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Tracking Your Workout Activity: Several Ways You Can Do It

A lot of people struggle with starting a workout regimen. A lot of them lay out several excuses in order to postpone their training sessions.

This is where motivation kicks in.

Depending on the type of your personality, you have to find one specific motivation to get you up and running for your workout program. One of the best and most interesting motivators you can find is technology.

No matter if you are an amateur or a professional, you can take advantage of the latest technologies in order to track your progress. If you love the old ways of tracking workouts, you can always choose to do so as well. The most important thing is that you organize and track your progress.

Why should you track your workout?

When you start a workout regimen, the exercise selection is fairly small and you can easily remember the number of reps per workout you can make.

However, as you get in better shape, the more routines and variations you can make. It now becomes impossible to keep all the information in your head.

This is one good reason why tracking your activity is a necessary step.

Additionally, writing down everything that you do during every workout is going to show how fast you are progressing. It’s a good way to get a clearer idea of what changes and adjustments you need to make. By doing this, you can create a more efficient regimen that is going to bring you better results.

What are the best ways to track your progress?

It’s quite simple to accurately track your progress. First of all, it all depends on your personality. You can focus on a few important details or keep track of all workout-related information.

Here are a few examples:

Calendar

This is the most common way of tracking your workout activity. This type of tracking allows you to plan out the days on which you are going to perform your workouts. Thanks to modern smartphones, you can have a calendar with you at all times.

Electronic calendars can store more information about your workouts. Plus, there are reminders that you could set to notify you about your upcoming workout schedules.

If you prefer an old-school approach, you can hang a calendar on a wall and track your activities with a pen. This is the easiest way of tracking your workout progress. However, it does not a lot of space for details, except your schedule and the number of repetitions you are able to perform.

See Also: 5 Ways to Make a Workout Schedule that WORKS

Online websites

There are lots of great online tools that can help you track your workout progress. One good example is bodybuilding.com. Apart from tracking, the website offers a big community of people who share the same interests as yours. This is a perfect way to acquire new information about different exercises and workout routines.

Another website that offers a lot of tracking details is thesquattingrack.com. In this site, you have to input a whole set of information about your current workout progress. From there,  you can track your personal records, like weight lifting and squatting. You can even track your body measurements and nutrition plan.

Based on all this information, a graph is projected to give you an overview of your progress curve. Since all the data is straightforward, you can easily see what kinds of adjustments would make your workouts more efficient.

Workout gadgets

workout gadgets

As consumer technology quickly developed in the past couple of years, an increasing number of people begun relying on various types of gadgets, too. These devices are groundbreaking, as they offer numerous detailed data about a person’s physical activity throughout the whole day.

There are a variety of trackers out there and it all comes down to your personal preference. These are some of the most popular fitness gadgets in the world that are used by millions of people:

Fitbit Blaze is a great choice for people who want to wear a tracker that is also fashionable. This Fitbit product serves its purpose perfectly, just like the majority of their other gadgets.

Garmin Vivosmart HR offers a variety of different notifications for you throughout the day. The optical technology behind this useful gadget is fit for precise measurements of your heart rate. It is a perfect device for those who want to stay in the target HR values to maximize calorie expenditure during the workout.

Jawbone UP2 is a device with a greatly simplified design. It tracks all of your activity throughout the day and the software that it comes with is fairly easy to use. If you prefer having a screen on your tracker, however, this is probably not the best choice for you.

Keep in mind that this device is much cheaper than the competition, despite offering accurate information.

Misfit Shine 2 is a beautifully designed tracker with an incredibly accurate data tracking feature. If you want a device that offers top notch data, this is probably the one you should go for.

These are only some of the trackers that are available on the market today. The thing with wearable technology is that it constantly monitors your body’s state even when you are asleep.

The goal of these devices is to improve your whole lifestyle by providing you with accurate details about your calorie expenditure and activities.

Smartphones

smartphone workout

If you are someone who doesn’t like carrying a lot of different gadgets, you can turn your smartphone into a great activity tracker. These devices are equipped with various sensors that can be used to track your daily activity levels.

The more important part when it comes to using your smartphone as a fitness tracker is picking the right software for your device. If you do your research well, you’ll be able to find the best solutions on websites like CrowdReviews.com.

With the right application on your phone, you can get almost all of the details as the abovementioned trackers have to offer. You can track your heart rate during the workouts as well as the calories burned and distance covered. The majority of tracking apps can also show you graphs of your progress.

Most of the apps are free, but if you want advanced options unlocked, you may need to invest a little bit of money – roughly around $2-5.

If you are satisfied with basic information about your day, Google Fit is a great way to track your progress. Other big companies such as LG and Samsung offer their own fitness trackers that can be integrated with Google Fit.

With so many options, it really comes down to personal preference. No matter what method you choose, the most important thing is that you keep your tracker with you at all times.

