Using the Unused

As I start 2014 I’m going to start trying out more of the apps that I’ve downloaded to my iPad mini that I have basically neglected. One of those is Pages. This is the word processing program by Apple to rival apps like Google Docs and Microsoft Office. When it comes to work I have no real choice but to use Microsoft office and I’m ok with that. I have office on my Mac and my PC at home but there really wasn’t any need for me to use them. To do some basic document collaboration with my wife I tend to use Google docs since we’re both heavy Google users. What I intend to do is start using Pages for more of the draft work that I do with my blog posts. I considered doing it on Evernote but it doesn’t open a window in full screen mode so there looks like there is less writing space. Pages has the benefit of using my iCloud account as well so I know that it will be synced across my devices. The downside is that is just one more place where I am storing stuff. There are so many different cloud services that I use it’s starting to get a bit unwieldy. I’ll have to do more consolidation at some point (most likely on but for docs I need to pic one soon.

Skitch might also start getting some additional attention this year. I downloaded it a long time ago but I haven’t really learned how to use it but from what I understand of the program it’s very powerful and can be used for annotating pictures which is something that I do a lot at work. I know it does a lot of integration with Evernote and that’s why I got it in the first place but just haven’t gotten past the learning curve yet. It’s all a matter of changing some of my workflow in how I do work to make things snazzier for lack of a better word.

One thing that I know I would like to do more of but I know that I’m pretty terrible at is drawing. My mom used to say that I was pretty good at it but I haven’t really graduated from modified stick figures since high school. About a year ago I got an app called Paper which won a design award from Apple for being one of the best drawing apps in the store. You have to buy a lot of the brushes that are in the app via in app purchase but I was thinking that I should start out with some simple sketches or something and go from there. I’m definitely trying to release the more creative side this year but it’s very early in 2014 so I guess we’ll see how long this kick lasts before I go back to my old bad habits.

Both of my other apps are pretty well used but they all have some sort of purpose as it relates to work or getting things done at home in my personal life. There is a lot of things that require my time both on the road and at home but I want to try and do something new other than play games, spend money on home or car maintenance, or plan traveling. I think I’ll start small and just start trying out apps that I’ve downloaded and ignored and try and see if they can make my life easier or get me to change a habit or even start a hobby that isn’t expensive. (Right now my motorcycle and technology gadget hobbies are a little on the pricy side so finding something cheap to do might be the thing to try in 2014).

So far so good, I’ve thought of 2 blog posts in just one airplane ride. I guess the 3 hours of distraction free time helps a lot too. No one is asking me for anything and no one can bother me all the way up here. Let’s hope they keep it that way, I don’t want to be online while in flight or be reachable by phone. I think flying for work is one of the last distraction free areas I can find for small spurts of time where I can work on just my stuff and not stuff for work or home. Ahh gotta love it.


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