Office documents on-the-go and directly from your Dropbox mobile account. You can also see if anyone else is viewing or working on a shared Office file (and you’ll even get an online visual notification if someone else opens up a document you’ve been working on). And, if two or more people happen to be working on the same document at the same time, you’ll be notified with an exclamation point and can save your version independently so that your work is not lost. You can also check to see if there’s a more current version of a Dropbox Office file and update accordingly.

To make this system work for you, you have to have the latest version of the Office apps. You can obtain Word, Excel, and PowerPoint here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-word/id586447913?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-excel/id586683407?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/microsoft-powerpoint/id586449534?mt=8

Naturally, you will also need a Dropbox account. If you need to sign up (you can get a free account), go here:

https://www.dropbox.com/

Then, download the app to your iDevice from here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dropbox/id327630330?mt=8

Now, when you go into your Dropbox app, find an Office file you want to work on and tap on it.  You will be given the option of opening the file with Word, Excel, or PowerPoint from within Dropbox, itself (there’s a little paper/pen icon down at the bottom of your screen). Yes, you still have the old option of “Open With . . . “ from within Dropbox. But this newer option automatically launches Word, for example, opens your Dropbox-stored document, asks if you want to convert it for editing if it’s an older version, converts it for you, permits full editing and annotation, and then stores it right back to Dropbox. It’s quite an automatic, effective, and efficient workflow.

By the way, if you work from within Dropbox in the manner just described and you then open your Word app independently (let’s say to create a new Word document), you are first greeted with a “Today” screen that shows your combined and earlier use of Dropbox and Word and you can open your previously viewed and edited Word documents from that screen, as well. After you create your new Word document, naturally you can then save immediately to the Dropbox folder of your choice.

The entire process is very self-explanatory and easy to implement. If you still want more information on the workflow, here’s Dropbox’s Help Center link entitled, “How do I edit Microsoft Office files stored in my Dropbox from my mobile device?

https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/6999

One bonus tip for you: With either your iPhone or iPad, you can create great content by also implementing Siri dictation into your work style. Siri has gotten much more accurate in her voice recognition and I dictate now more than ever before. I have noticed, by the way, that by speaking faster, the speech recognition is better. I also hasten to remind those of you with concerns about confidentiality that any dictation you create with Siri is sent away from your device to Apple’s servers and then back again.

We’d all like to be more successful using the tools with which we’re already comfortable. This elegant pairing of Dropbox and Microsoft Office apps allows you to do just that. It meets a basic human need — giving you what you really desire (not having to get bogged down in technical things) while solving a problem (helping you to be more streamlined).

Your time is precious. Go ahead. Take the time to discover how powerful this new partnership will be for you and how easy it makes your document creation, editing, and collaboration workflow.

Let’s take this discussion further . . . You can find me on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn and at http://theipadlawyer.wordpress.com or  https://milliondollaripad.wordpress.com.

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And, if you’re interested in finding out how I can make a presentation to your law firm or association, please contact me at 909-483-1850 or email me at sgrossberg@cgclaw.com.© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

[The Million Dollar iPad] Keyboard Shortcuts That Make Your iDevice Addictive

Keyboard Shortcuts That Make Your iDevice Addictive

by

Scott J. Grossberg, Esq.

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that
automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.
                                         — Bill Gates

The primary idea behind positioning your iPad and iPhone as powerful and amazing workplace tools is that, when used effectively and efficiently, they save you time and make you more productive. I can tell you that, without a doubt, both iDevices have done both for me.

One of the fastest ways to become an iOS Wizard is to understand that your iDevices are perfect for implementing automated document assembly concepts. In other words, I want you to start thinking of your iPhone and iPad as incredible electronic document creation tools rather than simply content-reading devices. By adopting this new type of workflow, you will be taking portions of pre-existing text and assembling them into a new document, email, or text message. Think of this type of workflow secret this way — by using keyboard shortcuts, in this example, you will be minimizing your text entry, reduce the time you spend proofreading (you do proofread, don’t you?), and decreasing the perils of human error.

I’ve written about creating keyboard shortcuts with the native iOS that comes with your iPad and iPhone. I’ve also told you about the power of such text-expansion apps as Text Expander Touch (http://smilesoftware.com/TextExpander/touch/index.html).

