End Time Zone Confusion

I recently discovered TheTimeZoneConverter.com for quick and easy time conversions. It’s pretty straight forward. In the box on the left your current time zone is automatically filled in (you can change this to any major city if you want to). From the pulldown menu on the right side of the page, select a city / country. The current time in the city / country you selected is immediately displayed.


1Password

1pass

I originally recommended this program in 2011 and am including the original post below. I still use this program daily and highly recommend it!

REVIEW: I started using 1Password after the "great computer crash of '10. It's an easy-to-use program that stores not only your passwords, but identities, secure notes, and software info (licenses, confirmation emails, etc).

They offer a 30-day free trial and the program is very reasonably priced. (Prices vary based on the gadget / operating system you are using.)

They make a version for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad, and Android.

This program saves me so much time each day. No more searching for passwords, logins, or filling out online forms!


Auto Remote Fix

Recently the remote for our van stopped working. I called around to find someone to fix it, only to be told that they can't be fixed, they have to be replaced. To say I was shocked at the price of a new one is putting it mildly. I resigned myself to a life of manually unlocking the doors (which is very inconvenient with power doors in a van).

After doing it a few times, I decided there HAD to be "Somewhere" I could get a reasonably priced so I headed over to my favorite discount place -- eBay. This is where I discovered Stu's EZ Auto Remotes in PA. I was hesitant because $20 to fix my remote sounded too good to be true. I looked around his listings and eBay rating and was slightly reassured. I took a deep breath and pressed the "buy it now" button. I shipped my remote via priority mail, insured, and signature confirmation (about an additional $7).

I have one word to say about the service I received WOW! Within a week, I had the remote back in my hot little hands and it worked! It's been two months and the remote is still working. I have no idea how they fixed it (and don't really care how) but they FIXED it for under $30 (including shipping). The lowest quote I had for a replacement was $180 plus $30 for programming.

You can reach Stu's EZ Auto Remotes by visiting their eBay site or by calling 215-295-7695.


DropBox

Dropbox_logo
If you aren't using DropBox to sync or share files, you should be. This file sharing/syncing solution is the best I've seen. The program and first 2 gb of storage are free. (You can earn extra storage when friends sign up using a special link.)

When you install the DropBox program on your computer, it places a "dropbox" folder on your hard drive (in location of your choice). To share a file, simply save or drag the file you want to share into the shared folder in your DropBox  folder. You can create sub-folders and specify who can access them.

Folders are accessible through your desktop, the internet, iPhone, iPad, and Android. They also have a mobile enabled site for other web enabled phones.

No more lengthy uploads for large files; just "drop" the file in your DropBox folder and it's  ready to use.

(Note, if you use the links in this post, both you and I will receive an extra 250 mb of space on DropBox for free!)

 

 


Remember the Milk!

Remember_sm For several month, I've been using Remember the Milk on my iPodTouch and computer desktop. It was the only "list creator" program that I could find that worked without an Internet connection. With the iPod Touch, I am not always connected to the Internet. I can read all of my messages and lists in RTM when I'm offline and strolling through the grocery.

No more losing the list on the way to the store or leaving it in the car. You can also set reminders and sync with your calendar. It was very easy to set up and start using. I was able to do it without consulting the user guides -- yahoo.

RTM works with a lot of products -- iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Google, gMail and a bunch more. There are several third party plugins to make "remembering" even easier (like adding tasks via Jott).

Now there's no excuse when I don't Remember the Milk.


Did You "Jott" Today?

Bernice Ross introduced me to Jott a few weeks ago. At first I was luke warm on the idea. I couldn't imagine using it. Now, I consider it one of my favorite time-saving tools!

In case you haven't heard about Jott, it converts your voice into an email message (or text message). So instead of calling your voice mail and leaving a message (which you have to write down once you return to the office/home) call your personal Jott number instead and leave the message. When you get back to your computer, check your email and your voice message will be there. (I've found that my messages are 90% accurate with a few mispellings.)

You can also send Jotts to other people -- I like to Jott my assistant when I think of something quick and emailing isn't convenient. It took me less than 10 minutes to set my account up and send my first Jott.


Non-Geeks Guide to Google Shortcuts

by John Jantsch
reprinted with permission from Duct Tape Marketing Newsletter

I thought I would bring you something a little different in this issue. Instead of an article, this week's feature is more a resource guide.

