6 Best Apps to Increase Productivity

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Our business recently ended up in a place where if we go 24 hours without replying to emails, it’s nearly impossible to catch up the next day, and our todo lists manage most of our work each day. Because of how quickly everything is moving around us, it’s important to me to stay on top of everything from emails to applications to blog posts. Productivity is something that has become extremely important to me, and every time I purchase a new computer, I have a list of six apps that have to be installed instantly to get going.

1. Airmail 2

This is an app that I contemplated downloading for almost a year, and after I finally pulled the trigger, I don’t see myself ever going back to Apple’s Mail.app. The default email system on OS X used to be great, but recently I’ve started to notice a ton of sluggishness, unreliability, and it has an awful time trying to work with our email servers.

Airmail isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than any free email app I’ve ever used. For the price, it’s most certainly worth it. It works wonders with IMAP and Google Accounts, which are the two types of accounts I use. The iCloud syncing to an iOS device and other Macs also helps tremendously. I have an iMac, MacBook Pro, and an iPhone 6S, so I need all of them to work together to stay on top of everything. Thankfully, Airmail makes that possible.

2. Slack

Staying in touch with everyone you work with can be a challenge, and when you need to delegate tasks and communicate effectively about those tasks, Slack comes to the rescue. It’s the best team-focused communication tool I’ve ever tried! In the past, we’ve used traditional email, Skype, and Telegram. All of them have their place, but none of them compare to Slack. The file manager mixed with the amazing chat features makes this app unlike any other.

If you find yourself having some trouble staying in touch with the people you work with while everyone is off doing their own work, give this service a try. It’s easy to setup for your team, and it’ll change the way you work together. The only feature I would like to see them add is VOIP (calling). For that, though, Skype is still there.

3. Evernote

I have used this service for years, and honestly, I love it and hate it at the same time. It will increase your productivity if you use it correctly, though, and that’s what’s really important here. It allows you to have shared notebooks with other Evernote users, and you’ll be able to store an assortment of files.

I love the service, but there are places it could use some work. It really needs real-time collaboration for working on documents. I’m not too sure when and if they are ever going to offer it, but if they do, it would make their service twice as good. The problem is, it locks other users out of editing documents if someone else is working on it, and if you make a change, you get a huge error of something called a “Conflicting Change,” which is nothing major. It’s just annoying at times.

Truthfully, if a service came out that competed with Evernote and had real-time collaboration, I would switch. It’s a great app that helps increase productivity, but collaboration is much more important to me than “work chat” and other features they keep adding that don’t make a huge difference.

4. Wunderlist

I’ve tried almost every todo list app out there, and I’ve even gone as far as to purchase journals/books that are meant for making todo lists. I’ve tried Asana, ToDoist, Clear, and a huge list of others. Wunderlist is the one I always end up going back to. It has an amazing design, incredible features, and great project organization.

It doesn’t matter if you work alone or with a team; this app will help increase your productivity. Is there anything special that Wunderlist has over other services? No, there really isn’t. It has a basic chat feature, tasks, subtasks, folders, groups, etc. Those features are great, but it’s how it makes use of those features that keeps me coming back. It just feels natural to use. There’s no learning curve, and it’s simple with advanced features.

5. Sunrise

I wanted to keep this list open to both OS X and Windows users, and for the most part, I’ve done that. Airmail is unfortunately only available on OS X and iOS; however, everything else is available on Windows 10 as well. I was originally going to make number 5 Apple’s Calendar app, but since I wanted to keep this open, I changed it to Sunrise.

This app works brilliantly with your Google Calendar and your iCloud events. It’s everything you could want in a calendar application, and it works with many other services along with the two mentioned before. I’ve used the app for a while, and it’s a great alternative to “iCal” and using Google’s Calendar alternative.

6. Dropbox

There are plenty of cloud storage platforms that you can try, and I’ve personally tried a large majority of the popular ones. Dropbox is always the one I go back to, though, and it seems to be the most reliable. Thankfully, this service is simple. The interface online is simple. The installation process of the app is simple. Gaining access to your files online should never be a task; it should just work. The files should just be there for easy access. Dropbox does a good job at making sure it just works, and I truly appreciate that.

 

What are some of your “must-have” apps to stay productive? Comment below!

My Goals For An Amazing 2016

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If I had to sum up every single thing I want to achieve in 2016, I would have to say it would be indescribable. I want 2016 to be the year that I have trouble describing to people because of how amazing, inspiring, and fulfilling it was. As I’ve done for the last two years, though, I want to publicly list all of my main goals for this year, and there’s quite a few of them. Amazingly, though, I’ve already achieved a couple of them. I know it’s already halfway through February, but it’s a hell of a lot better than never.

