18 January 2019

Sync Up!




Are You In Sync?

When you move from one computer to another, do your bookmarks and settings follow you? Can you be reading an article in your office, then switch to your phone to finish the article as you wait in line at the store? If no, then what are you waiting for? 

Chrome and Firefox both offer a version of account sync. You create an account, set up your browser to your preference – certain extensions, zoom level, home page, etc. – then when you log into another digital device and open the browser you will see the exact same setup. I have sync set up for Chrome, which is my primary browser, and Firefox which is my secondary browser. 

Productivity wise, sync has been awesome because no matter what computer or device I am on, I have access to my bookmarks and recent tabs. I currently operate on three different computers and two mobile devices, so sync makes it mostly seamless. There have been a few hiccups trying to access recent tabs from another device (pulling up a web page I saw on my desktop when I am using my laptop), but overall its been great. 

For more info about sync, check out the following articles about sync:

Chrome Sync

Firefox Sync

4 January 2019

Too much to read, not enough time




I was the girl who always had a book in her hand. At home, I stored books on bookshelves, under my pillow, or under the bed (that was where the romance novels were stashed when I was in high school!).  In school I got in trouble multiple times for reading a paperback behind my textbook when I was supposed to be working. But what was I supposed to do? There were all these great things to read and not nearly enough time to read them all in!


These days I am more likely to be found reading online – books and fan fiction mostly, and articles or blogs that I follow. But just like the pile that used to stack up beside my bed, the online reading pile can get to be overwhelming. The amount of online fiction I’ve bookmarked should keep me busy till summer. To keep track of all the blogs I follow and articles I want to read, I used to use my browser bookmarks. But that was just another pile of things to go through. The great thing is, today there are several different options for keeping track of what you need to read.

Continue Reading

17 December 2018

3 ways to get ready for 2019




2019 is almost here and I know there’s always the temptation to let things slide as we get to the end of the year. It’s vacation time, holidays, and everyone has so much to do outside of work. But before you take that next snow day – or rain day if you’re here in Southern California – there are three things you can do to set yourself up for success in 2019.

  1. Get your inbox cleaned up – Remember all email is either an Action item, Reference item, and Trash item. Get those reference and trash items out of your inbox, leaving only action items that need your attention. (Psst…check out our post Inbox Hero for more details)
  2. Back up your files – If you don’t have online backup already set, get started now! Don’t let all your hard work from 2018 be at risk. I’m a fan of Backblaze for online backup.
  3. Clean out your Downloads folder – all those items have homes, make sure they get to them!

Take a few minutes today to prep for the new year. Then, take a few minutes for yourself to reflect on all the great things you accomplished in 2018!

Interested in more ways to increase your productivity? Schedule your Discovery Call today and let’s talk about how to get you more time and less stress.

6 December 2018

Trying new things!




I’m trying something new! I’ve been a fan of and devoted user of Moleskine notebooks for years. Before I found Evernote I used my Moleskines for everything – notes about business, writing scenes, jotting down ideas, you name it. There is even a stack of used Moleskines, carefully indexed, on the top shelf of my closet. But since Evernote and I became BFFs, my Moleskines haven’t been seeing as much attention.

I still use my Moleskines for brainstorming and sketching out ideas, but almost all my writing is in Evernote now. For some reason, brainstorming and note taking on paper are easier for me. I keep the ‘neat’ version of my notes in Evernote. Maybe it’s a generational thing – I didn’t grow up with computers – or maybe its just a personal preference. Either way, where I used to go through a standard 5 x 8 Moleskine every couple of months, I’m down to two a year.

Continue Reading

28 November 2018

How long should you keep that document?




Do you really need to keep that paperwork?

Records retention guidelines may vary in their recommendations, but you can usually consider these guidelines to apply to both paper and digital files. Yes, you could hang on to digital files longer since they appear to take up less space. But the question becomes, do you need to?

Instead of weeding through their digital files, many people purchase more cloud storage or an external hard drive. But consider this…purchasing that extra space is equivalent to purchasing a storage unit for your physical papers. Do you really want to do that?

Vital documents such as a birth certificate, marriage license, immunization records, etc. should be considered permanent. These are often in paper form, so go ahead and scan them into your computer to have a second copy you can keep ‘at home’ while you put the originals in a safe place. When discussing records retention, financial documents require special attention. I recommend contacting a lawyer or financial advisor if you have specific questions about keeping your investment reports or other financial paperwork.

For more information, check out these guidelines for how long to keep your records:

IRS Guidelines for Taxes for small businesses and the self-employed 

BBB Records Retention Schedule for Individuals/Consumer Records 

Questions? Need help sorting through your files? Let’s talk!

24 September 2018

One Software to Rule Them All




Unitasker or Multitasker?

 

Should you have one software for each task, and rely on Zapier to link them, or find a software that can multitask?

I talk a lot about having the right tech for the right task. But what does that mean? A favorite blog of mine, Unclutterer, frequently highlights what she calls unitaskers. These are organizing or productivity tools that only have one use – like a banana slicer. A unitasker can also be a tool/gadget that can be replaced by something you already own – why buy a grilled cheese sandwich toaster when you already have a frying pan?

When we apply the concept of unitaskers to the digital world, we start looking at the concept of software that only focuses on one thing. Is it better to have one software for financials, one for CRM, and one for email marketing, or is it better to have one software (like 17Hats) which provides all of those programs?

The question of unitasker software also comes up when we talk about automation. Do you have multiple software options and rely on Zapier to connect them, or do you go with software that automatically integrates with each other? For example, Acuity software automatically connects to your Google calendar, PayPal, and Stripe. But Acuity does not automatically connect with Evernote, so I have to use Zapier to get that information where I want it.

I don’t have one software that does it all. Right now my Quicken Online account links to PayPal, my Acuity scheduling account links to PayPal and to Google Calendar, and Insightly CRM links to MailChimp and my Gmail account. The great thing about Google is that so many programs link to it natively. But would I be more productive if I had one software – like 17Hats – which does my financials, scheduling, email marketing, and email?

Unitasker or not, the more important question is are you using the right tech for the right task. It is rare to find one software that does multiple things well. In addition, there is automation software like Zapier which will connect your individual software programs to each other in order to reduce your admin work and make it seem like everything works together. So find what works best for you, and seek expert answers to your questions when you have them!

Categories

Archives