Effortless Planning and Organizing with Informant 5

Staying organized in this day and age is no easy feat. We all have so much going on at work and in our personal lives that it can get really hairy managing it all just to stay sane. You have meetings to attend, parties to host, and events to plan. You have people to pick up, things to buy, and tasks to complete. This list grows and grows. Unless you are super organized in your head, you need an organizer that helps you manage it all and allow you to focus on making more critical decisions, rather than worry about what your next task of the day will be.

The key to great time management is letting tools do the work for you. That’s what they are for. If you are spending too much time on a tool, then that tool is not doing its job.

Informant 5 is a tool that lives up to its name. It keeps you informed and organized; and, it does its job.

Free to download, and filled with numerous subscription options that offer an extended array of app features, Informant 5 is an organizer app that you have to try, even if you love the app you currently have.

I personally have been an avid user of Errands.  But, after downloading Informant, I now know what I was missing.

The free version of Informant 5 gives you calendaring. You can enter events and such, along with reminders. What you really need is the upgraded version of Informant, because that is where the workhorse lives.

Informant 5

With a subscription purchase, you get access to your Informant app from both iPhones and iPads – this is essential because you want that accessibility to keep in sync and be able to plan and make changes from whatever device you have handy.

The app itself is like no other. Its coloring is quite simple, and some could say bland, but what you need with an organizer app is not the bells and whistles of graphics and such, but an easy to read display that renders your tasks, events and calendar items in such a way that makes it super easy for you to find what you are looking for and to quickly see what’s on tap for the day and prioritize if needed.

The calendar is white. The background is black. The items you place in the organizer will be on the black background in white letters, but what is most important is the color coding scheme the app offers so that can categorize tasks, notes and events in a way that works best for you. You can categorize by work, personal, entertainment. You could categorize by priority. It’s all up to you. But the point I wanted to make is that the color on black makes it so easy to get a quick status on how your day is stacking up so that you can reprioritize or pick your game.

What I would like to see in the app is the ability to outright purchase it instead of getting a subscription. I love it that much. Future updates should be included, with significant improvements to functionality then added as in-app purchases.

If you seek some stability in your day and need a tool to help get you there, download Informant 5 today. You will wonder how you functioned without it.

TooFar Media – Experience Words in a Whole New Way

Books baffle the mind and force us to think outside the box. They take us to new places. They allow us to see new things. Even though all we are looking at are words on a page.

Imagine if the book provided all of the elements your imagination conjures up when you read. The sounds that play in your head, and the pictures you paint in your mind would now leap off the pages of the book.

These things I describe are all too real in Rich Shapero’s TooFar Media: Immersive Story Experiences.

Download this app because you are not going to believe what you see. This app comes with a preloaded story and three others you can download, so be sure to have the bandwidth and the time.

Story selections include:

Too Far: An exhilarating and heart-breaking story of an end to innocence that follows two six-year olds as they take refuge from their turbulent homes by exploring the mysterious wooldland beyond.

Arms from the Sea: A young sculptor from the State of Salt swallows a poison pill that transports him to a watery heaven, whose monstrous, seductive creator reveals to him what it might mean to redeem a desolate world.

TooFar Media app

The Hope We Seek: Zachary Knox, “the Bull’s-Eye Telepath,” heads north in search of gold, arriving at a mining camp where arduous labor, sustained by belief in the cult of Hope, promises an unearthly reward.

Wild Animus: The quest for a “bliss beyond fear” drives a young idealist to the Alaskan wilderness where, alone with his dangerous ideas, he transforms himself into a wild creature, prey to a strangely familiar pack of wolves.

So, what makes this app different than other reading apps? This app contains stories that are more than just your typical printed word. Each story comes elaborately enhanced with artistic embellishments. By this, I mean an amazing collaboration of sights and sounds that pull you into the story and erase the world around you.

First off, you have songs that were carefully crafted to match each moment in the story, almost as if you were watching a movie. Next, there is art on each page that puts meaning into each word and helps you create the setting and emotion.

