lifescoop http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11818/all en-US 4 Signs Your Kids Might Be In Danger Online http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-your-kids-might-be-in-danger-online <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-signs-your-kids-might-be-in-danger-online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online-safety-400.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The internet can be an amazing opportunity for children and young adults to explore, connect, and learn. It can also harbor a world of stranger danger, viruses, and information that is inappropriate for little eyes. <strong>Check out this preview of 2 of the 4 red flags for internet safety from our </strong><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/09/4-signs-your-kids-might-be-in-danger-online.html"><strong>recent My Life Scoop article</strong></a><strong>, and how you can protect against them.</strong></p> <p><b>Warning Sign #1: Your child is old enough to know how to restart (or even hack) a computer.</b></p> <p>If you kids has reached an age of computer savvy that&rsquo;s on par with an adult (for many this is as early as seven years old), beware of attempts to work around your existing security software.&nbsp;For many kids, it may be as simple as pressing the power button and logging in as a guest.&nbsp;For others, it may take a more sophisticated method of using a bootable &quot;Live CD&quot; with Linux or even Windows operating system: Insert the CD, press&nbsp;the reset button, and they're online with no security. Because the PC's normal operating system is not active, this method (which exploits &quot;console vulnerability&quot;) leaves no trace on the PC.</p> <p><b>The Fix:</b> You can prevent future &ldquo;hacks&rdquo; in two steps, according to David Witkowski of OKU Solutions, a Silicon Valley consulting group. &quot;You need to implement domain-name service (DNS) blocking in the network router, which keeps sites from ever reaching your PC.&quot; Do this by visiting <a href="http://www.opendns.org/" target="_blank">www.OpenDNS.org</a> and signing up for a free FamilyShield account. OpenDNS will then allow you to select what types of sites you want to block, and will provide instructions for modifying your network router's settings.&nbsp;(You can also shop for a router that offers built-in DNS blocking). You must also prevent the block from being removed through a &quot;factory default reset&quot; (pressing that little red button on the router, itself).&nbsp;This can only be done by physically securing the <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/5-tips-for-setting-up-your-home-network.html">network router</a> in a locked cabinet or room.</p> <p><b>Warning Sign #2: Your child is younger than 13, and has friends that are using networks like <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/08/facebook-etiquette-11-dos-and-donts.html">Facebook</a> and MySpace (or has an account themselves). </b><b><br /> </b></p> <p>It&rsquo;s becoming fairly common to hear of kids with their own social networking accounts, but that are too young to use them legally under the terms of the <a href="http://www.coppa.org/">COPPA</a> (Children&rsquo;s Online Privacy Protection Act).&nbsp;In response, many children (often with their parent&rsquo;s permission) are getting accounts by fibbing on their birth date during the registration process.<b><br /> </b></p> <p><b>The Fix: </b>Read and understand the <a href="http://www.coppa.org/">terms of COPPA</a>, as well as for each site frequented, and explain them to your child.&nbsp;If a site requires that you child be of age to obtain a membership, carefully weigh whether they need one before the legal age and understand there may be consequences.&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.facebook.com/">Facebook</a>, for example, specifically prohibits anyone under the age of 13 from accessing the site, and provides a report link to notify them of such activity.)&nbsp;Let your child know that their <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/08/is-your-private-info-way-too-public.html">private info</a> should never be displayed online.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p><strong><i>Do you have concerns about your child&rsquo;s online safety? Learn about the other two warning signs </i></strong><i><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/09/4-signs-your-kids-might-be-in-danger-online.html"><strong>in our original article!</strong></a></i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-your-kids-might-be-in-danger-online">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-your-family-safe-with-these-6-must-have-smartphone-apps">Keep Your Family Safe with these 6 Must-Have Smartphone Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-photoshop-fixes-for-your-family-photos">7 Easy Photoshop Fixes for Your Family Photos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Technology kids online lifescoop online security Tue, 14 Sep 2010 13:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 227215 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Tips to Make Your Flip Videos Rock http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-make-your-flip-videos-rock <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-tips-to-make-your-flip-videos-rock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flipcam425.png" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Flip is a popular handheld digital video camera used by many to capture precious family moments and create stunning viral videos for display on the web.&nbsp;While the cameras themselves are super simple to use, the results are often less than glamorous.&nbsp;With the help of the experts, we share 6 ways to make your Flip (or any other brand of camera) clips look like a pro handled them <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/07/6-tips-to-make-your-flip-videos-rock.html">in our recent My Life Scoop article</a>.&nbsp; Here are two of those tips to get you started!</p> <p>1.&nbsp;<b>Stabilize your Video</b></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/flip-cam1.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>No one wants to watch a video that&rsquo;s jarring, shaky, or causes nausea in the audience, so take care to keep your camera steady during filming.&nbsp;While there are a number of <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/life-upgrades/2010/06/fun-with-the-flip-americas-most-popular-digital-camcorder.html">Flip accessories</a> designed to keep the camera still and free your hands for more important things, the best tip is surprisingly free!&nbsp;Michael Natkin of <a href="http://herbivoracious.com/">Herbivoracious.com</a> states you can &ldquo;just hold it firmly against a wall, on a chair or a bookcase, or even your knee if you are sitting down. You&rsquo;ll be amazed how much more watchable your videos are.&rdquo;</p> <p>2.&nbsp;<b>Pay Attention to Color and Patterns</b></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/flip-cam2.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Not understanding how these two factors can appear in a video is a big mistake that amateurs often make.&nbsp;Helynna Brooke, Producer of <a href="http://www.westcoastvideo.net/">West Coast Video Productions</a>, gives a few pointers for avoiding a dizzying effect.&nbsp;&ldquo;Avoid fine checks, stripes, herringbone or other busy patterns. Men, skip the authoritative black suit with the red power tie. Your bold logo on a t-shirt may be too distracting on video.&rdquo;&nbsp;She recommends sticking to solid colors, such as pastels, and neutral colors, such as beige, gray, green, brown or blue.&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking to learn more about the process of making amazing home videos?&nbsp; Check out the <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/07/6-tips-to-make-your-flip-videos-rock.html">full six tip article at My Life Scoop today</a>!&nbsp;</p> <p><i>What special events have you celebrated with your handheld video? Share them with us by linking to your video in the comments!</i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-make-your-flip-videos-rock">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-spring-clean-your-pc">6 Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your PC</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier">3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology lifescoop Wed, 28 Jul 2010 12:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 185890 at http://www.wisebread.com Keep Your Family Safe with these 6 Must-Have Smartphone Apps http://www.wisebread.com/keep-your-family-safe-with-these-6-must-have-smartphone-apps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/keep-your-family-safe-with-these-6-must-have-smartphone-apps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/father holding sons hand.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone wants their home to be a haven from dangers, and thanks to a recent roundup of some of the best smart phone apps designed to&nbsp; keep you safe, you can sleep a little sounder tonight!