Google has lots of ways for you to use their search engine technology to keep up on your industry, your keywords and your competition by creating custom searches pegged to shortcut phrases.

Once you master a few of these tricks you can use them to speed up all your product and competitive research by focusing on what's under the hood on those sites that might be doing a little better in the search engines than you or digging a little deeper to find only specific types of documents.

Here's a handy guide that will turn you into a Google expert. Place the shortcut word, such as related followed by a colon and your search term of web site address you want to search.

Google Shortcut                                                 Finds Pages That Have...
site:(search only one website)                         site:ducttapemarketing.com referrals
link:(find linked pages)                                      link:www.ducttapemarketing.com
info: (find info about a page)                            Info:www.ducttapemarketing.com
related: (related pages)                                    related:www.ducttapemarketing.com
cache: (view cached page)                              cache:ducttapemarketing.com
filetype:(search for specific filetype)                 marketing filetype:ppt
allintitle: (search keywords in page title)            allintitle:public relations
inurl:(restrict search to page URLs)                   inurl:smallbusiness
site:.edu (specific domain search)                    site:.edu, site:.gov, site:.org, etc.
site:country code (search to country)                site:.au marketing coach
intext:(search for keyword in body text)              intext:blogging
allintext: (words specified in body text)              allintext:duct tape

Here's a great place to start using this information. The title of a web page (the name of an individual page that shows up in the browser when you go to a page is called the title) is very important when it comes to Google's page indexing. Many people waste this important element by giving the title of a page the name of the company or home page. Smart marketers use very important keyword rich terms as titles for every page.

Try it yourself - search Google for a term like "small business marketing." Make note of the sites that show up on page 1. Now do a shortcut search for the same, but limit the search to specific words that appear in the title tags by putting this in a Google search - allintitle:small business marketing. Do this and you will find that a number of the sites that appear in the organic listings for the search also have that term in their title.

Related article: Using Keyword Research to Increase Web Traffic

John Jantsch is a veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger and author of Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide published by Thomas Nelson.

He is the creator of the Duct Tape Marketing small business marketing system. You can find more information by visiting DuctTapeMarketing.com


Talking Alarm Clock

Talking Alarm Clock  (Freeware) -- Cinnamon Software has published a nifty little alarm for your computer. Download it today to keep yourself on time.

It will talk, nag you (a little or a lot) and generally entertain you while giving you those little reminders you need. One of our friends has a son who works nights and he uses it to wake him up if he falls asleep at the computer!

Works with Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, or Windows XP, Microsoft® Agent (optional)  and requires approximately 6 MB of free disk space. Sorry but they don't have a version for Mac users! :-(

Submitted by:
Katherine Rothgeb, Virtual Assistant
katherine@krvirtually.com




Eliminate Long URLs

19078381 It’s happened to all of us at one time or another, we send someone a URL in an email and it breaks in the message. In order to follow the link, the recipient has to cut and paste the URL back together. Now there’s a solution – Tiny URL. Take your long URL to their web site, paste it in the “Make Tiny URL” box and press the button. Within seconds you will receive a tiny URL that will not break an in email (the URL never expires either!)

Tiny URL has to be one of the best free tools around.


Time Stamp

As a virtual assistant, I'm paid for the time that I spend working on tasks for my clients. To accurately track these tasks, I use a program called Time Stamp. While it doesn't have a lot of "bells & whistles" it provides me with the information that I need for invoicing my clients at the end of each month. At the beginning of each month I start a new time sheet for each client. The hourly rate for each client can be applied to the time sheet and will accurately give me a total of time for the month as well what the total work cost is for that particular client. The program is easy to use and you can be up and running in no time.

Another feature that I like with this timing program is that if I want to temporarily stop working on a client's task to get up and stretch, I can hit a "slack" timer so the billable time is stopped. Then when I get back to the task, I simply hit the slack timer again and the billable time again starts. There is also a section for notes for each chunk of time that I show on the time sheet. I typically add notes to track the tasks that I've worked on for each client. The data from Time Stamp can also be exported to an Excel worksheet. This software is donation-ware and can be downloaded from http://www.syntap.com/downloads.htm.

Susan Schmidt
Virtual Assistance Online
I Want a VA