When you enter the app and after you download the books you are interested in, you can swipe left and right to get to each story. From there to enter the story and move further into it, you do a double swipe from the middle outward. To me, it was as if I was opening the door to the next room.

I have to say that the overall layout of the app and maneuverability within is easy to master, but initially, I was a bit lost, and later found it was easy to jump to chapters within each book, which made it extremely easy to get to where I wanted when I left off.

I have just finished one book and look forward to diving into the next. I have never seen such an experience before and I highly recommend TooFar Media to anyone who loves literature, music and visual art.

ABC Spelling Magic Enhanced for Faster Learning

Kids are a lot smarter than we think, and when we give them the tools to learn, they will. Not only are they eager to learn, they are ready. If you have a tot who loves to sing the alphabet and know the sounds of some of the character and is ready to take the next step toward building words, then waste no time downloading ABC Spelling Magic!

Created by Preschool University, this app presents letters in a fun and colorful way, with well designed exercises that immerse kids into the world of phonetics. After all, this is the building block of words.

The app itself is divided into two parts.

The first part focuses on recognizing a limited set of the alphabet, the sounds that each letter in this set makes, and provides games for the kids to use these letter to form words.

The second part expands on the first by providing the entire alphabet, including the different types of sounds each letter makes based on its pairing with other letters. Again, kids use these letter to mix and match and make words.

Before you get antsy about how complicated this will get, take a breath. This app focuses on words that employ just three phonetic sounds connected by short vowel sounds. So, the complications are limited – to avoid overstimulation which could lead to frustration.

ABC Spelling Magic app

The main screen gives parents lots of option on how to navigate. The Parents section of course is the first place parents go to make sure the app is setup correctly for their kids, including sound settings and such.

There is also an Instructions page which provides guidance on how the app works and how you can make it work for your child. To start, I highly recommend the Movable Alphabet area first, so kids can learn the alphabet and their sounds.

Next you would move on to the Word Building area, where kids can then use what they know about the sounds of each letter and actually start to build words.

The word building exercises are organized by type of word. Examples include words with the short a sound, short 3 sound, short i sound, short o sound, and short u sound. There is also a section for double consonant words. After the child is comfortable with these focused exercise groups, you can mix it up by going into Shuffle mode.

When kids build words, they are shown an array of letter to choose from, a picture, and empty slots into which they slide the letters. If they are correct, you get affirmation and move on to the next word. If not, you continue on the same word.

As valuable as this app is, I would love to see an expansion come soon that allows for larger words, so kids can continue using this effective tool to learn and build words.

I see lots of potential for ABC Spelling Magic and look forward to seeing where the creators take it.

Spare My hair Provides Accessibility to Hair Loss Prevention and Products

Hair loss is no fun; and it seems these days you see more people at younger ages exhibiting signs of thinning hair. Scalps are more visible, the hair is sparse. It is a mystery as to why this is happening at such an alarming rate. Thankfully, there are lots of solutions out there to help. You just have to find the right one.

If you are looking for a smart solution, then you need to download Spare My Hair. Spare My Hair is an app that gives you access to a doctor who has formulated her own line of hair loss prevention products along with giving you access to the products, too.

After you download the app, you will have an opportunity to make an appointment with Dr. Soliman. Now, keep in mind that her office is in the greater Los Angeles area. Fear not, you will not have to make a trip to see her. The app sets you up with a video conference so your initial consultation with her is live. She asks questions about diet, exercise, family history, lifestyle and more, to understand better the environment you are a part of, which helps determine possible causes for the hair loss.

Once she determines what you need, she advises on a program for you to follow. This will involve items from the Spare My Hair product line, to be used on the hair and scalp and some to be taking internally – just as supplements and vitamins.

Spare My Hair app

Here is where the strength of the app shines. You can then order everything that you need through the app. You don’t have to go searching for a site that sells the items. The app has it all. And everything you use is genuine. Dr. Soliman has formulated all of the items in the Spare My Hair line, so you know you are getting quality products.