&nbsp; <em><strong>Check out 2 of the 6 that we recommended in a recent </strong></em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/05/6-emergency-smartphone-apps-for-your-family.html"><em><strong>My Life Scoop article</strong></em></a><em><strong>!</strong></em></p> <p><a href="http://www.webmd.com/mobile"><b>WebMD Mobile</b></a></p> <p><em>Cost: Free</em></p> <p><em>Compability: iPhone</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/webmd.jpg" /></p> <p>While a smart phone app can never be a suitable replacement for a doctor&rsquo;s advice, we&rsquo;re all prone to &ldquo;Googling&rdquo; symptoms and emergency first aid procedures as a first response to the medical unknown. &nbsp;With the WebMD Mobile app, most of the information you can find on the trusted WebMD website is available with just a few taps on your iPhone screen, giving you answers to your most pressing questions in a snap.&nbsp;Whether you want to know if it&rsquo;s OK to take ibuprofen with your antidepressant, or you&rsquo;re not sure of the proper procedure for treating a mild sunburn, this app has you covered!&nbsp;With basic CPR instructions (complete with illustrations), this is a must-have app for acting appropriately in any medical emergency.</p> <p><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/label-lookup/id340129104?mt=8"><b>Label Lookup</b></a></p> <p><em>Compatibility: iPhone</em></p> <p><em>Cost: Free</em></p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/label%20lookup.jpg" /></p> <p>Before you assume that your child&rsquo;s toy is safe, simply because it&rsquo;s labeled &ldquo;non-toxic&rdquo; &ndash; think again.&nbsp;With all the inconsistencies in labeling, these days, it&rsquo;s imperative to have a trusted source at your fingertips, giving you the truth behind labels.&nbsp;Label Lookup is the best thing to happen to consumer awareness, and it&rsquo;s a project of the reputable <a href="http://www.simplesteps.org/">Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). </a>&nbsp;Covering food, personal care, cleaning supplies, paper, paint and wood, it&rsquo;s easy to find just what you&rsquo;re looking for based on the certifications of the EPA, USDA, and more.&nbsp;Let this app lead you to better buying choices, before you bring potentially dangerous items into your home!</p> <p><em><strong>Want to know about the other four that we trust to use in our homes?&nbsp; </strong></em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/05/6-emergency-smartphone-apps-for-your-family.html"><em><strong>See the full article at the My Life Scoop website!</strong></em></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-your-family-safe-with-these-6-must-have-smartphone-apps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-your-kids-might-be-in-danger-online">4 Signs Your Kids Might Be In Danger Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-money-apps-for-kids">10 Fun Money Apps for Kids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Technology lifescoop phone apps Mon, 10 May 2010 13:00:03 +0000 Linsey Knerl 56666 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy Ways to Spring Clean Your PC http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-spring-clean-your-pc <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-ways-to-spring-clean-your-pc" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pc.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With all the hustle and bustle of the new season, it may be easy to forget about one important item in your home that could really benefit from a good spring cleaning &mdash; your PC! Before you go another day with clutter or dirt dragging your performance down, check out two of the <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/6-simple-ways-to-clean-up-your-pc.html">six tips we shared</a> at My LifeScoop to help you clean up your act!</p> <h2>Clean That Screen</h2> <p>Don't wait until a stranger at the airport asks about the menacing blob on your laptop screen before you do something about it. Take time weekly to shine it up the right way: Mix &frac12; part distilled water and &frac12; part white vinegar for an affordable alternative to the store-bought stuff. Spray a clean rag (old T-shirts work well) lightly with the solution. With your PC turned off and disconnected from an outlet, gently buff the screen until all the gunk is gone. (Note: Plasmas may have special considerations to prevent voiding the manufacturer's warranty. Consult the manual for the details.)</p> <h2>Trim the Temporary</h2> <p>Every time you visit a website, your browser may be holding on to various files and data paths that you'll probably never need again &mdash; and each of these can take up valuable space on your computer. If you cruise the web often (more than an hour or so a day), get into the habit of clearing all temp files, cookies, and cached pages at least once a week. Each browser will have slightly different methods for getting the job done, but most likely you'll find a &quot;Tools&quot; drop down from your browser command bar that can get you headed in the right direction. (Google searches for the name of your browser and either &quot;Delete Files,&quot; &quot;Delete Cookies&quot; or &quot;Clear Private Data&quot; should get you adequate info to do the job right.)</p> <p><em><strong>Looking to finish the job? We have all the tips in one place (including a nifty how-to video), over at the </strong></em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/6-simple-ways-to-clean-up-your-pc.html"><em><strong>full My LifeScoop article.</strong></em></a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-spring-clean-your-pc">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-computers-ram-in-seconds-very-easy">Boost your computer&#039;s RAM in seconds. Very easy.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-your-family-safe-with-these-6-must-have-smartphone-apps">Keep Your Family Safe with these 6 Must-Have Smartphone Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology clean lifescoop organize PC Tue, 06 Apr 2010 15:06:31 +0000 Linsey Knerl 24047 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Tax Prep Software May Be Right for You http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-tax-prep-software-may-be-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-tax-prep-software-may-be-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tax.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;ve been doing my own taxes for about 5 years now. Even as my needs have changed (I&rsquo;ve gone from a simple 1040EZ to a more complex small business partnership structure), I&rsquo;ve found that the tax software available on the commercial market has grown to meet my needs. Here are the most compelling reasons you may also want to give it a go!</p> <p><em><strong>The following tips are taken from my recent <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/5-reasons-to-use-tax-preparation-software.html">guest post at My Life Scoop</a>, and feature just a few of the five reasons why a tax software product may be right for you!</strong></em>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Affordability</b></p> <p>I grew up in a home where taxes were dreaded for many reasons.&nbsp; In addition to the worry that our small farming operation would owe money to the government at the end of the year, there was also the anxiety that came from stressing about how much the tax office would charge.&nbsp; With tax prep software, it&rsquo;s not only usually more affordable to do some of the most common tax tasks, it&rsquo;s also no surprise when the bill comes.&nbsp;</p> <p>Tax software usually starts out with a free version, and while it offers to &ldquo;upsell&rdquo; you to pricier versions that are designed to handle more complex tax codes, you&rsquo;ll know about these pricing changes ahead of time.&nbsp; There should be no shocker on what you&rsquo;ll owe the tax software company.&nbsp; (We just wish we could say the same about the IRS.)&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Tax Filing for EVERYONE</b></p> <p>Not everyone resides in the heart of a bustling city, near a shopping mall, or even in a 50-mile radius of an independent prep office.&nbsp; For this reason, tax software is an increasingly appealing option for anyone who finds it inconvenient, or altogether impossible, to get in and get the job done.&nbsp;</p> <p>While we know that there are still old-school tax filers who get a rush from making an appointment with their tax attorney or scooping up scads of forms from the local public library, there are many more who would prefer to stay home, save their gas money, and sip some home-brewed coffee while doing their taxes.&nbsp; Preparation software knows no geographical limits, and therefore, is a popular choice for both the busy and the displaced.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><em>Check out my </em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/5-reasons-to-use-tax-preparation-software.html"><em>full guest post on Life Scoop</em></a><em> to see all five expanded reasons for giving tax software a try!