How to Organize Social Media Viewing and Stop Wasting Time

How to Organize Social Media Viewing and Stop Wasting Time

Social media can be really interesting, and it’s also a great way to keep people connected to one another. But if you spend too much time viewing it you’ll actually waste a lot of time you could be using to do other things that might be more important or valuable to you in a lot of ways.

Friendships, spending time with family, getting work done, and more can all be accomplished when you don’t spend all your time on social media. Here’s how to organize your social media viewing, so you can still enjoy it but you’ll also have plenty of time to get other things done.

1. Take an Honest Look at Your Priorities and What You Need to Do

You might not have a lot going on in your life, or you might be extremely busy. Either way, you still have things you want to do. That means using your time wisely, which isn’t easy to do if you’re spending all your time on social media. It’s not always wasted time, because you can learn a lot off of social media and you can also interact with other people and develop friendships and work connections. But much of the time a person spends on social media is wasted, because they just scroll aimlessly and read things that don’t bring value to their lives.

Are you doing this? If you are, it’s time you looked at what you value, instead.

2. Try Out Different Ideas and Options to Find What Works for You

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Not all social media viewing plans or ideas work for every person. Some people only check it once per day. Others check it more often. Some people stop and check whenever they want to, but they don’t spend a lot of time looking at social media each time they check.

There are a number of options to consider, and you have to figure out what works for you. Try some different ideas, and be honest with yourself about how well they work for you. The option that’s good for you shouldn’t be too stressful, but it should help you organize your social media viewing and waste less time.

3. Take Note of How Many Times You Check Social Media Each Day

To really hold yourself accountable, and to determine what you need to do in order to reduce your social media viewing, you’ll need to take note of how many times a day you’re checking social media.

Whether it’s pulling up Facebook on your internet browser or scrolling through Twitter on your phone, it’s something that’s causing you to waste a lot of time you could be using for something else. You’ll probably be surprised at the number of times you look at social media each day, if you’re really honest with yourself and don’t try to avoid checking it because you’re keeping track.

4. Use a Planner or Calendar to Block Out Time for Specific Tasks

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When you use a planner or a calendar, you can see all your tasks for the day. If you want social media to be a part of that, you can block out time to check it. For example, you might take 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening to scroll through and catch up.

If that doesn’t work for you, looking at your social media for half an hour around lunchtime could be a better choice. No matter which you choose, though, block that time out on your calendar or in your planner, and then stick to it. Only look at your social media during that time, so you don’t waste time.

5. Use a Browser Tool to Blacklist Certain Sites During Specified Times

For people who really have trouble staying off of social media, there are browser tools and phone apps that can be used to blacklist specific sites during certain hours. That might be a good option for you, at least until you get more comfortable with only checking your social media sites during set times.

If you simply can’t keep yourself from looking at social media, having the sites blacklisted or blocked will stop you from seeing them. Then you won’t get a choice, and you’ll have to do something else.

It’s a good way to make sure you put your phone down and get your work done, or stay off the internet and accomplish the rest of your tasks on your “To Do” list.

Over time, you probably won’t need the blocking anymore, since you’ll be used to staying off social media.

Organize Your Audio For Learning & Fun

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Your smart phone, iPod, CD player or car stereo is a veritable vault of education, motivation, fun, and relaxation.

All it takes is a little organization to liberate the goodies. You’ll upgrade your knowledge, make better use of your time and improve your mood.

Here’s how…

Organize Your Music

They say that music is food for the soul. Well, how about a little lyrical nourishment?

Decide on the kind of music you want to listen to. Choices could include:

  • upbeat to boost your mood
  • classical to chill you out
  • high-energy to power your workouts.

Mine your old CDS – your own and maybe your kids’ – for songs to play in the car or add to your playlist.

Browse iTunes and download tunes that tantalize your musical taste buds.

Organize Your Audiobooks

Don’t forget to feed your brain, too. Audiobooks are a convenient way to take in stimulating or educational works while doing housework, working out, waiting for your bus or flight, or doing mindless errands.

Decide on the books you’d like to listen to. Choices could include:

  • classic works you’ve always wanted to read
  • business or motivational titles
  • new releases by today’s big thinkers.

Check out Audible for a fab range of audiobooks you can download direct to your iPod or smart phone, and Amazon for a good range of books on CD.

Organize Your Podcasts

For short, current grabs on almost any topic, subscribe to podcasts. They’re free, and iTunes has more than 100,000 to choose from.

