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Live Longer, Get Smarter, And Lose Weight With Cogi

4-February-2011
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Sound too good to be true? Consider that recent studies have shown that both multitasking and lack of sleep can contribute to a loss of up to 10 IQ points—each. That’s 20 IQ points just for trying to be more efficient and laying awake at night worrying about stuff. Add to that, that lack of sleep often contributes to unwanted weight gain and that both multitasking and sleep deprivation not only add to the stress in one’s life, but can actually compound it.

We’ve all been there, rushing to get caught up, staying up late or getting up early to find some extra time in our day. And yet recent studies have shown that stress is one of the major factors contributing to poor health. Still the temptation is there, to somehow get more done within the same amount of time.

Recently, the New York Times ran in a compelling article highlighting the downside of multi-tasking. And while many of us want to believe that multitasking can make us more productive, research has shown that multitaskers actually have a harder time focusing on tasks and experience more stress than non-multitaskers.

In a series of tests conducted at Stanford, researchers discovered that heavy multitaskers not only tend to be more sensitive to incoming information but can even become addicted to the stimulus of new information and the need to respond to it, and that even after the multitasking ends this effect still continues. In one experiment, subjects were asked to view a series of images containing red rectangles and asked if any of the red rectangles had moved. Subjects were then given the same task only this time with blue rectangles mixed in and told to ignore them. The results were surprising, the non-multitaskers had no problem ignoring the extraneous blue rectangles, whereas the multitaskers performed significantly worse. What researchers noticed was that multitaskers are more sensitive to all incoming information and less able to filter out extraneous information. Other tests showed that mutlitaskers were more drawn to looking for new information rather than putting older, more valuable information to work. In other words multitaskers were actually less productive overall.

In a related article, the London Institute of Psychiatry was able to demonstrate that people who jump from task to task to react to email or text messages experience a similar effect on the mind as losing a night’s sleep. And those who are regularly distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point drop in their IQ.

That’s also same drop in IQ points that comes from lack of sleep. In a different study conducted at Stanford, researchers likened the effect that lack of sleep has on our mental and physical abilities to that of alcohol. That is people who suffered from disrupted sleep who were tested for reaction time performed as poorly as people who were legally drunk. And if that wasn’t bad enough there may even be a link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Research has shown that lack of sleep triggers the body to seek additional energy by eating more. In an article from the Washington Post from several years ago, studies show that lack of sleep can not only impact, but when combined with stress affect, many aspects of our physical and psychological well-being.

So where does Cogi fit in? First of all we can’t change anyone’s lifestyle, but we can help you win back an hour of your day and maybe even help you rest easy at night. How many times have you had an important meeting where ideas and action items were happening at high-speed, major decisions were reached and people needed to be notified of the outcome. What do you do, try to takes notes, while paying attention, while participating in the meeting, while everyone else is talking? And then after the meeting do you try to decipher your notes, summarize the meeting and message everyone who was there with their action items. And what about the people who weren’t there, how do you get them up to speed?

With Cogi there’s an easier way, you can record any meeting whether it is a telephone conference call or an in office meeting using our down-loadable recording software or by using our access line. You can even record those meetings with our iPhone app. During the meeting you can flag and even annotate important sections of the recording for easy review. After the meeting, from your online portfolio, you can request a transcript of the entire recording or just the highlights. You can even share the recording along with the transcripts, from your secure online portfolio with anyone, whether they were at the meeting or not, just by entering their email.

Doesn’t that sound better than trying to multitask during the meeting or losing sleep later trying to reconstruct who said what?

Who needs that kind of stress? As Personal Productivity guru David Allen observes, stress creates its own vicious cycle. “Guess where most of those fires and crises come from [in our lives]?…from secondary things that were ignored because of all the fires and crises. This syndrome does not self-correct, it self-perpetuates.” In other words our own busyness does not save us as we’ve been lead to believe.

The only way to break this cycle is to take control of your time, and as counter intuitive as it sounds, slow down. Eliminate unnecessary tasks, focus on one activity at a time and then schedule in and take downtime. This last one is critical as it is not merely enough to schedule downtime one must actually take it in and enjoy it for it to be effective.