</em></strong>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-tax-prep-software-may-be-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-top-money-lessons-to-learn-from-ruth-soukups-unstuffed">4 Top Money Lessons to Learn From Ruth Soukup&#039;s &quot;Unstuffed&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-lessons-we-could-all-learn-from-dwayne-the-rock-johnson">6 Money Lessons We Could All Learn From Dwayne &quot;The Rock&quot; Johnson</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-money-goals-you-can-still-reach-by-2017">13 Money Goals You Can Still Reach by 2017</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-celebrities-with-shockingly-low-net-worths">6 Celebrities With Shockingly Low Net Worths</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-money-management-tips-from-john-oliver">7 Best Money Management Tips From John Oliver</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance lifescoop tax prep software Tue, 16 Mar 2010 17:55:16 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5761 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere! http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/laptop.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes you just have to get out of the office to ever get any work done!&nbsp;</p> <p>When you're on the go, or are working from home, what are the best tools to keep you productive and in step with the rest of the world?&nbsp;</p> <p>We share our a couple from our list of 7 necessary tools to help you get work done -- anywhere!</p> <h3><b>IM</b></h3> <p>Instant messaging has always had its supposed social appeal, but when it comes to a tool for getting a quick word in with a client, co-worker, or boss, there&rsquo;s still no substitute.</p> <p>Quickly replacing cell phone text messages as the best way to ping anyone, IM&rsquo;s can be simple and effective methods of finding an answer to a question, conducting a very brief 5-minute meeting, or to simply check in with your status on an important project.Some of the more popular sites to get started include <a href="http://www.skype.com/">Skype</a>, <a href="http://home.live.com/">Windows Live</a>, <a href="http://www.meebo.com/">Meebo</a>, <a href="http://www.digsby.com/">Digsby</a>, <a href="http://www.miranda-im.org/">Miranda</a>, and <a href="http://www.pidgin.im/">Pidgin</a>.</p> <div align="center"> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/IM%20-%20Digsby.jpg" /></p> </div> <h3><strong>Open Office </strong></h3> <p>Many of the newer netbooks come standard with some kind of Microsoft office suite, but many charge extra &ndash; much extra&mdash;for the luxury.&nbsp;</p> <p>Why not ensure that all your documents, spreadsheets, and databases are compatible with ANY computer you use or own, and download the free office solution from <a href="http://www.openoffice.org/">OpenOffice.org</a>?</p> <p>This open source miracle provides you the ability to create, revise, and save files the way you should be able to, and sending it back to your workplace (or a client) has never been so easy!&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/open-office400.png" /></p> </div> <p><em>Check out <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/03/how-to-get-work-done-anywhere.html">our full guest post on Lifescoop</a> to get the full scoop on all our favorite apps!</em></p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-free-tools-to-improve-your-work-performance">The 7 Best Free Tools to Improve Your Work Performance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-complete-idiots-guide-to-speed-reading-a-book-review">The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading: A Book Review</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/three-quirky-search-tools-to-help-you-get-results">Three Quirky Search Tools to Help You Get Results</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-have-a-sven-sandy-might-be-the-next-best-thing">Don&#039;t Have A Sven? Sandy Might Be the Next Best Thing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-why-your-projects-always-take-longer-than-you-expect">This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks General Tips Productivity Technology lifescoop productivity tools Tue, 02 Mar 2010 19:04:37 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5536 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iphone_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Some people won&rsquo;t stop to clip a coupon, but dig the idea of downloading an application for their phone that will help them save more than a few bucks on their next purchase.<span style="">&nbsp; </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Are you that person? <span style="">&nbsp;</span>Whether you&rsquo;re most excited about paying less for car repairs, avoiding expensive over-limit fees, or taking your kiddos out to lunch, there&rsquo;s most likely &ldquo;an app for that!&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.kidsmealdeals.com/">KidsMealDeals</a><o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Platform: iPhone, Blackberry</b><o:p> <br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">If the thought of skipping a home-cooked meal and heading out to dinner with the kids appeals to you, then you&rsquo;ll love the genius behind KidsMealDeals. <span style="">&nbsp;</span>You&rsquo;ll get a wide assortment of chain and independent restaurants looking to give you free kid meals with the purchase of an adult dish!<span style="">&nbsp; </span>(And you thought parenting was expensive!)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p class="MsoNormal"><b style=""><a href="http://www.ladelo.com/craigspro">CraigsPro</a><o:p></o:p></b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">Platform: iPhone</b><o:p> <br /> </o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">This no-frills, free app brings you just want you want from the mega classified site (including listings, photos, and descriptions) in an easy-to-use format.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>No more waiting until you get home to search out that hard-to-find item.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>iCraig lets you search by many of the same parameters as the website, giving you an advantage against the competitors.<span style="">&nbsp; </span><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> </blockquote> <p class="MsoNormal"><em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/02/6-phone-apps-that-will-save-you-a-fortune.html">Check out our full Lifescoop article</a> to get the full scoop on all our favorite apps!</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-there-any-reason-to-pay-for-a-landline-anymore">Is There Any Reason to Pay for a Landline Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier">3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-apps-for-busy-working-parents">The 5 Best Apps for Busy Working Parents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-make-budgeting-fun-no-really">7 Apps That Make Budgeting Fun — No Really!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Technology iPhone lifescoop saving money smartphone apps Fri, 26 Feb 2010 15:00:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5428 at http://www.wisebread.com Love Your Geek: 10 Romantic Gifts for Under $25 http://www.wisebread.com/love-your-geek-10-romantic-gifts-for-under-25 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/love-your-geek-10-romantic-gifts-for-under-25" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-with-glasses.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p>So he&rsquo;s not a Heisman trophy winner &mdash; and she&rsquo;s not MAXIM material. Your geeky mate is still perfect for you, so express your feeling with the perfect gift. For our <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/02/10-geeky-valentines-day-gifts-for-under-25.html">latest My Life Scoop article</a>, we scoured the web in search of the type of gifts we think any geek girl or guy would love to get, and they are all available for under $25!</p> <p><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/supergirl-450_5-thumb-221x112-548.png" /></p> <p><strong>Superhero Underoos</strong> &mdash; While many of us pine for the days when Underoos were fitting, there is an adult alternative that lets any girl be Wonder Woman for a day (or night). These $8 girl boxers from TopShop come in a variety of comic-inspired designs, including <a href="http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=20&amp;viewAllFlag=false&amp;catalogId=32051&amp;storeId=13052&amp;categoryId=162566&amp;parent_category_rn=162562&amp;productId=1439903&amp;langId=-1">Batgirl comics</a>, <a href="http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=20&amp;viewAllFlag=false&amp;catalogId=32051&amp;storeId=13052&amp;categoryId=162566&amp;parent_category_rn=162562&amp;productId=1560895&amp;langId=-1">Wonder Woman Pop prints</a>, and <a href="http://us.