10 Apps to Help You Accomplish Your New Years Goals

Photo credit: https://www.unlockboot.com/christmas-wallpapers-iphone/

Photo credit: https://www.unlockboot.com/christmas-wallpapers-iphone/

Happy New Year! It’s that time of the year where most of us are thinking through how we want the next year of our lives to look. Maybe you’ve set some resolutions or even gone further and created some goals that you want to accomplish this year. If so, you’re probably looking for tools and apps to help you stick to those goals and we’ve got you covered here!

Here are the best apps that you’ll want to use if you’ve set any goals for 2019:

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1. Productive - Habit Tracking

First up is a pretty awesome habit tracking app called Productive. It allows you to track your habit goals like drinking water, meditating, working, etc. It shows your streaks and will even send you reminders if you want. It’s got a beautiful and simple interface. If you set any habit goals, make sure to snag this one. Download here.

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2. Strides - Goal & Habit Tracking

If you’re looking for a more robust goal tracking app, Strides is pretty neat. It lets you track habits but also tracks your progress on other goals like paying down debt. It has more options than Productive, so if you’re looking for something to include all your goals, definitely check it out and download it here.

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3. SPAR! Challenge Your Friends To Stay on Track with Their Goals

We mentioned this app in last week’s newsletter but it’s worth mentioning again. If you are the type of person who needs extract motivation to stay on track with your goals, why not bet on it with your friends? Each friend puts money in the “pot” and then you check in each day you complete your habit. If you miss a habit, you pay a penalty fee. And the winner takes all. Download it here.

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4. 1 Giant Mind teaches you how to meditate

My favorite meditation app by far. If you have a habit goal for meditation, this is perfect. This one is simple, clean, and the best partially guided meditation I’ve had. You will be guided in and out but will have silent meditation for part of it. Plus, they have fun 12-30 day challenges which are great for making a habit. Download 1 Giant Mind here.

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5. 7 Minute Workout

I use this workout app and it’s awesome if you’ve created a goal to workout regularly but struggle to find the time. It’s pretty basic but gives you the workouts. And its just 7 minutes. But believe me, these are tough workouts and you’ll definitely be sweating by the end. Download it here.

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6. Plant Nanny Helps You Drink More Water

If you’re wanting to make a habit of drinking more water, this app is not only helpful but also cute. You basically pick a “plant” and have to water it each day by tracking how much water you’re drinking. If you don’t want it, it will wilt and eventually die. It makes a game out of staying hydrated and really works! Download it here.

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7. Libby Lets You Rent Books from the Library

Are you trying to read more books this year? If you love reading books on your phone or listening to audiobooks, then Libby is a must. Simply connect to your local library with your library card and immediately begin checking out books and audiobooks straight from your phone. Download it here.

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8. Audible for Listening to Books

Another amazing (and pretty obvious) app for increasing how many books you read is Audible. I personally love it. You can speed up the books to listen to more in less time and it helps you make it a habit since you get a new book credit each month. Download it here.

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9. DayOne Makes Journaling Easy and Searchable

May you want to be more intentional about journaling each day, tracking your life and emotions or just want to keep track of memories. DayOne is great for this because it syncs on all your devices and lets you search your journal entries. Download it here.

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10. Full Focus Planner Helps You Create Goals And Stick to Them

Last, but not least, isn’t actually an app but it’s amazing for helping stay on track with your goals and dive deeper into them. Not only will you create goals for the year, but you’ll be able to figure out why these goals are important to and your next steps. Then you’ll be to focus on those goals each day. You can check it out here.


pocket-sized gimbal

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So my brother-in-law had one of these over Christmas and I thought it was pretty awesome. I got to play with it a little bit and am hoping to get one of my own soon. It’s a pocket-sized gimbal that shoots 4K footage and it even will attach to your phone. I can’t say for sure how much I like it since I still haven’t gotten one, but I thought for those of you who are into videography, you might find it cool. You can check more out about it here.

magnet app

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The Magnet app for your Mac will automatically resize your windows for you depending on where you want them placed. This is awesome if you usually have lots of windows open that you’d like to see at once. For those of us that like the screen split into halves, this is the next level. Check it out here.


I’m Hiring! Do you know someone who could be my new assistant?

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Well, this is bittersweet. My sister-in-law and executive assistant, Marissa, has been offered a full-time job and will be leaving me in January. I’m thrilled for her and have been so grateful for our time working together. So now I’m looking for a new assistant. If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming my executive assistant visit the link below and please email careers@thedigitalorganizer.com with your resume and cover letter.


last week’s facebook live: The Best Apps to Help You Accomplish Your New Years Goals

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Did you set new goals and resolutions for 2019? If so, you’ll want to make sure to watch last week’s episode of The Digital Sanity Show because I share the best apps you can use to make sure you accomplish your goals (and there’s more than what’s in this newsletter!). Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one if you’re looking to crush this year!

Latest Phishing Scam Looks Like It’s Coming From Apple

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Heads up here! If you get a call from what appears to be Apple, be aware that it may be a phishing scam. The contact card will look exactly like the Apple Inc. contact card on your iPhone. But it’s most likely not them. They may try to get your personal info, but please do not give it to them! Remember, Apple never cold calls. If you happy to receive a phone call, hang up immediately and report it to Apple. You can learn more about reporting phishing here.


join me on facebook this wednesday at 8pm central!

Friday I had a session with someone who didn’t know about Shared Albums in iCloud. This is my far my favorite way to share photos among Apple users, even if they don’t have a Mac.

When celebrating with both sides of the family, I created a shared album for all of us to upload our photos to. It’s way easier and more fun than using Dropbox or some of the other things a lot of people use on vacations with friends and family. In fact, we do this for every major event and we all love it!

