The Big Four When It Comes To Your Calendar

Getting The Most Out of Using Your Calendar

Calendar Data Needs – Part 2

As you already know, we’ve written content for three groups who use App Information Service (AIS).  Individuals, small businesses (which include small organizations and non-profit organizations), and Churches.   For this installment of the data-need for budgeting time, we will concentrate on individuals. An individual in this case is not limited to a single person, but a life, a home, a marriage, or relationship. 

As an individual, you more than likely manage your own calendar with no help from anyone else.  This is great and means you have sole ownership and can make meeting/appointment decisions quickly.  With this in mind, your calendar decisions and usage falls into one of four categories: appointments, calendar options, tracking time, and planning for the future.  Don’t be discouraged if you don’t use all four categories. Remember, we not only want to cover tips on how to use what you already have, but want to give you ideas of ways to use what you have in ways you’ve not yet considered.  Let’s begin.

Appointments.  The main feature for which we have a calendar is to set appointments.  Most of us, don’t visually think of all the appointments we have because we’ve never taken the time to place them on a calendar that we can see.  To manage how you use your time, seeing a visual depiction is most helpful. Let’s say you wish to have lunch with a friend. Add it to your native mobile device calendar as this works seamlessly with your device.  I don’t suggest using other calendar apps as this creates more work and more accounts to manage, if your new to using a calendar regularly and since you have sole-proprietorship of your calendar. You want to make this as easy and simple to use as possible; don’t complicate it or this will discourage use. Continue reading “The Big Four When It Comes To Your Calendar”

Budgeting Your Time

The Calendar Apps Available to You

Calendar Data Needs – Part 1

Let’s begin with what I believe is the greatest and most important data need any human-being can have, managing time.  The root problem of time management is the myth that one can even manage time. Time is the one thing we can not manage; you have what you have and nothing more.  In fact, you can’t add more time to your day nor can you subtract any. You can’t give someone your hours and you can’t save them in a time-bank. What we manage is how we budget for our time? 

Introduction to Calendar Data
What will we do with the time that’s been given?  Well, that’s where a calendar comes into play and what sets the successful person apart.  It’s what makes a normal person become exceptional. Everyone budgets their time in two ways: a clock and a calendar.  We will focus on the calendar in this section. While you don’t think of a calendar as housing data, it does. It has a lot of important data.  The calendar tells one when everything is to be done. It gives people a common reference point. Not to go into the physics of a calendar and how that works, let’s just jump right into your data needs surrounding your calendar.

“The key is not to prioritize what is on the schedule but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey

The App Known as Your Calendar
So what calendars are available to you? 

You need to first understand what’s available.  There are quite a few options available for calendars.  Please note that I’m not going to discuss analog (paper or physical) calendars, which I think are very helpful and remain very relevant even in our high-tech age.  Since we’re discussing, App Information Services (AIS), I will provide three digital calendars that I highly recommend and are available to you for free.  These three are widely used, supported, and more than likely you’ve already heard of them.

    • Native mobile device calendar.  For those who live and are isolated to nothing more than a smartphone, the native mobile device calendar will work and is very good when you don’t need very many bells and whistles.  It’s perfect for individuals who have very limited team interactions to manage. Also most mobile device calendars provide a web-based version should you need to access it from a computer (i.e. icloud.com for iOS and Google Calendar for Android).
    • Google Calendar. Google Calendar is one of the most popular and widely used.  Consider taking a look at it’s ease of use and features.  We use Google calendar and have used it for many years. However, this next calendar app is my calendar of choice.
  • Outlook 365. Microsoft fell behind Google just a few years ago in the online productivity arena.  Today, Microsoft has stepped up its game and has given its productivity suite a new look and feel.  Microsoft Outlook online or on your mobile device brings back the calendar app you’ve grown to know and love over the years.  They’ve made it available online and it’s simply wonderful.

Regardless of which software application (app) you go with, they’re intended to meet a data need and in this case one that solves problems with managing your priorities using calendars.  Using apps such as these will provide calendar access and visibility using mobile devices, PC’s, and online via the web. You never have to be without your calendars, ever. How important is it to have real-time calendar updates in this fast paced environment?  Very and that’s why we’re offering these AIS solutions. Give these calendar apps a try today.