1. Abundance

The main goal this year is to live a lifestyle filled with abundance. To me, this is all about mindset; you can live a life of abundance while living on a small income. This wonderful life we live can be transformed instantly with a change in perspective. I want to attract abundance this year, and that includes love, wealth, happiness, friends, family, and even the “greedy” possessions.

Abundance has recently become something that I strive everyday to have throughout 2016. I met some truly amazing and inspiring people last year, and through meeting them, I learned all about living a life filled with plentifulness. The rest of my goals for 2016 are going to be based around living a life of abundance in life, love, experiences, and possessions.

2. Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster

Yep, this is the year that I buy my first exotic car! I’ve truly been working around-the-clock with the goal of purchasing my first super-sports car by the end of the year. With the price of the V8 Vantage dropping dramatically due to depreciation, picking one up will only really set me back around $60,000 – a small price to pay for such a beautiful roadster.

The Aston Martin brand makes a statement that few other car companies have been able to pull off. The brand represents abundance, status, luxury, and performance. Sure, it’s not the fastest car you can buy for the price, but the way it makes me feel is what’s truly important here. When I see the car, I know it’s the right choice for my first exotic.

instagram-pictureCrazy enough, though, I posted a picture on Instagram over a year and a half ago while I was in Charleston, SC. The image was of a Ferrari 458 Italia, and the caption states that I plan to purchase my first supercar at the end of 2016. At the time, I had no clue how it was going to happen. I had just graduated high school, and I was ready for something new. Once again, little did I know, within the next year, Nic and I would increase our company’s revenue by 350%! With that, and everything else going on in life right now, I’m on track to purchase the Aston Martin by the time winter comes around… Oh well! That just brings me to my next goal!

 

3. Moving On & Moving Up

This is the year I leave Morristown, TN. Medium-sized towns are not for me (especially in the South-East). I’m ready for warm weather, a new atmosphere, and some damn good vegan food! That’s why this year, I’m moving to Orlando, Florida.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a few cities. These include Austin, TX (my least favorite); Charleston, NC; Blacksburg, VA; New York City, New York; and the beautiful Orlando, FL. It wasn’t until the end of 2015 that I realized Orlando is the place for me.

Here’s a little back-story on how I found out this was the place for me. I’m a member of a Forex Trading community called Infinite Prosperity. At the end of 2015, they held the first Infinite Prosperity Ball, which was a truly life changing event! I originally didn’t have the chance to purchase tickets for the ball, but I decided to fly to Orlando and check it out. Along with me was my best friend and business partner, Nic King. On that trip, we ran into the founders of Infinite Prosperity at lunch, and I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am for that! During the lunch, we were invited to the ball the next day, and of course we had to go! That trip was unforgettable. I met amazing, inspiring, and wonderful people, and I came home with the goal of moving to Orlando.

The atmosphere Orlando has, mixed with the amazing people, food, and weather made me decided that it was where I belong. By the beginning of 2017, I want to be living in that city – preferably the Winter Park area.

4. Travel

Over the past couple of years, I learned that traveling is a huge value of mine. I always come home with new perspective, memories, and I’m filled with passion, love, and happiness. This year, I’m going international again.

I’ve been to some countries in Europe and Central America before, but this time, I’m going further. At the end of the year, I’m going to be taking a trip to Bali for at least two weeks, followed by a trip to Australia for another couple of weeks. Given, I’m going to be gone for a month, so this is going to be quite a life-changing experience. For that, I’m motivated, excited, and ready. Oh god, am I ready for this trip!

After the memories I’ve made here in the United States, I can only image how crazy these memories are going to be on the other side of the world! I’ll talk much more about this trip when I learn more details, but expect greatness!

Along with that, I would like to return to Orlando for another visit before we move, and I would love to revisit New York City (perhaps with a new lover…)!

5. New MacBook Pro

So, as I said earlier in the article, I’ve already achieved a couple of the goals in this article. This is one of them. I was planning to buy a new MacBook Pro with a Retina display around the middle of the year. I just purchased a new 5k iMac last year, and I didn’t really need a new MacBook. However, the MacBook I was using at the time was out-dated, slow, and truly unusable. I couldn’t trade FX and travel, and that was starting to frustrate me. I couldn’t work away from my desk at home, and I couldn’t take it anymore.

