Elements of a Good Facebook Graphic

Elements of a Good Facebook Graphic

I have been recommending Info-Graphics and Professional Graphics to my clients and this one from “The Bean Cast” is a great example.Bob Norpp

  • Note the “interesting graphic” with color and images that “pop” and get your attention.
  • See the company logo
  • The picture of Bob Norpp the Bean Cast Host
  • The easy to read name “Bean Cast”
  • The Brand explained “marketing podcast.

These are all components of a good graphic you might post on social media.


Let me know if you are using graphic images to attract more attention on your social media sites.

Mobile App Development Market Perspective

Mobile App StrategyA recent web search of Mobile App Development returned the following companies. This is a fast developing landscape especially in the enterprise mobile app space. This search was done on 7/6/13 using Google Chrome. Although company names repeat in different categories, some website links vary. One trend I have noticed since entering the industry in 2009 is the emergence of major software companies in the Mobile App Development space.


“Mobile App Development”

  1. SalesForce.com
  2. Momentum Design Labs
  3. MicroStrategy
  4. Netsmartz
  5. Titanium aka Appcelerator
  6. World Link
  7. Fueled


“Mobile App Development Dallas”

  1. World Link
  2. Bottle Rocket
  3. xCube Labs
  4. Copper Mobile
  5. Code Authority
  6. G&G Technologies
  7. NourTek Solutions


“Enterprise Mobile App Development”Mobile App Development

  1. Kony
  2. Citrix
  3. IBM
  4. HP
  5. AT&T
  6. Copper Mobile
  7. Innoppl
  8. xCube Labs


“Enterprise Mobile App Development Dallas”

  1. Copper Mobile
  2. Kony
  3. Citrix
  4. World Link
  5. xCube Labs
  6. Orchestra Technology
  7. Ayoka Systems
  8. Enterprise Mobile

(Sponsor this newsletter)

iPad still #1 in Tablet Sales

The numbers are in for Q2 ’11 Tablet shipments and Apple is still#1 followed by Android, Microsoft and BlackBerry, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins address Mobile Tablet sales for second q of 2011

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global tablet shipments reached 15 million units in the second quarter of 2011. Apple maintained first position with 61 percent share, drifting from 94 percent a year earlier.


Peter King, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global tablet shipments reached 15.1 million units in Q2 2011, surging 331 percent from 3.5 million in Q2 2010. Consumer and business demand for touchscreen computers remains high. Apple shipped a record 9.3 million iPads and registered a healthy 61 percent global tablet market share during the second quarter of 2011. However, Apple has drifted down from 94 percent share in Q2 2010 due to a rising number of competing software platforms.”


Neil Mawston, Director at Strategy Analytics, added, “Android captured 30 percent share of global tablet shipments in Q2 2011. Multiple Android models distributed across multiple countries by multiple brands such as Samsung, Acer, Asus, Motorola and others are driving volumes. However, no Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many Android vendors’ products remains patchy. If Amazon decides to enter the Android tablet category later this year, that will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad.”


Other findings from the research include:

• Microsoft captured a niche 5 percent global tablet share in Q2 2011, leveraging Windows 7 through partners such as Fujitsu;

• RIM and its QNX platform captured 3 percent global tablet share in Q2 2011. The first-generation PlayBook model experienced a lackluster launch due to product design issues surrounding native email support.



Read more: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/11/07/b1786786/strategy-analytics-apple-ios-captures-61-percent-share-of-global-tablet#ixzz1Sqj2cOBI

Original Post: http://www.benzinga.com/pressreleases/11/07/b1786786/strategy-analytics-apple-ios-captures-61-percent-share-of-global-tablet


Is There a Mobile App Developer Shortage?

Check out this Wall Street Journal Article that posses the question: Is there a mobile app developer shortage?

Do you see a shortage from your perspective?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins ask if there is a shortage of mobile app devleopersIt seems the mobile world can’t get enough of a good thing. And, in this case, the good thing is a talented mobile app developer.