Tracking workouts and progress can be quite motivating. It will just depend on how much time you are willing to dedicate to it. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily make plans for your next routine.

See Also: Finding your Fitness Passion

The post Tracking Your Workout Activity: Several Ways You Can Do It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Best Fitness Tools To Help You Actually Achieve Your Goals

Keeping a resolution can be difficult. What’s even harder is attempting to achieve something when you don’t have the right tools.

If your goal is to improve your health and overall strength and flexibility, here are 7 great fitness tools that will make your goals a little easier to keep.

Gymnastic Rings

gymnastic rings

Gymnastic rings have been nearly forgotten, only remembered as a strange spectacle once every four years as we see them in the Olympic games. However, gymnastics rings are making a big comeback. You’ll find them in nearly every crossfit gym – and for good reasons.

You can do a hundred different bodyweight exercises on these things and work nearly every muscle in your body. They take up very little space, making them the perfect addition to your home gym.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

Indo Boards

indo boards

Indo Boards were once popular among surfers and skate boarders as a way to practice balance. Now they’re showing up all over corporate gyms. Primarily, they are used to build balance and auxiliary stabilizing muscles; however, people are coming up with all kinds of great ways to turn them into exercise machines.

Much like using free weights, they provide more stabilizing opportunities in weight lifting than a machine. The balance board allows the use of more muscle groups while targeting specific areas.

Incline Treadmills

Incline treadmills are the latest and greatest in the treadmill market. A 10% max incline is good and quite available. A 15% is even better. But why not consider going all out with a 40 percent max incline? More incline means more calories burned.

An average 200-pound user walking at 2 mph for 20 minutes burns 87 calories. If you increase your incline to 40 percent, that same user burns a whopping 381 calories in just 20 minutes. Not only are you burning more calories in less time, you’re getting a ton more tone in your tush and increased options for use on one machine. If you were to pick just one machine to keep in your home, it should be the treadmill.

Foam rollers

foam rollers

You’ve seen them at the gym and, maybe, even in your friends home. Not only are they great for rehabilitating injured muscles, but foam rollers are a big part of a healthy runner’s warmup and cooldown routine.

They can be used to improve circulation and break up motion-limiting knots in muscles. They can also spare you the pain of delayed-onset muscle soreness. Using a foam roller to roll out your overworked muscles and break up the lactic acid created by exercising will allow you to keep working the day (and second day) after a solid workout.

Jump Rope

jump rope

Jump ropes aren’t just for the childhood playground. They are a serious, effective fitness tool, too. Jump roping puts you in the express lane of fitness.

They can be used to increase the fast-twitch muscle fibers in legs to level up your sprint game. They can increase your cardiovascular strength, too. It’s a very cheap and available means of exercise which is also good for the lymphatic system.

Fitness Apps for Android and iOS

There are countless programs online that can create and guide you through a tailored fitness plan. The C25K app is reaching new heights in popularity.

Use the official C25K app to go from sitting on the couch to your very first 5K. The app and website lay everything out in easy to understand, actionable goals. The way this program works helps even the laziest of runners feel like they’re capable of more.

Another highly rated program is iFit, created by ICON fitness. If you have a machine (treadmill, elliptical, etc.) made by ICON fitness, it’s likely you can pair your device to your machine for great data tracking. iFit provides customized exercise routines, training routes powered by Google Maps, a social network, goals and competitions, and coaching.

See Also: 8 Fitness Hacks That Will Make Your Life Better

Goals are hard to keep when you don’t have the right tools to accomplish them. Before setting out to start on a new goal, gather up the right tools, write down your reasons for the goal you’ve set, and make a schedule for how you plan to achieve it.

 

The post 6 Best Fitness Tools To Help You Actually Achieve Your Goals appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Top 10 Best Mobile Accessories To Carry With You 2017

Whether you are frequently outdoors for business or you simply like traveling, bringing some essential gadgets with you can help ensure not only your comfort but safety, too. However, with so many items to choose from, picking out the most important ones can be tricky. You can end up spending a lot of hours just packing your things.

As a guide, here’s a quick list of the gadgets and best mobile phone accessories you can carry around for your trips.

Phone Power Bank

anker power bank

Despite carrying a lot of advanced features, mobile phones still don’t have an infinite battery life. You’ll have to recharge them from time to time. Since charging points aren’t always accessible, carrying a phone power bank now becomes a necessity.

Devices, such as the Anker Astro E1, are great since they have high capacity despite being the size of a candy bar. They can recharge an iPhone 7 and 6s twice and can add around 80% of battery life to an iPad Mini.

If you are looking for a super fast charging feature, you might want to consider the KMASHI Portable Power Bank. It has two USB ports so you can simultaneously recharge your gadgets.

Flash Drive

flashdisk

Your battery isn’t the only thing that’s limited. Even your phone’s storage may need an upgrade, especially if you like taking pictures and keeping videos.