Join me on Wednesday, January 9th at 8 PM Central to learn all about it!

The Best Apps to Download for Your New iPhone

Photo credit: https://www.unlockboot.com/christmas-wallpapers-iphone/

Photo credit: https://www.unlockboot.com/christmas-wallpapers-iphone/

You may have just received a new iPhone for Christmas and we wanted to share our top apps that we think you should download. Some of these apps are great for performing certain tasks, others are great for keeping you organized, and some are just for fun.

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1Password keeps all your passwords safe and easy to access

If you’ve been following me for a while or know me at all, you know my favorite app for password organization and management is 1Password. I’ve written on this many times (here and here) but to me, its the #1 app everyone needs to have. And with the new iOS, 1Password is now integrated. That means you can easily access your 1Password account information, credit cards, and identities straight from the websites you’re looking to fill in. Download 1Password here.

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Spark lets you collaborate on email

Sure, your iPhone will come with Apple Mail built in, but it doesn’t stand a chance compared to Spark. It’s my absolute favorite email app. I wrote about how I use it with my assistant here. Trust me on this one. You’ll never look at email the same once you’ve used Spark. Check out my Facebook Live that I did on Spark. Download Spark here.

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FantastiCal 2 lets you toggle between calendar sets

If you’re looking for the best calendar app, this is definitely it. I also recommend getting it on your Mac, but you’ll want to sync up with the iPhone app. My favorite thing is that you can toggle between different calendar sets (think: work, just me, family, etc.). It is hands down my favorite calendar app. Here’s a blog post and my Facebook Live on how I use it. Download FantastiCal 2 here.

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Asana manages takes, to-do lists, and projects

For task management, Asana is my favorite. There are also other apps like Todoist that are pretty good as well, but Asana is awesome for managing projects and assigning tasks to team members. Download Asana here.

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Amazon lets you buy almost anything with just one click

If you’re anything like me, you probably order something from Amazon at least weekly if not almost daily. It’s so convenient to have the app right on your phone for quick ordering and tracking. You can even turn on 1-click ordering, although it can be dangerous for some haha! It’s definitely my favorite shopping app. Download Amazon here.

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1 Giant Mind teaches you how to meditate

My favorite meditation app by far. And Madeline and I have tried lots of them. This one is simple, clean, and the best partially guided meditation I’ve had. You will be guided in and out but will have silent meditation for part of it. Plus, they have fun 12-30 day challenges which are great for making a habit. Download 1 Giant Mind here.

Libby lets you rent digital library books for free

If you love reading books on your phone or listening to audiobooks, then Libby is a must. Simply connect to your local library with your library card and immediately begin checking out books and audiobooks straight from your phone. Download Libby here.

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Waze takes your around traffic and notifies you about cops and road hazards

This is by far my favorite traffic app. It is totally beyond any other GPS I’ve seen. Yes, it gives you directions, but more than that it will help direct you around the traffic shaving minutes off your travel time and it will even alert you if there are police, accidents, or even construction on your route. Download Waze here.

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Binaural beats help you concentrate and relax

I love listening to binaural beats while I’m trying to focus on deep work or am just needing to relax. They’re also great to listen to during meditation. Just make sure to use them with headphones so they’re actually effective. Download Binaural here.

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Venmo makes sharing money super easy

This is my favorite app to quickly share money with friends. Whether I’m quickly splitting a meal cost with friends or paying someone back for a movie ticket, Venmo makes it really easy and fast to give and receive money. Download Venmo here.

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Dark Sky tells you minute by minute whats happen with the weather

This is a great weather app if you want something a little bit more in-depth than just what Apple Weather’s app tells you. One thing I love about Dark Sky is that you can see exactly when rain will be starting or stopping in your area (and it’s pretty dang precise!). You can also submit weather in your area to help them improve their forecasts which is great. Download Dark Sky here.

Instacart lets you grocery shop from the comfort of your couch

If you’re looking for an easy way to make your life more simple, getting your groceries delivered is a total game changer. We love using Instacart when we’re in a pinch and don't’ have time to get to the grocery store. You can shop from lots of stores like Whole Foods, Kroger, and Costco. Download Instacart here.

Pocket keeps all those articles you want to read but don’t have time for yet

This is a great app that we recently discovered. It syncs on your devices (you’ll just need to install the extension for your Mac browser of choice) and keeps those articles you want to read later on. It also lets you tag articles and takes away all the annoying ads. Download Pocket here.

Spotify makes listening to music customized and easy

If you’re a music lover, get Spotify. It’s worth it to get the Premium option to get rid of the ads. Spotify’s curated playlists are awesome and you can find almost anything you’re in the mood for. Download Spotify here.



USB-C Hub Available for iPad Pro

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If you recently got the new iPad Pro, you’ll most likely want to get a USB-C Hub so that you can connect all your devices. Statechi makes an awesome one that they just released. You can get it here.

Keep Your New Years Resolutions by Challenging Friends with SPAR!

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This is a pretty cool concept for an app. I personally haven’t tried it, but recently learned about it and thought it was pretty awesome. Basically, if you’re trying to install a new habit, this helps you keep it by challenging friends and upping the stakes. Each friend puts money in the “pot” and then you check in each day you complete your habit. If you miss a habit, you pay a penalty fee. And the winner takes all. Check it out here.


I’m Hiring! Do you know someone who could be my new assistant?

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Well, this is bittersweet. My sister-in-law and executive assistant, Marissa, has been offered a full-time job and will be leaving me in January. I’m thrilled for her and have been so grateful for our time working together. So now I’m looking for a new assistant. If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming my executive assistant visit the link below and please email careers@thedigitalorganizer.com with your resume and cover letter.


join me on facebook this wednesday at 8pm central!