According to a new report published byThe Wall Street Journal, the “talent pool” of devs isn’t overflowing by a long shot, despite the escalating demand for developers and their creative genius.

“The demand is constant,” said Dan Gilmartin, vice president of marketing for web start-up Where Inc. “Every company is looking for these people.”

Where Inc., for example, is looking to double its mobile staff this year after quadrupling it in 2010. But finding a few good developers is, incredibly, a daunting prospect for many like-minded firms.


Original Blog: http://www.mobilemarketingwatch.com/is-there-a-mobile-app-developer-shortage-14657/comment-page-1/






Cool iPad App to display your Portfolio

If you are photographer, artist or other creative type who would like to have a cool digital portfolio for show and tell on the iPad, check out the “PadPort App.”

Dallas social Media speaker J.R. Atkins recommends the use of PadPortPADPORT is an elegant portfolio presentation App for the iPad – designed by and for professional media artists. PADPORT allows photographers, artists and a multitude of other visual artists to assemble a digital portfolio of their works and use the iPad as a new media presentation tool.

The Key Features of the App include:

> MINIMALIST INTERFACE – to allow the content to be the center of attention.

> MULTIPLE PORTFOLIOS – The user can create sets of works to be presented in categorized portfolios.

> MULTIPLE THEMES – The App allows the user to select from different Themes and use different Themes for each portfolio.

> KIOSK MODE – The App allows the user to present their Portfolios in a private Kiosk mode – disallowing other users or viewers from editing the Portfolio.

Dallas Social media speaker J.R. Atkins uses the apple App Store

> EASE OF USE – The App is designed without unnecessary features or complexity – focusing on ease of use by the user.


From Mashable: How to create a “Blockbuster Mobile App”

Whenever I find a good article, I like to share it with my friends. Such is the case in this post on creating “Blockbuster Mobile Apps”. Jeana Lee Tahnk with Mashable does a great job as usual.

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins recommends MashableIn an ever expanding and increasingly competitive mobile app marketplace, it’s becoming harder for developers to create apps that stand out for being more entertaining, engaging and worthy of consumers’ attention and money. There are approximately 350,000 apps in iTunes, 65,000 in the Android marketplace, and thousands more being developed as we speak. Whether an app is the brainchild of two parents who want to entertain their daughter, or a creation from a huge developing house, there’s no telling exactly how an app will fare once it hits the open market.

So, what exactly does it take to create a killer app? A good idea, focus, determination and lots of luck certainly help. But there are other factors that up-and-comers can glean from seasoned developers who have been there, done that, and done it well.

I had the opportunity to speak with a handful of leading app developers in the mobile marketplace — established leaders whose products in iTunes consistently top either the highest-grossing or most-downloaded lists. These developers know their stuff, and generously gave a sneak peek into what it takes to create a blockbuster app. Remember, to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Here’s what they had to say.

Customize for the Device


bejeweled image


The experience that a gamer has on an iPhone compared to a gaming console is dramatically different. Developers need to be aware of the limitations a smaller screen has on the overall experience and create apps that are designed for the particular device. Engaging with a game should be easy and seamless for users, and according to Jason Kapalka, co-founder and chief creative officer at PopCap Games, Inc., it’s important to remember that “iPhones aren’t PCs or consoles.” Seems glaringly obvious, but what developers often overlook is that people use apps on their mobile devices much differently than they do on a more interactive gaming device like the Wii or Xbox.

“When we built Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies for the iPhone, we spent a lot of time making sure the controls felt right on the touchscreen. There are lots of iPhone and iPad games that have amazing graphics and great depth, but if the controls are awkward or frustrating on a touchscreen device, none of that matters.”

See the Potential for the Platform


flight control image


Rob Murray, CEO of Firemint Pty Ltd and developer of Flight Control, urges developers to not only take the platform’s limitations into consideration, but more importantly, look beyond the limitations to see where the potential lies. “Why do people want to play a particular type of game on this device? What makes it more compelling than a desktop or console?”