The Samsung 32GB Bar Flash Drive promises durability, thanks to its high-quality metal casing. It even has a key ring, so you’re less likely to lose it inside your bag. Apart from the high-speed data transfer, the flash drive is also water proof, magnet proof and shock proof.

When you’re on the go, taking gadgets that can keep up with you is a must. Featuring a 115MB/ sec, reading speed, the PNY Turbo Elite Flashdrive is something you shouldn’t miss. It has a capless design with an integrated loop so you can easily attach it to your bag.

Mini USB Cable

mini usb

Leave the long USB cables at home as they can easily get tangled in your bag. Instead, invest in mini USB cables, such as the Startech Micro USB Cable. Although it’s only 6 inches in length, it can support high-speed USB data transfer. Another good option is the one from Griffin.

Mobile Hotspot

mobile hotspot

Most phones now support hotspot mode. Unfortunately, however, they may not be able to support a handful of devices. They also have less security options.

Instead of using your phone, you can invest in devices like the Verizon Mifi. It only weighs 3.3 ounce, which is just right for your backpack. It has an 8-hour battery life and can support up to 10 devices.

Power Splitter/ Surge Protector

belkin surge protector

A power splitter and surge protector may not sound like a must-have item in your bag- until you have to charge multiple devices at the same time. The Belkin Surge Protector has a number of USB and AC ports to accommodate your different devices. It comes with a 360-degree rotating plug for your convenience. The Anker 10-port Hub also makes a good choice. It utilizes a high-power 60-watt adapter for protection and stability.

Headphones

bose headphones

Whether you’re in a flight or just walking around the city, blasting your favorite music can make the activity more worthwhile. Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones is a great option for music enthusiasts. Apart from the good audio performance, it also has the ability to collect noise data and cancel them.

For something you can easily tuck inside your gym back, try Lohi Bluetooth Headphones. It’s made from a sweat proof material and is extremely comfortable to wear, thanks to its soft silicone gel surface.

Bluetooth Speaker

wireless bluetooth speaker blkbox

If wearing headphones isn’t up your alley, your next option is to bring a Bluetooth speaker so you can still enjoy your music from anywhere. Modern Bluetooth speakers are more compact and convenient to carry around. They are now wireless and comes with really innovative features and eye-catching designs.

Beats Pill, for example, only has a height of 2.5 inches and weighs 1.6lb. It has a battery life of 12 hours and can connect to devices that are as far as 30 feet. Blkbox Pop360 is another great device. Apart from the excellent sound performance, it has a built-in LED and rechargeable batteries that can run for 5 to 8 hours.

Organizer

grid it organizer

If you tend to carry a lot of things in your bag, two things can happen. You’ll either get big and weird bulges in your bag or you’ll end up with lots of tangled and jumbled cables. With so many things going on inside, you might even find it hard to find some things inside.

The Grid-It Organizer is one of the best investment you can make if you are a tech enthusiast. It can firmly hold a number of devices. It’s made from elastic bands so you can tuck in any size and shape of gadget. It even has a sleeve which you can use to keep your laptop.

The organizer has a handful of color choices and sizes to fit your preference.

Smart Watch

apple smartwatch

You can easily go without a smart watch. However, considering how much time and effort it can save you from having to open your bag and fish out your devices, it may actually be worth it. You can answer calls, send text messages and check on your email even if your phone isn’t around. Samsung Gear S Smartwatch makes a good option for those using Android devices. For iOS, it’s the Apple Smart Watch.

GPS Tracker

tile mate phone finder

With so many devices in your bag, it’s only right to ensure its protection. One of the best ways to do that is to get a portable GPS tracker, like the Spy Tec Mini Portable GPS Tracker.

Tile Mate is a good option, too. It’s smaller than most GPS trackers and easily hooks to anything you’d like to keep track of. It comes with an accompanying app to make tracking a lot easier. The app automatically keeps a record of where it has last seen your valuables.

If you like daily deals, check out this online store for the best mobile phone accessories.

 

The post Top 10 Best Mobile Accessories To Carry With You 2017 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Tips on Choosing the Best Compass for Hiking

Before you spend a lot of money on what you think is the best compass for hiking, you should take two important steps (that aren’t part of your hike). Learn all you can about compasses and how they should be used, then get a compass and work with it close to home. Once you feel confident at this level, you could be ready to take to the open trails.

With that in mind, there are a few key factors you should consider when shopping for a compass. The first idea has to do with the amount you’re planning to invest.

One old fellow who spent a lot of time hunting, fishing and just wandering outdoors said he always went one step better when buying any equipment. His reason? “It only takes a few pennies more to go first class.”