Did you set new goals and resolutions for 2019? If so, you’ll want to make sure to tune in this Wednesday evening at 8 pm toThe Digital Sanity Show on Facebook Live because I’ll be sharing the best apps you can use to make sure you accomplish your goals. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this one if you’re looking to crush this year!

Go Analog With This Planner to Help Increase Your Focus

Full Focus Planner®

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While this is not a “gadget” it’s definitely something I think could be extremely impactful on your productivity and achieving your goals. And full disclosure, my father-in-law Michael Hyatt is the creator of this planner, but I wanted to share it because I’ve now been using it for over 6-months and have seen a drastic improvement in my productivity. While it’s analog and not a digital app (like most of us are used to), I think it’s pretty brilliant in how it helps you get things done. And the power of writing things down has been proven to increase your achievement of those tasks and goals.

The way that this planner works is that each day you chunk down what you need to do into the three most important tasks called your Daily Big 3. Basically, you ask yourself, “At the end of today if I didn’t get anything else done, what three tasks would make me feel accomplished?” Ideally, these three tasks are helping you get closer to achieving your goals.

If you feel like you’re struggling with productivity, focus, or achieving your goals, I highly recommend you look into the Full Focus Planner. It will save you time and will beat procrastination. Each planner is designed to use every quarter (four per year) and you can either get a single planner or a subscription for the year. You can check them out here. I do not get any kickback from these planners, I just really believe they are an incredible tool to use daily and wanted to share that with you in hopes that it will help!


Best Holiday Apple Deals

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If you’re still looking for some super sweet holiday deals on Apple Products, there are some pretty amazing ones out there. You can currently get Apple’s HomePod $100 off of its normal price at just $249 here. B&H Photo is only offering this on a limited supply, so if you’re thinking of getting this deal, make sure to get it while they’ve got them.

B&H Photo is also offering plenty of amazing deals on tons of other Apple products like MacBooks, iPads, and Apple Watches, here. It’s a great time to purchase Apple gifts or if you’re looking for an upgrade.


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Dark Mode is Now in Microsoft Office & Coming to Google Chrome in 2019

If you’re loving Dark Mode as much as me and you enjoy using Microsoft Office, you’re in luck. Now the 2019 version of Microsoft Office supports dark mode and what’s even more exciting? Google Chrome with get Dark Mode in early 2019. I’ve been waiting for this update to come since Chrome is the primary browser a lot of us use. I also enjoy using NightOwl to easily toggle between light and dark mode and also program my modes to the setting and rising of the sun.

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New Super Cheap Smart Plug from Ikea

This is pretty awesome. I love automating as many things as I can and Ikea just made doing that a lot cheaper. They recently came out with a $10 smart plug that connects to Apple’s HomeKit. You can easily turn on or off your lamps at home or even your coffee maker. And the best thing is that you can program your lamps or other home devices to turn on or off at certain times. With just a $10 price tag, it makes it pretty hard to say no to home automation. Purchase here.


This App Creates a Master App

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This is a pretty cool app that I’m trying out. I just recently discovered it and thought the concept was awesome. It basically is an app that will rule all your other apps. Rather than having all your apps open in different windows, it creates a “master app” with just one window and multiple tabs for your apps. A lot easier to quickly switch apps than have to go search for that one app you’re looking for. You can download and try Station out here.


Calendly Makes Scheduling Appointments Easier and It’s Getting Even Better

I use Calendly for all of my scheduling and it makes it extremely easy and seamless. Not only can you easily share when you’re available with clients and colleagues but it also helps if you’re scheduling appointments across multiple time zones. And it's getting even better.

Your availability will now be shown in a month view where people can select the day that works for them and then see your available time slots. I am excited and hopeful that this update will make scheduling even better!  Calendly has yet to release an official release date for this update, but it will automatically update for you, so you don’t have to worry about a thing! If you want to try it out, check out how to here.


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A Tour of The Full Focus Planner and How I Use it to Stay on Track With My Most Important Priorities

This Wednesday, join me on Facebook Live where I will be sharing how I use the Full Focus Planner.

I have been using this planner for months now and can’t imagine not having it in my “tool box”. I’ll be giving you an in-depth look into the planner, how I use it to stay on track with my goals, and sharing how I have used it to create my ideal week.

Join me this Wednesday at 8:00 pm Central on Facebook!


Update on My Cousin Connor

Last week I shared with you about my cousin Connor and his battle with cancer. I wanted to take a minute to give you all an update. It is with a lot of sadness that I share that Connor lost his battle to cancer last Tuesday, December 11th. He went peacefully surrounded by his family. I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to spend much of his last week together. We were even able to spend Christmas together before I left town. I ask that you continue to keep Connor and my family in your prayers and send lots of love our way. If you would like to help relieve some of the financial burden of his cancer treatment, please do so by clicking the button below. Connor’s family will be extremely grateful!

This App Will Help Keep Your Desktop Organized and Clutter Free

This App Will Help Keep Your Desktop Organized and Clutter Free

Hocus Focus is an awesome app for your Mac that will help your desktop stay clutter free and will help you maintain focus on the projects or tasks you need to. While working with many of my clients, I notice how cluttered their screens can be. A lot of times because they need multiple apps running, but it can create a lot of digital and visual clutter.

This app will automatically minimize apps that you have running but aren’t using. Especially those that you might have running in the background like music apps like Spotify, work timers like Toggl, or even communication apps like Messages or Spark.

You can easily set each app to hide after a certain time of inactivity. The default time is 30 seconds, but you can adjust that to your liking.

I think this app is extremely useful if you’re someone who struggles with staying focused on the task at hand or if you usually have multiple windows open at the same time.