I especially liked the chat rooms where I could share my specific issue with others having the same problems. Everyone’s hair and scalp makeup is different, so being able to talk to someone with a similar problem to discuss how they best use the products helps enormously.

Along with the chat rooms, you get periodic check in appointments so the doctor can make sure that your program is working, and make any adjustments that may be needed.

I would like to see better notifications coming from the app when a fellow hair loss sufferer has something to share. I would also like to see the ability to put certain products on auto refill, just like my prescriptions, so I know I will never run out.

Those are both things I can wait for. For now, Spare My Hair has made me feel better about a new approach I just embarked upon to help my head keep its shiny locks in place.

Audials – Globally Sourced Sounds at Your Fingertips

Boasting a boundless array of music genres, the Audials radio app is like no other streaming machine. It captures sounds from around the world, allowing you to experiment and listen to music from all over. It feeds a variety of radio stations straight to your device. All you have to do is browse the selection, choose what you like and enjoy.

Audials features over 80,000 stations. I don’t know about you, but that is a selection that I don’t think will ever grow out of. Spread across these stations you’ll find over 120 music genres.

So, how is Audials different from other radio streaming apps? Can you save a song you just listened to and loved? Audials lets you do that.

Sometimes, and I have had this experience with Pandora, you hear a song or piece you just have to have; or, you are listening to something really cool and have to get up to take care of something. Normally, you’d have to pause and play, and oftentimes you would just miss the song. With Audials, you simply hit Record, and you will have that song ready to play whenever you want.

Audials reaches past audio to video, as well.  You can stream and watch music videos and even some shows. An added bonus is that the music and videos stream ad-free – you couldn’t ask for more than that.

Audials app

Where Audial is strongest is its search engine. You can type in keywords and artist names, even genres, to find what you are looking for, if it’s something specific. If you are simply looking for something new within a genre, search via genre and explore.

With a clean design, the app is easy to move around in and is quite intuitive to use. The scripting on each screen is so easy to read.

If you are already talking yourself out of using Audial because you have no interest in global sounds, don’t make a move. Audials offers a strong set of local sounds, too. This includes radio stations across the U.S. and those that are in your own city.

There are no issues with disruptions in streaming at all. It’s powered to handle a large bandwidth, so you’ll never see a circle that tells you the app is buffering.

A feature I fell in love with was the timer. You can set the timer to shut the app off after a set period of time. I use it to put myself to sleep. Others can use it keep themselves occupied and then serve as a reminder to move on to the next task.

Audial has only one shortcoming – you can’t move your recordings from one device to another. I would really like to do this. Maybe they can save your recordings.

The only downside is the inability to move the recordings from your phone over to another device so you can listen from there; however, in all fairness, the ability to record is something that overshadows this one small shortcoming.

Download Audials soon, because you don’t want to waste anymore time listening to the same old stuff over and over again. Broaden your auditory horizons with Audials and you’ll discover sounds you never knew existed!

dispair – Brain Teasing Exercise to Strengthen your Noggin

With so much automation in our lives, it’s a wonder that we are able to remember anything anymore. Think about how many phone numbers you can remember now. A decade ago you probably had ten numbers memorized, ready to be dialed. Now, you’re lucky if you can remember your own cell number.

Things may not be that bad, actually, but it is a fact that we are using our brains for certain activities much less often than before. This can lead to deterioration – also known as “use it or lose it.”

If you are looking for a fun way to use your noggin, then download dispair today. It’s a neat brainteaser game that forces you to focus and activate brain connections to get the right answer.

The game itself has you look at a bunch of letters, and then place them in the correct order.

