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Toodledo: A Practical To Do List

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To be clear, Toodledo is not the prettiest looking app in the world nor is it the most feature-rich. It does one thing and it does it very well, manage your todo list.

You won’t be awed by the interface or even the innovative new features, but you will be impressed by how fast, powerful and useful this app is.

In short, if you use todo lists to organize your life, whether you’re a follower of Getting Things Done or just simply scrawl notes on paper as you go along, this is a site you may want to try and see how well it fits into your day-to-day life.

Already it has become one of the five tabs in my browser I never close (along with Gmail, Meebo, Twitter and my blog’s backend) and one of the few apps I’ve been motivated to move up to the pro version.

But as impressed as I am, it clearly is not an app that is right for everyone and it is up to you to decide if it can fit your needs.

The Basics

Toodledo is a todo list manager. It is really that simple. You can add tasks, set due dates, priorities and other information and then mark tasks as done. You can also set up recurring tasks, such as in my case articles due every week, and use it to keep track of notes and goals.

Beyond its todo list functionality. Toodledo has very few features. It has a basic note taking feature that lets you save information outside of the list and it also lets you keep track of goals. However, the focus of Toodledo is clearly on helping you organize your tasks.

Toodledo, however, does offer integration with outside services. For example, Google Calendar can easily subscribe to your Toodledo list. Toodledo also integrates with Twitter (for both creating todos and getting reminders), Firefox (via an addon) and even has an iPhone app.

Toodledo will be most compared with Remember the Milk (RTM), a similar todo list manager. However, Toodledo has a lot of elements going for it to make that comparison more than favorable.

The Good

The most important element of Toodledo is organization. Toodledo doesn’t just try to help you see what you need to do but where your time is best spent. This is done automatically by combining your stated priorities, the deadlines and the estimated time that you say you have remaining and calculating the relative importance of each task.

The idea is not to just show you what you have to do today, but how you can accomplish the most with the time you have left. This is brought to a head in Toodledo’s “Hostlist” feature, which lists the tasks that are most important for you to perform right then.

To make this organization possible, Toodledo lets you add a slew of information about each task. Ranging from the standard elements of descriptions, due dates, time estimates and tags, but also includes context, goal and status information. You can also perform time tracking on individual tasks, including both the time estimated and the actual time taken.

However, a todo list can’t help you organize it unless you have access to it. Even with a free account, Toodledo makes it easy to get your information where you need it. Not only does it offer the standard array of features including SMS notifications and mobile-friendly site, you can also use the iPhone app with a free account (though the app costs $2.99) and you can even print out a special booklet to take with you when you can’t use your phone.

All of this is available with the free account. The pro version adds even more features, which I’ll discuss in a minute, but even that costs less than $15 per year, a full $10 cheaper than RTM.

However, this isn’t to say that Toodledo is for everyone. Those already comfortable with RTM might find little reason to leave, especially when they get a look at the app itself.

The Bad

The most visible shortcoming of Toodledo is its appearance. This is not an app in any danger of winning major design awards. It could politely be called functional because that is exactly what it is. Where RTM uses a single line to input new tasks (along with a code that has to be learned) Toodledo uses a more traditional input system with mutltiple fields. I found this easier to pick up than RTM but much more overwhelming at the same time.

Where RTM is minimalist to a fault, Toodledo tries to present as much information as possible. While it is quick to read and access, it is far from easy on the eyes. To make matters worse, a lot of the more important features, such as due times, are buried in the options and have to be access by configuring Toodledo to display them.

In short, where RTM has a very “zen” look to it, Toodledo is very corporate and busy.

Also, RTM has much better support from third-party developers. Though Toodledo has done a decent job getting it into the most important applications, much of that accomplished through its support for iCal format, the same as RTM, there just aren’t as many third party apps or integrations for Toodledo at this time.

Still, Toodledo is probably everywhere you need it, unless you are dedicated to a certain integration or a particular app, so it probably is not a game-killer by itself.

Is Pro Worth It?