Today, I want to share one more amazing iDevice secret — using a text expansion keyboard replacement on your iPhone and iPad. Let me digress for just one moment, however, and remind you that, once you create a keyboard shortcut on your iDevice, then the native iOS keyboard will recognize that shortcut as you are creating that input on the native/onscreen keyboard. You create such shortcuts by following these steps:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts > +

If you want a list of my personal keyboard shortcuts, just go to The Million Dollar iPad Blog and subscribe. You will be sent a download link for a FREE PDF of the very shortcuts I use everyday. Go to >>> https://milliondollaripad.wordpress.com.

Now, on to keyboard replacements, themselves. I’ve become enamored with one in particular. It’s called My Phrases Keyboard and can be found at http://myphraseskb.com. With My Phrases Keyboard, you create phrases that you use all the time when you type. As opposed to the normal keyboard shortcut routine I described above (where, once you’ve created the phrasing, you must type a series of letters/characters to trigger the expanded content),  with My Phrases Keyboard, you simply tap a visual depiction of the desired words/sentences/phrase and that content is automatically placed into your document.

I still prefer Text Expander Touch for longer document creation. However, when it comes to email and text messages you, too, will fall in love with My Phrases Keyboard. You have all the custom, pre-defined phrases right there for quick use. And you can place the phrases in the order that you want for even easier accessibility. And for those of you who like to use emoji characters, this app allows you to configure shortcuts for them, as well.

So, what does this all mean for you?

Imagine being able to send a text message or email contact with fewer keystrokes. Imagine never having to type your email address out again. How about imagining not having to remember all the keyboard shortcuts in the first place because with this app they’re visually depicted for you — there’s nothing to memorize (that right there should be enough to convince you).

The way I use My Phrases Keyboard for maximum results, by the way, is planning ahead of time when I might want to use it. Then I enable the keyboard replacement ahead of time. That’s an important distinction for you to recognize — not only for this particular trick — but for other iOS secrets I share with you. You can save yourself countless hours in the long run by simply recognizing how you work and what you do over and over again and then planning around those habits and needs.

So, here’s the workflow —

  1. Install My Phrases Keyboard. It’s free! (A little side note for the security conscious among you — while this is a third-party keyboard, the publisher maintains that the phrases entered into the app are never transmitted off your device. Of course, what you do with that data is up to you.)
  2. Enable the My Phrases Keyboard. To enable any third-party keyboard on your iDevice, do this: Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard . . .
  3. Give My Phrases Keyboard Full Access. Do this: Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards > Tap on My Phrases Keyboard > Allow Full Access
  4. Switch To and Use My Phrases Keyboard. Once you’ve installed and enabled your new keyboard, it’s there to use whenever you wish. In any app that allows use of the keyboard (e.g., Messages or email), bring up the keyboard and then tap the Globe Icon in the bottom left corner of the keyboard. This will allow you to cycle through the keyboards you’ve installed. In some third party keyboards, by the way, you can tap and hold the Globe Icon to access a pop-up list of available keyboards. Tap on the name of the keyboard you want to use.
  5. Plan ahead. When I know that I’m going to be out and about and might need to send quick messages, I don’t want to take the time to switch or cycle through keyboards. So, if I’m going to be traveling somewhere, in a meeting, working out, etc., I will enable the My Phrases Keyboard ahead of time in both my Messages and Email apps. In that way, I just open up the app, the My Phrases Keyboard instantly pops up, and away I go.

One final heads-up — third party keyboards don’t work if you’re using a Bluetooth, external keyboard with your iPad or iPhone.

Let’s take this conversation further . . . I’d love to know your thoughts on what I’ve written.

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And, if you’re interested in finding out how I can make a presentation to your law firm or association, please contact me at 909-483-1850 or email me at
sgrossberg@cgclaw.com.© 2015 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

[The Million Dollar iPad] Overwhelmed With the Information on Your iDevice? Breathe Easier With Notification Center

Overwhelmed With the Information on Your iDevice? Breathe Easier With Notification Center

by

Scott Grossberg

Your iPad and iPhone are incredible computers. More than that, they are your personal information collectors. They are content banks, message libraries, and data archives. It’s easily alarming, however, when you need to find something quickly and efficiently and confidently. Let me offer you a little reason and organization. And it all begins with getting to know Notification Center on your iDevices. In fact, I’m constantly asked how I’m using the Notification Center on both my iPhone and iPad. Here are some very practical tips and tricks and workflow suggestions for you to use.