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=40&amp;viewAllFlag=false&amp;catalogId=32051&amp;storeId=13052&amp;categoryId=162566&amp;parent_category_rn=162562&amp;productId=1246477&amp;langId=-1">Super Girl Electric blue briefs</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/etsy-necklace-300_3-thumb-221x221-546.png" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>DigiBling Original</strong> &mdash; What do you get when you mix a handful of beautiful used transistors with the styling genius of Etsy creator DigiBling?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>This <a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35815453">simple chain necklace</a> costs a mere $16 and boasts the benefits of true design skill with the aesthetic beauty of deep purple transistors.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/Geek poem t-shirt7-thumb-221x221-549.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p><strong>Geek Love Poems </strong>&mdash; Nothing quite says &quot;love&quot; like a dreamy ballad or an inspired poem. When you can throw in a few clever lines of code, however, you've got yourself the ultimate geek's ode to romance. This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W15XLS?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=geeksaresexyt-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000W15XLS">Geek Love Poem T-shirt</a> can express how you feel in a way that your geek god will understand. Available in a range of sizes (for geeks of all body-types), it runs a mere $18 at Amazon.</p> <p><strong><em>Check out our <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/02/10-geeky-valentines-day-gifts-for-under-25.html">complete gift guide</a> on My Life Scoop for more inspiration on surprising your super-smart sweetie in style!</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/love-your-geek-10-romantic-gifts-for-under-25">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-freshman-shopping-tips-to-cut-college-costs">9 Freshman Shopping Tips to Cut College Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-coolest-things-that-come-in-a-can">The 10 Coolest Things That Come in a Can</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-scales">The 5 Best Smart Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping geek gifts lifescoop valentine's Wed, 17 Feb 2010 16:14:33 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5163 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Benefits of a Task Management System http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008792767XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article is <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/01/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system.html">Wise Bread's contribution</a> to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>, where ordinary people learn how to make surprising things happen with technology.</em></p> <p>I'm trying yet another task management system and I think I've found a keeper. I've been on a search for quite some time, and while many people have strong opinions on their favorite apps, the best one for you will serve <em>your</em> particular needs and lifestyle. You may need to try a few before finding the right one for you &mdash; I've tried at least a dozen. I've settled on <a href="http://www.toodledo.com">Toodledo</a> for the five specific problems it solved for me.</p> <h2><b>Decision Making</b></h2> <p>When I used to look at my list of to-dos, I wanted to run and hide. I knew I&nbsp;needed to make a <em>daily</em> list of a few things to accomplish, since it would be impossible to do everything in one day. But I'm indecisive, and it's a <em>long</em> list. The decision making process was a huge task in itself, and to have to do that on a daily basis grated at my soul. So I ended up doing whatever I remembered to do, or whatever came my way, which meant things didn't get done because I had completely forgotten about them (but they were on the list somewhere).</p> <p>What Toodledo does is assign the <strong>importance </strong>of a task <em>for</em> me, based on a number of factors like due date, priority, and whether I've <strong>starred</strong> it (another way to highlight a task). I don't need to choose. I just go down the list. This goes beyond typical sorting functions of other apps where you can only either sort by priority or due date. Toodledo calculates importance by due date, priority, <em>and </em>whether I've starred it. Sometimes it's more important to start on a something that's due further out because of its priority and how long it'll take.</p> <p>Toodledo also has a <strong>scheduler</strong>, which allows Toodledo to just tell me what to do &mdash; this feature is only available for their Pro account ($14.95 per year). Say I have 2 hours free and I don't want to decide what tasks I&nbsp;should do in that time. Like figuring the importance scale, Toodledo analyzes all my tasks and picks from my list that will be the most effective use of that time. Each task has a field for estimated time the task will take, so this is taken into consideration when the tasks are scheduled based on your availablity.</p> <h2><b>Managing Distractions</b></h2> <p>Oftentimes I'm working on something when I get distracted &mdash; the phone rings, an instant message appears, I notice a new email &mdash; and then I completely forget that I was working on something. I'll get off the phone and decide to check email. Before long I'm off doing something else with the original task left hanging. Many people call this &quot;multi-tasking&quot; but most of us know that there are very few things we can really do at the same time. I can walk on the treadmill and read email at the same time, but I&nbsp;can't talk on the phone and write an article at the same time.</p> <p>I'm not disciplined enough to follow strict rules of checking email only twice a day or turning off my phone. But I can always go back to Toodledo (after I'm no longer distracted) and see the task I was working on previously.</p> <p>Their <strong>timer</strong> feature also helps me to stay on task when my mind starts to wander and I want to do something else. Click the timer button and it keeps the clock running for the time spent on that task. Knowing that before I switch tasks I have to stop the timer button actually gives me incentive to just finish what I'm doing. That one small barrier is enough to prevent the impulse to check email or facebook status until I've completed the task at hand.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/iStock_000011054946XSmall.jpg" alt="" /></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <h2><b>Scheduling Time</b></h2> <p>Two features of Toodledo that helps me manage my time is the timer (which tells me exactly how long I've spent on a task) and the time estimation I can include for each task (to get a handle of what I can expect to accomplish in one day). Sometimes a day passes by and I wonder what I did all day. With the timer function, I&nbsp;can see exactly where all my hours went, and it does make me feel better to know that I actually didn't spend all day on Facebook. It also helps me see where I&nbsp;may be spending way <em>too much</em> of my time on...</p> <p>Being able to see how long a task will take also helps me plan my day. If I'm just going down a list of items, I might think I&nbsp;can complete 10 things. But taking into consideration the time it'll take for each task will keep my expectations realistic. If there's a big project I&nbsp;need to slot most of the day to, I might only accomplish 3 things that day, but it still would have been a full day of working.</p> <h2><b>Goal Setting</b></h2> <p>Toodledo allows me to set goals, and assign tasks to that goal. Setting specific tasks to goals ensures that I keep my eye on the ball. I can look at my next steps and see how far I've come. The Pro account offers a chain display that shows the number of tasks completed for each goal, as well as the goal's chain. The chain gets longer for each consecutive day that a completed task contributes to the goal. Make progress on a goal each day to get a long chain. Miss a day and that chain will get broken.</p> <p>It's important to see beyond the task list at the bigger picture and know that checking off the tasks brings you another step closer to your goals.</p> <h2><b>Better Organization</b></h2> <p>At first glance Toodledo's interface is not very appealing. But dig a little deeper and their layout is pretty brilliant. It is super easy to navigate and customize. They have more fields for tasks than I've ever encountered, but if there are fields you don't ever use, they don't show up. Another important (yet simple) feature they offer is various ways to organize your tasks &mdash; folders, context, goals, stars &mdash; that allow easy access to any task.</p> <p>I'm a stickler for organization, and the problem with some of the other apps I've tried was how inadequate I found their flexibility to be. Having multiple labels on each task and being able to view them according to any of those labels help a great deal in organizing my entire list of tasks (about 200 at this point).