Don’t Ghost it, “Post-IT”!

Who knew a little yellow square could be SO resourceful?

Oh what an invaluable joy those little ‘sticky notes’ are for day planner organization and productivity! 

So of course, we couldn’t resist diversifying their use to suit the electronic form, which we hope you’ll enjoy, just as much as the original. 

Post-It (Note) in the “Daily-WS” Tab – And boom, your annotations, observations, and jotted thoughts are always there when you need them most. One of the best features of iStratus Pro is that you also have the option to add your own signature, date, and/or converting Post-Its to PDF. 

Hallelujah! No more forgetting or “Ghosting” out little yellow squares. Those essential reminders or motivators are set and can be effortlessly exported or forwarded at the drop of a hat. Akin to a handy little pocket, you can simply drop biz into them wherever you go. 

Why The “Sticky Note” Idea Works 

We’ve mentioned it before; distractions are a major inhibitor of our ability to organize ourselves in our modern, notification-obsessed working world. The iStratus “Sticky Note” idea is your workspace best friend created to help you work faster and remain attentive towards the task at hand. 

You may have once been bestowed the “World’s Best Multi-Tasker” Award in your home or office, however, in life’s experience, no one is truly flawless at multi-tasking. 

When you think about it, this concept is really not an actual thing. What we’re really doing is constantly switching our minds from one task to the next. Every time you take a coffee break or tidy the kitchen (which you can’t stand looking at any longer because the kids left it like a bombsite) you’re forcing your brain to change gears.

Your brain cognitively resets this new information – and hello there, sluggish, brain drain that requires a reboot of its operating system.

Multiple University studies have concluded that you’re dropping the ball on at least 40 percent of your productivity by rapidly interchanging tasks. 

Following distractions, it requires approximately 23 minutes to recoup the same level of in-depth concentration you had prior to dealing with that chocolate milk explosion in the kitchen. 

In a world where productivity software reigns supreme, we realize, our attempt to digitize the sticky note, is a hard sell against the more popular original paper square. 

Going From “Blah” To “How Did I Ever Survive Without This?!”

It’s not news, that what is deemed ‘normal’ now was initially difficult to adapt to, simply because “we’ve always done it this other way.” This something we say far too often. Electronic sticky notes are a classic example. It’s really not so different from the initial Post-It Note design idea, so “why not just stick with the paper ones?” (No pun intended). 

We’re here to say, with some adjustment the process, will eventually go from “Blah” to “Wow. How did I EVER survive with this tool before now?!” Give it a shot – change is good from 1977.

They Do What? 

Just think: When you’ve plastered a wall or whiteboard with sticky notes for productivity and development, the only way to record detail is with a photograph, which often goes nowhere in the abyss of your phone. iStratus already has your sticky notes covered:

  • In an online environment that automatically recorded and ready for the next phase of any project. No need for a picture or time-consuming transcribing.
  • Upon unlimited walls for jogging your memory. Electronic sticky notes remain exactly where you left them and you are able to access your spatial memory every time you open the App.
  • With a direct, reportable commenting functions available. You can create Sticky Notes to record a discussion, or meeting minutes, saving time and energy. 
  • Saving trees! This is one of the best parts. The impact we have on the environment is very real. It’s important to question how much paper is truly required. A sticky note generally has a lifespan of a couple of hours, maybe four tops. Is all that paper really essential?

So while you may be stuck in the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset, sometimes all it takes is seeing the advantage of evolution with a little less hesitation.

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; [followed by] transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.”

~ Napoleon Hill

Are You Ready To Stick To It?  

The beauty of electronic sticky notes is their ease of use, and just like the original – their versatility enables them to cater to any system, which is why they are still a highly favored element for productivity. It’s not about being a fancy software tool, but a highly effective, useable one. 

Hopefully, things will stick if you let them.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Color Coding For Productivity

Effectively optimizing your productivity increases your overall workplace performance and reputation. Anyone can increase their productivity with specific strategies, utilizing functional tools so that you can perform at your best.

