Tag Archives: Tips

Video: Pro Tips: Shoe Lace Lock

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Photo: Filip Bramorski, Flickr

So THAT is what those extract holes in the shoe are for. I had no idea.

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Computer Joey: GTD: Calendars

Getting things done, also referred to as GTD is a popular term on the internet. Most people want to be more organized and save time doing simple tasks. There is a massive amount of material and information available on the internet to help you become more efficient, and today I am going to show you my favorite GTD tool:

Google Calendar

Many of my readers (and friends) are probably already using this service, but for those of you that are not, let me walk you through some of the basics and why I like it so much.

Google Calendar (gCal) comes free with a standard gmail account (also free). Under the hood there are several little tools that come in handy when you are trying to manage a busy social calendar (or three people’s social calendar).

  1. Sharing: You can share your calendar with friends and family so they can see when you are available and what you are up to. This is awesome when you are trying to plan an evening out with busy people. It also helps when you are trying to figure out where the kids need to be a 6 PM tonight.
  2. Invitations: Don’t want to share? That’s fine, you can just invite your spouse, kids, or friends to an event on your calendar and all of the information will appear on their own personal calendar.
  3. Text Reminders: Don’t have a fancy smart phone? NO PROBLEM! You can easily set gCal to send you simple text reminders. I personally have all of my friend’s birthdays set to send a reminder a few days before their birthday so I don’t forget.

Everything in gCal is fairly simple to use and configure, but I took a few screen shots in order to show you how to share your calendar with a loved one:

STEP ONE: Go to calendar.google.com and sign in or sign up for a new account

This is the first screen you will see and you can put your mobile phone information in here so you can get your updates on the go (if you don’t have a smart phone). Add your information and follow the screens. When you are done, it will take you to the main calendar page.

STEP TWO: Go into Calendar Settings

Click on the GEAR icon and select the settings option.
When the next window opens, click on the calendar tab:

STEP THREE: Click on share this Calendar

STEP FOUR: Type the Google email of the person you want to share your calendar with (has to be another google account).

Follow the screens out and you are all set to share calendar invites with another person.

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GooglePlus Review

( #GooglePlus, #SocialMedia )


Image Credit: Paul Vedar

Last night the good people over at Lifehacker offered invites to the new Google+ service. I jumped at the chance to get one because I have been looking at a way to do multiple people video chats for months. Skype offers it for a few bucks a month, which I was considering, but I don’t like that I have to install software to video chat when Google does it in the browser.

Google calls the feature “hangouts” and even in beta, it works pretty damn well. Actually checkout the Lifehacker crew’s video:

Google seems to have built this service around security and privacy. This sounds like an odd thing for Google, but it comes from the public scorn they got from rolling out Buzz (which automatically shared private info like email addresses) and also as a response to Facebook. Even though Facebook has privacy features, I feel that they always trying to get you to share more public data (and their updates always change settings to make that happen). In order to compete, Google is focusing security groups (called Circles) so you can share certain things with certain people much easier.

I am sure Big G isn’t completely saintly in this service, but since they have the Government breathing down their necks and face fierce competition with Facebook, I think the Google+ service is as legit as it can be. Since I am a google guy to start, I am hoping the service takes off because it will be much easier for me to manage my social circle with the plus service than with Facebook since I already have a hands off attitude towards it.

I was going to offer invites to readers, but it looks like Google shut down invitations already. But drop me a note, and if they turn it back on, I will try to get you in.

UPDATE: A blogger buddy (and current Keypulp founder) Joss Ross already found a security issue. Even if you choose a select group to see your post, someone could share it with everyone. Google has a fix, there is a drop down in the right corner that disables sharing. I think it should be defaulted that way, but for now, be aware and don’t share!

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Productivity Boost: Doodling

In the last few years, I find myself doodling quite a bit while sitting on long and boring meetings at work. At first it was during teleconferences, but it has expanded into actual meetings. I am following everything that is happening, but I need to do more. The other day I found this article that states doodling might be a good thing: Doodling Improves Productivity.

How does it work? The scientists hypothesize the mental load it takes to absentmindedly draw is significantly smaller than the demands of a full-on fantasy, which leads your mind entirely away from the event you’re supposed to be engaged in. That trickle of attention devoted to doodling appears to keep you focused in the present time, while giving you a release valve from a frustratingly over-long group session.

The article goes on to say that the boost is for light doodles (like shading in boxes) and not full out art projects. So do you doodle at work? Does it help or hurt your focus?

(Image Credit: Luke Ross & DC Comics)

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