Download the app for free here.


New ECG App on Apple Watch Series 4 Monitors Your Heart

With the new watchOS 5.1.2 update, your series 4 Apple Watch will now monitor your heart rate and let you know if it detects abnormal rhythm. You can watch the above video to learn more about how to use this new feature. It’s pretty amazing that with just your watch and the touch of a button, you can make sure your heart is operating at a healthy rate.


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Looking to Charge Your Phone Fast? You Can Now Buy Apple’s $29 USB-C Adapter

Apple just released their brand new 18W USB-C Power Adapter through their accessory store. This is an 18 watt USB-C power adapter that will supercharge your iPad or iPhone. You will still have to purchase the USB-C to Lightning Cable for $19. But, this is a great option for charging your devices fast.

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Apple Released Clear iPhone XR Case to Show Off Colors

If you have bought Apples current most popular phone, the iPhone Xr, chances are you need a case. Apple just released their first case for the phone which made from clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU materials. It’s perfect for showcasing these colorful phones. However, the only drawback with clear cases is they usually yellow over time or become blue from blue jeans. I hope that Apple’s will be a higher quality that won’t discolor!


Amazon Prime Video App Now Available for Comcast Xfinity X1

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If you love Amazon Prime and are a Comcast Xfinity customer, you can now stream it through your X1 device. This app was released last week and has been rolling out to customers, so if it hasn’t reached you yet, give it a few days. This is the first time Amazon Prime has been available to a major cable provider and it’s pretty exciting given that lots of Prime shows are now rolling out like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.


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Need a Hotel Tonight?

Some of you may know that I had to quickly leave town last week due to a family emergency. I needed a hotel quick the same day and wasn’t sure where to look. Luckily I was able to get a room at the same hotel my family was staying at, but I later learned of this app (they also have a website) which would’ve been extremely useful. It shows you what rooms are available at hotels in your area or where you’re planning to visit and the prices are usually very marked down. It would especially useful for last-minute getaways or work trips. Download the free app here.

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Facebook Live Canceled This Week

Unfortunately, I have to cancel this week’s Digital Sanity Show Facebook Live. As some of you know, I had to abruptly leave town last week for a family emergency ( more about that below). This caused me to have to cancel all my appointments for the rest of the week which means that I am now making up most of those appointments this week. I will plan to be back next week so please join me then! In the meantime, you can view all my past Facebook Lives here like The Greatest Email Tool Since Gmail in 2004 and My #1 Favorite Calendar Tool & How to Use it with Your Assistant.


More About My Family Emergency: Please Consider Supporting My Cousin, Connor, and His Family

If you had an appointment with me last week or tried contacting me, you probably heard that I had to abruptly leave town for a family emergency. I wanted to share a bit more about that…

I ended up flying to California on Tuesday of last week when I got word that my 23-year-old cousin, Connor, was given a week to live. He’s been in the hospital for months battling a very aggressive Leukemia since February of this year. He’s done multiple rounds of chemotherapy and even a bone marrow transplant that ultimately failed.

On Thursday night we drove from the hospital in CA to Las Vegas where he and my family are from. We brought him home so he could spend this precious time with family.

I want to ask first off for your prayers for Connor—that he would be filled with love, peace, courage, and that my family would have strength and comfort.

Secondly, I humbly ask for you to consider supporting Connor’s family financially. The medical bills have been astounding and they asking for help to cover these costs. Any donation helps! You can donate using the button below.

At this point, Connor’s future is uncertain. What I do know is that he is surrounded by love and family, that he will at some point, just as we all will, meet his Maker and be free of all pain and suffering. It has been a few very hard, but precious days spent with Connor. Thank you all for your love and support during this time!

Keep Your Home Safe and Recommended Tech Products

SimpliSafe Home Security System 30% Off

I had a client ask me this past week about home automation and security systems. And while this isn’t my area of expertise, the one product I did recommend to her was SimpliSafe home security systems. I have been very interested in this company for a while and have heard amazing things about their products. I love how simple and sleek their products are to use. Plus they are really affordable. You can also get a 30% discount on any of their products through tomorrow night.

Some of their cool features are: no contracts, entry and motion sensors, glass-break detection, video security that you can watch from anywhere, and the ability to monitor and control your home from anywhere using their app. Sounds pretty awesome to me! You can check out their website and shop here.


the ultimate external monitor for new macbook pros

Did you miss my Facebook live from last week? I shared my favorite new monitor that is perfect if you own a MacBook Pro. I give you a behind-the-scenes look at my setup. Check it out above or through the button below!


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Don’t miss out on getting your iphone battery replaced for cheap! discount ending december 31st.

If you need to get your iPhone battery replaced, now is the time to do it. Apple will be discontinuing their discount replacement program on 12/31/18. If you own a iPhone SE, 6, 6 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, or X, you can get your battery replaced for only $29. After the first of the year the price will go up to $49 except for iPhone X which will be $69.
You can check your battery health by going to Settings on your iPhone > Battery > Battery Health. It will tell you if they recommend a battery replacement. Learn more here.

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Looking to get a new iphone? now get up to $100 more with apple’s new trade-in credit

Apple is definitely trying to incentivize people to upgrade to one of the new iPhones. They’ve upped their trade-in prices for pretty much all iPhones. If you don’t want to deal with listing your phone on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist, this is a pretty good alternative, although you still won’t make quite as much money as you would selling it outright. You can check out how much your iPhone trade-in value is at their new website,


apple music coming to amazon echo devices

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Good news for all of you who news Amazon Echo devices! Apple Music is coming to your device on December 17th. You’ll now easily be able to ask Alexa, “Play Coldplay on Apple Music.”

