Ten Ways to Be More Prolific with Your Smart Phone

(Image Credit: Apple)

Written & Contributed by Scot Ginsberg

You’ve got a brand-new smartphone in your hands. The power and speed of the device now greatly exceeds the computing capabilities that the military was concerned about related to national security just a few years ago.

Scot Ginsberg, author of the book Personal Creativity Management and creator of the Prolific online tool community https://getprolific.io/ says, “Whether you are traveling, at home or at work, you have a miracle at your fingertips! The real challenge is in knowing how to make the best use of it.”

Here are 10 of his favorite tips on how to be more prolific with your smartphone.

1. Turn off your all notifications. By shutting off your notifications except texts and calls (yes, that means even email, social media, and amber alerts) you will suppress the competing stimuli, block out distracting noise and stay present with what matters most so you aren’t disrupted, distracted, and can focus on what is most important to you.

2. Adjust screen brightness to the lowest possible setting. Keeping your screen as dim as possible is essential since binge-watching is clinically proven to be detrimental to sleep quality and lead eye strains. Now you can use your phone to create work you’re proud of without giving yourself a headache. Lowering brightness also preserves battery life, so you can read, write or draw more!

3. Curate your own inspirational music playlists. Listen to music that inspires you every single day until you can’t take it anymore and have to compose something or you’ll lose your mind. This keeps the flow of creative inspiration flowing so you’re always getting ideas for melodies, lyrics, and rhythms from music that inspires you. The same goes for pictures or other inspirational source material.

4. Make a mission control list. Create detailed lists for all of the most critical things you need to do on your phone. Keep a list of everything on your creative plate. Track the projects, creative ventures, personal commitments that flood you with a set of intensely positive emotions like happiness, exhilaration, and even bliss. Create an intellectual inventory list, to keep track of ideas and notes, and even sentences that fuel your daily creative efforts. Use your lists as a personal mission control for productivity that reduces work overwhelm and boredom. Consult these lists when you need the motivation to get back on track and you’ll be creating new art in no time flat.

5. Start a victory log. Keep a victory log on your phone where you place a gold star on it every time you complete a major step in one of your goals. This list of personal achievements will pay off in spades when you need to revitalize after a hard day. You’ll also have a comprehensive and detailed answer for when your spouse asks “what did you do today?”

6. Use the voice record. Hate writing? Don’t like keying in words at a snails’ pace? No problem. Get a recorder app and click on that microphone button. Voice-to-text is there for you to capture whatever you or other people say. You can even then transcribe the sound to text using Google voice or any of the super cheap transcription technologies that are available. Capture it, save it, and use it later!

7. Take lots of screenshots. Learn how to use the buttons on your phone to capture anything that you find while surfing on your phone and save it for later use. This can be incredibly useful. You can return to and focus on the idea you captured to focus and give it the time it really deserves to leverage it to the max.

8. Highlight notes while reading. PDF file readers and ebook readers like the Kindle App offer the ability to highlight sections and even add notes while reading. They also allow you to then save and export all the notes at a later time so that you can turn them into action plans.

9. Take lots of photos. Your smartphone camera is equipped with a camera that takes still photography and even videos of quality that can be used for professional business and publishing purposes. You can use these images on social media to inspire and make favorable impressions on people any time you want. Learn how to use your camera smartphone and make the most of the technology at your fingertips.

10. Reach out and touch people. Call people, you haven’t talked to in years. Instead of being on social media for entertainment only, search for, find and join in the groups on the things you love, or on the skills and work topics you are most interested in. Then look for people who are asking questions that you can answer. Help the people you can help the most.

About Scott Ginsberg

Scott Ginsberg has spent 20+ years executing award-winning sticky ideas for himself, his clients and his employers. Scott is also the world record holder of wearing nametags.

Scott believes unequivocally that the methodology of personal creativity management will convincingly add new and important results to the field. Prolific will demonstrate that trying to innovate by the seat of your pants, constantly making things up as you go, isn't sustainable or scalable, for individuals or organizations.

His most recent books are Prolific (2015) and Personal Creativity Management (2020). He also just created the Prolific Online Tool and Community.

He is a TEDx speaker, internationally acclaimed author of 50 books, 11 albums, 3 music films, and numerous other creative works. He's been featured on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, HuffPost, GQ, NPR, Fast Company, COSMO, 20/20, WSJ and Entrepreneur, USA Today and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

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