Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Top Tools and Apps I Use in My Resume Writing Business

In yesterday's blog post, I wrote about time management strategies, and I mentioned a task management application I use called "Wunderlist." I thought I'd share some of the other tools and apps I use in my resume writing business (and to manage Resume Writers' Digest).

I'll focus just on the ones on my iPhone for today, and I'll take it alphabetically, just to make it easier.

Alarm Clock (by iHandy). I use the free version, although I've considered upgrading to the paid app ($.99). Although the iPhone has a built-in alarm clock, I like the custom sounds on the iHandy app. When using the app as a true wake-up alarm clock, it has a neat "Sound Fade In" feature that gradually increases the volume of the alarm. I use the "Mbira" sound effect as it's a pretty soothing sound, and it usually only take a few bars of the song before I'm awake. (Not as jarring as a "BEEP-BEEP-BEEP" alarm. I also use the alarm clock as a "timer" when writing resumes. If I'm having trouble starting on a project, I might set an alarm for 20 minutes from now and tell myself I'm just going to work on the project for that amount of time. But often I find that I'm in a good flow when the alarm goes off, and I'll keep slogging ahead on the resume. (This is one of the tips from "Write Great Resumes Faster.")

Facebook for the iPhone. Although I most often update my Resume Writers' Digest,, and Leveraging LinkedIn For Your Job Search Facebook business pages via my laptop, it's nice being able to check in on them from my iPhone when I'm out and about. I have Facebook notifications set up so I get "pinged" when someone comments on one of my page posts.

iCal. This is the basic Mac calendar app, built into all Mac products. I use iCal to remind myself of key client project deadlines, reminders for phone consultations with clients, and training events, like teleseminars and webinars. (You can also set reminder alarms in iCal.) When I sync my iPhone to my MacBook, it updates the calendars both ways, so if I put an event in my phone, it updates my MacBook calendar too.

iTunes. Another tip from "Write Great Resumes Faster" is writing to music. Sometimes this works for me, sometimes it doesn't. It depends on the kind of writing I'm doing. I don't very often write resumes to music, but I do write a lot of blog posts and articles to music. Also, I have different kinds of music I like to write to. I have a "Rockin' Playlist" on iTunes that includes Lady Gaga and Pink, but -- especially at this time of the year -- I love listening to Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

PayPal. I love the PayPal iPhone app. I've integrated several passive income and recurring revenue streams into my business (special reports like "Write Great Resumes Faster," and "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" and my membership site for resume writers, All of these are linked to my PayPal account, so when someone makes a purchase, I get a notification on my iPhone. It's almost addictive hearing that little "ping" when I've got money.

SimplyNoise ("The Best Free White Noise Generator on the Internet.") This is a new addition to my iPhone app collection in the last few weeks. My husband and I usually sleep with a fan on for the noise, but lately, the fan has been making a rattling noise, making it a distraction, instead of a sleep aid. I found the SimplyNoise website online and started off using that as a fan substitute, but then I found that there was a web app version ($.99). As I mentioned on this LinkedIn Career Thought Leaders Consortium group post about writing resumes, sometimes white noise (there is also "pink noise" and "brown noise" -- you have to check it out to hear the difference) can help you focus your resume writing and drown out "life's distractions."

Twitter. Although I haven't upgraded to the newest version of the Twitter app for the iPhone, this is one I use quite a bit. Before I got my iPhone, I didn't do a lot with Twitter on my phone. Although I still use my laptop to write most of my Twitter status updates, I do like getting mention (@RWDigest) notifications on my phone -- because then I can respond right away. (It's also a great way for me to keep in touch with my five "princess" nieces. All of them are on Twitter, even the 6-year-old!)

Wunderlist. As mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I use Wunderlist for task management. I don't like to clutter my iCal list with too many "to dos" -- plus, sometimes you just need a rolling list of items that need to be done, but don't have a specific date associated with them. I use Wunderlist for these items, instead of a scrap of paper. I also didn't buy the refill of my Franklin Covey planner when it was due to be refilled in July, because I use Wunderlist instead. As I said yesterday, all the version of Wunderlist sync with each other automatically -- the iPhone app, the Mac desktop app, and the website -- so I can "check off" a task (yay!) from any of the interfaces and it will sync automatically. (Well, it should -- sometimes it doesn't always get the checked items ticked off in all the apps, but that just means that I get to check them off again! Yay!)
NOTE: As of May 2020, Wunderlist has been discontinued. Check out this blog post for alternatives!

So there you have it. My top apps and tools that I have on my iPhone that I use in my resume writing business. I'd love to hear what your favorites are...share your comments below.

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