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Get Hyper Focused with Be Focused App

This app uses the “Pomodoro Technique” to help you get stuff done. The idea behind the technique is that you work for 25 minutes and then take a break for 5 minutes. And every hour, take a 20-30 minute break. With Be Focused, you don’t have to worry about constantly starting and stopping your iPhone timer. This connects to your desktop or phone and runs in the background. If you struggle with staying focused for periods of time, this might do the trick. They have a pro version or a free version.

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Want to know what Tech Products I Recommend Most?

I have finally put together a list of all the tech products that I recommend most to my clients. This will continue to be a working list where I will update regularly as I find new and better products. If you’re looking to purchase a monitor, thunderbolt dock, adapters, etc. be sure to check out my list to see which products I recommend. You can check out all my recommended tech products here.


The Ultimate Productivity Partner: Email Edition

a new email paradigm for executives and their assistants

Email making you crazy?

Imagine how productive you could be if you could take it off your plate almost completely.

Introducing The Ultimate Productivity Partner: Email Edition—a new email paradigm for executives and their assistants—coming February 2019. Join the waitlist below!

Whether you’ve had an assistant for years or are just making your first hire, this video course will show you exactly how to set up your email to be in perfect harmony with your assistant—in a way you’ve never seen before. Get ready to be blown away.

Cyber Monday Deals & The Ultimate Monitor for New MacBook Pros

Cyber Monday Deals!

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If you’re still looking for deals, check out all the Apple Cyber Monday deals here and here! There are still tons of great deals through tonight at midnight.


My New Video Course Coming February 2019

Email making you crazy?

Imagine how productive you could be if you could take it off your plate almost completely.

Introducing The Ultimate Productivity Partner: Email Edition—a new email paradigm for executives and their assistants—coming February 2019. Join the waitlist below!

Whether you’ve had an assistant for years or are just making your first hire, this video course will show you exactly how to set up your email to be in perfect harmony with your assistant—in a way you’ve never seen before. Get ready to be blown away.


$150 Off One of My Favorite Monitors! Offer Ends Tonight!

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I just bought this monitor for myself even though I’ve recommended it in the past. I am loving it. It has a curved monitor and a 34” LCD screen. If you’re looking for an awesome Christmas gift for you or your loved one, check it out here. Offer ends tonight at 11:59 pm ET!


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Mophie Powerstation USB-C 3XL

This bad boy will charge all your devices including your computer. If you're like me and are constantly on the go and using your computer for work, I definitely recommend getting one of these. It will charge your MacBook at a rapid rate and your iPhone up to 2.5x faster. You can purchase it here.

Make Your Instagram Stories Stand Out!

If you’re looking to take your Instagram stories up a notch and really feature your brand or message in a professional looking way or make a call to action super easy, you should check out Unfold. It’s pretty easy to use and they allow you to drop in your own photos or videos and add text. Plus it’s free. Download Unfold here.


Stocking Stuffer for the Mac Lovers in Your Life!

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This is a super cheap, but great stocking stuffer for anyone in your family who owns a Mac with USB C. I’m personally getting this one in my stocking. Extremely handy to have on hand. Purchase here for just $11.99.


Join Me This Week on Facebook Live!

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I’m back! Join me on Facebook Live this Wednesday evening at 8 pm CST. After a couple weeks off I’m excited to get to chat with you about my favorite new monitor for new MacBook Pros! Make sure to bring your questions and I’ll see you there!

Black Friday Deals! (2018)

It’s almost Black Friday and while I was hoping to share tons of great deals with you, the truth is not everyone is advertising their deals yet. If I do find more awesome deals, I’ll be posting those on my Facebook Page, so make sure to Like my page so that you will see if I post anything noteworthy!

It seems like Best Buy yet again has the best deals. But other places like Walmart and Target also have some pretty sweet sales going on.

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$200 Off MacBook Air at Best Buy

If you’ve been wanting to get a MacBook Air, Black Friday is the time to do it. At Best Buy stores, you’ll get $200 off a 13.3”Display with Intel Core i5, 8GB memory, and 128GB Flash Storage. Please note that this is NOT the brand new Touch ID MacBook Air that was recently released. No doubt, still a great deal.

Regular Price: $999.99
Black Friday Deal: $799.99

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$200 Off iMac (latest model) at Best Buy

Another great deal here. Get the latest version of the iMac for under a thousand bucks. 21.5” Display, 2.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB hard drive, and 8GB memory.

Regular Price: $1099.99
Black Friday Deal: $899.99

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$300 Walmart Giftcard with Purchase of iPhone Xs, Xs Max, and Xr

This is a pretty good deal. The ad says that they have to be purchased on qualifying AT&T Next, Sprint, or Verizon payment plans. You may want to contact your cell phone company or Walmart to see if you would apply for this. You can see Walmarts entire Black Friday ad here.

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$150 Off iPad Mini 4 at Best Buy

This is a great gift idea for your kids or grandkids or even for yourself! Great for games, reading, and just about anything. These are expected to sell out quickly.

Regular Price: $399.99
Black Friday Deal: $249.99

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$79 Off iPad at Walmart (latest model)

If you want more screen space than the mini, this is a good deal as well.

Regular Price: $329
Black Friday Deal: $250

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$80 Off Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS at Target

Target has some great deals too, one of which is their deal on the Apple Watch. If for some reason you don’t want to do the Apple Watch, they also have deals on other wearables like Fitbit. You can check out more of Target’s deals here.

$100 Off Apple HomePod at Best Buy

I don’t have one of these, so I can’t speak to my own experience, but if you’ve been curious to try HomePod, now would be a good time since you’ll get $100 off at Best Buy. This is Apple’s response to Amazon’s Alexa and other Smart Home Speakers.