One night a couple of weeks ago, I just decided to say fuck it and bought one. At the end of the day, I can receive a huge ROI on this just from traveling and working alone. Not to mention, this computer is a beast. I now have the ability to do everything I can at home while I’m anywhere with an internet connection.

Was it a bit impulsive to just do it randomly one night? Yeah, sure it was. Whatever, though, it was great purchase! It’s fun to be impulsive sometimes. I’ll just consider it a Valentine’s Day gift to myself!

6. Read & Write Daily

A few moths ago, I had just gone through a breakup that truly tore me apart for a while. It ended up, though, that it was the best thing that could have happened. The relationship was toxic, even though it was a relationship I once cherished.

I didn’t speak much of it, but I had an extremely hard time for a while. One day, I received a gift that truly changed my perspective. Nic purchased a “Five Minute Journal” for me, and I started writing everyday. I wrote my goals, affirmations, accomplishments, and failures. I laid it all out in the journal, and it helped. Within a week, I truly noticed a difference in myself.

I felt so much better about myself, my future, my past, and my goals. It brought me back to who I am and reminded me of what I’m meant to be doing for the world. It sounds weird that a journal can change a life so dramatically, but just reminding myself that I’m an amazing person was what I needed at that time.

With that, I realized that I want to write something everyday this year, even if it’s just in the journal. Additionally, I would love start reading daily again. This is something I did for a while a few months ago, and I was learning new concepts about life, love, money, and perspective constantly. I’m going to do that again starting today.

I want to document my days this year, and I want to learn something great from someone else’s perspective. I’ve always said that once you stop learning, you’re as good as dead. Considering I have a lot more life to live, I think I need to continue learning.

7. Share My Knowledge & Passions

Recently, I’ve learned that I have a huge passion for sharing the things I’ve learned and experienced over the last couple of years. I’m nowhere near where I aim to be in the end, but I’m closer than I have ever been. While I’m far from the smartest and most experienced in any field, I have been able to accumulate a lot of information since I started my journey through life.

I want to share these amazing experiences that I’ve been fortunate enough to have. I want to help other people along their journey. I want to be able to motivate just one person to be something better in life. There are so many ways to grow in life, and I truly believe that helping other people would also benefit my personal growth.

Along with a few other businesses that I have founded and currently own with Nic King, one of the newest is a business called Achievable. The entire purpose of this website is to send out motivational, inspirational, and kick ass content to members. Another business that we would love to start this year is still in the works of being validated. This business is more of an online course for people looking to start an online business to open up a new income stream. This idea is still in the very beginning stages of development, but it is something that is likely to be released near the middle of the year.

8. Grow Social Media Accounts

This category can really be a part of “Share My Knowledge & Passions”, but this one is much more specific. I’ve had close to 1,000 followers on Twitter for close to a year now, and that number has just sat there. I gain and lose an equal amount of followers each months, and it’s honestly become quite annoying. I want to share amazing content with people, and the best way to start doing that is to utilize the social media accounts that I have.snapcode

By the end of the year, I want to have my Twitter account to 10,000 followers, and I want my Instagram account to be around 2,000 followers. With that, though, I also want to grow my Snapchat account. I’m going to start doing “lessons” on Snapchat this year as an incentive to follow me on that platform. Those lessons will include anything from starting a business, Forex trading tips, behind the scenes content, and so much more. I am currently planning on doing two of these “lessons” each week starting in March, so if you’re interested, my username is PaFassler.

9. Relationships

This is something that is going to be extremely important to me in the year of 2016. Last year, I had three different relationships, and two of them were absolutely draining emotionally. One of them failed after over two years of what at times felt like hell, and the other two were much shorter. The longer one, which was the worst, was with a person I met in high school, and at the time, I was very naive to the fact that some people just are not worth the effort. People lie, manipulate, and drag you down for no reason, and I was too foolishly “in love” to put it all together.

Before I dive into this any further, I want to point out that just because a relationship ends doesn’t mean it failed. From every relationship you enter into with someone, being a friendship or traditional relationship of love, you learn a lot. Though the longest one that ended last year was the biggest failure, it was also the one I learned most from. I learned what I didn’t want. I learned who I didn’t want to become in a relationship, and most importantly, I learned what a real relationship needs to do for me in order for me to be happy.