Analog or Digital

compass

Of course, the traditionalists will almost always purchase the analog compass because that’s what they feel most comfortable with. These compasses have been around for years, because they don’t have a power source (batteries) such as the new digital models have. Analog compasses will last for years if they’re treated with the care that any fine instrument should receive. You’re never going to be without this tool because of a dead battery.

Digital compasses will do a lot of the work for you, but because they rely on batteries, you have to make sure the batteries are charged before you head out the door. You’ll also need a portable charger so you can keep the batteries charged in your vehicle. This is a completely different way of looking at compasses and you should be prepared for it.

Declination is the key to safely and accurately using a compass. You need to know which direction is true north and which direction is magnetic north. One points you toward the North Pole as it stands in geography. The other points you to the magnetic North Pole. They are not the same. Declination is the angle of difference between the two. It can, and does, change.

Be Sure

If you know you’re facing true north, your compass will point you toward magnetic north. It’s an important difference you should understand when you’re in unfamiliar territory.

This won’t be quite so important with short trips and when you’re in an area with which you’re familiar. But as you head out on a long journey, far from home, you could end up missing your destination by several miles. Keep in mind that an inch off line at the start becomes a mile off line if you travel far enough.

The best compasses will help you deal with this difference, adding or subtracting from the bearing. Make this adjustment and you should be able to travel safely and accurately. This may be one of the good reasons for buying a top-of-the-line digital compass if you’re not confident with the use of the analog design.

Of course, you shouldn’t have to work very hard just to see and read your compass, so make sure you have one that you can use in low-light conditions. It’s important to have one that you can use without straining your eyes even in daylight. Consider the word “luminosity” and the word “backlighting” when you’re shopping for a good compass.

Tough Compass

tough compass

You have a compass with you on a journey so that you will not get lost. That’s very simple. You want to know where you are and where you’re going. But if you don’t spend those few extra pennies (as mentioned earlier), you may find a cheap compass doesn’t hold up under difficult outdoor conditions. Buy a compass that is durable and built for real-world use.

If you hike on another part of the planet, you should give some consideration to a compass with a global needle. Compasses can be calibrated for use in certain locations, which may cause your analog needle to drag and give you inaccurate information. A global needle will help you adjust for variances in the magnetic pull depending on where you are.

You should also consider getting a compass with a good quality mirror for sighting, so you can read your compass and see the surroundings at the same time. You’ll also have a good tool for signalling if you find yourself in need of assistance during an emergency.

Some Products to Consider

To give just a few examples: Give serious consideration to Suunto compasses. The MC-2G has a sighting mirror and a global needle. It provides for adjusting declination, has great luminosity and is very accurate. The top of the line with Suunto is the Navigator MC-2. You should be able to purchase this excellent tool for about $60 to $75. When you invest in a compass of this quality, be sure to get a good case as well, for protection and convenient carrying.

You will also do very well with the Silva Ranger 515, which is about the same weight as the Suunto, has a global needle, sighting mirror, magnifying lens and excellent luminosity. It also provides declination adjustment. This one comes in at about $55, depending on your source.

You can buy a usable compass for $15 to $20 but you will sacrifice many of the most important benefits. Stay away from compasses that are no more than accessories, especially if they come on a keychain or as a wearable watch. Some of these might work in basic situations, but they will not be suitable for serious navigation.

Summary

In addition to the factors already mentioned, look for a rotating azimuth ring or bezel with small degree intervals. Look closely at the markings on the baseplate. It helps to have a rule of some sort to measure distance on a map. Look for arrows and lines on the needle housing and baseplate that can help with orientation and navigation as well.

There is a definite bottom line when you are buying a compass for serious hiking and outdoor travel. Take the old guy’s advice and spend a few extra dollars, just to be safe.

See Also: 8 camping hacks that’ll turn you into a super camper (and impress the girls)

 

The post Tips on Choosing the Best Compass for Hiking appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Swift

Swift, as many of you would know, is the programming language for iOS developed by Apple after Objective-C. Swift was launched approximately two years back and it was an instant hit among the iPhone app development services. With a few new releases and version updates, Swift has been able to swiftly and effortlessly replace its predecessor—the Objective-C. Due to the ease of use, it is the first choice made by professionals who offer iPhone app development services.

When I personally started using Swift, it took some time before I got accustomed to it. But then, the more I worked on it, the more I grew fond of it.

In this blog, I will focus on the top 5 reasons why I fell in love with Swift:

Multiple-Features

apple_swift

Swift has a lot of features that provide ease, flexibility, and liberty to be creative. In terms of ease and flexibility, Swift offers short and adept syntax and community support. In terms of liberty, Swift lets you create your own extensions and share them across the community for all associated members. Swift lets you learn by making use of the integrated playground that is your medium to experiment and create new things.

Easy to Learn

Another feature why I fell in love with Swift is its adaptability and easy-to-learn feature. Basic knowledge and working module can be learnt through online videos posted by advance developers.