And while there are some of us (less than 3%) who are able to function effectively while juggling multiple tasks simultaneously, and others who seem to thrive on stress and can function with little or no sleep, the rest of us are either not as fortunate as these “super taskers” or not as willing to burn ourselves out. And so for the rest of us there’s Cogi

Turn Your Phone Into A Digital Voice Recorder With Cogi

18-October-2010
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Have you been thinking of buying a new digital voice recorder?  Wait just a minute . . . why would you do that when you already have everything you need? With Cogi , you can use your phone as a digital voice recorder.  Instead of buying an expensive new device, you can use your iPhone, Blackberry or any phone to capture important meetings, interviews, or even notes to yourself.

Cogi makes it easy to not only record what you want but also to easily view and share those recordings. One of the biggest challenges with digital voice recorders is transferring your recorded audio to your computer.  Typically you need a USB cable or some other type of cable to connect the unit to your PC and then you’ll need to follow a series of steps to copy the audio onto your PC.  Then you’ll have to find a way to transfer that audio to wherever it needs to go – and that is often problematic because the digital audio files are often quite large and impossible to email.

With Cogi, there are no confusing cables and you won’t waste time trying to learn how to transfer files from the device to a computer.  Unlike a digital voice recorder, Cogi automatically uploads your audio to your secure, online portfolio where you can listen to the audio, share it with colleagues, or even have Cogi produce a high quality transcript.

More than just a digital voice recorder, Cogi also gives you the ability to record your calls, inbound and outbound. With Cogi you can record phone calls using any phone…anywhere. During the call you can mark a highlight to flag a section for easy review or even have those highlights or the entire phone call transcribed.  Calls can be easily shared or even downloaded as an MP3.  And with Cogi, all of your calls and recordings are conveniently stored in your online portfolio. You can search your calls and recordings at any time by subject and date or even by the keywords from your transcripts.

Ask Cogi: How do I record my incoming calls with Cogi?

15-October-2010
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We are often asked if it’s possible to record incoming calls with Cogi. The answer is yes!  Here’s how to do it. You will need to use your phone’s 3 way call or conference call feature. Once you’ve answered the call, create a conference call and dial the Cogi Access number (415) 691-4045. Once connected to Cogi, press the pound key (#) to begin Meeting Mode to start recording and then join the two calls together. During the call, Press 1 1 to mark a highlight, 3 3 to “lock” highlighting on/off, or press 7 7 to change recording settings. Press 0 0 to hear a help menu.

For smartphone users:

iPhone
• Tap the “Add Call” button
• Dial the Cogi Access number: (415) 691-4045
• When the prompt finishes, press the pound key (#) to enter Meeting Mode
• Tap the “Merge Callers” button

Blackberry
• Press the Blackberry button
• Scroll up and choose “Conference Call”
• Dial the Cogi Access number: (415) 691-4045
• When the prompt finishes, press the pound key (#) to enter Meeting Mode
• Press the talk button to connect the calls

Android
• Press the Add Call button
• Dial the Cogi Access number: (415) 691-4045
• When the prompt finishes, press the pound key (#) to enter Meeting Mode
• Press the “Merge Calls” button to connect the calls

TIP: Enter the Cogi Access Number in your contact list so that you don’t have to enter it for every call.

Have a question? Ask Cogi at support@cogi.com

Cogi Launches iPhone App

3-February-2010
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Now you can turn your iPhone into a digital voice recorder with this easy iPhone app. Already have a Cogi account, simply download the app and have the same Cogi features you already enjoy combined with the convenience of your iPhone. To find out more about how Cogi Recorder works watch this brief overview.

With Cogi Recorder you can record your meetings, important conversations or even just your thoughts. Seamlessly upload audio files to your online Cogi portfolio for review, highlight, transcribe or share. Or, share the conversation right from your iPhone.

FEATURES:

• Create and share recordings of any length
• Play back local recordings or recordings from your online portfolio
• Record phone calls (requires premium subscription)
• Mark audio highlights
• Get transcripts of highlights or entire recordings (requires premium subscription)
• Pause and resume recordings
• Automatic synch with online Cogi portfolio
• Listen to recordings from online portfolio via real-time streaming
• Automatic WiFi Synch
• Add notes to shared recordings

NOTE: iPod Touch 2nd Gen users will need an Apple headset with
microphone to use Cogi Recorder

Cogi May Just Become One of Your Favorite Project Management Tools

14-January-2010
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While there are a variety of project management tools out there, sometimes it can be enough that everyone’s working off of the same information.  It’s almost a maxim that the larger or longer a project is the more people proportionally will be involved with it.  Inevitably, a number of those people come in to the project once it’s already started.  How do you ensure that everyone’s up to speed? Add to that more and more companies have virtual and remote workers and the challenges only become more significant.