I want this year to be much different; I want to have successful relationships with people. It doesn’t matter if it’s one relationship or 4. I just simply want to connect with amazing people on a deeper level. I want to find at least one person this year that I can see potential in. No, I don’t mean that I want to find someone to spend the rest of my life with. At the same time, though, if that came up, I wouldn’t be opposed to it. I’m open to anything right now, but simply put, I want to meet and connect with someone amazing. I want to spend time with someone who sees the world in a different way. This year, I want a relationship with someone who will travel, learn, grow, live, and prosper with me. I want to make a positive difference in someone’s life.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of being in relationships with people who have little to no motivation to make an impact on the world. I’m tired of being with people who are able to settle for mediocracy. This year, I’m going to enter into a relationship with someone that I can build with, and when I say build, I mean build each other up by traveling, learning, adventuring, being happy, and any other way.

There’s quite a lot more I want to say about all of this, but it’s probably best that I will leave that there for now.

10. Financial Freedom

This is one the categories I’m most apprehensive for. See, for some reason unknown to me, people freak out when you start talking about your financial goals. For some strange reason, it’s taboo in our society to publicly state your goals for finances. But fuck ’em. The thing is, I’ve set my sight on an income of $30,000/month by the end of the year. It’s honestly nothing too ridiculous; people make more than that every single day. Is it a good income? Hell yeah, it is, but people make much more than that a month. This is going to be a goal that’s difficult to achieve, but it’s most certainly achievable.

By around the end of fall, I see myself being in a position where that is my income. Thankfully so, too, because Aston Martin’s aren’t known for their great running costs… From the research I’ve done, they don’t seem to be too reliable either, but that’s perfectly fine with me. I’ve prepared for that, and I’m thrilled that I know I’ll be in that position by the end of the year!

So there it is! Those are some of my main goals for the year, and it’s going to be absolutely insane! I’m so excited for everything that’s coming this year, and I can’t wait to share everything on Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook! Go ahead and follow me there to keep up, and sign up for my email list to stay updated on everything in one place!

How & Why I Stopped Smoking

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Growing up, smoking wasn’t really something I ever considered having an interest in. Like most people, I was told it was extremely unhealthy for you and those around you. Even through high school, it wasn’t something I necessarily had an interest in trying. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I eventually decided to try it. This ended up reatheing one of the biggest things that I’ve ever tried to keep from the people around me. It was never something I was proud of; it just kind of happened…

So here’s the cliche story that I’ll get to tell. I had just gone through a breakup with someone I had been dating for a couple of years, and if you’ve ever been in that situation, you know there’s a lot of pain associated with that for a while. When I tried that first cigarette, though, a lot of that pain went away. I felt so much less anxious, sad, and felt a little rebellious, which was something I enjoyed. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t enjoy the sensation I had when I smoked. Just like most other people, it was something I enjoyed. I also started dating someone who smoked, which didn’t necessarily help the situation any.

From July 2015 until January 2016, I smoked – quite a bit at times. It started out with a couple here and there and grew over time. At it’s worst peak, I had 22 in a day. That, however, was one of the worst days that I can remember having in a long time. I’ll get into that in another article.

Anyway, I used it as an escape from extreme feelings of anxiety, loneliness and sadness. Ironically, though, I wasn’t alone. I was blind. I had people around me who cared about me more than anything, and one day I really started noticing the affects it was having on my body. A simple task of running upstairs to grab my phone ended up with me being out of breathe. I’m not necessarily in great shape to begin with, but running up the stairs should never be a task where I end up with a shortness of breathe.

Then, the trip to Orlando happened. I told myself that I would be fine without cigarettes for a week. Oh boy was I in for a shock! I was flying to Orlando from Atlanta, and I didn’t necessarily want to take cigarettes on a flight, even though you are allowed to in the US. So I left them at home and assumed I  would be fine. It’s funny, because you don’t really know that you’re addicted to something until you go without it – by choice or force. I made it 3 days in Orlando without a cigarette, and I was fine for the most part. I had random headaches here and there when I had a huge urge to smoke, but it wasn’t anything unbearable. I was expecting it, so I was okay. One morning, though, after an event that I attended, I was exhausted from three hours of sleep and a large consumption of alcohol. My head was about to implode, so I took an Uber to the nearest gas station and bought pack. I felt absolutely defeated.

After we returned home from Orlando, things changed quickly. Certain events happened that added massive amounts of stress to my life right before Christmas, and I ended up getting to my worst point with smoking – 22 in a day. At that point, I realized it was time to stop, and I started cutting down little by little.

One day in January, I decided I was done, and I haven’t had one since. Let’s break down the how and the why.

