Get More Done By Speed Reading

Speed Reading Class

Photo credit: iBjorn)

With only 24 hours in a day, finding time to get everything done in our hectic lives is really a challenge. Each day I find new articles, books, or little tidbits that I am dying to read but they just end up collecting dust in a pile on my counter or get lost in one of my cyber folders – what a waste!  I’ve started using a new system to capture some of the tweets and articles I want to read later but it’s not enough. It’s hard enough to read what I need to (especially now that I am attending B-School) and it’s frustrating that I have no time to read for fun.  But recently, I thought… “What if I could speed read?” that would solve this problem, right?

Speed reading is a technique that allows you to obtain the material you are reading in half the time as normal by reading groups of words at once. It may seem strange and it’s a little intimidating at first, but it really works !

Here are two tools that I found for quick and easy speed reading:

ReadQuickApp: This app displays an article (no books) of your choice one word at a time at the pace you are comfortable with. You can start at the slowest speed and gradually move on to get used to the technique! It will also tell you how long an article will take you to read based on your words per minute. (Cost $9.99 and is available for the iPhone)

Spritz: Want to read a whole novel in 90 minutes or less? Well now you can with Spritz. This app works by displaying one word at a time with a “fixation point.” One letter of the word is a different color and that is where you focus your eye. This allows you to focus on the word individually and obtain it, rather then moving your eyes side to side – this leads to distraction. This app can train you to read up to 1,000 words a minute – that is some serious speed reading! (Comes out around March 21st for Android, Javascript for web, and iOS. Test it out on their site here.)

If you can’t get into the speed reading that’s okay- it’s not for everyone! There are other ways to cut down reading time by using some old fashioned skimming techniques:

Yahoo News Digest (formerly Summly): No time to read lengthy news articles? This app will summarize them for you. Each story is created from multiple news sources that way you are consuming the essential information. You get all the important stuff without wasting your time! And it’s free!

Need 2 Know: This awesome free newsletter gives you “Need 2 Know” news coverage! It’s one of the first things I read in the morning.  They consider themselves the CliffsNotes for news. In each news category they sum up everything you need in 1-2 sentences. Want to know more details later – no worries, they provide the links for the full coverage.

How do you get all your reading done? Let me know which reading techniques you like best – I’m always looking for new ideas.

Where Does Luck Come From?

Is it luck that opens doors in our life or is it our hard work and determination that pushes us forward? I think that it’s a little bit of both! When I look back at the good things that have happened to me — sometimes I’m the one who creates my own luck! I think that Oprah puts it perfectly, “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.'”

It’s always good to be prepared for the time that opportunity comes knocking at your door, and to always keep an open mind.

So to get you inspired, and of course, in honor of St. Patrick’s day, here are 7 quotes to lead you to that lucky pot of gold 🙂

quote_hard-work-makes-you-lucky Read more

Easiest Way to Battle Junk Mail

Image via Parprogram

Image via Parprogram

We’ve all done it — sign up for newsletter after newsletter because we were promised a coupon code or some kind of discount.  We got the discount, got the product or service and never canceled our subscription.  No matter how many times you delete that newsletter without even looking — you are just too lazy to unsubscribe.  I get it — I’ve done it on the regular!


But now I found an amazing app that will unsubscribe for you!  All you have to do is go to* and it will go through your email account and locate each and every newsletter you’re signed up to receive.  Some you won’t even remember!  I figured i might have 50 or 60.  I had close to 300! EEEK! lets you do two things.  1. You can “roll up” your subscriptions so they arrive in a single email instead of separate ones.  2. You can unsubscribe all together with one click.  I opted to unsubscribe from 159 newsletters. Wow!  Think of all the time I’ll save. Read more

It’s Tax Time! Are You Ready?

Image via TaxGeeks

Image via TaxGeeks

It’s one of my least favorite subjects but I’m forcing myself to talk about it because it’s important. It’s tax season and the deadline is creeping up. I know that this is a stressful time for people, and a lot of people worry that they might be accused of having unfiled tax returns or owing back taxes.

Just do it — and get it over with! Then we can make lists of things to do with your refund!!
Here are a few ways to get your taxes in order this year:

Evernote: You know how I love it. I use it every year to organize all the expenses that I want to keep track of and everything is easy to find when it’s time. Then you can scan or email your finished return right into Evernote to keep track of for years to come. It’s really the easiest method. Read more

I’m Going To B-School!

Screen shot 2014-03-09 at 9.17.42 PMI never thought I’d be going back to school — but I am!  Today is the very first day of Marie Forleo’s B-School and I couldn’t be happier to get started.  I found Marie a few weeks ago through Twitter and have been devouring her content ever since. She teaches people how to be entrepreneurs and turn their passions into much more.

It’s an 8-week online course and there are people from almost every inch of the globe participating.  Just check out the map of participants — insane, right?  I’ve done a few continuing education classes here and there since graduating college. I’ve taken a novel writing class, a children’s book writing class and of course a bunch of cooking classes — but never anything like this.

Getting ready for class has been exciting and scary.  Here’s a list of my preps in case you find yourself in a similar situation one day:

1.  Get a notebook you love.  Seriously — this helps calm my fears.  I chose a notebook that a close friend gave me for my birthday — so it has some sentimental value.  It’s the perfect size to stick in my purse if I need to take my work on the road.  And the best part is the cover.  It’s plastered with stamps from fabulous places all over the world that I want to visit.  It’s an excellent inspiration for the traveling I’d like to do in the future.

Read more