With RTM, the main pro feature is the ability to access the service via their free iPhone app or other mobile app. With Toodledo, that feature is free with the purchase of their app. However, their pro service still adds some pretty compelling features including:

  1. Scheduler: The scheduler works something like a secretary where you tell it how many hours you can work and it prioritizes your tasks and tells you what you can knock out.
  2. Statistics: This lets you look at the tasks you’ve completed and see where you may want to work harder in the future.
  3. Subtasks: The ability to add tasks within other tasks to indicate the steps that need to be completed.
  4. Enhanced Alarms: The ability to be alerted at up to five locations of an impending deadline and the ability to customize the lead time (unpaid accounts can only get alerts at one location, one hour in advance).
  5. Longer Retention of Completed Tasks: Hang on to completed tasks for up to two years.

If you’re getting good use out of the service, $14 per year is not unreasonable to ask for both the new features and the chance to support it. However, the “pro plus” account, which is $29 per year, is not a very good deal as it only adds indefinite retention of completed tasks and file storage. With little use for completed tasks past two years and many other good file storage services available (Dropbox is free and provides syncing across computers), the pro account is pretty much all anyone should need.

But even if you don’t upgrade to pro at all, Toodledo is more than usable, especially if you purchase and use the iPhone app, and it should work very well for you.

Bottom Line

If you already use RTM and find it adequate for your needs, you probably won’t have much cause to consider switching to Toodledo. If it serves its purpose, there’s not much to make you switch to an uglier interface, even if it has more features.

But for those who are new to using online todo lists, Toodledo is definitely worth considering. It adds new features and may greatly help improve your organization. If you can look past how ugly the interface can be at times, you’ll find an intuitive, powerful todo list manager that is honed in on one thing and does it well.

However, that does put Toodledo in a strange position. Though it does well for me, those with simpler needs will likely prefer RTM’s interface and those who need more power will likely be drawn to tools that integrate more closely with invoicing applications. Toodledo seems to be best for those somewhere in the middle between the two.

Despite this though, Toodledo is cheaper and more powerful than RTM and provides mobile access without a pro account. It’s faults don’t take away from its effectiveness and, when trying to get things done, that is what is most important.

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3 Clever Tips for Finding the Best Internet Provider in Your Area

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More than 3 billion people use the Internet all around the world today. You’re definitely among that number (aren’t you reading this right now?), but how does that amount of volume affect your internet speed?

As a blogger or online business owner, it’s tough to find the best internet provider. Outside of the contract terms being too confusing, bandwidth speeds that have your head spinning, there are just too many providers and plans to make sense of.

At the end of the day, we all just want reliable internet, with fast delivery speeds. Good thing most of us aren’t hosting our sites and businesses from our home internet providers!

In any event, we’ve got you. Read on to learn more about your internet options and for three top tips on finding the best internet providers.

Do Your Research

There are four different types of internet services: satellite, DSL, cable, and fiber optic.

Satellite is often the only option in rural areas, so if you’re not near a city, it might be for you. The cons? It tends to be more expensive, and rather slow compared to cable and fiber optic.

DSL works over your phone line, like the old dial-up systems used to. It’s typically a lot less expensive than the others since its relatively outdated. If cost is a big factor for you, DSL might be your ticket.

Cable is a popular option in suburban areas since it’s a good medium between price and speed. The main downside is that everyone else in your neighborhood is on the same cable service, which can slow it down during peak times.

Fios is the newest, most cutting-edge option out there. It almost delivers your internet at the speed of light. The main drawback is that it’s not very widely available yet.

Now that you have a better idea of your broadband needs, you can refine your “internet service providers in my area” Google search to include your specific service type!

Figure Out Your Need for Speed

Bandwidth is measured in megabits per second, also referred to as Mbps.

Streaming HD video requires around 5 Mbps, streaming music only uses 2 Mbps, and downloading large files can use as much as 50 Mbps.

How much speed you need is entirely dependent upon what you use your internet for. If you mostly use it to browse the web and stream Netflix and Hulu, you won’t need as much speed as a professional gamer. If you’re a professional photographer who’s always sending large files to clients, for example, you’ll want more Mbps for your buck.

Most internet service providers have a wide variety of options for Mbps needs. The best ISPs, like Pac-Wave, for instance, won’t even offer speeds below 25 Mbps. In today’s digital world, you’ll find that’s pretty much the bare minimum you’ll need.

Check the Contract

Be sure to find out contract details during your search for the best internet service provider in your area. Some require you to pay monthly to use the modem or buy it outright.

Some will offer you a promotional rate and only write it in the fine print that it’ll go up in a year. Some have great add-on options for phone lines and cable that you might want to partake in.