Regular Price: $349.99
Black Friday Deal: $249.99

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$20 Off Apple AirPods

These are my favorite earbuds. I use them constantly through Bluetooth with my phone & computer.

Regular Price: $173.95
Black Friday Deal: $154.95

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$25 Off Sonos One Speaker

You know that I love Sonos speakers. They seamlessly integrate with Alexa so it makes them so easy to use with just the sound of your voice. Sonos is my favorite brand when it comes to speakers.

Regular Price: $199
Black Friday Deal: $175

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$50 Off Sonos Beam Soundbar

This is an amazing product for your TV. It’s Sonos’ newest product. It also features Alexa voice command and Airplay. It’s the perfect upgrade for your TV’s built-in speakers.

Regular Price: $399
Black Friday Deal: $349

$70 Off Nest Learning Thermostat

Madeline and I had a nest thermostat in our old house and loved it. You can control it using your iPhone which is awesome, especially if you’re traveling or going to be gone from home longer than you intended. It also learns your schedule and helps you save on energy.

Regular Price: $249
Black Friday Deal: $179

$70 Off Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera

If you like Nest already, this is another great product from them. Live streamable, night vision and 2-way audio, and a lot more features. Great affordable indoor camera.

Regular Price: $199
Black Friday Deal: $129

Safeguard Your Accounts from Hackers

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I hate when my clients tell me that their accounts have been hacked. I hate it for them because it feels completely violating and before you know it, “you” have either sent 100 emails to everyone you know or you are somehow made to believe you’re being blackmailed unless you send money to some random guy.

The great news for you is that safeguarding your accounts is actually pretty simple. I’ve written about this before but thought it was time to revisit this since it seems like people are getting hacked more and more these days.

Step 1: Download 1Password

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to download my favorite password protection tool called 1Password. If you’re a client of mine, you probably already have this, but if not, make sure to download it.

Step 2: Change your email password to a strong password

I recommend either letting 1Password generate a password for you or doing 3-4 words separated by spaces of hyphens. The key here is that you aren’t using an easy-to-hack password like your birthday or pet’s name.

Step 3: Setup 2-Step Verification for Your Email

This is so important. If you watch my FB Live from last week, you can hear more about this, but it’s so important so that if someone tries to log into your account and it isn’t you, you’ll be notified. If you use Gmail, here are the instructions on how to do that.

Step 4: Add 2-Step Verification for Accounts into 1Password

This will help keep all your 2-Step Verification codes all in one place, 1Password. You can learn how to set this up here or what my FB Live below.

Step 5: Add in Your Logins and Other Information & Change Any Duplicate or Weak Passwords Using Password Generator

Once you have everything set up, it’s time to add all your accounts into 1Password. This may take some time, but believe me, it’s really worth it. Set aside some time to input them all in.

Now, if you’ve had the same password or a variation of the same password for all your accounts, it’s going to be time to change those passwords to stronger passwords. Again, I recommend 3-4 words separated by hyphens or spaces (1Password can automatically generate these, just change the options when you click Password Generator.

You can also put in any identities, credit cards, bank accounts, drivers licenses, etc. that you want. This is really helpful for filling out online forms (especially at checkout) quickly.

And you’re all set!

Bonus Step: If you’re using Mojave, your computer now has some great privacy settings. You no longer have to worry about someone hacking into your computer and gaining access to your microphone or video camera. You will now always be prompted with a popup that asked for you to enable your microphone or camera if someone is using an app that needs it. Read more about this and how to do this here.

You can go into System Preferences → Security & Privacy → Privacy → Camera & Microphone to see what apps have access to it. I make sure that Zoom has access to Camera, Microphone, and Accessibility since I use that with my remote clients all the time.

If you’re still struggling with this and need additional help setting up 1Password, please reach out to me to schedule a session. You can either go ahead and schedule a session here or email me at shawn@thedigitalorganizer.com and we can get you set up!

I hope that’s helpful and will prevent you from being hacked! It’s all about using strong passwords and setting up 2-Step Verification for your accounts and 1Password is my favorite tool to use for this!

You can learn about how I use 1Password in my Facebook Live Below

Did You Miss My Facebook Live
Last Week?

I shared my top tips for not getting hacked and how to streamline your passwords and accounts by using 1Password. Check it out by clicking the button below! Make sure to leave me a comment and let me know if you use 1Password or if you’ve been hacked.

I’m on a Podcast!

My podcast is officially out! So stoked to have been able to talk with A Natural Shift on their podcast Take the Upgrade. If you've been struggling to get organized in your digital life, check it out and listen! I'd love to hear what you think!

Thunderbolt Dock

The biggest complaint about the new Macs is the port situation. Only having Thunderbolt 3 or USB C can be pretty annoying. I have an external monitor, webcam, mic, external hard drive, SD cards, and ethernet that I want to plug in regularly at my stand up desk. On the hunt I went for the best dock out there. I wanted ONE cable to plug into my MacBook Pro that did everything, including charging a 15” MacBook Pro at the full wattage. This is important for you 15” MBP users.

The Caldigit TS3 appeared to be the best option. I snagged one from Amazon and got it that same day. It’s been incredible! I’m going to plan to do a Facebook Live demo on this soon because I think it’s so helpful. But if you’ve been wanting to pull the trigger and get one now, I highly recommend it. You can purchase it here. Keep in mind if your monitor has VGA or DVI, you’re going to need to get a VGA to USB C adapter. The new MacBook Pros are a bit finicky when it comes to external monitors.


Eek! Your Personal Data May Be Out There for Everyone to See! Here’s How to Remove Yourself!

