Finding Time for Everything in bloom*

When I wrote about apps that are great for enhancing workflow over at The Next Web, not only did I neglect to mention anything outside of iOS (I’m dipping my toe into Android in 2013, so stay tuned for that), but I didn’t go into too much depth for each of the apps mentioned. I’m going to give that a go over here at Productivityist.com, and I’m going to start with the one that most have told me they are curious about: bloom*. This app is an offshoot (both literally and figuratively) of the web-based Mindbloom app. It’s one of those apps that I find has helped me actually disconnect from my work so I can better connect with it (and life in general) on an ongoing basis. In our hectic lives all of us occasionally forget to “stop and smell the roses”, and bloom* does its best to make sure we that a little bit more often.

Lately I’ve been waking up to bloom*. I never really used it as my alarm clock app before, but the visuals it provides alongside the music it plays really sets the tone for the day. As you can see below, I have a great visual on my iPhone first thing in the morning, accompanied by a song from my iTunes library (I’ve chosen George Harrison’s “What Is Life” as my current morning anthem).

It’s the stimulation of all of the senses that gets me going in the morning, rather than just an audible alarm. The visuals give me further motivation to get up and go – crucial for someone who is notorious for being a night owl.

Another thing I like about bloom* is the customization options. I can decide when I want it to be quiet – making sure I don’t get disturbed by reminders – by selecting the hours for Quiet Mode.

I also have a wide variety of “blooms” to choose from, and they all are categorized for different aspects of life. These blooms are free, and you can choose as many or as little as you want. you can also link up bloom* to Twitter and Facebook, as well as to the main Mindbloom site where you can play The Life Game. You can review your reminder settings and even create your own blooms if you want. You can use the stock photos or add your own as well.

One of the things I also like – although it does disturb focus – is the randomization options for blooms. You can tell bloom* to remind you about a bloom at random rather than at a specific date or time. While I don’t normally like being distracted from whatever I’m working on, the blooms i've set up are meant to do just that: ensure that I don’t forget to balance out my day. I’ve even gone so far as to remind myself to make sure I get a drink of water (because SodaStream just won’t cut it all day, every day).

There’s a lot to like about bloom* (and Mindbloom has just released another companion app in Juice that I’m giving a whirl), but the thing I really like about it is that it helps me stay connected to the things that we can all get disconnected from far too easily – and for far too long. This app is one that you can essentially spend some time setting up for your workflow and then let it di its thing.

Give it a look. You may find that bloom* may just grow on you.1

1 Yep, I went there.