Murray is a huge proponent of identifying what the device can do for your app and not the other way around. “Take Flight Control and the iPhone. We embraced the touch screen and used it to great effect. The control scheme is intuitive, elegant and accessible and takes advantage of the ability to interact directly with the game.” Taking a feature like the touch screen and maximizing its ability to add to the user experience can make engagement that much more profound. Murray adds, “With each advance in mobile technology comes the potential to do something unique.”

Make it Personal


pocket god image


Most great inventions are born from a personal need or desire, and Dave Castelnuovo, from Bolt Creative and co-creator of Pocket God, thinks that app development is no different. In many cases, developers are so focused on filling a niche in the market or creating something that they think will be successful, but don’t take into consideration what they personally would seek in an app experience. “The game industry is a hit-driven business and requires you to make a connection with the audience,” Castelnuovo says. “You can make that connection much stronger by creating something that you naturally respond to instead of guessing how someone else will receive it.”

Once you have something that hits you on a personal level, you can have more confidence in putting it on the market. If it speaks to you, there’s a good chance that it will for others as well. At the same time, Castelnuovo advises developers against agonizing over every single decision. Create a good quality product and set the bar high, but leave room for adaptability and know when to move on. “The original Pocket God app only took us one week to develop and was only meant to be a stepping stone onto bigger and better things. Since we didn’t have expectations for it, I think it freed us to do something unique.”

Get Feedback Early On


cut the rope image


Semyon Voinov, a creative director at ZeptoLab and one of the creators of the wildly successful Cut the Rope apps, stresses the importance of getting the app out to as many people as possible from the early stages of development. Once the app is in their hands, observe how they interact with it and analyze what doesn’t seem to be working. “When you notice your friend is not in a hurry to return your device, you are on a good track,” adds Voinov.

Prototype, prototype, prototype. Don’t keep development under cloak and dagger. Showing the app to friends and family from the get-go will give you a better sense of the collective feedback, and you can tweak the app as it is being developed and come out with a more refined product in the end. The key is to customize the process at every stage, expose it to everyone you know and get the feedback before it is released to the public.

Think Big


tap tap image


Go big or go home is the decree of Bart Decrem, SVP and General Manager of Disney Mobile, and co-founder of Tapulous. Building an app with a big audience in mind positions it well for wider adoption and greater chance for success. What worked for Decrem and his Tap Tap Revenge team was creating an app that they thought was fun, engaging and would appeal to a huge potential fan base. Offering interactive experiences on-the-go, appealing to both iOS and Android users and building an inherently intuitive interface made the team confident in their chances for success.

“Not only is the app [Tap Tap Revenge 4] free, but when we pick the music for the game and launch new music on an ongoing basis, we match it with what’s hot on the iTunes charts so we can have the biggest reach possible. At the end of the day, the most important thing to consider when developing a mobile app is your audience.”

Start Free


fling image


Nothing in life is free, but au contraire, sometimes a really good app is. To get maximum exposure, you need to make your app available to the masses early on to get the early adoption rates and word-of-mouth buzz off the ground. You know you have a killer app on your hands, but no one else does, so you have to spread the word. They say that money talks, but in the app world, free talks.

Michael Bevin, co-founder of CandyCane LLC, and designer of top-selling games Fling! and Fuzzlefully supports the freemium model, at least initially. “Having made a great game, you still need to get it exposure somehow — whether by doing some kind of deal, giving it away for free initially, or at least having a free version.” You can eventually add more features and put a price on the app, but having a free version makes it more available to consumers to at least test out and see if it’s worth putting the money down.

Listen to Your Customers


motionx gps image


You may have serious designs for what you want your app to be, but along with that must come flexibility and adaptability to your customers’ needs. If you look in iTunes and read ratings for apps, time and time again, customers get irritated when common complaints about the app are not addressed in subsequent version upgrades. That is a sure fire way to lose customers and quickly fall into iTunes oblivion.