The How

People say that trying to stop smoking is one of the most difficult things the stop. After all, it’s an addiction. To be completely honest, it’s going to be harder for someone who has smoked for 20 years than it is for someone who smoked for 7 months. That’s just a given; however, the same principles apply.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that makes quitting so much easier. It’s not fool-proof, but it’s a lot better to know this than to try quitting without this information. In order to quit, you have to be done with your need for it. Sure, if you want to quit, you may be able to for a while, but odds are, you’re going to go back to it. After a while, cigarettes become something your brain tells your body you need more of, and that’s complete bullshit. From my experience, 80% of this addition was mental. It was all in my head that I needed a cigarette, even if I didn’t. With that, though, remember that a part of your body is still addicted to this, and there can/will be withdrawal-like symptoms.

Chances are, you’re going to have a headache for a while. You’ll probably also be really moody, but at the end of it, you have to remember that it’s temporary. It will go away, and the best way to get it to go away is to do something productive/creative. It will help tremendously because, as I stated before, 80% of this is all in your head.

Back to my biggest point, though. This is something you have will have to overcome as a person. This “addiction” is something that you’re going to have to not need anymore. If you started because you were stressed out, you have to remove a lot of those stressors from your life. For me, that’s pretty easy. I cut out the people who were causing me to harm myself in that way. I cut out the tasks with work that were not helping me grow as a person or growing my business. For others, that might not be so easy, but it’s still very possible.

Like any other addiction, it takes willpower – more than most people have to have on a regular basis. Luckily, having willpower isn’t something I struggle with too often. With the path I’ve chosen in life, I have to have the willpower to make something of myself. I don’t have a boss telling me when to work, when I will get paid, and how much I am guaranteed to be paid. If I don’t do A, I don’t get result B. I have to be able to manage myself as a person and entrepreneur to get what I want. So, for me, going into it with the mindset of knowing I could stop was everything.

Summary of The How: You have to be at a point where you no longer need cigarettes. If you no longer “want” them, it’s probably going to end briefly. When you no longer need them, though, that’s when your true success with quitting starts. It’s all in your head, and (as with everything) your mindset will determine your results.

The Why

This is going to be the part that most people who smoke will hate, because when you tell someone that something they are doing is bad, it quite frankly pisses them off. To be completely honest, it did the same for me. I remember looking for reasons to rationalize why I smoked when I would read facts about the health risks and skin aging. I found that the human brain is capable of rationalizing risking cancer, lung disease, heart disease, awful skin, terrible breathe, yellow teeth, hairy tongue, emphysema, awful spending habits, and so much more all for the sake of momentarily feeling relaxed. By the way, that’s just the risks it puts the smoker with. That does not include the risks it puts children, your family, and the environment at.

I was already starting to notice the affects of what I was doing to my body. Running up the stairs became a task. Carrying heavy boxes became a struggle, and having yellow teeth, awful smelling clothes, and an ash tray for a car was beginning to become unbearable.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. Smoking is not glamorous, sexy, appealing, fun, cool, or anything positive. Explain to me what’s sexy about smelling dirty, yellow teeth, brown marks on your hands, bad spending habits, and bad skin. Explain to me what’s cool about a cigarette. The problem here is that nobody has ever been able to logically explain those things to me, and there’s a very good reason for that. Those explanations don’t exist.

Along with the health reasons, I simply didn’t need it anymore. Cigarettes didn’t do what they once did for me, and at that point, I knew I was ready to stop smoking. It was one of the most freeing moments that I’ve had. Along with realizing that your past no longer controls you, realizing that you’re ready to end something that should have never started is a very unique feeling.

Summary of The Why: Smoking cigarettes was starting to take a huge turn in my life. I wasn’t happy, healthy, energetic, or motivated. Believe it or not, as soon as I stopped, it all came back. I was immediately happier, felt healthier, filled with more energy, and much more motivated to hustle with everything I was working on. The negative health affects were taking their toll on me, and I was so unhappy with smelling dirty, having a dirty car, and feeling like shit. I never want to get back to a point where I feel like I depend on something to calm me down. I am in control of myself, just as you are in control of yourself.

All in all, though, this was one of the few times where quitting was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I no longer feel that I need a cigarette to calm down. I no longer am insecure about bad breathe, yellow teeth, degrading skin, lung disease, or other negative things. I’m free from something that was bringing me down, and it was all in my head. I had the power to stop with a simple mindset change, and you do too. Sure, it might not be easy, but the best things in life aren’t. You just have to no longer need what bringing you down, and quitting will be easy.

 

Please note that none of the above text is medical advice. This article was composed as a way to share a secret and my experience with ending a bad habit in my life. Quitting smoking will help decrease your likelihood of cancer, disease, etc., but it will not bring you back to 100% health. Consult your doctor with any medical questions/concerns.