Archive for ‘Tech’ Category
Organizing with Washi Tape
This post is for you if you are:
- not crafty
- always losing stuff
- a lover of color
- a gadget girl (or guy)
- someone who thinks organizing is boring
- always fighting with your kids/spouse about ownership of your gadget plugs and chargers
Personalize your iPad/iStuff with Washi tape.
These cute designs are from Target (you know how I love Target!), but keep your eyes peeled for a new project coming in June-ish featuring adorable designs from Downtown Tape and a giveaway!
This is a great little tip pre-conference, when you’ll be taking your gadgets out of town. Make them colorful (harder to lose) on one end, and label them with your cell phone number on the other.
What is Washi Tape?
If you haven’t seen it, washi tape is a paper-based tape that generally has lively designs. Although not as durable as plastic tape, it is quite functional, and very easy to work with. Organize and mark your stuff with color, without ever going near a label maker! You can also easily mark on these tapes with a fine point Sharpie
In 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated. This video shows the kinds of crowds that showed up, including those in Philadelphia, to protest pollution and misuse of the earth’s resources.
In 1970, nobody had a PC, a cell phone, or TV’s in every bedroom, and we didn’t have the problems that come with replacing them every couple of years.
Here in Pennsylvania, a law just took effect that you may no longer place computers and other electronics at the curb with regular trash. This is good news for everyone, even if some folks are squawking about it being an “inconvenience.” New Jersey passed a similar law about five years ago. Even if your state hasn’t passed a similar law yet, please take steps to safeguard our habitat and water for our critters. And by critters, of course, I mean us.
So what should you do instead of hauling that monstrous old TV to the curb, you know, the one that’s been hiding in the basement for decades? What about the three VCRs that you still own? The four computer towers that you’ve been afraid to throw away since the ’90′s, in case you needed something off the old drive?
Read the rest of this article, originally published at the ShopGetOrganized blog.
Despite the growing popularity of e-books, people still love their books. I mean the bound, physical books that sit on the shelf. And the nightstand. And the floor. People keep books for all sorts of reasons, most but mostly because they represent our better selves. We want to be the kind of person who is learning to speak French. We want to be the kind of person who does a daily Bible study. We want to be the kind of person who keeps up with our book club. But whether or not we are, the books tend to pile up. When you have enough books that they are hard to recall from memory, a library app might be the thing for you.
There are a few cataloging services out there, including LibraryThing, Delicious Library, Shelfari, and others. I’ll admit that I have not tried them all. But I have fallen IN LOVE with GoodReads and its iphone/ipad app.
Love love love xoxoxox
I’m putting The GoodReads app in the same category as Evernote. That’s how much I love it.
Yes, it’s a “social media app” for bookworms. It allows you to capture what you are reading or what you want to read or what you have read, rate it, review it, and share it with your friends. It allows your friends to introduce you to the great stuff they are reading. But it also ORGANIZES BOOKS YOU OWN.
Wait, let me rephrase that. It doesn’t actually move them. You need me for that. But using the camera on your phone or ipad, it allows you to simply hover over a book’s ISBN barcode, and it **ZAPS** the book’s info into your virtual library. Cover image. Pub date. Everything. ZAP!
Scan the next one.
I’m really impressed with it.
You might not care so much about all of that. But if you’ve ever wondered if you still own a book that you used to own, you can now see in a second, and export a list of your ENTIRE HOME LIBRARY if you want.
Not only can you mark a book as read or unread, but you can “place” it on a “shelf” that you describe, like “Bedroom”, “den”, or even “lent out”.
Just click “Export”, and you get a really nice file that can be read by Excel or any spreadsheet program. That means that just by zapping a bookshelf full of your books with your phone’s camera, you can come up with a list of books you own.
If you are organizing, you might consider purging a few as you go, and finding the ones that have been hiding under piles in order to relocate them back to the bookshelf, but the hard work of writing them down to make a list of what you own is now GONE!
I really, really try not to use all caps in my writing, but this is really too EXCITING not to.
If you have a home library that you’d like to catalog, go to www.GoodReads.com, set up an account, download the app on your mobile gadget, scan in about 10 books, check out the export feature, and come back here to tell me what you think. Cool, huh?
So we may not be speaking French, doing daily devotionals, or keeping up with the book club, but thanks to GoodReads, we can definitely improve our knowledge of what’s in our own library, and never, ever buy the same book more than once.
Got email? Got email overload? Got any idea how to manage it? Stop beating your head against the same brick wall every year. Here are 7 things that will help.