If you don’t know already, Notification Center is built into your iDevices and your OS X operating system (your desktop and laptop).  As the name implies, Notification Center provides you with notifications and status updates for a wide variety of items and apps. For example, on your iPhone, Notification Center will provide you with weather and stock information. And you can even have the notifications appear through popups, banners, beeps, and buzzes. But wait . . . there’s more . . . you can enter your Notification Screen directly from your iDevices lock screen so that you have what you need in a flash.

So, how do you get things to display on your Notification Center in the first place? Well, in its default state, Notification Center gives you a Today view. Want to see it in action? Just take your iDevice, place your finger at the top of the screen, and slide your finger down. The Notification Screen will appear. Here are the items on my screen in the order that they appear:

Today Summary
Weather
Traffic Conditions
Next Appointment
Calendar
Stocks
Reminders
Tomorrow Summary

When you scroll down to the very bottom of the Notification Screen you will see an EDIT button. Just tap that button and you are given a menu of items that can be included and not included on your Notification Screen. It’s really as simple as just choosing which items you want to see. When you are finished with your selections, tap the DONE button at the top right of your screen.

Of course, from that same edit screen, you can then choose the order in which items will appear on your Notification Screen.

So, here’s the really powerful part of using your Notification Screen. It’s accessible from your iPhone’s and iPad’s lock screens! What that means for you is that you simply turn your iDevice on and from the initial screen you just wipe down from the top to reveal all the important information you need to see in an instant.

Now, while you are on the Today screen summary, slide your finger to the left. Voila! You now have an additional Notification screen that displays recent app notifications. For example, on my Notification Screen I can see recent voicemails, email, calendar entries, and even my WorldMate travel announcements.

By the way, I can hear it already. Some of you are saying, “Are you out of your mind? I don’t want my information available from the lock screen!” Relax. You can disable the default visibility of Notification Center on your lock screen by doing the following:

Settings > Touch ID & Passcode > Enter Your Passcode > Allow Access When Locked > Turn off the options

Although I keep my Notification Screen accessible from my lock screen, I don’t want my iDevices beeping and buzzing and vibrating and displaying banners and popup notifications all the time. The awesomeness of Notification Center is that it’s fully customizable and I can decide which apps I want to send me notifications, if at all, and in what format. When you are ready to disable the banners and popups just do the following:

Settings > Notifications > Scroll down to the app whose notifications you want to disable and tap on that app > Tap on Allow Notifications to disable

You will also notice that, from this last screen on each app, you can set how many recent items for that app will appear in your Notification Center, disable any sounds, and specifically choose app-by-app whether it will appear on the Lock Screen.

Most of the customization for the Notification Screen is very easy and self-explanatory. However, if you’re like me, you like to track some specific stock information. And that’s not so easy to program if you don’t have the information. So . . . here you go (who said nothing in life is free?) . . .

The items that appear in your Notification Screen are called widgets. One of the first things I needed to do was modify the stock/ticker widget to show stocks I actually invest in rather than the default that is provided for you. To add your own stocks to the Notification Screen do the following:

Go to the Stocks app on your iDevice > Tap on the Stocks app > Tap on the List icon in the lower right of your screen (it looks like a small bulleted list) > Tap the + symbol (in the top left of your new screen) > enter the ticker symbol of the stock you want to watch

You can also delete stocks from the Notification Screen in the same way. Naturally, you can also reorder the way the various stock information is displayed.

Tap DONE when you are finished.

I should end this with the understanding that the Notification Screen on your iPhone is actually more powerful than the one on your iPad. Well, not really more powerful. It’s just that the iPhone Notification Center has more options. For example, I can get the stock tickers on my iPhone but not on my iPad notifications.

I’ve only scratched the surface of what Notification Center can do for you and how amazing it really is. Until we dig deeper, take the initiative and start to play with this impressive iOS offering and you will see that you, too, can save time and make even more money with your iPhone and iPad.

If you enjoyed this, I’d be grateful if you share this with others. That’s right, go ahead and help spread this information by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. And, if you’re interested in finding out how I can make a presentation to your law firm or association, please contact me at 909-483-1850 or email me at sgrossberg@cgclaw.com.© 2014 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.