Some won’t require you to sign a contract at all. The point is, read the fine print before you sign anything!

Entrepreneurs Need the Best Internet Provider

If you’re an entrepreneur, like 57 million others in the U.S. working the gig economy, there’s no doubt you need the best internet provider on the block. You also need a whole host of other resources to help you slay your business goals in 2019.

Check out our latest entrepreneurship article for all the best tips, tricks, and advice every entrepreneur needs to know!

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3 Reasons Why Bloggers Love Google Chromecast in their Home Office

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As bloggers and entrepreneurs, we are are usually working 80 to 100+ hours per week, so we don’t have to work 9-to-5 for someone else. While the concept of all of this is great and fine, we are living most of our lives in our own home offices. With so much time being spent in a specific location, it’s important to make sure our environment isn’t just a fun place to be, but also one that’s productive and efficient as well.

One of the best ways to accomplish this, is to maximize the amount of space we have, while also getting the most out of our favorite electronics, items, desk space and more. To help with this process, I recently got my hands on the latest Google Chromecast and started thinking about how great of a tool it is, not just for entertainment, but also for productivity and making my work space better in the process.

With all of this in mind, it also gave me the idea to write this list post on how every blogger can benefit from adding one to their home office or workspace. Here we go!

Stream from your Phone to TV

In addition to working from home, bloggers and entrepreneurs are usually working from their mobile devices when they are on the go. Not only will a Google Chromecast work with your TV through an HDMI port, it will also allow you to watch shows, listen to playlists and more right through your mobile device. This is perfect for when you are working in one room, then have to leave for another, but don’t want to miss what’s playing on TV or any audio or music you might have streaming.

Works with the Streaming Apps you Know and Love

Remember when there were only a couple hundreds apps to choose from? Those days are long gone, and now it seems like there are apps for everything — whether it be for business, productivity, gaming, or even personal use.

Again, Google Chromecast makes it easy for anyone to enjoy TV shows, movies, videos, songs, games, sports and more from over 2000 apps like Netflix, YouTube, YouTube TV, and HBO NOW.

When it comes to working out of the home or planning to build out a new home office, this also eliminates the need to worry about cable cords and wiring!

Start Streaming with Just Your Voice

Eliminating cords and additional wiring in the home or office is always great, but there are still times when you need to look around for the controller or have to plug something in. This can waste a lot of time if you are trying to get work done throughout the day.

Another benefit to adding Google Chromecast into your home office, is that you can control all settings and commands right through your voice. For anyone that might already haver Google Home in place, the two work seamlessly together and make the experience even better!

Not sure what channel your favorite show is on? No worries… just say “Google, play Game of Thrones” and you are ready to go!

Improve Productivity and Technology with Google Chromecast

No matter what type of business or brand you might be running, it’s always great to stay at the forefront when it comes to technology. Not only will this make your workspace more exciting, it will also make you more tech-savvy in the process.

As fun as this post was, and it might make you want to start watching TV, just think about the many different ways you can use Google Chromecast to start improving your productivity and getting more done throughout the day.

#ad  @BestBuy @madebygoogle *IMAGE

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Finding the Right Project Management Software for Your Content Marketing Team

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A project management software is a must-have resource for business. There are hundreds of options for your project management software — all promising to do what the others can do, but better. While this may be true, the fact is that some features may not be necessary for your content marketing team. What works for some may not work for others. So, how do you choose the right project management software to suit the specific needs of your content management team, while not paying extra for features your team is never going to use?

The key to a good project management software is in the essentials. You’ll want to make sure that your software has the foundational capabilities to navigate every stage of your content marketing project from beginning to end successfully. Read below for features to look for, as well as some tips for finding the right project management software for your content marketing team.

Features of A Good Project Management Software

Communication

Without a proper way of communication, your team won’t work as a cohesive unit. Especially for groups working remotely, constant communication with coworkers is among the most vital of components when working as a team. It is critical that your software has a way for effective communication and maintaining adaptability when problems arise.

Trying to run a content marketing campaign without talking about the crafting, writing, and publishing of your content will be virtually impossible. Furthermore, how are you supposed to know who is handling what project and how far along they are? In any aspect of business, communication is vital, and emails will only get you so far. In many cases, a second form of communication is necessary for instant messaging for the clarification of instructions and problems in real-time.

Another useful tool is Zoho, which can help with many different levels of communication and management in your business. To learn more about this tool, we recommending taking a look at this Zoho projects review from Time Doctor.