1. Know how to manage your spam filters. There are a lot of different types of email out there, so giving you instructions here on setting up spam filters isn’t feasible. But rest assured that your specific email service does have spam filters. In fact, you may have several spam options. My host/email provider has one. I have another one on my computer. I subscribed to and pay for an outside service as well, called Postini. If you are getting an insane amount of offers to refinance your home, buy meds, and help a friend escape from a foreign country, then start by researching your email’s spam options. I honestly remove hundreds of emails each day before they even get to my inbox. Not sure how to set up your spam filters? Check your provider’s FAQs or Google something like “How to set up spam filters on comcast email”.
2. Unsubscribe. You may have heard that you don’t want to unsubscribe because that causes more spam. That’s only the case for true spam, you know, the ones from the Phillipines and Africa and so on. You can probably tell the “true spam” from legitimate retailers and service providers. If you truly aren’t interested in hearing from Home Depot, Victoria’s Secret, and Land’s End every single week, then unsubscribe. By law, they must process your request You know where they are, anyway, right? Hint: it ends with a dot-com. You can unsubscribe a little each day, or you can do it twice a year, after you’ve decided whether their content is valuable or not.
3. Folders. If there are folks you can’t totally unhook or unsubscribe from, but you honestly never have time to read their stuff, then set up a filter to send their info directly into a folder. Almost every email service out there now allows you to create folders. Ideally, you’ll set up a rule that will say something like, “Whenever a message comes from (this guy), then send it directly to my (sales and deals) folder.” I put almost all of my association newsletters into a folder like this, so I’m not tempted to read them during high-productivity hours.
4. Be ready. One of the worst things that ever happened to us was the introduction of the smartphone. Now we feel like we can just clear out a few emails while waiting in line or (God forbid) at a stoplight. Don’t do it. Unless you are ready to act on those emails, all you are doing is creating a backlog. Wait until you are wherever you need to be, like at your desk, to check, act on, delete, and file away those emails. Not only will you be more productive, you’ll be more present wherever you are, like in the lane next to me on Rte 30.
5. Backup, Backup, Backup. This can be a toughie for non-techies, but the good news is that it is getting easier. If you feel overwhelmed by email, you probably keep more email than you really want to, and that’s probably because you think there is something important in there that you should be keeping. If that’s true, then you should be backing them up. If you download your emails to your computer, then you need a backup solution, and maybe two, because your computer will die someday. If you aren’t sure if your emails get downloaded or if they just stay up on your provider’s servers, call your provider and ask. If you run or manage a business, I highly recommend both an online backup and an on-site physical backup. Find out what I recommend for both types of computer backup solutions (and get a free offer) here.
6. Don’t print email. Some folks are still printing off a bunch of emails every day so they can take them into the other room and read them. Not only is it bad for the trees, but it’s bad for your time management. Exercise your decision muscle and force yourself to read emails rather than printing them out. If you have trouble reading on your computer monitor, get some help to change the font, get a bigger monitor, change the brightness, or make other changes so it is easier for you to read the pixels rather than creating piles.
7. Batch and archive. If you already do the first six things above, congratulations. But you still have 46,000 emails in your inbox? That might just drive you crazy. If you dream of a fresh start, then make a clean break. But don’t fret about having to delete your archive. Just batch them up and park them somewhere other than your inbox. Create a folder. Maybe label the old batch “Before 2013-destroy in 2015,” and start again. Your inbox will only be cleared out for a minute, but it will feel so good, and you’ll still have the old stuff if you truly need it.
photo credit: 123RF.com
What other strategies do you use to manage your email overload?
Do your gadgets make you crazy? Cords all over your counters? Here are ideas to organize that electronic mess.
Like many families, we’ve recently gotten many more new iPads, Kindles and phones, but all that convenience does cause a lot of clutter. This is what it looked like when my parents came to visit, and this is the norm in many households. That’s two ipads, two kindles, and three or four phones. That’s a lot of cords and plugs taking up a lot of real estate on the kitchen counter.
You could shell out some serious coin for organizers. Check out the http://www.kanexlive.com/sydnee/ for $150.
I like the look of this bamboo charging stand, and the price is good, too, at only $35, but it’s backordered when I last checked.
What started out to be a fun little project to find a better way to organize became a clear necessity when I noticed the damage done to come of the charger cords by the felines of the house.
Really, these little guys are murder.
So I started with one of my favorite little kitchen products, a letter organizer that you can find at many decor stores, like HomeGoods and TJMaxx.
Made just a few little adjustments…
Screwed on a short extension cord, and carefully arranged all the gadget plugs…
And ended up with a really nice, safe place to stash all the gear.
Is getting your counters and desk clutter contained on your wish list for 2013?