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/iStock_000004791880XSmall.jpg" alt="" /></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <h2><b>Meeting Your Needs</b></h2> <p>A regular spiral notepad worked for me for a long time. But when I saw how much of my time was spent organizing and reorganizing and then selecting tasks, I knew I&nbsp;had to get help. Among the dozen or so task management systems I tried, a few stood out even though they weren't perfect for me. If you're looking for some places to start, here are some other popular options.</p> <p><a href="http://mail.google.com/mail/help/tasks/"><strong>Gmail Tasks</strong></a> &mdash; Integrated into your Gmail and Gmail Calendar, it's clean, simple, and takes up little room. Before I switched to Toodledo, I was using this for time sensitive tasks. I always had my Gmail Calendar open and I could enter tasks directly from there. These were tasks I knew I&nbsp;couldn't just write on my notepad because who knew when would be the next time I looked it over.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ubernote.com/webnote/pages/default.aspx"><strong>Ubernote</strong></a> &mdash; This is more note-taking than task management, although they do have a task feature. Other features include a variety of tools that integrate your web surfing (submit notes via email, bookmarking, web clipping).</p> <p><a href="http://www.rememberthemilk.com/"><strong>Remember the milk</strong></a> &mdash; Easy to use and hugely popular, it is accessible via iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Google Calendar, and even Twitter.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zoho.com/"><strong>Zoho</strong></a> &mdash; Zoho is a treasure trove of productivity and collaboration apps. If you work in a team and have use for all their various apps, this is a great system to use.</p> <p><a href="http://www.5pmweb.com/"><strong>5pm</strong></a> &mdash; We use this for <a href="http://dealista.quickanddirtytips.com/">Dealista</a> production and I really like it for projects that involve multiple steps and people. It's not ideal for a long list of tasks, but it works well for project management.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wrike.com/"><strong>Wrike</strong></a> &mdash; Another useful app for project management among a team, but not ideal for personal task management. Greg wrote a great <a href="http://blog.liferemix.net/basecamp-not-you-check-out-wrike">review of Wrike</a>.</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For more ways to do everyday tasks better, faster, and smarter, check out these great tips from <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/12/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career.html">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-busines.html">Stay-At-Home Moms: Build an Online Business</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier.html">3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/01/7-tech-tools-to-supercharge-your-productivity-in-the-new-year.html">7 Tech Tools to Supercharge Your Productivity in the New Year</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tech-tools-to-make-you-even-more-productive-in-the-new-year">7 Tech Tools to Supercharge Your Productivity in the New Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-multipurpose-iphone-4-cases-fit-for-a-freelancer">5 Multipurpose iPhone 4 Cases Fit for a Freelancer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology lifescoop task management Tue, 12 Jan 2010 20:00:02 +0000 Lynn Truong 4478 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Tech Tools to Supercharge Your Productivity in the New Year http://www.wisebread.com/7-tech-tools-to-make-you-even-more-productive-in-the-new-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-tech-tools-to-make-you-even-more-productive-in-the-new-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/new-tech-happy.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article is </em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/01/7-tech-tools-to-supercharge-your-productivity-in-the-new-year.html"><em>Wise Bread's contribution</em></a><em> to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>, where ordinary people learn how to make surprising things happen with technology.</em></p> <p>We all want to work better, faster, and smarter. Thanks to the ever-changing tech landscape &mdash; we can! We&rsquo;ve highlighted some of the best tools available to help you make a good impression and meet your goals in 2010. Here are our top seven solutions for making next year &mdash; &ldquo;your&rdquo; year!</p> <p><b>Snag It (<a href="http://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.asp">www.techsmith.com</a>)</b></p> <p><em>Free for 30 days, then $49.95 for the full-rights electronic version</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/snagit.jpg" alt="snagit.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nothing says &ldquo;Look how far I&rsquo;ve come&rdquo; like a screen shot of your latest online accomplishment. Whether it&rsquo;s a place at the top your company's home page, a mention in your local paper, or a recent flurry of Twitter activity, you can keep all your new media achievements in a permanent digital file for future bragging rights (and a killer resume kit). SnagIt lets you choose whether to capture the entire page, or just a small section, for easy saving in the format of your choosing. Just push the big red button, and you&rsquo;ve got instant street cred for when people want to know what you&rsquo;ve been up to lately.</p> <p><b>All-in-One Wireless Printers (I like the HP Photosmart C4780)</b></p> <p><em>$140 - $250</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img height="170" width="359" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/wireless-printer.PNG" alt="wireless-printer.PNG" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t made the leap to going Wi-Fi for your printing needs, then you may just be missing out on one of the biggest opportunities to save time, money, and frustration. With wireless all-in-one base models on the market for less than $150, you can now own a printer/scanner/copier/fax that can print from any room, with any device. Perfect for printing off a last-minute report for that unexpected client call, you can have a hard-copy solution without cables, cords, or configurations &mdash; no matter if you&rsquo;re working from your netbook, notebook, PC, or Mac.</p> <p><b>Social Oomph (<a href="http://www.socialoomph.com">www.socialoomph.com</a>)</b></p> <p><em>Free for most features, $29.97/month for Professional level</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/socialoomph_logo.png" alt="socialoomph_logo.png" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Everyone knows that consistent Twitter activity can be a boon to your business, but most of us can&rsquo;t justify spending hours on the platform. If you want to convey the appearance of being &ldquo;on&rdquo; all the time, consider a tweet scheduling service like Social Oomph (formerly TweetLater.com). Not only can you set up tweets to go out when you&rsquo;re not around (which is perfect for those who travel frequently or find themselves in a different time zone than their Twitter audience), you can take advantage of other clever features, including: URL shortening and tracking, auto replies, auto follows/unfollows, and keyword tracking. The service takes a bit to get used to, and with new features added all the time, it&rsquo;s worth taking a day or two to learn all the benefits. If you&rsquo;re not using Twitter, you should be &mdash; and now you can, even with a limited amount of time to do so.</p> <p><b>FreshBooks (<a href="http://www.freshbooks.com/">www.freshbooks.com</a>)</b></p> <p><em>Free for up to 3 clients, $19 - $149 a month for more features</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/Freshbooks%20logo.gif" alt="Freshbooks%20logo.gif" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If managing invoices via spreadsheet has you wishing for something more polished, the very affordable Freshbooks system may be for you. With integration of your business logo into the design of your customized invoices, you can easily send professional-looking bills to any of your clients via web or U.S. postal service. A handy feature that allows you to bill expenses on the back-end of any project and the iPhone application options will keep your accounts receivables flowing in &mdash; without the expense of more costly invoicing services. Businesses with less than $300K a year in billable expenses may find the web-based Freshbooks to be the only accounting software they need (which is good news come tax time).</p> <p><b>Picnik (<a href="http://www.picnik.com/">www.picnik.com</a>)</b></p> <p><em>Free for limited features, $4.95 a month / $24.95 a year for premium features</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/picnik-logo.jpg" alt="picnik-logo.