Philippe Kahn, CEO of Fullpower Technologies, Inc., the maker of MotionX GPS, states that the company “spends considerable energy to differentiate, and focus on quality and customer support.” When you are dedicated to constantly innovating your technology and incorporating feedback, consumers respond and appreciate the concerted effort, which in turn creates a more loyal customer.

Delight the User


bump image


Among the hundreds and thousands of apps available in iTunes, there has to be something unique about yours that makes it stand out. For Dave Lieb, co-founder and CEO of Bump Technologies, Inc., and creator of the ever popular Bump application, offering something amazing is a primary criterion for creating a killer app. “The app has to delight the user in some way, it has to provide real value or entertainment in a way that isn’t transient.”

When users are delighted, they will tell their friends about it and word-of-mouth is a crucial part of any app’s success. Bump is the eighth most downloaded iOS app of all time in the U.S. and Lieb credits its users as having everything to do with that level of success. “We spent a total of $42 on marketing to create our original YouTube demo video: $22 for black felt for a backdrop and $20 for a pack of video tapes for a borrowed camera.” That’s a true testament to how powerful a delighted user can be in extending your brand for you.

Have a Vision


soundhound image


You may have a great idea, but you need to think beyond it and anticipate how the app will change behavior in a real-world setting. When SoundHound, Inc. began creating its innovative eponymoussound recognition app, they applied the need to an everyday occurrence and envisioned how users would interact with the technology they wanted to unleash.

“How many times have you hoped a radio DJ would repeat the name of the song you just heard, or have had a song stuck in your head that you didn’t know the name of?” asks Kathleen McMahon, vice president at SoundHound. The team envisioned these scenarios and set out to create a mobile solution and set a new bar for music recognition.

Creating an app that has a useful context and provides utility, in addition to entertainment, is SoundHound’s driving success. It’s all about vision. McMahon states clearly, “Know what you are trying to achieve. Are you going to be a one-hit wonder or tour de force? You can be either. However, if you answer, ‘I’m not sure,’ then question getting into the game at all. Killer apps are built on vision, not passivity.”

Never Give Up


fake a call image


Tenacity, persistence and never giving up are big reasons why these developers have achieved their stratospheric levels of success. Not surprisingly, nearly all of them included this likely, yet important piece of advice in their responses: Developers need to have the patience to continually ask themselves what is going to make their app better. In this crowded marketplace, an app needs to somehow stand out to get recognized. “Emphasize design and functionality. Quality cannot be overstated. Savvy consumers quickly identify the best products and if you truly offer something outstanding, the market will react,” says Jenny Kang, lead designer at AllAboutApps and creator ofAppBox Pro.

Ed Williams, VP of mobile applications at Excelltech Inc., the maker of the clever Fake-A-Call app concurs. “Don’t give up. Refine your idea until it can be easily implemented, and have a list of advanced features you can add with updates if your first release is well-received.” And although he never anticipated Fake-A-Call having such mass appeal, Williams is intent on releasing frequent updates, addressing customer concerns, always keeping the app relevant — and never giving up.

Original Post

Is your Marketing Approach like a Leaf Rake or a Leaf Blower?

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins discusses The Leaf Rake Approach to MarketingMarketing to prospective clients has changed greatly with the proliferation of online tools such as websites, email and most recently, social media. Prospects can turn to so many sources for information about you, your company, and your products or services. A recent day of yard work prompted me to explain the shift in marketing to a colleague as being “more like using a leaf blower then a rake.”

The Leaf Rake Approach

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends ACT for Contact or Customer Relationship Management Prior to the proliferation of on-line tools, I collected contact information from prospects such as their name, address, phone number and fax number and stored them on 3×5 cards. In the early 90’s I started using ACT, a Contact and Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM, to keep up with prospect information and to schedule phone calls, meetings, and direct mail campaigns. Armed with this information, I could mail, call, and fax prospects about my products and services. This shows the emphasis on collecting contact information, much like raking leaves into a pile.