On surface value, productivity measures how efficiently production inputs, such as labor and capital, are being used in an economy compared to a set level of output.

The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) defines productivity as “the ratio between the output volume and the volume of inputs.”

Productivity isn’t everything, but… 

In the long term, it is almost everything. Our country relies on it for future growth and development. Ultimately, there are always hidden functions operating in the background, we don’t necessarily think about. iStratus recognizes the ways in which we can apply ‘color’ for maintaining productivity is one of them.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into why ‘color’ (is not just for organization) – it is known to improve one’s industrious output. Trust us, this will keep looking at the screen each day, a little more interesting.

Right now, you’re probably thinking: What The? Exactly, how do shades of Blue, Yellow, Green, and Orange, improve your productivity while using iStratus? 

We hope you’ll continue reading to find out.

Unearth Calmness with Blue Hues

Blue is well known to be a calming color, even just by looking at it on screen, can slow our breathing and lower blood pressure. UK Color Psychologist Dr. Angela Wright suggests despite its feel of tranquility blue has the hue, which stimulates the mind.

For focus and completion: Try adding blue Titles on To-Do List’s, blue fonts to electronic sketches, emails, and or/notes for sending out. The right combination of a calm yet stimulating effect, is likely to give you a motivational boost.

Yellow: Energizes and Improves Collaboration

Yellow is possibly the most inviting, uplifting color in the rainbow. Regardless of what shade it is, yellow is vibrant. If you want to create a more open, invigorating atmosphere adding accents of yellow could help without overwhelming the senses. Yay for Sticky notes! 

As discussed in our article:Don’t Ghost It, “Post-IT”!” [hyperlink] they’re a happy yellow favorite when using iStratus.

Dr. Wright’s Color Psychology Properties suggest: 

  • Yellow sparks creativity and memory. 
  • Self-esteem and optimism can also be elevated by moderate touches of yellow. 

We hope that using some mellow yellow in iStratus will inspire your ability to collaborate and create.

Relax Amongst Green

Fun Fact: Do you know the human eye can identify more shades of green than any other color? 

This is most likely because of its prevalence within the natural world – we’re so used to seeing various green tones everywhere. 

Have you noticed that within our App, backgrounds and titles are set to feature a distinct Green, so that they’re eye-catching, without being distracting?

Pro Tip: Use Green on your Activity Lists for less eye fatigue.

Orange Helps Maintain Enthusiasm 

Surprisingly, research indicates that Orange may be the winning color for boosting productivity. Orange often imparts enthusiasm and endurance – two things that definitely improve productivity.

We recognize there is a benefit to highlighting your electronic Calendar in orange. On the same hand, it is a hue that’s either loved or hated, so splashes or “pops of it” are best. 

Cultural norms, trends, and past experiences can all influence the way a person reacts to a certain color. Despite all external factors, people appear to have universal, innate reactions to color hues.

Productivity and Impact:

Overall, at iStratus we believe productivity functions across three dimensions whereby: 

  • Quantity does not overrule Quality, and 
  • Value is created. 

Technology is widely viewed, as one of the most fundamental factors contributing to productivity. This may seem obvious, but the dimension of quality and significance is central to our conception of productivity. 

Perhaps, think about the productivity of your life in a way that reinforces well-being. Too much focus on the path rather than the destination can make it difficult to determine the success of our resolves to become more productive which can unnecessarily dismiss the best practices that don’t fit into our views of efficiency.

So even if you only apply a few of these color concepts and elements within our App, so as long as you make them part of your daily routine, you’re much more likely to reap the benefits and cover Productivity like a Pro. 

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people are not used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

~ Steve Jobs (1955 – 2011)

Hopefully from a color perspective, you see, its impact is about the difference it has on the world around you. And in turn, your productivity is a positive impact on the world.

One’s output matters.