The Answers to Your Basic App and Data Needs

The Meat of What App Information Services Is All About

App Information Services (AIS) – Part 3

This content is written in volumes so that you can grab the information service that best addresses the data needs you have at this moment and read or visit the others when desired.  This content is written not for large companies, but to individuals, small businesses, organizations, and churches who need an information service solution to help with their own data needs without spending tons of dollars and investing a great number of hours learning new technologies.  In fact many of the solutions we offer in this content use tools you’re already familiar and won’t require much of a learning curve, just some different type of thinking. Enough background, let’s get to the meat of what information services is all about.  Should you like additional background information or have questions, contact me at kerryAclark.com/contact_us.

App Information Services (AIS) is a service which offers consulting and solutions to the following common data needs:

  1. Calendars.  Most individuals use a calendar to some degree (or should).  However, have you ever considered a family shared calendar? For small business & organizations, you need multiple calendars such as employee calendars and project calendars.  For churches, you may need an overall church calendar, pastors’ calendars, and event calendars. In the content that follows, we discuss simple tools and methods that can help you achieve your calendar needs.
  2. Contacts.  At first I left this category out, but I later realized how important it is to the business that everyone does.  No one can get through life without having to contact someone else at some time. In fact, this might just be the most important of the data needs, managing contacts.  In this section we’ll discuss how you can manage and use your contacts to support all your individual and business needs.
  3. Passwords.  I’ve seen problems in every area (individual, small business & organizations, churches) and even large enterprises, where people often forget their passwords.  In the content that follows, I will share two methods to storing passwords and where to keep them.
  4. Email addresses and email distribution list management.  You’d be surprised to hear me say that even families could benefit from email distribution lists.  I’ll explain why in the pages that follow. Organizations & small businesses, and churches already have the platform to create distribution lists if they have their own hosted domain.  Usually they just don’t know it or have forgotten. We’ll talk about how you can use what you already pay for to create the email distribution lists you need and discuss why you need them.
  5. Project and Task Management.  Families, organizations, small businesses, and churches all have projects and work that needs to be managed.  I have a couple of tools that can organize and handle this data need with simplicity.
  6. Productivity needs.  This includes word processors, databases, spreadsheets, and presentation applications.  All individuals who work with any business has to use some type of productivity tool to satisfy a data need.  The same is now true for individuals at home, but why pay a fortune for something that’s available free or for a minimal cost or even a benefit with some other type of service offering?  All this and even more in the pages that follow.
  7. Filing.  Physical files create problems for us all.  I have a couple of alternatives to what you should be doing with your files and how you should handle them.
  8. Data file storage (cloud storage).  Your files are important at every level of home and business.  I’m going to teach you how to store your files in an organized, but most importantly safe manner, and that provides a backup to what you have.  I will also give you tips on how you can access it all from anywhere.
  9. Business Data / The Transaction storage.  You have data that you capture regularly, we call this “transactional” data due to its recurring nature.  It’s the stuff that runs your small business, organization, or church. To some degree, you can also find ‘transactional” data in your personal business.  It’s the data you capture, study, and quantify.
  10. Reusable content.  Why use your skills to create anything you can only use once?  When you have to recreate something you’ve already done before, it’s a waste of energy, resources, and money.  In the pages that follow, see my content on reusable content to take advantage of what you’ve already produced.
  11. Social Media Management.  Don’t overlook the power of social media.  Your world wants to know all about you. The question is how do you handle it when it’s not your thing and you don’t have that kind of time?

We will discuss these data needs in more detail in the pages that follow.  This summary is just a teaser to wet your appetite. The content we’re providing is enough to get you going and will provide you with some really great information on app information services whether you decide to consult with us directly or not.  I like to make things simple and organized and that’s what I’m doing with our app information services content. Let’s begin.

App Information Services Defined

Why Information Needs Have Moved From Big Corporation to the Home?

App Information Services (AIS) – Part 2

Before we can offer “app information services” to others, I must first define it for you.  It’s information services for the applications (apps) we all need and currently use in some shape form or fashion today.  It’s the app information needs used on your desktop PCs, home PCs, tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices. It’s the information we use everyday for our personal lives, homes, churches, small businesses, and even enterprises.  This content, however, doesn’t apply to enterprises or large businesses and corporations who already have many working solutions for their data needs. “App Information Services” refers to applications used for productivity, to keep your records, collect data, metrics, and support your various data needs and creation.  To help you further understand, we will define what it is not, then outline its components.