These posted videos provide some specific ideas on how to go about Swift. The learning is also easy because of Apple’s stringent procedure of approving its product therefore the videos which are posted on Apple’s official eBook can be truly relied on. Swift users are also givers — givers in the sense that they provide details about their hard work and process. By sharing, they make life easier for amateur Swift users.

Futuristic

swift playground

The best part of Swift is that it is futuristic. This feature makes Swift the most used language by developers because it of its ability to solve any task. Swift is in-built with ARC (Automatic Reference Counting) which allows Swift to give proper results by guessing the searched words similar to Google’s auto-complete feature for word searches. It is perhaps the only language which can be used simultaneously with Objective-C.

Swift Development

Swift is really swift. It is perhaps the fastest among all the programming languages. However, it requires iOS 7 or macOS10.9 versions. With the use of Swift, you receive fast results which enable you to overcome any problem in the development stage. It is a huge time-saver.

Debugging

Many programming languages struggle in debugging during development. iPhone app development services providers take utmost precaution to overcome such instances. In contrast, Swift has the ability to debug in the process of development. With use of real eval print loop (REPL), it is easily to debug scripts. Swift is therefore considered to be ideal for quality system programming language.

Conclusion

With Swift, there are immense opportunities and a lot of those rely on your skills. If you are a Swift fan, share your knowledge and the reasons you prefer Swift as your programming language.

 

The post 5 Reasons Why I Fell in Love with Swift appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How to Create a Good Logo — Useful Tips and Services

Launching your own company, blog or website is a challenging task. Crafting your corporate style (including an effective logo) is a major part of this process.

A logo creates the first impression of your brand. It tells customers what business you’re in and what your values and aspirations are. A good logo has the power to separate you from your competitors and boost your name recognition.

Why do you need a logo?

A good logo is a simple, easily identifiable image that visualizes not only your company, website, or blog, but also you as a person. A logo is an integral part of any successful brand. The main goal of any logo is to leave a lasting impression and give the audience the general idea behind your brand. This is why a logo must catch customers’ attention.

Along with other important functions, an effective logo:
– makes your brand more recognizable;
– builds trust between you and your target audience;
– makes you look more professional.

The logo-making process can be entertaining and easy. However, many business people, bloggers, and website owners are clueless about where to begin. In this article, we’ll take you through the first steps of designing your own logo.

What makes an effective logo?

Before you start working on your logo, make sure you know the top criteria every logo must meet. A smart logo is:
1. Simple. A clean and simple design makes a logo memorable. Avoid cluttering your logo with multiple elements and details. In logo design, less is more.
2. Memorable. To make your icon unique and memorable, be concise and avoid overly complicated elements.
3. Timeless. Think about whether your logo will look relevant and up-to-date in a couple of years. Creating a one-day logo is a waste of time and effort.
4. Versatile. A logo must look good across different backgrounds, whether it’s a business card or a billboard. Be sure the logo will reproduce effectively at different sizes.
5. Industry specific. Your logo must fit in your line of business. For example, a logo designed in a style that fits a children’s clothing store will look inappropriate on a travel blog.

Logo types

The next step is choosing the type of logo you want. The three basic types are a text-based logo, an icon-based logo, and a combination mark.

A text-based logo (logotype) features only a message written in a specific font. Text logos come in different forms, styles, and sizes. An appropriate font ensures that your logo stays legible across multiple displays.

Icon-based logos (logomarks) represent your brand via symbols and icons. Avoid complicated, cluttered, and indistinct images. A high-quality logo is a clean and recognizable one.

Combination marks are graphics that combine both logotypes and logomarks. They are the most popular logo designs among companies.

Color scheme

A clever color scheme communicates the mood of your business or blog. Each color conveys a specific emotion. To find the option that best reflects your ideas, you must know the psychological connotations behind colors.

Here are some associations for you to consider:
1. catchy, bold colors (red) are good for drawing attention;
2. muted hues (green, blue, brown) communicate stability, reliability, and trust;
3. black is the color of affluence and luxury;
4. pink channels affection and tenderness;
5. yellow and orange evoke feelings of joy and happiness.

Once you’ve selected the right color to uncover your brand personality in the most accurate way possible, follow these major rules:
1. to be memorable, a logo must incorporate no more than two or three colors;
2. a color scheme must fit with your industry, convey the right message to your audience, and capture your company’s essence and values;
3. make sure your logo looks good in black and white and against both black backgrounds and white backgrounds. You never know how you may use your logo in the future.

Font

Font is crucial in defining an iconic logo. A font characterizes your logo and, therefore, your business. Here are some important tips for making the right choice:
1. Pick minimalist fonts. Your logo must be legible even when it is scaled down.
2. Your font must emphasize your corporate style and market niche. For example, a bank logo needs a font that evokes feelings like trustworthiness and reliability.
3. Use no more than two fonts. Make sure your fonts look good together.
4. Choose a font that will remain relevant throughout the years.