The app challenges players with increasingly difficult puzzles to solve. The complexity behind them is such that the play levels don’t even start at 1, they start at level 4 and make their way up to level 8:

dispair

  • Level 4: this is the introductory level, where you accustom yourself to the goal of the game
  • Level 5: games are bit tougher, but you will easily work your way through this level
  • Level 6: the challenge gets more serious at this level, but multiple trials will strengthen your ability to pass from this phase
  • Level 7: games at this level are harder, and you may be tempted to quit at this point, but because the game is so addicting, you will keep going back to get through this level
  • Level 8: this is for die-hard players who know they have what it takes to beat a brainteaser

You can also play in two different modes. Beginner’s Mode allows you trial play and lets you make several attempts at your answer, allowing you to learn the game and how it works. It also allows you to figure out quickly just what the game is looking for in terms of an answer. The combinations are many, so practicing in this mode is crucial.

Professional Mode is the serious side of the game. Here, you are challenged and afforded little leeway when mistakes are made. This allows you to turn on the heat and see how your deductive talents work.

I initially found dispair a bit despairing. It was hard trying to figure out what the right combination was and I came across several fails. However, each fail was really a learning moment that allowed me to collect data and learn how to play better.

I would say that having a Level 1, 2, and 3 would help players feel less anxious about playing this game, because as it stands right now, it’s a bit daunting to think of playing at Level 4 straightaway.

Nevertheless, once you start playing dispair you easily get hooked onto it, especially if you are the combinatorial mathematical type.

LingoKids Teaches Kids Chinese the Easy Way

Commerce in China is no joke. Businesses have been making a beeline to the Orient to capture dominance in a market that is one of the largest. To counter that, Chinese businesses are booming and spreading worldwide. It’s only fitting that command of the Chinese language may be what sets your child apart from the rest when it comes time to seeking global opportunities.

How do you easily introduce Chinese to your child without making it a project? Scientists have proven that the younger a child is, the better they absorb a second language. Given that fact, and the fact that you most likely don’t know any of the Chinese dialects, you are left to seek out a source of instruction.

That’s where LingoKids for learning Chinese comes to the rescue.

LingoKids has offered a variety of language learning apps that target youth who have minds like sponges and can pick up a second language effortlessly.

LingoKids immerses children through activities and games, introducing symbols and sounds that make up the language. Kids don’t realize they are learning because they are having so much fun. Once you download the app, you can play it anywhere; it’s all on the device and requires no connectivity to the internet.

LingoKids app

What really attracted me and kept me interested was the colors and animation.  I can see why kids would never want to put the device down once they got started.

One thing to note is that while the app itself is a free download, you will have a small set of games to play included with the free download. Once your child moves past those games and needs something different, you can make an in-app purchase to expand your collection. You can sign up for a 12-month subscription for $89.99, which will allow you access to the app and all new games for one year. I would recommend this because most kids fly through the games, and you will want them to be able to continue their learning without pauses. You can also avail an exclusive 25% discount from this link.

What I found especially helpful is the printable worksheets that kids can complete to supplement what they learn in the app. This allows parents a way to engage the kids without devices and forces them to use another medium to learn.

I really couldn’t suggest anything wrong with the app. I would like it if the free download came with more games so that parents could see if the app works for their kids. But I do see the benefit to making the app require some purchases; it prevents having to rely on ads, which parents definitely do not want on app their kids are using.

Safe to use and quickly effective, LingoKids Chinese is the way to I you are looking to expose your kids to the Chinese language.

ABC Magic App Helps Kids Learn to Read Early Using Fun Phonics

Kids are learning to read at a very young age these days and parents who are looking to make the art of learning letters and their sounds an easier task are in luck. Preschool University has taken phonics to a whole new level of understandability by embedding the learning process into games and activities.

ABC Magic Phonics is filled with colorful graphics and amusing sounds that keep kids asking for more. They won’t be able to get enough of the app, and parents will see quick results.

Free to download, ABC Magic Phonics offers a variety of games for early learners. The app relies on teaching sounds of each letter, in lower case only. Learning both upper and lower case only adds to the symbol set that kids need to memorize. The app focuses on lower case first and the sounds, not the names.

