Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Back-up those files

Nothing is worse than having a computer or phone die, well, maybe losing the data that it contained.  Data back-up is easy so save early and often.  Here are a few options for saving your data.

Use a USB drive.  For small amounts of data or data shared between computers a small USB drive can be just the thing.  The files can be copied to the drive and kept safe.

Save it online.  There are many online file storage services.  Dropbox, Box.net and Carbonite to name just a few.  Search for online file storage and you will find many to choose from, free and paid.  Services like Carbonite offer automatic back-up and can be accessed from anywhere.  This is a good feature if you want to back-up your files without worrying about it.

External hard drives.  Today's choices for external storage are small portable and relatively inexpensive.  They are a great choice for backing up all your data in one place and work well as an archive for photos, files and documents.

Burn it!  Another choice is to burn data to a CD or DVD.  This is great option for data archiving that is not likely to change or needs to be stored.  Photo albums on DVD can also be kept with scrapbooks or other documents.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mulit-task with your Smartphone

We all have cellphones these days and many of us have smartphones that are multitasking mega machines.  With all this technology in your pocket you can use it to the fullest and replace many devices with one.  Here are a few of the ways I like to use mine.

Sync and save contacts.  Most phones have some ability to sync its contacts.  I have an android phone that automatically updates my Gmail contacts with the ones in my phone.  I can edit them from any computer or my phone and have the peace of mind that I am not losing a thing if I happen to lose my phone.

Calendar.  I would absolutely be lost without the calendar on my phone.  It is linked into Google calendar making it easy to access from anywhere.  I can enter items during appointments then edit or reschedule later from my desktop.  It the calendar that came with your phone isn't to your liking, looking for a different calendar app.

Download Applications.  Some apps are real workhorses and others are just fun.  Don't want to carry around a separate meal diary for you diet.  Download an app!  Apps help you greatly reduce the amount of things you carry with you.

Reduce your number of gadgets.  My smartphone and even the last few regular phones I have had have all been multi-taskers.  I avoid buying music players, gaming devices, calculators and watches.  I also know that I can have a flashlight, camera, level and much more in the palm of my hand.

Before adding gear to you bag see if you see if you can add an app to your phone and reduce the stuff you carry.  Of course, if you prefer a good 'ole paper planner and it works best for you, stick with it.  Technology is great when it works with you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

File it, Don't lose it in a pile.

As the mail and bills come in, piles of paper have a tendency to pile up when they aren't filed or thrown out quickly.  A filing system that works for you is an important part of keeping the piles at bay.  Try a few of these tips.

File by month rather than account or topic.  Statements that come monthly generally can be filed by the month and then tossed after two years.  Most statements, such as utilities, don't need their own files.  Too many files makes things complicated

Keep only the most recent copy of insurance policies and similar documents that only the most recent copy is valid.  Once the old document is expired it can be tossed.

Keep labels and categories simple.  Choose broader categories unless the file becomes too large.  It is easier to fine a file on car care rather than files for oil changes, maintenance, tires and others.

Choose labels that mean something to you and group items depending on how you think of them.  Is an oil change a regular bill to you or car maintenance?  File it with the category that make the most sense to you, then give it a label you will remember.

Happy filing!  If you need help getting started or setting up a system call 740-334-1928.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Your email, only simpler.

Email is both a necessary and, at times, overwhelming.  Here are a few easy tips can make it more manageable.

Set time aside for reading email rather than checking it all the time or not at all.  Checking it regularly and clearing out the junk will make it much easier to read without wasting time.

Delete ads and spam as soon as you get them.  You can greatly reduce the amount of email you have to read by scanning the senders and subject lines, then deleting anything that is not important to you in groups.  Read only the messages that you need or want to read.

Use filters to separate incoming messages into groups.  Filters can be set up to look for senders, keywords in subject lines, and filtering messages that come from groups can make it easier to identify, prioritize and read.  Once the messages are in their own folders you can decide when to read them.

Archive messages that you want to keep in folders.  Messages that you will need to access later can be saved in separate folders for easy access later.  Label the folders with names that will help you remember what is in them.  Periodically, clean out the folders so that you can find the emails that you really need.

Forward messages from other accounts all to one account.  If you have multiple email accounts, have them all forward into one email account for simplicity.  This way you can check all your email in one place.