See Also: 5 Smart Ways to Boost Brand Awareness 

Methods for creating a logo

Now that you have a general idea of what your ideal logo should look like, it’s time to get down to work. There are plenty of ways to create a logo, depending on your time and budget.

To get a one-of-a-kind logo, you can commission a designer or a design studio.

Alternatively, you can follow our guidelines and draw a logo yourself.

You can also use an online logo generator. This is a great way to create a good logo without a large investment of money. On some platforms, you can even download a small-sized logo (perfect for a website or blog) at no cost.

See Also: 6 Tips for Designing the Perfect Logo for Your Brand 

Online logo generators

For those of you who have decided to use an online logo generator, we’ve listed some worthy websites to help with that task.

Logaster

Along with logos, this service can help you design other elements of your corporate style. Submit your company name and line of business to get access to a vast selection of ready-to-use logos. While a small-sized logo is available for free, a full-sized logo costs $9.99. You can edit your logo even after you’ve purchased it. Cyrillic support is a big advantage.

Logotypemaker

An easy-to-use logo generator with a bunch of great editing tools. On the main page, you’re invited to submit the name of your business and industry. Then you can pick any template and edit it as much as you want. To download your logo, prepare to pay $24.99. Along with fee-based icons, the platform offers a limited selection of free logos.

Logogarden

At Logogarden, the logo-making process is the same as that described above. Customize your selected template by changing its size, color, font, and form. The bad news is that free logos are not available.

Hipster Logo Generator

A good website that offers clean, minimalist icons. All you need to do is choose the form and additional elements if needed. The next step is to add text and choose a font. Finally, you must add the right color or use one of the available background hues. A small-sized logo is free. A full-sized icon costs $10.

Tailorbrands

This online generator invites you to create your own logo in 30 seconds. Actually, it takes a little longer. First, you must enter your blog name. Second, you must submit a brief description of your blog. Finally, you will choose the type of logo (logotype or logomark) and the fonts. The website uses this information to generate several logos tailored to your business. All logos are editable. Logo download is available for a fee.

Takeaways

A logo creates a visual and emotional bond between your business and your target audience. It’s important to understand what your logo should look like and what message it should convey. A good logo reflects your professionalism and commitment to your customers or readers.

Check out our cool infographic below. It sums up the tips and steps on how to get your business logo done. Share it with friends, too, especially those who’ve been putting off getting a logo for their business enterprise.

We wish you luck and inspiration!

Source

infographic

The post How to Create a Good Logo — Useful Tips and Services appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Smart Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Develop Their Own Mobile Apps This 2017

You won’t believe how much a mobile app can change your small business.

Over the years, more and more people are getting hooked on mobile purchases. Did you know…69% of millennials purchase from their mobile phones and this projection is expected to increase up to 2020. In addition, 62% of smartphone users have made at least one mobile purchase in the last 6 months.

At this rate, it won’t be a surprise if mobile apps become more than just an extra treat for consumers, but a necessity. No matter how big or small your business is, this is something you have to take advantage of.

If you’ve been considering how to boost traffic or sales, here are 7 of best reasons to convince you to create mobile apps for business this year.

Increases visibility

Compared with a browser bookmark, an app is constantly present on a user’s smartphone. Because of this presence, your business is easily visible to your customers. With good content and a pleasurable user experience, the potential for users to be looking at your products and brand every day is high.

Another good reason why you should spend more effort in building your brand through a mobile app is because a lot of people spend more time browsing mobile apps than visiting websites on the internet. One good reason is that people tend to have less patience when they are reading texts online so an app that can make it easier for them to skim and scan products and services can help boost your sales.

Engages customers

People who are too busy with work and house chores prefer apps that can save them time and make tasks easier. People who dislike missing out on sales want to get updated on the latest discounts and special offers. For people who dislike getting caught up in traffic jams and rush hour, an app that can give them a frictionless shopping experience can spell good news.

By giving people exactly what they are looking for, they are likely to remain interested in your brand. However, for you to achieve that, you need to know exactly who your target audience are. Once you are able to recognize the values and needs of your consumers, you’ll be able to give them a more valuable shopping experience.

Gives you an edge over competitors

Having your own mobile app can give you a leg up on your competitors. However, for you to maintain your lead, you have to develop an app that will differentiate you from the rest.

Start off with an application strategy. Know how your app will work for your business and how it can level up customer experience. Another factor you should consider is your app’s seamless integration. If your customer will purchase an item from your company, you need to make sure that the product gets delivered on time and in good condition. The customer also has to be reassured about how safe their information will be once they make a purchase through your app.

Integrating your mobile app to function with social media can give you an opportunity to expand your audience and promote your brand better. It will also give you the chance to get honest feedback from real customers and interact with them.
Keep in mind that it’s important to generate a good experience from the start as a bad mobile experience can be hard to undo. Once a customer has uninstalled your app, it is difficult to get a second shot.