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Looking to spice up that recent iPhone photo you took at last year&rsquo;s conference? Hoping to create a perfect profile pic for your LinkedIn account? If you have a decent picture to start with, Picnik can help you turn it into something fabulous &mdash; with little to no technical know-how necessary. Turn any graphic file into a button, avatar, logo and more, using the user-friendly tools offered in this nifty web-based program. Special effects include those featured in more powerful Photoshop offerings (collage, sepia coloring, speech bubbles) but without the complicated learning process. Photo sharing, storage, and printing services are included for premium users.</p> <p><b>Future Email Services (<a href="http://www.futureme.org/">www.futureme.org</a> or <a href="http://www.emailfuture.com/">www.emailfuture.com</a>)</b></p> <p><em>Free</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/emailfuturecom2.jpg" alt="emailfuturecom2.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wishing you had a note from the past reminding you of that important conference call? If putting major events on your calendar isn&rsquo;t enough, and the thought of sending an email today (only to be lost in the shuffle later) has you down, consider sending an email to your future self. Schedule emails to be delivered on a boss&rsquo; birthday, when an important personal goal is due, or just after you arrive home from a lengthy business trip. There is no complicated registration for either of these free services, and as long as you don&rsquo;t change email addresses before the scheduled delivery, you can expect your future email to arrive in your inbox just in time! (Note: Both sites give you the option to make your emails public, so if you don&rsquo;t want everyone to know the contents of your message, be sure to mark it as &ldquo;private.&rdquo;)</p> <p><b>Energizer Energi 2 Go XPal Xp2000 Power Pack (<a href="http://www.amazon.com/Energizer-XP2000-Universal-Rechargeable-Power/dp/B0029U2WWI/">www.amazon.com</a>)</b></p> <p><em>$39.99</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/wisebread/lifescoop/xp2000.PNG" alt="xp2000.PNG" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a common scenario: You&rsquo;re out and about and your cell phone dies. While battery-boosters can prolong the life of your phone, they are bulky and often require that you remove your phone&rsquo;s protective sleeve to use it. The Energizer XP2000 Power Pack, however, lets you plug your cell phone directly into the battery pack, using one of the many included tips. (Energizer is so confident in their ability to include a tip that works with your phone, they&rsquo;ll even find one for you if it&rsquo;s not included.) This handy power pack can be charged up to 500 times, giving you no reason to not be powered up on your next business trip. Convenient and reliable, anyone with a juice-sucking model will want to stash one in their laptop case for the long road ahead (and you can be sure that won&rsquo;t be stuck in the airport without a working phone &mdash; no matter how long the flight delays!).</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For more ways to do everyday tasks better, faster, and smarter, check out these great tips from <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/12/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career.html">6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-busines.html">Stay-At-Home Moms: Build an Online Business</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier.html">3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/12/how-social-media-is-simplifying-workplace-collaboration.html">How Social Media is Simplifying Workplace Collaboration</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tech-tools-to-make-you-even-more-productive-in-the-new-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-essential-tools-for-getting-work-done-anywhere">7 Essential Tools for Getting Work Done -- Anywhere!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system">5 Benefits of a Task Management System</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-skills-that-will-be-obsolete-soon">9 Skills That Will Be Obsolete Soon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-productivity-tips-for-it-professionals">10 Productivity Tips for IT Professionals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity Technology lifescoop time management Tue, 22 Dec 2009 15:47:49 +0000 Linsey Knerl 4049 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Use Technology to Upgrade Your Career http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/upgrade-your-career-interview.jpg" alt="job interview" title="job interview" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>This article is </em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/01/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career.html"><em>Wise Bread's contribution</em></a><em> to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>, where ordinary people learn how to make surprising things happen with technology.</em></p> <p>The Internet is a boon for doing all kinds of things -- including getting a better job and/or getting paid more at your current job. Technology helps us stay connected, learn something new, and make new connections quickly and efficiently. Here are 6 ways to use technology to upgrade your career.</p> <h3><b>1. See what's out there.</b></h3> <p><a href="http://www.indeed.com/" title="Indeed.com">Indeed.com</a> is your friend. It's an aggregator of nearly all job listings posted on the Web. You can create a search for a job or position, and subscribe to email updates when new search results show up.</p> <p>Instead of doing your daily round of visiting a dozen different job boards, you can now have Indeed find them all, filter out only what you're interested in, and deliver those results to your inbox.</p> <h3><b>2. Listen to the pulse of the job market.</b></h3> <p>Some twitter related sites and tools to help your job search:</p> <ol> <li><a href="http://www.tweetdeck.com/" title="TweetDeck">TweetDeck</a> - the premier desktop Twitter application that helps you derive the signal from the noise. It lets you segregate Twitter users you follow into different columns. You can also create Twitter search streams to follow in one of your columns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://wefollow.com/" title="WeFollow">WeFollow</a> - a site that organizes Twitter users into up to 5 categories (called &quot;tags&quot;), and sorts them by popularity. Use it to find thought leaders in your industry or specialty to follow and connect with.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://tweetbeep.com/" title="TweetBeep">TweetBeep</a> - get email notifications of when someone replies to you, retweets one of your tweets, or mentions you. Use it to stay on top of who's talking to or about you on Twitter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.tweetmyjobs.com/" title="TweetMyJob">TweetMyJob</a> - get tweets about specific job types (skills, position) and/or job located in a particular city. TweetMyJob is like Indeed, but for tweets about job openings.</li> </ol> <h3><b>3. Maintain your real-time resume.</b></h3> <p><a href="http://www.linkedin.com/" title="LinkedIn">LinkedIn</a> is a combination of your virtual resume and a Facebook for professionals. You can post your work history, make connections (like Facebook friends), and receive recommendations from colleagues.</p> <p>Tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn:</p> <ol> <li>Keep your work history, profile blurb, picture, and active associations up-to-date. You never know when potential employers or recruiters will run into your LinkedIn profile (ie., you virtual resume).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Make connections with every professional you know. You never know when they'll help you open doors to new opportunities.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Give (and receive) recommendations. When you post a recommendation for a colleague (old or current), contractor, vendor, or other business associate, there's a good chance they'll return the favor and say some nice things about you. Instead of burying your glowing references at the end of a paper resume, your LinkedIn profile can have the social proof of your excellence front and center.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Join groups related to your specialty or industry. Talk to those people in the private discussion threads, and make new business friends.</li> </ol> <h3><b>4. Network and make new connections.</b></h3> <p>Job hunting and career upgrading is like most other life activities -- knowing the right people can open doors otherwise unavailable to you. So it behooves you to build a great professional network. And better to build that network now when you don't need something from them.</p> <p>LinkedIn is a great start to your networking, but there are additional networking avenues that are worth exploring.</p> <p>Organize real life meetups with people with similar interests at <a href="http://www.meetup.com" title="Meetup.com">Meetup.com</a>. Networking online is well and good, but nothing beats the deep connections made from face to face meetings. It doesn't have to be fancy -- try planning a simple meetup at a bar for your peers.</p> <p>Find niche forums and social networks just for people like you. Try googling for your specialty plus the word &quot;community&quot; to find them.