In one game, players are introduced to the letters, one at a time, along with the sound and a graphic of an item that begins with that letter’s sound. The music and rhythms that play along help emphasize what the child sees on the screen. It’s amazing to see how kids are drawn to what the app displays and how it keeps kids engaged.

ABC Magic Phonics

After listening to the sound of the letter and how it is used, the app has the child make the sound of the letter and speak the word. The repetition and connections on different sensory levels further solidifies what is learned. If the child needs to hear the sound of the letter or the word, they simply tap on either to hear it again. It helps the child engage with the app and learn sounds through repetition.

In one game, the app shows the letter and one image. In another game, the app shows one letter and four images whose name will be spoken by the app when tapped on. A third game challenges kids to figure out which item begins with the given letter based on its sound. An example is the letter ‘a’, whose sound is as it’s used in the word “apple.” Other images will show an astronaut, a rose, and a ladder. Kids of course must choose the astronaut in order to correctly fill a blank spot.

In the options section, parents can select the words their kids can learn or choose all. You can even select a different color for the vowels. The apps voice can be female, male, or random.

I really thought the developers did a great job of incorporating clean images with clear sounds that helped kids learn proper sounding of the letters. I also liked the color scheme. It was in line with what preschoolers are used to seeing and it drew them in like a magnet.

What would be really neat is the ability to write out the letter at some point in time after the sound and recognition have been mastered. This will further the child’s memory of the letter and its sound and how it is used in a word.

This would be a nice improvement, but as is, ABC Magic Phonics is a treasure for parents looking to help their kids get a head start to reading or just give them more practice with sounds so they are ready to go when they start school.

Vadovia – Explore the World Using Tips from Travelers

Admit it, you have wanted to see the world for years, but were too scared that the experience would fall disappointingly short of the amazing expectations you have let your imagination create. Traveling is not easy. Especially if you don’t know what it is you can expect or what to look for to being with. That is why VadoVia is an app that you have to download now if you have any plan, as minute as can be, that you will be traveling in the near future.

Why VadoVia? Because this app is not like any other travel guide or planner. Nope, VadoVia is your personal view into a destination and it’s powered by people who have been there.

What better feedback, advice, and input can you get than from someone who has already been to where you want to go?

You can search for your destination and from there look at a list of available tours, suggestions and commentary left by folks who have used those tours, and of course, rankings so that you can make judgments based on what is most important to you.

Using VadoVia also brings your travel experience into the future. No more paper maps or tour itineraries; you have access to all of that information from your iOS device. What is most important about this is that not only do not have a library of documents to tote around, you are kept informed of any last minute changes to your itinerary – instantaneously.

vadovia app

With VadoVia, you can choose to experience a new place almost like a local would. You can even create your own tours and specify if you want to explore by bus, bike, or simply by walking the streets. The app allows you to filter searches the mode of transportation, which makes it easy to plan different days using different ways to get around and immerse yourself.

Each tour and place you visit will be a part of the app, and it will be further enhanced with background information as if you had your own tour guide at your fingertips. You will walk away from each experience with so much more knowledge about what you just saw and a stronger imprint of the experience in your memory.

Nothing else can come close to making those memories.

When searching for places to visit, partial day tours, or whole day tours, you can peruse what fellow wanderers have posted and suggested, along with notes, photos, and videos of what they found fascinating.

What is really neat about VadoVia is that you can capture images from your device and then use them and the app to create digital postcards to share with friends and family. I really liked this, because who has time to buy and mail postcards?

The app is super easy to use and I had no issues finding what I needed. At times I stumbled across things I did not intend to find, but they turned out to be future destinations that I now look forward to. At times I would tap on a destination for which it seemed a tour was available, but upon tapping no information popped up. It was a bit disappointing, but something I am sure developers are working on fixing.

Nonetheless, if you plan on traveling, whether it be within the U.S. or abroad, I highly recommend you download VadoVia – your trip and your experience will be so much better.