Boosts sales

boost sales

Most people today do their shopping online since it’s easier and more convenient. Case in point, mobile commerce is now a third of all US ecommerce.

This is not too surprising given how a mobile app gives more accurate information on the things shoppers want to buy, allowing them to make comparisons first before making a purchase. According to recent statistics, 80% of shoppers use a mobile phone instead of a brick and mortar store to look up prices, research product reviews, or look up store locations.

By taking advantage of these needs, you’ll be able to dramatically boost your sales.

If you partner your mobile app with a mobile website, you’ll be able to reach 6.7% more customers, which translates to additional revenue. You can also get the service of a mobile app developer that can get your app in multiple languages so you can also attract international buyers.

Enhances customer service

Compared with the traditional way of addressing customer concerns, your business’ mobile app can make it easier for your staff to resolve customer concerns. The faster the concerns are addressed, the happier and more satisfied your customers will be.

For one, the app can help you easily segment your customers’ requests to the proper departments. This means that, once assigned, your customer support agent can easily retrieve all the information related to the customer’s complaint, including the date of purchase, location and even the records of his other transactions. As a result, your agent can solve and close the ticket faster.

In addition, you can also set your app to automatically send acknowledgment messages and create ticket IDs. For customers, one of the most annoying things a business can do is to make them feel like their concerns are invaluable. Waiting for a response is another story.

Makes marketing easier

The constant presence of your app in your customers’ smartphones conditions their minds to get used to your brand. They’ll be able to recognize your brand from almost any place they go.

A mobile app also gives you a more unique and direct way of reaching out to your customers. Sending push notifications, for example, can easily grab their attention which can then increase your sales. You can also post the day’s special deals as well as discounts to attract customers.

Apps generally have built-in data analytics and metrics which you can use to assess your existing marketing strategies as well as the recent buying trends. You can use these data in optimizing your marketing and internal operations.

See Also: 8 Top Marketing Tips for Small Businesses 

Encourages customer loyalty

loyal customers

As your customers get used to seeing your brand, it becomes a lot easier for you to earn their trust. This trust will make them more comfortable to buy your products instead of the items sold by your competitors.

The experience your customers get from your app can also establish loyalty. If you can give them a top-of-the-line shopping experience, you won’t have a hard time keeping them engaged and interested in your brand.

See Also: 4 Tricks To Turn Your Buyers Into Loyal Customers 

As we usher in the new year, it’s clear that as business owners, we simply can’t ignore our customers who are mobile users especially as they continue to use their smartphones with more eCommerce intent than ever before.

 

The post 7 Smart Reasons Why Small Businesses Should Develop Their Own Mobile Apps This 2017 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Awesome Tools To Help You Newbie Geeks With Your Open Source Project

Every new year welcomes new resolutions.

We probably all want the same thing — to achieve more and feel proud of what we have achieved. For example, Mark Zuckerberg’s is to visit and meet someone in every U.S. state and mine is to keep my website alive for as long as I am living.

If you are one of those passionate IT folks, technical nerds and computer enthusiasts who are still looking for a challenge this year, here may be one that will interest you: an open source project.

So, as you kick-start the new year aiming to achieve and share greatness, here are five easy-to-use tools that can help you.

GitHub

github

John Resig, the creator of jQuery, once tweeted: “When it comes to hiring, I’ll take a Github commit log over a resume any day.” GitHub is undoubtedly the largest developer community in the world. Programmers like yourself go there when it comes to hosting your codes, and sharing and contributing to them.

GitBook

gitbook

GitBook is a simple online and desktop tool for building books. Like GitHub, it is seen as a tool for programmers. But it can be surprisingly useful even for non-tech writers – especially if you want to write your books or documents about your project. You can use Markdown to write, edit and style your content simultaneously. To publish, a simple git push is all you need.

Sublime Text

sublime text

In the question “What is the best programming text editor you are using?”, the answer is usually Sublime Text. It is a simple and sophisticated-looking text editor that comes with color schemes for your codes.

When you switch between different files or search, it is blazing fast, and stable. Not to mention it comes with the best Markdown experience you will ever find, as well as tons of packages like Pretty JSON that will make your use of this tool even richer.

Quire

quire

While being a task management tool, Quire can play a part in your open source project too. If you prefer an interactive place for your milestones or features (which you probably entered in spreadsheet apps like Microsoft Excel and ZK Spreadsheet), tutorial or guide, or even a public forum, list them all out here.

With features like favorites and comments, you can see right away what topics are more popular, have a say in discussions, change the priority of your plan whenever you want, etc. Github commit links can even be found in the comments once you integrate with it.