The Leaf Blower Approach

Today, I take a different approach that is more like a leaf blower. As I meet prospective clients, I connect with them on-line via email and or social media. I have shifted from collecting and hoarding data, to giving and sharing data. In other words I blow information into the wind and wait for those who are interested to reach out to me.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins explains The Leaf Blower Approach to MarketingSocial Media is a great tool for “Leaf Blower” marketing. Once a connection is made via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, a blog or YouTube, the prospect get’s to choose if they would like to follow you and if so, they can choose their preferred method of communication. Some prospects will discard the information you share, others will collect it and save it for the future, and some will find if valuable and share it with others, while some will act on it by reaching our my email, social media or phone. The main idea is that the prospects who are interested in you and the content you publish will “follow you” and when they are ready to buy, they will reach out to you.

Yet, there is a key point with this approach. It requires the marketer to publish content that is interesting, valuable and giving in nature. This kind of content will be shared with others and your message will take on the viral affect where it gets passed around to others very rapidly.

When using the “leaf blower” methodology, your goal is to draw prospects to you by “blowing out the information” and letting those that are interested come to you.

You probably need both

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins share the Big 5 off Social Media modelTo be effective in my yard work, I need both a leaf rake and leaf blower to get the job done. In business, we need both approaches to market effectively. We should use the leaf blower approach to share good content through a website, email newsletter, LinkedIn, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, a Blog and a YouTube Channel. Then, we can identify those prospects that have an interest in our content and target them with direct mail, email blast and direct selling content and methods.

By using both approaches we can continue to grow our business while allowing the prospect to connect with us in the way that works best for them. My hope for you is that you “rake in the money while blowing away the competition.”

March Events

3/9/11 Social Media Club of Dallas Presents SXSWi Pre-Party & Chris Treadaway

3/11/11 Chicago Symphony Orchestra – Mendelssohn’s Elijah

3/12/11 Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

3/13/11 The American Choral Directors Biennial National Conference

3/13/11 SXSWi – South by Southwest Interactive

3/16/11 AIGA DFW Presents Local App Developer Success Story

3/23/11 Digital Dallas – A SXSW Recap

3/25/11 DFW AMA – How Next Gen Network Capabilities are Game Changers for Telecom Marketers

3/28/11 Dallas iPhone Developers/Entrepreneurs Meetup

3/29/11 Social Media & Your Career @ Career Jump Start

Perspective on Travel & Business

I enjoy doing business as I travel. The idea of rising above the stress of business to see the sights of a foreign land, to enjoy a good meal and relax by the pool are attractive. So I offer you the following thoughts on travel and business.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins taveled to Jerusalem

1.       Perspective

I like the perspective of getting away from home, office and town. Sometimes a trip of only 100 miles away can make a difference in how you see your current situation. Any time I travel I come home appreciating what I have. This is especially true when I travel abroad. When my wife and I went to Israel in January, my comment upon arriving in Dallas was “We are affluent, on our way to wealthy, according to global standards.” I take for granted our infrastructure, the rule of law, individual rights and all the wealth America has at hand. 

2.       Meet others who are doing things

It’s fun to meet people from other places both in the U.S. and abroad. Have you ever been someplace and met someone from your home town? I get excited to meet them since we are away from home. I’m sure if I met them in line at the store at home it would not carry the same level of excitement.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends the book: What they dont teach at the Harvard Business SchoolI remember Mark McCormack’s book, “What They Don’t Teach You at the Harvard Business School” where he suggested that you fly in First Class because of the people you meet. There is still some truth in this today, that the people who fly are doing something bigger than themselves, something important or something new. I like to meet these people and keep in touch via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. With Social Media, it is so much easier to have a global perspective.