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

Take Action From “High To Low”

Whether it’s brilliant ideas or the exciting possibilities that await us, most of us have many more activities noted on our “bucket lists,” than the time readily available to work on them.  In short, there’s never enough time to do everything we want to do. It’s a universal hitch.

We can easily bog ourselves down in time-depleting, low-yield tasks that prevent us from moving forward. 

In a world where alerts and notifications pop up on us for everything under the sun, it is imperative to distinguish which alerts are critical and which alerts can be addressed later. 

It really doesn’t matter which technique you use. In our App, you can blend parts of different techniques to create your own custom method that feels right, and get to work.

Read on to take action on your priorities. Check-in on that bucket list. Let iStratus, help you structure things from “high to low” to make the most of your time, and keep it flowing that way, today…

What’s The Priority?

You have 40 tasks upon your list, and before the “worst-case scenario” towards underachievement rears its ugly head, ask yourself: Which one of those things is the most important?

For iStratus, our prioritization “Flags” and “High to Low” preferences support your answer to that question, with an immediate method for quickly evaluating the necessity of each task on your list. We believe, through informed decision making, you’re more likely to: 

  • Do what is required to complete tasks.
  • Recognize what you don’t need to do, and as we like to say: “Roll Up”.
  • Work out exactly when you need to focus on certain tasks and
  • Accomplish what needs addressing next in line.

Prioritization Tackles Two Significant Matters:

Everything is Critical! If you feel like you spend your day extinguishing fires, because everything is considered to be “urgent”, at work or home – we hear you!

Use iStratus to establish a succinct prioritized list and regain control of your own time, pushing back any unreasonable last-minute expectations or requests.

Prioritized lists can be an effective armor against delays and distractions. For instance, any new, work-related ‘urgent’ demands can potentially be refuted with evidence of clear priorities, and the cuts that would be required for such accommodations. In the long run, prioritization and productivity should aim to be improved, even if, it’s in the smallest of ways. Our brains love to procrastinate and deter us from accomplishing important work.

Speaking of: Should you really answer that email? It’s not rocket science, if you constantly enable incoming emails to influence your list of priorities, you’ll find it difficult to get ahead. That’s not to say recurring important documents needing attention should be ignored. 

We simply mean, sometimes a delayed reply to an email is justified when you’re attending to what needs to be focused on first and foremost.

“Of course, our failures are a consequence of many factors, but possibly one of the most important is the fact that society operates on the theory that specialization is the key to success, not realizing that specialization precludes comprehensive thinking.”

~ R. Buckminster Fuller

Rate It, We Say.

Thinking about the ‘High to Low’ points we mentioned earlier, research suggests, the MoSCoW process (pronounced like Russia’s Capital) is a humble technique for the resourceful distribution of every task into one of four categories:

  • M – The Must Do’s (M): Are rated as such for immediate attention.
  • S – The Should Do’s (S): Are the ‘Should Do’ tasks that are important, but they’re not as critical.
  • C – The Could Do’s (C): Are the cream of the crop, kind of To-Do’s. You’d like to do them, but if you don’t, it’s unlikely to be a big deal.
  • W – The Won’t Do’s (W): Are things that really aren’t worth doing. Hello, procrastination!

Use the MoSCoW technique in Stratus, to evaluate your To-Do list. By the end, you should be able to see your tasks inflow, from top to bottom in accordance with their priority. Any W tasks should be deleted.

If you consistently address your list from the top-down, you’ll always feel a sense of focus and direction.

Hey, by the way – we recognize, some days you might feel off base, and that’s okay. Remember, there’s always more than one way of doing things. 

You might find, iStratus works better for you in 5 Simple Steps known as the “Ivy Method”:

  1. Conclude every workday identifying the six most crucial tasks remaining on your list for tomorrow.
  2. Order those in terms of priority.
  3. Set to work in the morning, focusing on task number one until it’s done.
  4. Complete tasks in sequential order.
  5. Continue until all six tasks are complete (preferably). Repeat this process daily.