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My dad sent me an email last week informing me that there’s a voter registration site that has personal information on everyone and linked back to this site, TruthFinder.com. It’s crazy how much information about you is “public” whether it be from social media or through public records. And they have info on EVERYONE!

The good news is that you can choose to opt-out from having your information public, which is what I did. It’s pretty simple and fast. Took me no time at all and 100% worth it. I highly recommend that you do this!

And just an FYI, if you’re curious and want to run a report on yourself, they will charge you almost $30 to do so but don’t tell you this until you’ve gone through the entire process for about 15 minutes. No need to do this. Just choose to opt-out. Here’s how:

Option One: Online (fastest and easiest)

  1. Go to TruthFinder Opt-Out Page

  2. Fill out the form on the page

  3. Click the green "Remove This Record" button next to the correct report

  4. Enter a valid email address and click "Send Confirmation Email"

  5. Check your inbox for the confirmation email. If you don’t find it, check your spam folder

  6. Click the link in the confirmation email to confirm your opt-out request

Option Two: By Phone

  1. Call the TruthFinder Member Care Team at (800) 699-8081

  2. Provide your name, address, age and any other information they may need to locate your record

Option Three: By Mail

  1. Address an envelope to TruthFinder, 2534 State Street, Suite 473, San Diego, CA, 92101

  2. Provide your full name, full address, email address, and date of birth

  3. Apply postage to your envelope and drop it in the mail

Finally Email Templates in Spark!

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I cannot tell you how excited my assistant, Marissa, was when she saw that Spark released a new update with Email Templates!  She is regularly sending out the same emails to my clients confirming appointments or asking them to fill out forms or sign documents. This makes all of that so easy! Previously, she was using TextExpander before this feature was released which worked well but meant she had to have multiple apps open and sometimes forgot her own shortcuts. Now, sending a template is as easy as selecting the template right in the email she’s composing. If you frequently are sending the same emails out, you’re going to love this feature. You’ll need to update your app and then it’ll appear in your Preferences. You can read this how-to if you want more info.

An App to Replace Evernote, Google Drive, and Asana?

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My father-in-law is pretty stoked about this app for his business called Notion. It basically claims to replace Evernote, GoogleDocs, Asana, and Trello (just to name a few). I’m still looking into this app, but it seems to have some pretty cool features like the ability to take notes & documents, keep a knowledge base for important protocols and workflows for your team, keep track of progress with tasks & projects, and even keep records with spreadsheets & databases. As I said, I’m still not 100% sold on this, but it’s definitely worth mentioning that I’m looking into it. Have you used Notion? I would love to hear what you think! Just reply to this email.


No Facebook Live for the Next Two Weeks

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This week and next, I won’t be on Facebook Live. The reason? This Wednesday I will be attending the Free to Focus Live event, which will hopefully up-level my productivity! I’m super excited about it. And next Wednesday, I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with my wife’s family. Even though I won’t be joining you live, be on the lookout. I’ll be doing a short Facebook Live with all the Black Friday deals that you need to know about when it comes to everything tech. I’ll also be sending this info out in next week’s newsletter. Stay tuned!


My Thoughts on the New iPad Pro, Macbook Air, and Mac mini

New iPad Pros

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Not to be confused with iPad or iPad Mini, the iPad Pro was updated last week. There are a couple significant upgrades I’m excited to share. First off, the 10.5” iPad is still the same form factor, but since they were able to reduce the size of the bezel around the display, they were able to bump up the screen size to 11”. The 12.9” is also slightly smaller than the previous version because of the slimmer bezel.

Upgrades include FaceID (woohoo!), faster processors, and the Apple Pencil is magnetic and will stick to the side of the iPad. While it’s stuck there, it charges itself as well! It’s slimmer, lighter, has louder speakers, better cameras, all-day battery life, and a new charging port. If you have already upgraded to the MacBook Pro with USB C, this is great news. Now the charger for your laptop can charge the iPad. USB C is catching on with the rest of the electronic world and we’re finally seeing one port to rule them all. We even get to use that port to transfer data between devices and connect to a 5K external display! Incredible! If you’ve been waiting to buy a new iPad, this is it!

You can purchase a new iPad Pro here!

New MacBook Air

It only took them 3 years to upgrade Apple’s most loved computer. I don’t know if that’s officially the favorite, but certainly, my clients are obsessed with the Air. So what’s new?! Same screen size but it’s smaller and lighter. They were able to shrink the bezel around the display and put in a retina display which looks beautiful. It’s got Touch ID built in (whoohoo!) Faster processors, still dual core but faster than the MacBook and not as fast as MacBook Pro. You can add 16 GB of RAM and 1.5 TB of storage. It’s 2.75 lbs, the old one is 3 lbs even. Bigger trackpad, louder speakers and twice the bass. And don’t forget about the new colors and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Who is this computer for?

MacBook Air has always been for the average computer user. You want to surf the web, edit some photos and maybe the occasional video, and possibly play some games. It’s NOT a gaming computer or something professional photo or video people would want as a primary computer. It’s going to do just about everything really well. The battery lasts a long time and you have all the latest conveniences like Touch ID, the new keyboard, force touch trackpad etc. I think this is a great option for most people looking to upgrade their Mac.

If you do a lot on your computer, especially with graphics and video, I’d recommend upgrading to the Pro. I should note that you can use external GPUs with this computer which is a really cool option for people who want the smallest and fastest computer without breaking the bank. The external GPU for when you’re editing or need extra horsepower at your primary workstation is fantastic.

You can purchase the new MacBook Air here.