3.       Time away from business productivity

As much as I like the perspective I gain through traveling, on a recent trip to Atlanta it dawned on me that I need to earn a premium on my time when I travel.

Let’s say you place a value of $100 per hour on your time. That would mean in a typical day of work from 8:00-12:00 and 1:00-5:00 you would create $800 of value. This is assuming that you are in one place creating value, like your office, and take just 1 hour for lunch. If your commute is 1 hour each way, you spent 11 total hours creating $800 of value or about $73 per hour.

Now let’s look at a day of business travel where you leave for the airport at 5:30 for a 7:30 flight and land at 9:30, drive to the business location arriving at 11:00, and work for 1 hour, take a 1 hour lunch, then work again from 1:00-5:00, hop on a plane home at 6:30 arrive in your home town at 8:30 and get home at 10:30. In this day you have created 6 hours of value in an office and let’s say another 2 hours of value working on the plane for a total of 8 hours. This would mean that you spent 17 hours creating $800 of value for or about $47 per hour.

This is how I got the idea that I need to earn a premium on my time when I travel. I also need to stay longer in one place while I am there, to spread the travel time and cost over more billable days.

The other solution is to travel less and do more through video conferencing. There are many tools in a wide array of price ranges, from free services, like Skype, to premium services like Cisco Unified Communications platform.

 4.       Time away from family and friends

A little travel might cause you to appreciate your friends and family a little more, but I submit that the more you are away, the more your relationships suffer. Telephone, email, social media and video can make a positive impact on being away from loved ones but nothing takes the place of being there. So before we hop in a plane, train or automobile, we need to make sure it is a worthy trip. (Work Travel & Family Research Project at Texas Tech University)

 What have you learned through Travel? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

 Dallas sociala media speaker J.R. Atkins attends the Social Media Club of DallasFebruary Events

 2/16 – DFW American Marketing Association Luncheon

2/17 – Social Location Marketing with Simon Salt

2/19 – Saturday at the Warwick Melrose with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

2/28 – Dallas iPhone Developers & Entrepreneurs MeetUp

Some App Numbers

Check out the #’s for Apps

Sales of iPad apps to soar in 2011, says Gartner

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins uses the iPhone App StoreDownloads for mobile communications devices are expected to increase over the coming years, providing new opportunities for mobile marketing campaigns.

Summary of Numbers

  • Device sales expected to exceed $15 billion
  • Application downloads will exceed $18 billion, 117% increase over 2010
  • 7% of 80 retailers in the study had a mobile marketing strategy

Sales of apps for the iPad, iPhone and other mobile communication devices are expected to exceed $15 billion (£9.4 billion) this year, according to the latest figures from Gartner. The research firm is predicting that mobile application store downloads will hit 17.7 billion this year, a 117 per cent increase on 2010, which could boost creativeDallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins uses a Samsung Android deviceandmobile marketing campaigns. “Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

Consumers will be more willing to pay for apps over the coming years, theresearch claims, because they will see more value in having them and become more trustful of billing mechanisms.Advertising is predicted to generate just under a third of the revenue generated by application stores, the study also suggests. While apps are often play a key part in mobile marketing campaigns, a study from 2ergo last year found that brands are neglecting non-iPhone users. Just seven per cent of the 80 retailers it looked at had a mobile marketing strategy in place for non-iPhone users.

Posted by Neil Turner, find original post at: DMA: Sales of iPad apps to soar in 2011, says Gartner


Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins believes BlackBerry Apps will increaseResearch Sources: Direct Marketing Association: The DMA employs a prolific in-house research department that produces regular reports on general industry trends, as well as sector-specific issues. As an exclusive benefit, DMA members have free access to new and archived research. Additionally, the DMA has reciprocal agreements in place which means that members also enjoy free access to research produced by other industry organizations.

Gartner: Technology Research & Business Leader Insight | Gartner Inc.