Collaboration

The foundation of a functional content marketing team is the ability to collaborate. Creating and publishing content involves the hands and eyes of everyone on your team. So, it is imperative that your project management software has collaborative functions.

Content creation and marketing relies on the sharing of ideas, and this includes file sharing. Email cannot provide the pace in which a content marketing team needs to work on files and pass them back and forth between members. Additionally, email can come with some drawbacks — some people don’t check their email often, files can get lost in inboxes, and other email disasters can happen. In recognition of these drawbacks, your project management software must have the file-sharing capabilities at speeds that can keep up with your team members’ ideas and processes.

No matter what advertising or marketing methods you are exploring, the important thing is that you have a PR and marketing platform that can measure your results. A good example of this would be GoodNoon, which is a PR agency that provides placements into world’s largest publications. This is something that can be approached manually, but without the right connections and moving parts in place, it can end up taking a lot more time than expected.

It is also recommended that you supplement your project management software with a collaborative tool such as Google Docs. Google Docs is an extremely cost-effective app that allows team members to work on the same document, in real-time. With these two tools combined, you can work on a document with a coworker on Google Docs, and send it to another employee through your project management software for them to work on or edit.

Project Management Duties

Other than the functions above, you’ll want to make sure that your project management software performs all of the duties that will keep your content marketing campaign running smoothly. Since there are different project management software, each one puts their flare on the user experience of the functions they provide. However, you’ll want to make sure that your software provides some crucial elements.

First and foremost, your project management software or tool needs to have a working calendar. In the process of content creation and marketing, there are deadlines to meet, and you don’t want projects to be constantly up in the air. The firm tracking of dates to remember is vital in any business operation, and your content marketing campaign is no different.

Marking the priority, and the ability to assign tasks to others is another part of a content marketing team’s processes. Facilitating effective time management, understanding the priority of upcoming tasks can keep your team members in the loop. During the creative process of content creation, it is good to know how much time you have to work on a project while acknowledging projects that you have to get started on shortly.

QuickBooks illustrates the importance and convenience of a project management software, saying that “with a project management tool, you won’t need to ask your employees for that one email or the status of that one project. All ongoing and completed work—along with all relevant information—will be instantly accessible.” So, make sure your software can let a team member work on a task, mark it as urgent, and notify the next team member that the project needs to be at the top of their list. This function will elevate time management and productivity levels while avoiding confusion.

Tips For Finding The Right Project Management Software

Calculating Cost

Deciding how much you want to spend on your project management software is tricky. Of course, you want to provide the best tools for your content management team, but you’d also like to be cost-efficient. Things to consider when calculating the cost of your software are how well it performs necessary duties, alternative software, and your team’s feedback on the software you’re considering to go with.

You don’t want to be paying for extra features that are going to be seldom used or little understood by your teammates. So, make sure you try out and  do your research on other project management software and listen to your team’s feedback.

Trying Alternatives

How else are you going to find out exactly what you need in a project management software than to try out all of your options? You wouldn’t blindly buy a car without doing your research first, would you? While a project management software is not as expensive as a car, it will save you time, money, and frustration to take the time to make sure you are going with the right one.

There are many options for a project management software, and all come with different ways to perform the same tasks or offer different functions entirely. Your object here is to see how well the user experience and services offered corresponds with your content marketing objectives and team member preferences.

Get Feedback From Your Team

Your team’s input on the project management software you are considering could ultimately make your decision for you. If your team doesn’t like or understand the software you are thinking of choosing, it is in everyone’s best interest to go with another software — rather than spending the time and money trying to learn and deal with software that no one likes or understands. User experience is subjective to the people using the software, as well as the tasks you will be performing. If the software you are considering doesn’t fit your content marketing team’s goals or preferences, don’t waste the money on buying it.

Additionally, listening to your team’s opinion will illuminate some function of a project management software that you will lean on heavily and some that you may not use at all. Why pay the extra money for things you won’t use, or waste the money on software that doesn’t carry out the functions you need it to? Your team’s feedback will be valuable during your decision to choose a project management software.  

Finding the right project management software is a decision that can make or break your content marketing campaign. Instead of wasting time and money, your team could be on its way to creating some very compelling content and marketing strategies. The information above will help you get started on your way to finding the perfect project management software for you and your team.

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