New Mac mini

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The poor Mac mini has been neglected for so long, but that’s finally changed! I feel like they did this one right. It’s got quad-core processors and can be configured with a 6-core if you. RAM goes up to 64GB! That’s what I’m talking about! Flash storage options are up to 2TB, some normal USB A connections, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, Ethernet and headphone jacks are standard. There’s a new chip installed to encrypt your data automatically and change some video formats up to 30 times faster. I’m trying to figure out an excuse to buy this one :) Again, feel free to snag an external GPU to take this puppy to the next level.

You can purchase the new Mac mini here.

Screen & Blue Light Protector

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If you just got a new iPhone Xs, you probably want to think about getting a screen protector. This one looks pretty awesome because it helps with shock and actual screen protection, but it also protects you against harmful blue lights, which is super important for your sleep, mood, and brain function. You can get one for your iPhone Xs, Xs MAX here or Phone Xr here.

Textlicious Lets You Change Font in Text, Tweets, and Posts

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This app is pretty cool. It gives you the ability to make your text bold, italic, or even in a different font when you’re sending a text message or posting online to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can get the app here for $1.99.

It’s Time to Update!

You may have noticed that early last week, Apple rolled out updates for almost all devices. These updates for iOS and macOS include new emojis and Group FaceTiming among other updates and fixes. watchOS also saw new updates with new emojis and new color interfaces. And lastly, tvOS saw an update for fourth & fifth generation Apple TVs. Basically, if you own an Apple Device, you’ll want to check for updates.


Join me on Wednesday on Facebook Live!


My #1 Calendar Tool & How to Use it With Your Assistant

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Last week I talked to you about my favorite email tool and this week I want to share with you my #1 favorite calendar tool, Fantastical. If you haven’t been using FantastiCal, maybe you’re using Google Calendar, iCal, or something similar. Previously, I was using Google Calendar along with another tool I use for scheduling appointments, Calendly. While it did the job, I had a few issues with it.

First off, Google Calendar doesn’t allow you to add in travel time, which is a big issue for me when calculating time in between appointments with my calendar. It also didn’t allow me to quickly add in calendar items and just felt overall a bit clunky.

Give 100% Control of Your Calendar to Your Assistant

When I hired my assistant, Marissa, one of the first things I did was give her 100% control over my calendar. And if you have an assistant, I highly encourage you to do the same thing. It was a big game changer. Having one person in charge of managing and scheduling appointments was great because there wasn’t any confusion and it gave me the ability to have a little bit of space when clients would reach out for that last-minute emergency appointment. I was finally able to say, “I need to check with my assistant first to see what’s on my calendar.”

Create an Ideal Week

One of the first things Marissa and I did was to create my Ideal Week. It helps us both get clear on what the weekly goal was in terms of my schedule. We knew that on Wednesdays, I don’t take appointments with clients because that's my catch up day. I do all of my admin work, catching up on emails, paperwork, invoices, creative work, etc. We also figured out that I needed to be done with work by 5 pm. (I was often times working until 7 pm because my schedule was so overloaded which isn’t in alignment with my goals).I also wanted to make sure I made time for things like self-care and relationships and creating my Ideal Week helped Marissa make sure that happened.

My father-in-law, Michael Hyatt has created some great resources for creating your Ideal Week. You can see those here.

Create Separate Calendars for Personal and Business

I have a calendar for business related stuff and also things related to Madeline and me. It’s great because it helps me easily switch from work mode into relationship mode and helps Marissa see what’s on our personal calendar. Plus, Madeline also has access to my business calendar and can easily add in personal appointments and events without messing up my day-to-day meetings.

Make Sure to Calculate for Travel Time

When your assistant is adding in local appointments, you want to make sure he/she adds in travel time. In FantastiCal, you can easily add in locations for appointments and chose to add in travel time and alerts for when you should leave so that you can be on time for your appointments.

You can learn more about how I use Spark by watching my Facebook live from last week below.

Did You Miss My Facebook Live
Last Week?

I shared my favorite calendar tool. If you have an assistant who manages (or should manage) your calendar, you'll want to watch this. I share my assistant and my secrets and which program we're obsessed with and how we use it to completely streamline and organize my calendar! Even if you don’t have an assistant if you’ve got a lot of calendar event and are feeling overwhelmed this could be a turning point for you.

Apple to Compete with Netflix and Hulu

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There’s no question we’re living in the golden age of television. It seems like everyone’s joined in except Apple...until now. It’s rumored that they will be releasing their own version of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime in 2019 with their own series and movies. I will be free for those with Apple devices, but it’s unclear exactly how they’ll be making their money. Some say it’ll be through an upgrade for premium services like HBO or Showtime, but we aren’t sure. What is clear, is that their lineup of original series looks pretty freaking amazing. I’m super stoked to see them joining the scene with some pretty big names. Stay tuned for more info on this. I’m hoping they release more info tomorrow at the Apple event.

New Macs & iPads to be announced Tomorrow!

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Tomorrow is the day for the Apple Live event at 10 am Eastern Time. I’m super excited to see what new mac’s they’ll be releasing and any other exciting announcements. Stay tuned for more updates on this...my thoughts may be in next week’s newsletter. You’ll be able to live stream on their website or on your Apple TV.

Best iPhone Xr Cases

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If you just got the iPhone Xr, you’re probably trying to find a cool case. There are some really cool ones here. I really like the Lifeproof case. It’s sturdy and looks clean. It also not only has drop protection but also waterproofing and screen protection. Plus, they have lots of different colors available.

Never Lose Anything You’ve Copied with Paste App

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If you get annoyed trying to find stuff in your clipboard that you’ve copied, you’ll like Paste. It keeps everything that you’ve copied to your clipboard in one convenient place. Everything from lists, emails, links, and more. It does cost $14.99 after your free trial but it could be useful if you’re constantly copying the same things or losing track of what you’ve previously copied.