Day One review

Dayone2 logo

If you use a Mac and keep any sort of journal this is an app to look at. If you are a Windows user this is one more reason to make the switch.

I have been a user of Day One version 1 for several months, and it is an excellent tool for journaling. They pay attention to detail in both the design and the features. It has a clean and beautiful interface, and it’s super-easy to use. The MAC and IOS apps play nicely together, and sync is easy to setup and just works!

Day One recently released a new version with the somewhat confusing name of Day One 2.0. I have been using this version for about 2 weeks now. Here’s my review.

What’s new?Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 11.51.19 AM

There are two big new features:

  • Firstly support for multiple journals. This is perfect for me because I can now store my personal and work entries in the same place, but in separate journals.
  • Secondly, in the previous version you could only have a single photo per entry. Now you can have multiple photos. At first I wasn’t really interest in this feature, but I find that I am using it more and more – especially for documenting my travels.

Should you upgrade?

Well that depends on your needs? To upgrade both the Mac and IOS versions will set you back $49.98 (at the moment you can grab the Mac app for $29.99 and the IOS app for $4.99). If you do a lot of journaling, want multiple photos per entry and support for multiple journals then yes it is an excellent application and worth the price.

But if you are happy with a single journal, then aside from a mildly slicker interface you are not going to gain too much additional value.

Of course if you are not yet a user and are looking for a journaling app, this is one to check out.

Wishlist

While the app is great, there are a few things that I think would make it amazing:

  • Basic customisation of the styling in the posts using my choice of fonts and colours
  • Ability to export entries for a date range, and for the PDF export to show the images full-width, and to be able to select the fonts and colours
  • Applescript support would be amazing

But it’s a great app. It is easy to use, and makes keeping an electronic journal really easy.

You can find out more and get App Store links from their website.

Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary review copy from Day One

Charteo review – create custom slide decks

Here is an interesting way to create your presentations. It’s an online tool called Charteo, which allows you to create a custom slide deck based on a selection of over 10000 online slides. In summary, you pick and choose your slides and create a custom desk.

Select whatever slides you need, and once you are ready, checkout and it will create a downloadable PowerPoint presentation containing all your slide which you can then edit and customise as you wish.

Virtual deck

My virtual deck in progress.

You can either buy credits up front  and use them as you go, (starting at EUR 29 for 40 credits, scaling through to EUR 399 for unlimited credits).

They sell bundled slide decks to be customised for your own requirements. Eg the SWOT deck contains a selection of slides that would typically be used when doing a SWOT analysis. These decks can help you to rapidly put together presentations with a consistent feel (the bundles are also a lot cheaper than the bespoke decks).

Sample SWOT deck

Example of SWOT Bundled slide deck.

While I did not look through all their slides (they have over 10000), I had no difficulty finding suitable slides from my presentation. The website is also really easy and intuitive to use. Here is an example of it in use. Firstly a rough outline for a hypothetical speech:

Toastmasters Southern Africa

  • 9 countries
  • 9 divisions
  • 140 clubs
  • Club recognition
  • 10 goals
  • distinguished clubs
  • select distinguished clubs
  • president distinguished clubs

The trick with a tool like this is to firstly define your basic presentation layout and figure out what you are wanting to depict, and only then  use the website to find slides that match what you are trying to achieve. Otherwise you will find yourself falling in, and spending hours looking all the different layouts, and emerge having seen some great slides, but with little to show for it.

So here is how my slides look after I downloaded the sample deck and customised the content. I am really impressed at the quality of the slides. Start to finish took me about 20 minutes.

I think its a great tool that can help to make your presentations more effective (esp with the icons, graphing and charting slides), but I hesitate at the cost. At roughly EUR 4 per slide, it can quickly get expensive.

Would I use it for my everyday presentations? Probably not (simply because of cost). Would I use it for important business presentations where I can allocate budget? Absolutely; it will save you a lot of time and create some great decks.

It’s a pretty good tool, and I recommend that you give it a testdrive yourself.

Note that Charteo gave me 30 free credits to test with, which I used to create my test deck, and if you use the coupon code charteo10 in the provided field in the shopping cart, you will get a EUR 10 discount.

A freebee from the best

I have listened to Darren LaCroix’s “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week” CD’s several times, and they provide great insight into the business and art of public speaking.

Darren has now gone a step further by offering offering 52 weekly modules (IE 1 year) via email for free. You can signup or find out more here.

How to make money as a speaker without charging a speaking fee

I am in the process of assisting with the organisation of our Toastmasters Conference in Southern Africa. Now, because we are not for profit, we have very little money to pay our guest speakers.

However for many of the speakers, they are literally losing income by not accepting a paid gig when they are speaking to us for no cost. So for one of our speakers, we needed to figure out a way to make it work.

Then, I something that I learned in a CD course called “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week“, by Darren laCroix came to mind, and that is that there are ways to make money as a speaker without charging a platform fee.

One of the easiest of these is Back of Room Sales, or BORS. Very simply, in exchange for speaking for free, you  arrange with the conference team to provide you with facilities to sell your products after your presentation. In fact, very often you will do this regardless of your speaking fee.

So, our conference team approached the speaker with the following suggestions:

  1. We provide a high-profile table with two volunteers to assist on the day of his speech
  2. We sell his products in our “stock shop”, for the duration of the conference, and all proceeds go to him
  3. He speaks directly before a tea break, so that he has an opportunity to work the room, sign books etc directly after his speech
  4. If 20% of the delegates buy his book at R100, that is about R5000 he will be making, which is not bad, considering that he could have received nothing at all for the presentation

We took this offer to him, and he gladly accepted our proposal. This was truly a win-win situation.

So, as a speaker, are you going to do something similar? If you are approached to speak, and they cannot afford to pay you (or to pay you much), how about suggesting a similar arrangement.

Now, some of you are saying that you don’t have a product. Here is a secret from Darren. “That does not matter!” If you have a great speech, you will most likely have books and CD’s that have had an impact on you, books and CD’s that have helped determine your outlook, and influenced your message. Those are perfect places to look at useful products that you can sell at your presentations, get used to the idea of selling products, and make some extra cash. For example, I often speak on PowerPoint, and there are some great books that have helped my shape my views on PowerPoint. These are books that I believe will help anybody to give a great presentation. These are perfect starting points for products.

So, go out there, and sell products!

If you really want to learn about creating and selling products, you need to get the CD set “Get Paid to Speak by Next Week“. By the way, I paid for it in two speaking engagements!