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How Much Storage Space Do I Have?

April 22nd, 2015

Owners of iPhones and/or iPads often ask:

“How much storage space do I have?”

Here’s how you can find that out.

Open your iPhone’s (or iPad’s) Settings:


Tap General:

tap general

Tap About:

Tap About

And here you’ll find how much storage space you have left on your iPhone, which version of iOS is installed on it, how many songs, photos, & videos you have on it, and more:

about this iPhone

Five Solutions to Five Common iPad Issues

April 21st, 2015

Issue: Your iPad freezes and suddenly becomes a high-tech paperweight

Solution: Hold down the “Home” and “Sleep/Wake” buttons until your iPad reboots.

NOTE: The iPad Sleep/Wake button is the small button at the top right-hand corner of the iPad.


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Issue: You can’t find an app that you know is on your iPad.

Solution: Place your finger on a blank part of the iPad screen and drag down. Type the name of the app you are looking for into the “search” box:


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Issue: Your iPad bleeps in the middle of the night, disturbing your slumber.

Solution: Open your iPad Settings and tap “Do Not Disturb.” You can slide the “Scheduled” option to green and specify the hours you want your iPad to be silent.


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NOTE: If you select Manual, your notifications will be silenced until you disable it. This is a handy feature if you bring your iPad to a theater or to an office meeting.


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Issue: Siri (your personal digital office assistant) does not respond.

Solution: You’ll find Siri under your iPad’s “General” Settings. Make sure the Siri button is slid to green.


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NOTE: To activate Siri, press your iPad’s “Home” button until Siri responds – then release the Home button.

Issue: Your iPad’s “Maps” feature does not work properly. Your iPad thinks you’re in California.

Solution: Tap “Privacy” in Settings and make sure “Location Services” is set to On.

location services

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4 Business Magazines You Can Download for Free

April 17th, 2015

You can access the digital versions of these four popular business magazines for free through Flipster:

  • Entrepreneur
  • Forbes
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
  • Money

NOTE: Current and back issues of these titles are available.

These digital magazines, which are identical in content to their printed counterparts, can be viewed on computers and mobile devices (Kindle Fire, iPad, Android Tablets, Android Phones).

All you need is your Curtis Library card.


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>>> Read Your Favorite Magazines Through Flipster

>>> Curtis Downloads Page

Reasons to Consider Having an iOS-powered Nightstand Hub

April 14th, 2015

nightstand hubThis blog post is part of Curtis Money’s How to Make your iPhone and/or iPad earn its keep series.

If you own an iPad, here are some reasons to consider keeping it on your nightstand while you are slumbering.

You can, of course, do these same things with an iPhone or an iPod Touch (but personally I find the iPad’s bigger screen much easier to see).

Before your feet hit in the floor in the morning, you can put those first few groggy moments to productive use.

1. You can use the “Clock” application to make sure you get up on time.

2. You can use the “Calendar” app to see your appointments and other events (and also to see if anybody you know is celebrating a birthday that day).

3. You can use the “Notes” application to review your notes and tasks you need to carry out that day (that is, of course, if you are using the “Notes” app to keep track of your to-dos and projects instead of a task management application).

4. You can use the “Mail” app to see your email messages.
If you’re feeling industrious and don’t have to get up right away, you can get to Inbox Zero.

5. You can use the “Reminders” app to see your reminders (which I personally use for timed-events and things I want to generally keep in mind as I progress throughout the day and life in general such as “Think Positive”).

6. You can use the “Weather” app to check the weather forecast and see what you need to be prepared for.

How to Record Late Night Bursts of Inspiration

If a great idea for a project or an extraordinary notion of any kind suddenly occurs to you during the night, you may find it helpful to have an iOS device close at hand to capture it for you.

1. Summon Siri (your “personal office assistant) by holding down the “home” button on your iPhone or iPad.

2. When Siri responds, say “Take a Note.”

3. Tell Siri what you want her to take note of.

4. Siri will then record that note into your “Notes” application.

For additional useful things you can use Siri for, see the blog post entitled: How You Can Use Siri to Be More Productive.

Getting to Inbox Zero

April 6th, 2015

inbox_zeroI think many people would agree that it is important not to let emails containing tasks that you must carry out — or appointments that you need to keep — get buried in your email inbox to be overlooked and then forgotten or discovered too late.

This being the case, productivity gurus such as David Allen have devised strategies for getting to “Inbox Zero.”

In his book, “Getting Things Done,” David Allen relates the “4 D’s” which entail going through your inbox on a regular basis (such as every weekday morning) and applying the following criteria to each of your email messages:

Do it (if the email contains a task that can be accomplished in less than two minutes)

Delegate it (if you’re not the right person for the task, forward the email message to the person in your organization who is)

Defer it (if the task needs to be carried out at a future date)

Dismiss it (delete the email if it contains non-essential information or archive it if it contains information that may be useful at a later date)

NOTE: You can apply this same criteria to your other “collection buckets” (such as your physical mailbox and your physical inbox).

How you carry out the 4 D’s of course depends on the software that you have access to or your personal preferences.

Email programs such as the Apple “Mail” program and “Microsoft Outlook” have an archive folder that you can move email messages into for safe keeping.

You can retrieve email messages from an Archive folder fairly easily usually by way of a keyword search or by sorting the emails in the folder by date.

Mail and Microsoft Outlook also enable you to “Flag” email messages for organization and faster retrieval.

Some people choose to transfer the content of email messages into a “Notes” program such as Evernote.

If you need to defer an email message, Microsoft Outlook has a handy “Follow Up” feature that you can apply to individual email messages:

custom follow up

If your email program of choice does not have a “defer” feature, you can simply put the task on a paper calendar and/or copy and paste it into a calendar application on your computer or smart phone.

According to David Allen, everything that you need to do (or may need to to do at some point) must be captured into an organizational system that you trust.

Additional Resources

How to process stuff – A comparison of TRAF, the “Four Ds”, and GTD’s workflow diagram

Staunching The Paper Flow – Tips For Time Management

Take Back Control of Your Email Inbox Without Breaking a Sweat

Anything that causes you to overreact or under-react can control you, and often does.
― David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity