Category Archives: Tips

App Review: Twilight

I’ve been steadily accumulating a fair amount of Play Store credit thanks to the Google Opinion Rewards program.  Not knowing what new apps I might want to spend some of it on I turned to my favorite Android forum.

I asked, “What is the last app you bought?”  A good friend replied that he purchased the pro version of the Twilight app and was really happy with it.

His recommendations and advice in the past have been spot on so I headed to the Play Store to check it out.  I read the app description and watched the informational YouTube video.

Based on what I read, saw, and that trusted recommendation I paid the $2.99 for the Twilight Pro version without hesitation.

Twilight App For Android

So what exactly does the Twilight App do?  It pinpoints your location and based on the time of day filters out the blue light from your screen.  This is supposed to help promote healthier sleep.

Here’s what one of my screens looks like before Twilight kicks in.

Nexus 7 Screenshot without Twilight App

This is the screen with the blue light filtered by Twilight.

Nexus 7 Portrait Screenshot using Twilight App

I’ve been using the Twilight app on both my Android smartphone and my Nexus 7 tablet for a week now and I can say from my experience…. it works.  It works really well!

I’m probably falling asleep a half hour sooner than before.  I’m also sleeping better during the course of the night.

The only downside I see to using Twilight is a direct result of what it’s designed to do.  Because it casts a redish tint on your screen it makes it impossible to edit pictures or find the perfect Instagram filter.

This is easily remedied by pausing Twilight, returning the screen to normal.

If you have an Android phone or tablet and spend a lot of time on it at night I highly recommend Twilight. You wouldn’t even need to buy the pro version.  The free version does everything you’ll need to start seeing the benefits.

Twilight is only available for Android.  If you have an iDevice you might want to search the iTunes store for a blue light filter.

What is the last app you bought? Click To Tweet
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It’s OK To Ask For Advice

Today I learned a few lessons and potentially eased some workday stress.  I thought I’d share my experience here in the hopes it could help you too!

Here’s my story: Every week at work I have a very time consuming, detail oriented project.  It is easily my least favorite part of the week and takes several hours to complete.  It also happens to land on Friday at a busy and stressful time.

Week in and week out I dreaded Fridays knowing this task was looming.  Today I decided to do something about it.

I sent a group email to a bunch of people that do what I do at other radio stations within our company.  These people are spread out around the country and are faced with the same task each Friday.

The purpose of my email was to share the workflow I use weekly and to see if others had input on how I could streamline the process.

It didn’t take long and the replies started coming in.  Some expressing the same frustrations I had and others offering really great suggestions.  One even took the extra effort to type up detailed instructions on what he does.

Before the end of the day I had gained some knowledge and came away with two ways to potentially cut the time spent on this task in half!  That’s a definite win for me… but I wasn’t the only winner.

I got a couple emails sent only to me thanking me for asking for advice.  Turns out they picked up some timesavers in the email exchange too!

So what did I learn today?

  1. That my way isn’t always the only way… or the best way.
  2. That you’ll never know unless you ask. I could have asked months ago and eliminated a lot of stress.
  3. That if I have a question about something… somebody else probably has the same or similar one.
Never assume you know it all. Ask questions. - Lailah Gifty Akita Click To Tweet
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Smartphone Camera: A Useful Tool

Smartphone cameras are great.  They are quick, convenient, and always with us.  Smartphone cameras have been the only cameras my wife and I have used to document our daughters over the past few years.

There are other ways to use your smartphone camera besides taking pictures of your family, food, and memorable moments.  You can take pictures of things you need to remember and get right.

In the past few weeks my wife and daughters have taken pictures of several things and sent them too me.

I needed to get batteries for our digital thermometer so my wife texted me a picture of what we needed.  That made it easy to get replacements.

Energizer batteries

My oldest wanted to use some of her commission money on makeup so she sent me to the store with a picture of what she wanted.  It’s a good thing too… otherwise I would have bought the wrong thing!

Urban Decay package

I take pictures of things I need to get but would probably forget the exact item and size…. like dance tights for my girls.

Tights

You can even take pictures of items and price tags to research later!

Fender in store price tag Justice swimsuit pricetag

What are some ways you’ve turned your smartphone camera into a useful tool?

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