Work Space

What is a work space? I take it to mean a place, where work gets done. But what does it take to get work done? Consider the environment, from lighting, to decorations, to sound, to light, to co-workers and fellow tenants. Almost anything that can and does contribute to you producing your best. Yet, as I visit with clients, I see a wide variety of work conditions.

My favorite work space exists at one of my clients locations, [x]cube LABS, where I am performing work “on-site”. I am filling an employee-type role, working “full time” to generate the deliverables for the project.

 Dallas Social Media Speaker helps the xcube LABS team

The company occupies space in an Art Gallery/Studio environment. At the front of the building, there is a successful art gallery, Marty Walker Gallery, with artist studios occupying the rest of the building. As my client is in the design business, they chose to rent space with other artists. This is very different for me. I’m used to the glass and steel structure of “Class A” office space and I found this new environment both refreshing and productive.

Here are topics I consider to contribute to being your best and producing your best.

1. Creating & Thinking: This is what many of us get paid for. Anyone can just do a job but to progress in your role, it’s your thoughts and creative contributions that count.  So, create a space that is conducive to creative work and thinking. Is your desk cluttered or clean, do the items on your desk contribute to or detract from your thoughts? What about the walls, lighting, plants, music, a candle burning, your chair… If your work space is not conducive to your creating, then change it. If you cannot change it enough, find a place at a park, a library, a book store, a zoo, or an art gallery that is conducive to your creative process.

2. Resources & Tools: Whether it is a computer, books, a white board, a tablet, colored markers, or a musical instrument, find the tools and resources you need to be productive and make sure you have them at your finger tips. We get distracted and off task when we have to hunt down our tools.

3. Others: Sometimes we need to collaborate with others to produce results. Other times, someone can block us from producing results. Don’t let anything stand in your way of being the best you can be. Go the extra distance to seek those you need to collaborate with. I will schedule lunch with certain people and take notes while we are together. Later, these notes form ideas for projects, blog posts and speaking points.

4. Measurement: How do you measure your results? Of course we can use money, as it is the measure of the market place. Our annual income is in direct proportion to how the market is valuing our contribution. Another big measurement for me is satisfaction. Am I satisfied with my life, my growth, the work I am producing and the people in my life?

5. Mobile Work, on the go, hot cubing: Many of us are working mobile. This can mean working from home, on-site for clients, in the office some, traveling or hanging out at Starbucks. “Hot Cubing” is like Hot Bunking in the Navy. Your work space is being used by a co-worker when you’re not in the office.

All of the above mentioned forms of working can create stress, (and detract from your productivity), or you can turn this variety of locations into a strength. By being able to work away from an office you can seek out those creative spaces mentioned above. Do you take any pictures with you for your traveling work space? My desk top on my laptop is a slide show from my last trip to the BVI. This gives my space a home like feeling where ever I work.

6. Fragmentation: One of the biggest killers of productivity is interruptions. They can take the form of email, social media, Skype, cell phone, office phone, people walking into your office, outside noise, smells …almost anything that keeps you from being your best. Sometimes I turn off my devices and set aside a specific amount of time to contribute focused time to a task. I also have to write myself a note to turn the devices back on when I am done.

What Really Matters is that you are happy, challenged, growing and have a sense that you matter, that people value you as a person and your contributions. When you can pull this off and make a good income, then you have “arrived”.

Upcoming Events

01/04/11                     Aggie Business Luncheon, Dealing with Change

01/06/11                     DFW AMA Meet-N-Greet

01/08/11                     Art Show: Lee Mascarenhas at Craighead Green Gallery

01/10/11                     Social Media & Your Career, Ft Worth Career Network (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/11/11                     Social Media for your Business, Summit Networking Group (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/14/11                     Israel iPhone MeetUp

01/24/11                     Dallas iPhone MeetUp

01/25/11                     The Last Tuesday Happy at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas

01/27/11                     AAF Dallas Happy Hour

01/28/11                     World Affairs Council: Ambassador Marcc Grossman