See Also: 5 Essential Tools And Apps To Build Your Early Startup 

Inkscape

inkscape

Last but not least, where will your project be without design? Seen as a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is a free (and open-source) vector graphic editor made for you to create illustrations, arts, logos, charts, and paintings. Some say it is way ahead of Illustrator for its better UI, same professionalism, and superior quality features. It has also got a massive community forum where you can show off your work, and contribute ideas to.

See Also: 20 Best Productivity Apps and Programs for 2017

 

The post 5 Awesome Tools To Help You Newbie Geeks With Your Open Source Project appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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How To Choose Headphones That Best Suit You

The sound of music – the sound of life. The projection of sound by a suitable headphone can give so much joy. I have noticed that a lot of people are concerned about the design, weight, and comfort a headphone affords them, which is good because you don’t want to spend more than 150 bucks on something you wouldn’t enjoy after a while. And since this website is all about saving money, let’s talk about how you can properly decide on a pair of headphones suited for you without going for an inefficient trial-and-error method.

A Look at the Drivers

The drivers in a pair of headphones convert electric signals into an audible sound. You can think of it as a tiny loudspeaker.

The size of the driver is useful in gauging its capability in producing good sound. Interestingly, the quality of the driver unit makes a huge difference in the sound being produced. Headphones with dynamic drivers do a better job of producing powerful bass and can achieve the right amount of sound pressure with less power.

Frequency

The human ear can listen to sound between 20 – 20000 Hz and most headphones have frequencies within this range. The first number represents the base end while the last number represents the treble end of the spectrum.

You should note that better frequency response does not always mean better sound quality. However, the frequency response is important because it measures the ability of the headphones to produce all frequencies equally, that is, from the lowest to the highest tones. 

As much as the manufacturers might put up a range of numbers indicating the range over which tones can be reproduced, the best way to know the pair of headphones that suits you is to listen to them. Try to see if more tones are reproduced exactly the same way since it’s not so easy for headphones to reproduce every tone perfectly.

See Also: Hack Your Soundscape To Boost Your Productivity

Consider the Headphone Impedance

dj headphones

This is the reason why headphones sound differently when plugged into different devices. Headphone impedance is measured in ohms. You can choose either low impedance headphones or high impedance headphones depending on what you intend to plug them into. Headphones with high impedance (maybe 100ohms and above) are not designed for portable devices such as your smartphone.

Lower impedance headphones (within 16 – 32ohms) are preferable when your device is portable. Headphones with lower impedance require little power to deliver high audio levels. Low impedance headphones work well with portable music players, phones, and other portable devices. If you use them with powerful amplifiers, they will likely just blow out.

Headphone Sensitivity

Headphone sensitivity works hand in hand with headphone impedance. Sensitivity has to do with how well certain headphones are able to convert electric signals into clear and distinct sounds. The sensitivity and impedance of these headphones must correspond so as to regulate and produce sound without distortion. It is measured in decibels of sound pressure level per milliwatt (dB SPL/ mW). The sensitivity of headphones is within the range of 80 – 125 dB SPL /mW but note that at 120 dB, the human ear begins to replace the sense of hearing with that of pain.

Headphones with lower sensitivity require more power. As such, if you are to use them with portable devices like tablets and phones, this will adversely affect the sound quality as you will need to turn up the volume of your device and hence risk a quick drain of your battery.

See Also: Get “In the Zone” on Command with a Focus Song 

Noise Cancelling Features

The beauty of listening to music without distractions, even in the midst of distractions, is what headphones with noise canceling features afford you. It enables you to listen to music by reducing unwanted sounds around you using active noise control.

You might not want to worry yourself over the details of the process, but headphones have a tiny microphone that listens for unwanted noise, analyses it and reflects sound waves back into your ears. This process zaps out the noise, helping you hear nothing but music. 

These headphones are quite expensive, though. They also require that you charge them up. But keep in mind that they give a pretty awesome listening experience.

Noise isolation is different from noise cancellation because it employs passive noise control. Passive noise control headphones are headphones that are pressed tightly against, or that are completely covering your ears and they cut out outside sound in the process.

Whether you are considering earphones or full-sized headphones, all of the above should be put into consideration. These specifications are essential. Each of them, if correctly understood, can help you make a wise choice as per what headphones to get. So take your time, choose the pair of headphones with a perfect driver, superb frequency, great sensitivity, and moderate impedance for whatever purpose you might have in mind.

Also keep in mind that the more expensive a headphone is, the higher its chances of producing great sound quality due to better engineering and the use of quality materials.

What sure beats any of the above is taking your time to listen via the headphone options you have, to see which suits you well.

You can share your thoughts with me as I am open to discussions, opinions, and questions. 

If you enjoyed this post, here is an infographic you can share with friends. Scroll down for more info on choosing the best headphones.

How to Choose Headphones - List Enthusiast

The post How To Choose Headphones That Best Suit You appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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