Bottom line: Do what works. 

Which elements work best for you?

Live life and roll well with iStratus.

iStratus DayPlanner – Organizing your life…with a twist

With the sheer demand on our time and volume of activities, tasks, meetings, appointments, schedules, contacts, and more, it’s easy to miss something. This seems like something technology should be able to solve but my iPhone has multiple apps designed to manage a portion of my life.  I want something to manage more than just one small piece.  I need my world to be interconnected and organized where my calendar, appointments, events and access to my documents and pictures all work together to enhance my life.   So this got me thinking, what features would a great organization app need to help me better manage my life?

What makes a great calendar and organizing app? 

  • Features that maximize my time like repeatable event management.
  • Access to quickly create and customize my calendar events.
  • A way to preview upcoming days, weeks, and months.
  • The ability to share calendars with my family and co-workers.
  • Personalization to easily customize my calendar using icons, colors, text and fonts.
  • The ability to sync across iOS devices and other services (Google, iCloud, Exchange).
  • Confidence to know all my calendar appointments and events are automatically added across all my Apple iOS devices including iPad, iPhone and iPod.
  • Voice recognition for easy updates on the go.
  • Security – after all, this is my personal information and I need to know it’s safe.
  • Simple and intuitive interface for easy use.

Time and Organization matters.

Time has become elusive for us all. With so many distractions—especially thanks to new mobile expectations—it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Organize your life and work to your habits, and you’ll find everything operates smoother. It’s just more productive…and less frustrating!

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Manage your life using iStratus DayPlanner…the all-in-one solution to organize your busy life across your mobile iOS devices.

Learn how at www.iStratus.com.

Stressed out with too much on your plate and not enough time? Try These 3 Steps.

Today you’re expected to do many things on-the-go using mobile devices with no real down time.  The expectations are for you to have instant access to your information. And the demands are increasing to be more effective in managing and planning your priories.  Your time is more precious than ever.

 

How are you going to keep up with this pace?

Take these three steps right now to accomplish more than seems possible:

1.) Take action.

Make a task list.

And, start with the goal in mind.

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey implores you to begin with the end in mind. While Covey was looking at the bigger picture, there is utility in this wisdom.

Create a to-do list, but flip it. Start from the final goal of your plans. Work backwards and map out the needs and actions to get from the end to the beginning. Do this, and you’ll have a task list that achieves your plans.

What’s more? This exercise makes even the most audacious plan much more attainable.

2.) Commit.

Schedule your tasks on your calendar.

And, be able to move them—automatically—just in case.

You know that saying? “What gets measured gets done.” It’s only partially right.

What gets put on your calendar…and stays on your calendar…even if timing needs to change? THAT gets done. These days, if it’s not on the calendar, it too easily gets lost in the shuffle of what’s most important.

Make the commitment, and put it first. Make sure it’s top-of-mind by getting it on the calendar. If you must move it? Make it automatic. Don’t delete it. Move it to the next day, and then don’t move it again if at all possible.

Put the time on your calendar, and you make the time yours.

3.) Plan ahead.

Gather everything you need for each step.

And, know where it is all the time.

Sometimes, you can simply take action: Just do it, and you’re done.

Most of the time? You need something. In those cases, information…or at least access to it…holds the key.

Today, most of your information is online. What happens when you can access it when needed instantly? You get more done, faster.

  • Plan ahead.
  • Have everything you need.
  • Keep it organized all in one place.

Do these things and you stop searching. When it’s most needed, you want to know exactly where it is.

If this this advice seems simple…well….that’s the point.

Time has become elusive for us all. With so many distractions—especially thanks to new mobile expectations—it’s easy to be overwhelmed.

Take these steps to add structure and organization, and you can get more accomplished and take control of your busy schedule.

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Create more time with iStratus DayPlanner…the all-in-one solution to organize your busy life across your mobile iOS devices.

Learn how at www.iStratus.com.