I hope your holidays were spent in ways and with people you care about most.
This is going to be a banner year for me, lots of changes are afoot and I am looking forward to all of them.
There are those who are resistant to change however. They rail against it as if by doing so they can stop the inevitable. Change, is the wayward sister to Time. Like her more orderly cosmic sibling, there is no stopping Change. Unlike Time, whose product can be measured and predicted with ever increasing accuracy, one never truly knows what Change will bring.
Also unlike Time you can occasionally, and to varying degrees, affect how Change impacts you. Simply knowing that change will occur may alter what is changed. For example, you may make a decision based on something that was altered which, in turn affects the the outcome of an event, thus deviating the course of change.
It's enough to turn your grey matter into three pounds of pâté and it's not something one needs to ponder (unless you're sitting in a lotus position and search for Satori). Just be aware of the fact that you don't have to drift along life's currents. You can point yourself in a direction and even enjoy the view while underway.
To continue the nautical analogy, you wouldn't just point your boat in any old direction, that's little better than drifting about. You need a plan, a course, a destination. And you need tools to help you execute your plan. Sailors used sextants and maps to plot a course. In life the tools we use will be different depending on the facet we are currently plotting a course for. In this week's Free on iTunes I will offer apps that you can use to help get certain areas in your life moving in the right direction.
Pinterest [23.4MB, all iOS devices]
Often it's the things that interest us that set a course for change in our lives. My interest in photography when I was in my late teens has helped me get to the place where I feel completely justified in charging people real money for the photos I shoot. I got started in photography by expressing an interest to a more experienced friend. Back then you had to know someone or be exposed to something you even know that you're interested. Today there's the Internet, but a more directed approach to finding what interests you in to use Pinterest.
Open an account and select from a variety of topics. Pinterest will then comb through the Web and through postings of other Pinterest users to find items for you and display them all in one place. It's like a constantly updated bulletin board with photos and links to anything that might strike your particular fancy.
You can also create your own Pinterest boards and fill them with items you want to share with others. You can also select a particular genre and browse the postings to see what others are sharing.
It's all free and it's easy to use. Pinterest is a great way to discover what interests you.
Snapguide [33.3MB, all iOS devices]
If Pinterest is about what things may interest you, Snapguide is about what processes may interest you.
Say you want to know how to make fold a dollar bill into a heart shape. (Why you would want to do that I'll leave up to you.) Snapguide is the place to go to find out how.There's all sorts of info in there as well, from cooking chicken cordon bleu to removing headlight haze with toothpaste(?).
If you happen to hold the secrets of the universe, or just a really good pot roast recipe, you can post it on Snapguide for others to benefit. To do so you'll have to become a member, but that's free too.
Snapguide is less than a year old so it's still growing, but I was impressed with the amount of data there is available. Give it a spin.
Realtor [14.4MB, all iOS devices]
One of the biggest changes in the lives of many is buying and selling a home. If you're buying then finding the right house in the right place for the right price is like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. If you're selling not only do you have to deal with the parade of people looking over your house, but you also have to deal with the emotion associated with the place you've called home for so many years. At least with a tool like Realtor, you can make more informed decisions about the practical aspect of home buying or selling.
This is a good app. With it you can see what homes are on the market in your area an the asking price for each, find out what homes have been sold recently and the selling price, search for homes in specific areas using a nice list of search criteria and so much more.
All your searches can be saved for later review. When you're ready to take the next step you can join Realtor and use the app to communicate and stay in sync with your agent. There are no ads and the interface is easy to use. There's even a login section for realtor agents.
If you are buying or selling a home, Realtor is a good tool to have.
And that's a wrap for this first installment of Free on iTunes for 2013. Be sure to grab this week's App of the Week, Blueprint 3D. It's really unique puzzle game. I'm hooked already.