With Cogi there is an easy way to keep everyone on the same page, increase productivity and ultimately save your company time and money.  Imagine if you could reduce the amount of time spent trying to recreate the critical action ideas and data from important calls and meetings. With Cogi’s innovative audio recording software you can more effectively keep your team focused on the project at hand.

  • Keep everyone on the same page
  • Searchable, sharable, actionable content
  • Improve team productivity
  • Capture and share important ideas

Capture Conference calls and Meetings

Now any brainstorming session, weekly team meeting or project roundtable can be recorded whether the team is spread out across the country or all in the same office.  With Cogi’s audio recording software you can capture all of your important conference calls and meetings.  Going way beyond simple call recording, Cogi gives you the ability to effortlessly capture, annotate, take notes, produce transcripts, share and store these valuable conversations.

Using Cogi’s downloadable calling software or access number, simply dial into your conference call and begin recording.  To record a meeting in your office, just dial the Cogi access number from your speakerphone and your office phone becomes a digital voice recorder.  With Cogi there is no need for additional equipment or hardware.  During the call or meeting you can highlight or flag parts of the meeting, add notes and even play back sections that were previously highlighted.  After the call you can request a transcript of the entire call or select just portions of the call for transcription.  All recordings are archived and can easily be reviewed and shared with other team members whether they were on the call or not.

Easily Share, Search and Review conversations and meetings

With many companies supporting virtual and remote workers the likelihood of people using different operating systems increases, with Cogi‘s online interface team members can easily access calls intended for them.  All recordings made by you with Cogi are automatically archived in your online account.  From your account you can share those calls with other team members, whether they were on the call or not, by selecting the share feature.  There you can enter in the email address of those on the team and even add a note about the call to include additional context or instructions.  If they already have a Cogi account the call will automatically appear there, if not Cogi will create a password protected guest account for them and email them their log in credentials.  If they don’t have online access you can download the audio as an MP3, save it to a CD and mail a copy.

Because “getting it right the first time” can save you and your team time and resources, Cogi makes it easy to not only capture important details from any conversation, but quickly find them later.  With Cogi’s search capabilities you can search your call portfolio for conversations by subject title, person called, time and date and even for any key words that appear in the highlight notes and transcripts.  With Cogi you can effectively turn any conversation you’ve recorded into an online archive for your team. 

Quickly transmit important ideas with Cogi Memo

In addition to being able to record and share your phone calls and meetings with Cogi, you can also quickly capture ideas and “post” them to your team or assistant.  Better than a group voicemail or email blast, Cogi lets you capture your ideas and easily get them to your team by turning any phone into a personal dictation device.   Once the “call” is completed you can share it with others by using the share feature.  Team members will now have that “call” in their portfolio along with a transcript for review.  Easily share action lists, brainstorming ideas, follow up information and instructions with your team.

With all the different project management tools out there you may find that Cogi is one of the easiest to work with.  Cogi helps you and your team get the most out of their time by making every call or meeting an online resource.  Not only can team members hear the original conversation at any time, but with Cogi’s highlighting and search features they can quickly find what they need.

Read more about these powerful features that can save time and make your team more productive:

  • Record conference calls, meetings and interviews (read more…)
  • Annotate calls and create transcripts of meetings (read more…)
  • Easily share recordings of any length with your team at any time (read more…)
  • Sort, browse & search and review your recordings (read more…)
  • Dictate and record memos and share them with your team or assistant (read more…)

The Independent Ear: On The Go Freelance Writer Uses Cogi’s Audio Recording Software

17-December-2009
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On The Go Freelance Writer Uses Cogi’s Audio Recording SoftwareI managed to catch Brandon Kim recently and ask him a few questions about his IFC.com blog the Independent Ear. IFC.com features news and articles related to the entertainment industry as well as live video streaming of shows such as Arrested Development and Young American Bodies. In his blog, Brandon focuses on what he calls the crossroads of music and film, exploring soundtracks and movie scores as well as actors trying their hand at music and bands dabbling in film composition. He has interviewed people involved with films such as “28 Days Later”, “Batman Begins” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”.