</p> <p>And I'll bet there are blogs written by people like you (your peers), thought leaders in your specialty, and/or employers you'd like to work for. Follow these blogs, comment regularly, and become friends with influencers in your niche. Start a search for these blogs at <a href="http://www.technorati.com" title="Technorati">Technorati</a>, then just click on the blogrolls you run into.</p> <h3><b>5. See how you stack up against the industry.</b></h3> <p>Salary calculators like <a href="http://salary.com/" title="Salary.com">Salary.com</a> and <a href="http://www.payscale.com/" title="PayScale.com">PayScale.com</a> take into account your education, work experience, benefits and current salary with others in the same position.</p> <p>You can get a report of where you are on the spectrum of lowest to highest paid. These calculators also provide additional comparison data like salary versus cost of living, salary range at different sized companies, and salary range in different industries.</p> <h3><b>6. Keep learning.</b></h3> <p>The Internet is a boon for information seekers. And nothing gives you a leg up on the competition -- whether they're your colleague going after the same raise or another job hunter going for the same job -- like having more knowledge than them.</p> <p>So take advantage of online courses from major universities.</p> <p>This <a href="http://lifehacker.com/201979/technophilia-get-a-free-college-education-online" title="list at Lifehacker">list at Lifehacker</a> is a good place to start exploring free online offerings by major colleges. Here are a few of the best:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.apple.com/education/guidedtours/itunesu.html" title="iTunes U">iTunes U</a> - courses available for download from many sources including NPR, Standford, and MIT. And all free.</li> <li><a href="http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm" title="MIT">MIT OpenCourseware</a> - online version of nearly all MIT courses available.</li> <li><a href="http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses.php" title="UC Berkeley">UC Berkeley Webcasts</a> - lots of Berkeley lectures have been recorded and are available for viewing.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For more ways to do everyday tasks better, faster, and smarter, check out these great tips from <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-busines.html">Stay-At-Home Moms: Build an Online Business</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier.html">3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/12/how-social-media-is-simplifying-workplace-collaboration.html">How Social Media is Simplifying Workplace Collaboration</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-technology-to-upgrade-your-career">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-65-best-career-tips-weve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 65 Best Career Tips We&#039;ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-high-paying-jobs-that-didnt-exist-10-years-ago">9 High-Paying Jobs That Didn&#039;t Exist 10 Years Ago</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/escape-your-dying-industry-with-one-of-these-8-careers-instead">Escape Your Dying Industry With One of These 8 Careers, Instead</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Job Hunting Technology career jobs lifescoop raise Thu, 10 Dec 2009 18:55:22 +0000 Greg Go 3946 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Technologies That Help Stay-At-Home Moms Build an Online Business http://www.wisebread.com/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-business <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iphone stock photo.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="openforum-link"><em>This article is </em><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-busines.html"><em>Wise Bread's contribution</em></a><em> to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>, where ordinary people learn how to make surprising things happen with technology.</em></p> <p class="openforum-link">Raising kids and building a business don&rsquo;t instinctively go hand-in-hand. It takes a certain amount of savvy, perseverance, and a unique amount of creativity to mesh your personal life with your professional life. While Moms have moved beyond the days of working in their pajamas and scheduling important calls only during naps, the struggles still exist. These three tech solutions can help a Mompreneur expand her working potential, without sacrificing her precious role as Mommy.</p> <p><strong>Don&rsquo;t Slack, Track!</strong></p> <p>Ask any Work-at-Home Mom what her biggest challenge is, and she&rsquo;ll almost always answer, &ldquo;I need more time!&rdquo; While there will always only be 24 hours in any given day, understanding where it all goes to is step #1 in creating efficiency and improving profitability. Today&rsquo;s best tools for tracking time are free.&nbsp; My favorite is the popular <a href="http://www.toggl.com/">Toggl.com</a>. Toggl is as simple as it gets, giving users a free basic membership and an entirely web-based solution. (Working between a PC, laptop, and an iPhone? No problem. Just log in from anywhere to start tracking those minutes!) Since tracking time is as simple as pushing a red button, you can make sure you get credit for every second that you are engaged in your business, making billing clients an easy task again.</p> <p>Moms who check their client emails from the waiting room of their child&rsquo;s dentist have no reason not to get credit for their time. (And you can finally explain to your kids that you have NOT been working all day, but rather 5 hours, 30 minutes, and 27 seconds.) Conversely, time tracking tools can help with Moms who have boundary problems, giving them the satisfaction they need when putting in a hard day&rsquo;s work, and giving them the freedom to leave work at the end of a day to cuddle with kiddos and spend precious time with their spouse.</p> <div align="center"> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/Toggl_screen_shot.jpg" alt="" /></p> </div> <p><strong>Communication Can Be a One-Way Street</strong></p> <p>I pride myself on being accessible to my clients but understand that sometimes, communication should not go both ways. With several young children in the home, it becomes necessary to control communication to present the message you really want to send, and technology is the key to making it all happen. While Moms have traditionally limited themselves to &ldquo;shooshing&rdquo; kids during important calls and hiding in the laundry room for new client interviews, there are better ways to get the job done.</p> <p>For the mom who never seems to have a good time to chat, email is indispensable. Not only can you have a few moments to proofread your responses, you can be sure that your conversations will not carry a hint of whatever kind of day your kids are having. With clever tools like <a href="http://GoToMeeting.com">GoToMeeting.com</a>, you can attend presentations via the web, and not have to utter a word during the exchange. Chat functions allow you to raise your hand, ask questions, and provide valuable feedback during the event, regardless of how many you have sitting on your lap at the time. <a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/">GreenYourDecor.com</a>&rsquo;s Jennae Peterson adores this particular one-way communication tool. &ldquo;Being able to attend a web seminar while I'm cooking or combing my daughter's hair is invaluable and it allows me to get more out of my time.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="http://www.skype.com/">Skype</a> is another precious tool for letting your voice (and your voice, alone) be heard. With many useful options for keeping communication clear from any room in your home, it&rsquo;s possible to take your laptop with you and out of the range of blaring TV&rsquo;s and Tonka Trucks. In instances where advanced planning will serve you best, you can always record a quick video presentation via a Flip Video Camera and send it to your client at their convenience. (This lets the client really get to know you, and it can help display your willingness to work with different kinds of media.)</p> <div align="center"> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/skype_stock_screen_shot.png" alt="" /></p> </div> <p><strong>Always Take Your Business With You</strong></p> <p>While I can&rsquo;t argue with the need for keeping business and personal separate, there are certain definite benefits to keeping your most precious business tools with you at all times. In addition to having an ample supply of custom-made business cards stashed in your diaper bag or purse, Moms with an online business should consider a mobile device equipped to help them complete daily tasks from anywhere. &ldquo;My phone has saved my business tremendously. It's like I can be in several different places at one time,&rdquo; insists Melissa Garcia of the popular <a href="http://www.consumerqueen.com/">ConsumerQueen.com</a>. &ldquo;I never have to worry about missing important messages from important clients. I also don't have to worry about turning down awesome opportunities due to being unavailable.