Top Reads & Apps in 2014

Coffee is always part of my daily routine and a way for me to kick off the work day.

I used to do some very data-tastic roundups of each year on my food & travel site. I think it’s best suited to When I Have Time since I talk so much about productivity. It’s fun to see which apps are still in my life (Twitter, since 2007), and which aren’t (many others).

A few of these appeared in my newsletters this year (sign up for my newsletter if you’re not receiving it) but a few others I never shared at all.

These 50 questions from Into Mind are a good exercise to wrap up 2014 and start looking at 2015. These questions are great to plop into a Google Doc and answer away. A few of the questions towards the end focus on 2015 and I’m still working on those, but I am curious to go back and read my answers 10 years from now, and I can see making this an annual tradition.

1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
2.If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be?
3.What new things did you discover about yourself?
4.What single achievement are you most proud of?

Hard Truths, Day 25: All the Things We Don’t Plan. Erika has a no-holds barred approach to telling you like it is, and in her recent series about Hard Truths, this article about all the things we don’t plan resonated with me. Can you chart out your own life and see the twists & turns it has taken and appreciate those turns as needed and/or positive changes in your life, even if unplanned? As a planner and seeing the directions my own life has taken, it’s a way to make peace with the unplanned.

Today’s Hard Truth is about all the things we never planned, but happened anyway.

I wish I’d know about the difference between life and plans when I was a kid.

A poignant reflection on loss and longing in Selling Everything I Have, for Just Five Minutes.

I’m sure every one of you can think back to a scenario just like mine, whether it was a bike, a toy, or special game you wanted. That deep longing and endless days that would seemingly tick by, before you could add the coveted item to your toy inventory.

I realised, I had been carrying around the same feeling. The exact same feeling of wanting something so badly, you would wait any amount of time in order for it to come to fruition. It’s taken me a while to realise I’ve been bargaining with myself.

A great look at one of the biggest gaps between men and women: confidence.

In studies, men overestimate their abilities and performance, and women underestimate both. Their performances do not differ in quality.

20 Habits for Success I Learned Working for Two Billionaires – good lessons for workers and individuals at any income level:

1) Invest in Yourself

This is a very simple concept, but something you would think someone who has “made it” would stop doing. Not at all for these two. I saw them both spend a significant amount of time dedicating their resources to self-development (whether it be a new language, exercise, social media classes, etc.). The moment you stop investing in yourself is the moment you have written off future dividends in life.

The 39 Most Iconic Feminist Moments of 2014 – some you may have missed, and it’s a great recap:

Indeed, it’s clear 2014 was a historic one for feminism. Women stood up for their rights, challenged stereotypes, fought for recognition and took control of the dialogue. The following is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most iconic feminist moments this year:

Looking Accounting in the Face: Is there anyone on earth who loves accounting? Maybe my father, since he’s a C.P.A. But for the rest of us, accounting / receipts / personal finances can be a big pain. This in-depth article about Zen Accounting for Bloggers is a good way to get jumpstarted on keeping accounting for your site.

Minimizing: I mentioned in my newsletter that I’m looking at reducing my possessions, and more specifically my closet, and I built a capsule wardrobe for the winter which I’m enjoying so far and will write more about after the season’s over. To get started with capsule wardrobes, this tutorial is a good starting point, as well as this roundup of links.

Personal Branding & PR: Quick Sprout gives you a free, 8-chapter tome of the Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand. Reading through it is like going to an in-depth master class on branding. In a similar vein, everything you need to know about PR to do it yourself.

If you haven’t been reading along here all year, be sure to read some popular posts from this year here at When I Have Time:

If food & travel are your thing, too (like me), you’ll want to read My Top Tastes of 2014 over on my food & travel site, Ms. Adventures in Italy, and I also suggest these posts for making travel easier:

A few of my favorite Tweets:

I saw Joan Rivers a few months before she passed in Rome:

A comment on the #YesAllWomen movement (and I have a more in-depth post coming soon):

And a nod to the real power behind most of us:

Longreads (who are now my colleagues, yay!) also have a weekend or two full of reading for you in their Longreads’ Best of 2014, and one of my favorite newsletters, NextDraft (also hosted on VIP!) has the Most Fascinating News of 2014.

And a few apps:

  • TripIt continues to know when and where I’m going to be, and thanks to a work benefit, getting TripIt Pro free helps with extra reminders and other features.
  • ScannerPro is an app I wouldn’t want to live without. The app lets you collate multiple pages (aka photos) into a single document which can then be emailed or saved as a PDF, or saved directly to Dropbox or Google Drive. You can name documents and manage them from your document store, and when taking a picture the app recognizes the edges of a document to be scanned, making sure your flowered tablecloth doesn’t make an appearance. Great for backing up important documents or grouping expense receipts. Highly worth the $2.99.
  • Calm was a good app to experiment with, a few times when I wanted calming background noises to relax. They also provide some guided meditation paths which I’ve yet to experiment with.
  • Google came out with an interesting little tutorial app called Primer (“Marketing Lessons for Startups”) which you can use to learn more about content marketing, SEM, and PR & Media, so far. And it’s free.
  • In May’s newsletter, I mentioned how much I enjoyed Duolingo’s method of learning a new language which I found useful.
  • In my How I Travel: Packing List and Preparation Tips post, I mentioned I use SimplyPack+ to organize my packing lists.
  • And I first wrote about Wunderlist in 2011(!!), and it’s still an integral part of my lists and organization. I love the shared lists you can share with one or more people.

5 replies »

  1. I really like how you display tweets, blackbird pie or twitter embeds fail if original tweet is deleted, other way is screenshot of course, but that is too much for something just a few characters long. Thank you!

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Director of Product Marketing @ HubSpot. Early hire @ Automattic / Founder World Nutella Day. MBA Alumni Advisory Board @ Santa Clara University.

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