Not information systems (I.S.) or technology (I.T.)
To put it as simply as I can, “app information services” has nothing to do with I.S. which stands for information systems, the systems running on machines and it has very little to do with I.T. which stands for information technology, the machines and devices themselves.

Most people, especially individuals, small businesses, and churches have no idea what information systems and technology really is, although we hear it referenced daily.  Large businesses, enterprises, and post-secondary education have made these concepts very complicated. Trust me, I’ve worked on both sides of these areas for over two decades and sometimes I feel as if I don’t understand them.  They’ve become so vast and terminology driven that they no longer appeal or cater to the basic unit who manages data needs, people.  Yet, the fact still remains it’s all about our information needs at every level and the most basic level, the individual seated behind the devices.

A Few Examples of Your Information Needs
Now would be a great time to introduce you to a few examples of your information needs-what individuals, small businesses, and churches don’t know.  Individuals, homes, churches, small business, and non-profit organizations need:

  • Ways to manage and share their calendars easily. 
  • A place to hold their contacts.
  • Email and a place to review tasks, manage their pending tasks, and quantify their completed tasks
  • Productivity apps for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
  • To know when a database is more effective than a spreadsheet.
  • Ways to store and find the files they create and anyone on their staff creates.
  • Protection from losing all their hard work when their computers (I.T.) inevitably crashes.
  • A way to track their business data and transactions.

These needs are no longer isolated to big companies or big business.  Do any of these sound like something you could use? Is it something that you see a need to do better in your life, home, organization, small business, or church?  These needs due to the growth in and rise of technology have brought these “app information services” needs down to the lowest levels, that would be you. Where in years past, you’d only find the need for these type of information services in a desk-job, now these needs are in the home and even elementary grade-schools.  This content will address those needs and much, much, more.

“App Information Services” (AIS) has many of the answers, solutions, and ideas for handling the majority of your most pressing data needs.

Introduction to App Information Services (AIS)

Defining App Information Services (AIS)

App Information Services (AIS) – Part 1

“App Information Services” is a big term, so put it out of your mind as I explain it in simple terms.  For more than two decades, I’ve worked with people who all had varying levels of technical skills and we all manage our own data differently.  No two individuals use their digital tools in the same manner. If you looked at how one person stores their data files, they might have them arranged in neat folders while the person next to them might have all their files on their desktops.  One person might use a spreadsheet for every type of work while the next uses a word processing application. The point still remains, people are the basic unit of managing their information. So to aid them, we’ve decided to offer what we call “app information services.”  This service is designed to help you make the most of what you already use and to show you, you don’t have to purchase any other high-price software and hardware to get the job done.

People are the basic unit of managing data needs; they use app information services.

Our team noticed a huge gap in the technology needs for individuals versus large enterprises.  The gap widened more for those who started their own small businesses. But as we analyzed this gap, what we found interesting was this.  The information needs for all three: individuals, small businesses (including churches and other non-profit organizations), and large enterprises all have individuals at its core, individuals who use the technologies.  In other words, people do the work required for their individual information needs, whether on their own (personal needs) or in their small businesses, or in ministries & non-profit organizations or in their positions with large corporations.  Their information needs were basically the same. So we’ve decided to give this gap and your information needs a name, “app information services.”

Making one tool work at multiple levels and in multiple ways

The problem is this.  Because no one has ever explained these needs, no one knows what tools, methods, and resources are available to meet their personal information needs for performing work, be it as an individual, a person working in or starting a small business, or those who work in “big” business.  Most people use software and tools that are provided by their workplaces. If my company uses, Microsoft Word, then that tool is the one I use in the office, at home, and in my small business (if I ever take such a leap). It is in this process of not knowing what you should use that leads to an individual purchasing software they don’t need or a small business buying an expensive server just for email, or that company executive purchasing a custom ticketing platform that costs millions when the system is only needed in one area.

What we have to offer at Kerry A. Clark & Co. are practices on how to use what you already have, provide you with suggestions of free/low cost tools you’ve not considered, and provide recommendations on how to use the tools in ways you’ve not considered to meet your data needs as individuals, in your church ministries, in your non-profit organizations and in your small businesses.  

Next we will define “app information services” for you in more detail.