&rdquo; Melissa also admits that it has helped her keep her family life in check, &ldquo;It has helped me stay connected to friends, organize my kids&rsquo; busy schedule and allow me to post hotel deals to my community in real time! I don't know what I would do without my phone now!&rdquo;</p><div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="guestpost-blurb"> <p>For more ways to do everyday tasks better, faster, and smarter, check out these great tips from <a rel="nofollow" href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier.html">3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finance Easier</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://mylifescoop.com/top-10/2009/11/10-great-blogs-for-advancing-your-career.html">10 Great Blogs for Advancing Your Career</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/the-wired-kitchen.html">Building a Wired Kitchen</a></li> <li><a rel="nofollow" href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/jetset-nearly-effortlessly.html">5 Tips For Jet-setting (Nearly)&nbsp;Effortlessly</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-technologies-that-help-stay-at-home-moms-build-an-online-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-clever-ways-people-are-making-money-from-pok-mon-go">8 Clever Ways People Are Making Money From Pokémon GO</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-self-employed-persons-guide-to-getting-credit">The Self-Employed Person&#039;s Guide to Getting Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-freelance-jobs-that-pay-surprisingly-well">11 Freelance Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-get-a-business-credit-card-over-a-consumer-card">When You Should Get a Business Credit Card Over a Consumer Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship lifescoop online business stay at home moms Tue, 24 Nov 2009 16:00:02 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3859 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Technology Makes Personal Finances Easier http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mint-iphone-app.png" alt="Mint.com iPhone app" title="Tracking my finances via the Mint.com iPhone app" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="openforum-link"><em>This article is </em><a title="Warning: The Government Mail You Received Might Be a Scam" href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier.html"><em>Wise Bread's contribution</em></a><em> to <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>, where ordinary people learn how to make surprising things happen with technology.</em></p> <p>From saving money to staying on budget, technology has made it easier than ever to stay on top of my personal finances. Here are 3 ways technology has helped me save money and time.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Banking, budgeting, and investment tracking always within reach.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/bofa-bloomberg-iphone.png" alt="iPhone apps from Bank of America and Bloomberg" /><br /> <em>iPhone apps from Bank of America and Bloomberg</em></p> <p>Smartphones (and even regular cellphones) puts control of my finances in my pocket.</p> <p>Banking has become much easier since I got my <a href="http://www.apple.com/iphone/">iPhone</a>. I can check balances, transfer money between accounts, and look for the nearest ATM just by pulling out my phone. Even folks with regular cellphones can check bank balances and/or get low balance alerts via text messages.</p> <p>Budgeting -- really, sticking to a budget -- is now 10 times easier with my iPhone. One of the problems I had with sticking to a budget was keeping track of my spending. At first, I was good about keeping receipts and entering the totals into a spreadsheet at the end of the day. But as the days went by, I got lazier about entering receipts each day. Eventually, I stopped tracking my spending altogether.</p> <p>These days, I can enter amounts I've spent into my phone right away. Even when I didn't have a smartphone, my regular cellphone had a way to store simple notes. This made it easier to keep track of my spending on a day to day basis.</p> <p>Once I started using <a href="http://www.mint.com/">Mint.com</a> (and their great iPhone app), the process got even simpler. If I use a debit or credit card, the transaction is added to my Mint account automatically. Even better, Mint does a good job of automatically categorizing expenditures, which makes analyzing my spending at the end of the month easier and more accurate.</p> <p>Finally, keeping track of how my favorite stocks are doing is now a breeze with the <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/">Bloomberg</a> iPhone app. I can now easily check my portfolio daily, and make trades as soon as I notice trends or hear interesting news. Rather than waiting until the end of the month to look over statements or meeting with my broker once every quarter, I can now stay on top of my investment portfolio while waiting in line or when I'm having lunch. The iPhone has made me a faster and smarter investor.</p> <h2>2. Crowdsourcing my way to better buying decisions.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/yelp-amazon-iphone-400.jpg" alt="iPhone apps from Yelp and Amazon" /><br /> <em>Making smarter buys with consumer reviews on Yelp and Amazon.</em></p> <p>Between local business review site <a href="http://www.yelp.com/">Yelp</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/">Amazon</a>'s customer reviews, I now buy with a lot more confidence. No more wasting money on restaurants or products that disappoint. Nowadays, I hardly ever walk into a new restaurant before checking out what fellow foodies have to say about the place on Yelp. And I almost never buy something without checking Amazon's user reviews. Thanks for the recommendations, world!</p> <p>By the way, both Amazon and Yelp have iPhone apps so I can look up reviews while standing in front of a new restaurant or walking around a big box store.</p> <h2>3. More data than ever available to consumers.</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/zillow-screenshot.gif" alt="Zillow provides real estate info previously only available to real estate agents" /><br /> <em>Zillow provides info previously only available to real estate agents.</em></p> <p>The Internet has been a boon to consumers hungry for information. Not just product reviews, but large scale trending data that helps them make big purchases. I'm looking to buy a home in the next year or so, and I've been a frequent visitor to <a href="http://www.zillow.com/">Zillow</a>. I haven't even contacted a real estate broker yet, but I feel like I already know more about the real estate market in my area than my parents ever did when they were house shopping.</p> <p>Rather than depend on an agent to feed me limited information, I can use Zillow to get a list of all houses on sale in my neighborhood, details about each home (including nearby schools, lots of photos, and a bird's eye view of the neighborhood), and even historical charts of the home and neighborhood's value. Technology has given us home shoppers unparalleled information that was previously only available to professional real estate agents.</p> <p>Once I am ready to make an offer, I can use another site, <a href="http://www.smarthippo.com/">SmartHippo</a>, to shop for mortgages. SmartHippo is Yelp-for-mortgages. Consumers review their lending institutions and even individual agents. Again, leveraging the power of the crowd to make smarter buying decisions!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>For more ways to do everyday tasks better, faster, and smarter, check out these great tips from <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/personal/">Life Scoop</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/top-10/2009/11/10-great-blogs-for-advancing-your-career.html">10 Great Blogs for Advancing Your Career</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/the-wired-kitchen.html">Building a Wired Kitchen</a></li> <li><a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2009/11/jetset-nearly-effortlessly.html">5 Tips For Jet-setting (Nearly)&nbsp;Effortlessly</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-technology-makes-personal-finances-easier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/with-micro-investing-your-smartphone-pays-you">With Micro-Investing, Your Smartphone Pays YOU</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-before-you-start-investing">8 Money Moves to Make Before You Start Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-cash-rewards-can-make-you-rich">3 Ways Your Cash Rewards Can Make You Rich</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-5-apps-will-help-you-finally-organize-your-money">These 5 Apps Will Help You Finally Organize Your Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Investment Technology iPhone lifescoop mint mortgage online banking stock market Yelp Zillow Tue, 17 Nov 2009 14:00:01 +0000 Greg Go 3829 at http://www.wisebread.com