As a writer Brandon uses Cogi to make sure that he’s representing accurately what the person said and to fact check his interviews to catch any details he may have missed the first time. With Cogi’s audio recording software you can easily record and review any conversation, whether it’s over the phone or even in person. Over the phone simply use the Cogi software to set up the call and Cogi captures the audio, during the call you can highlight or flag parts of the call for easy reference. In person dial the Cogi access number and turn any speakerphone or cell phone into a digital voice recorder. Calls are then stored in your online portfolio and include the option to have the entire call or just portions of the call transcribed.

When asked why he chose Cogi, Brandon replied, “I didn’t see a hardware solution out there that seemed reasonable to me. They all seemed kinda cumbersome. I don’t work in an office most of the time so I need to figure out all these things myself. So I didn’t want to have some big complicated set up.” With Cogi’s downloadable audio recording software and access number you can easily record a conversation anywhere you have a phone with out the need for additional hardware.

Brandon also likes that it’s easy to take the audio from any interview and save it as an MP3 and play it wherever he is. “When I go and work somewhere with my laptop I have the MP3 and then using Windows media player I just listen to the interview on headphones and get whatever I need. That’s convenient because you can’t always be online.”

Whether you’re recording several interviews a week or your daily business calls Cogi’s audio recording software lets you easily record, store and search your important conversations.

What do you Cogi? Send us your stories to feedback@cogi.com

Cogi Makes Recording and Transcribing Interviews Affordable

4-December-2009
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Crystal Saunders, a History Major at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, is in the process of completing her dissertation about the early days of the Head Start Program.  As part of her research she has interviewed more than a dozen women around the country.

“My dissertation looks at a Head Start program that was in existence from 1965 until 1968 in Mississippi. And I’m looking at why this particular program wasn’t funded even though it was held up as a model program for the rest of the country.  Most of the women that worked for the program are still in Mississippi.   Some are in DC, some are spread out now living in other areas but the majority of them are in Mississippi.   And so, I use Cogi to talk to them and to learn their life histories and how Head Start employment changed their lives.”

As a graduate student on a budget Cogi has proven indispensible in her work.  “It’s expensive to fly all over the country just to conduct interviews. It’s not as if I’m salaried or have someone that’s funding this research. So it’s definitely made it a lot more affordable”

With Cogi you can literally interview anyone anywhere in the United States or Canada.  And not only record and archive that conversation but have it transcribed or even selectively highlight sections for transcription.  This can effectively turn any conversation into a living document that can be reviewed and edited.

“It’s allowed me to get the material I need without the work.  It’s hard to have an interview over the phone and get every word down so it is very helpful to have that recording.  It’s also been helpful being able get the highlights or even the entire interview transcribed.  That saves me a lot of time because that’s work I’d have to do.”

One of the things Crystal discovered during her research is how the Head Start program helped strengthen families and communities.  “When we think of Head Start we think of Preschoolers, but the program in its initial years was much more than a Preschool program because there was a much larger parental component.  And so Head Start was really a community tool, in the sense that parents were expected to have a hands on participation in the program.  They were expected to teach, they were expected to volunteer, they were expected to learn what it is that their student, their children were doing every day and to try to reinforce those lessons at home.  And so that’s been interesting to me, seeing the ways in which Head Start didn’t just affect the child but affected the child’s family.”

With Cogi, Crystal is also able to share the call with the people she’s interviewed.  Often the people she’s interviewed will ask for a copy, with Cogi it’s as easy as sending them an email.  From your Cogi account you simply enter their email address in the share feature and if they have a Cogi account the call will automatically appear there.  If they’re new to Cogi, Cogi will create a guest account for them with their own secure credentials where they can view and listen to the conversation at any time.  And for those few hold outs who still don’t have email you can download the audio as an MP3 and save it to a CD and mail out a copy.

“I am a huge fan of Cogi.  As a graduate student whose research requires her to interview people all over the country, Cogi is really helpful in getting work done at an affordable price.”

What do you Cogi? Send us your stories to feedback@cogi.com

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