April 11, 2013
ELIMINATE CLUTTER You don’t need to get an e-mail every time someone messages you on Facebook, follows you on Twitter or endorses you on LinkedIn. Go into the settings on these services and turn off e-mail notifications. Then do the same for the daily e-mails from various news sites, coupon companies, travel deals and concert halls. You’re never going to sign up for that tarot reading class, no matter how cheap the offer is on Groupon, and if you do decide you want it, you can Google around and find a bargain.
FILTERS ARE YOUR FRIEND For recurring e-mails to which you can’t unsubscribe — like the ones from annoying relatives — consider setting up filters for them. Regardless of which e-mail client you use, you should be able to set up filters to capture all the e-mails from one source and file them in a tidy folder until you are ready to deal with them or delete them in one satisfying swoop.
This is ideal for regular, nonurgent, recurring e-mails from a person or company you don’t need to deal with immediately, but don’t want to delete until you’ve had time to check. For example, you could funnel all messages from your child’s teacher or messages related to an coming group trip into separate folders. The downside of filtering is that it’s easy to create too many folders and forget to check them.
V.I.P. STATUS The latest version of Apple’s mail client has a nifty new feature that lets you designate certain people as V.I.P.’s. When messages from those senders arrive, they are flagged so you notice them right away. Ideal for bosses, significant others, children and best friends.
If you use iCloud, it will automatically update your contact list on your other Apple devices, like the iPhone and iPad. The V.I.P. feature is ideal for iPhone users because it will deliver a notification to your home screen so you don’t miss an important e-mail while you’re on the move.
GET IN AND GET OUT A friend and former Twitter employee told me his rule of thumb for dealing with lots of e-mail: Reply fast, archive freely. Check e-mail a few times a day, instead of constantly, to avoid getting caught in a whirlpool.
CHUCK E-MAIL ALTOGETHER Sometimes, when e-mail is too overwhelming, try corresponding with your friends and colleagues directly via instant message, direct message on Twitter or text message. The format demands brevity and succinctness and is a godsend during busy times.
OUTSIDE HELP Now that you’ve gotten the basics under control, seek out some friendly bots to help manage your messages. There are plenty of programs, either free or cheap, that can sift through your incoming mail.
Read more at How to Lighten the Crush of E-Mail.
April 1, 2013
Pocket is the ultimate way to save anything you want to check out later. I love that compared to similar services, Pocket can save things like videos. Amazing. I always make sure to sync as much as I can before plane trips or extended “offline” times.
October 22, 2012
Great for small personal projects, or full business marketing, Moo’s MiniCards are half the size of a standard business card. A striking impression in a tiny package. [$20]
October 19, 2012
Today, I’m reminded that the point of technology should be to enhance what’s truly important – your real life. You are not the sum of your Twitter followers and your FaceBook Likes. You are a living, breathing entity that can have a smoother day by using Waze to get to your client meeting on time, or send your family a real postcard via Postagram while traveling on business. But this is no replacement for being present in the real world.
Technology is a blessing, but don’t forget to hug the ones you love and tell them how important they are… in person.
October 18, 2012
Keep track of your favorite websites with Feedly, an online and mobile-savvy RSS reader. Magazine-style web view and beautiful iOS clients. [free]
October 15, 2012
I still see a lot of clients keeping their passwords and sensitive website information in notebooks or scraps of paper, usually along with their checkbooks or in a filing cabinet. So, it’s no surprise that one of the first things I help a new client set up is 1Password (OS X / Win, iOS / Android), or a reasonably priced equivalent.
It lightens the burden of your business to know that your information is safe somewhere. Keeping your passwords in a notebook or on a piece of paper is like walking around with your bank account number and PIN on your debit card; you’re going to lose it eventually and It Will Be Bad. Trust me.
Because it’s more than just peace of mind. By saving your passwords in a vault, you’re more likely to use stronger generated passwords, ones that are too complex to remember, or casually write down. And as a small business owner, you can also use 1Password to safely store other sensitive information, like business credit cards, and website and other online account information.
Yes, the price is a bit steep at $50, but it’s money well spent in the investment of your online presence. You will use this app every single day, and with the mobile version, you’ll never forget a password again.
September 27, 2012
Have trouble remembering names and faces? Check out Evernote Hello.
I often encourage my clients to use Evernote for their digital filing, but this is a smooth online solution to helping remember names and faces. What’s great is that there are both iOS and Android versions, so there’s no excuse not to try it out.
February 28, 2012
Whether you’re a freelance photographer, or you’re getting into the cupcake business, branding your online presence is key to a good start. Read more
February 15, 2012
As a web developer, it may appear that I’m shooting myself in the foot by saying this, but most small business owners or creative types looking to set up their own website should not hire a developer or designer to build their website for them. WordPress offers an unbelievably easy solution to most small website needs. Read more
February 15, 2012
I frequently hear non-technical business owners refer to their web person as their web designer. A few questions deeper into the conversation and I realize they are talking about someone building custom code, or updating their website with more than graphics. Read more