Organize Your Playlists

Create playlists to match your moods. Here are some ideas:

Workout/Gym

  • Select upbeat tracks, perhaps with a couple of slower ones at the end for your cool-down and stretch, or create your own interval training playlist

Cheerful

  • Choose songs that make you want to dance, smile or sing along

Moody

  • It can be comforting to have a playlist for times when you just want to feel sorry for yourself – but I suggest keeping this playlist short. 🙂

Motivating

  • Fill this list with songs that inspire you – and use it to fire yourself up when you want a burst of encouragement

Getting ready

  • Here you want music that gets you in a party mood – excellent accompaniment while dressing for a party

And with that, you’ve transformed your smart phone, iPod, CD player or car into your own personal learning and pleasure machine!

What’s on your playlist right now? How do you organize it? Please share any tips in the comments!

 

Useful Tips When Buying Your Next Laptop

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Computers have been such a big part of our modern life that it’s quite hard to think of doing something important without one. Paying utility bills, reading and sending emails, online shopping, work, entertainment, research and education have been made easy thanks to computers.

If your old computer has become slow and sluggish, it might be time for a replacement. Unless you’re fairly well informed about tech, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. What do I look for?

Well, don’t worry. You’re not the only one!

There are so many brands of laptops and PCs to look at these days. If you have a particular brand that you like or have been using for years, it’s likely that you’ll purchase the same brand with updated specs, especially for portables or laptops.

Most computer brands offer laptop customization on their websites. They show the base model for each computer variant, and from there you can upgrade the hard drive, the computer memory and other specs. If you’re purchasing a laptop from a computer shop, you need to know what specifications you’re looking for that will fit your work or lifestyle. There are so many models to choose from at different price ranges.

Below are some of the things you need to know or look for if you‘re buying a new laptop.

1. Laptop Size

If portability is one of your main requirements, then consider a laptop or notebook that has a small screen and is lightweight. Most laptops in this category are called Ultrabooks. These Ultrabooks are light and slim with a screen size ranging from 12.5 inches to 13.3 inches and weighing around 1kg to 1.5kg. Laptops with screen sizes 14 inches up to 18 inches are often called “desktop replacements”. They are still portable, but can weigh 2kg to 3kg.

2. Budget

The type of computer that you’ll purchase will heavily depend on your budget. You can buy an entry-level laptop for $150 – $250. But if you have serious work to do on your computer, you can start looking for a computer between the price ranges of $350 – $600. It will have respectable specifications and you can do many things that are not heavily dependent on graphics, screen size and processing speed.

$600 and above will offer premium designs and some premium added hardware features. Expect to have the fastest processors, more portable, and offer longer battery life, higher screen resolution, lots of memory and so on.

3. Mac, Windows Or Google

Choosing the platform or operating system is usually a personal preference. If you’re a longtime Windows user, you’ll most likely purchase a Windows laptop. Same thing if you’re a long time Mac user. If you’re buying something for your kids or a backup PC, you might even look at a laptop with Chrome OS from Google. Let’s discuss further.

Windows is the most widely used and the most flexible operating system. Most laptop brands that are not Apple are pre-installed with Windows.

All MacBooks and iMacs are pre-installed with the latest MacOS High Sierra. It’s almost similar to Windows but has a different user interface with the apps dock instead of the Start button on Windows.

Which one you prefer comes down to personal preference and possibly what apps you like to use the most.

Chrome OS is often pre-installed on inexpensive notebooks or tablets. It’s mostly good for browsing, emailing, chatting and other non-heavy computer tasks.

4. Screen Resolution

If you’ll be working on your computer for hours, get one with the best screen resolution that will fit your budget. Consider screens that are not glossy since a glossy screen can produce unwanted reflections. Screen resolution should be in full HD and should offer good viewing angles. Check for laptops with in-plane switching or IPS that gives the widest viewing angles and viewing comfort.

5. Keyboard and Touchpad

If you’ll spend hours working on your computer, go for one that has good ergonomics, provides maximum comfort, a tactile feel and enough space between the keys.

The touchpad should have a consistent response to multi-touch gestures and should not have a jumpy cursor. Some laptops designed specifically for business use have a pointing stick between the G and H keys for added pointing and click function.

6. Computer Storage

Most laptops being sold today offer 1 terabyte of storage, which is equal to 2 million photos stored on your computer. It’s advisable to purchase a system with at least 1GB of storage. There are 3 types of computer storage available today:

  • Hard Disk Drives (HDD) – the most common storage available, affordable and offers lots of storage. A bit slow with noticeable heat and noise.
  • Solid State Drives (SSD) – offers a lot more speed, silent and takes up a small space. Expensive and does not offer as large storage as a hard disk drive.
  • Hybrid Drive (HD) – it’s a combination of a hard drive and solid-state drives. The operating system is stored on the SSD for fast booting and program loading, while files are stored on the hard drive.

7. RAM (Random Access Memory)

Entry-level laptops for basic computing often come with 2GB of RAM, but you’ll ideally want to go for one that has at least 4 GB of RAM. If you can spend a little more, you can upgrade to 8 GB, which is enough for most work and leisure use.

8. Processors (CPU)

This is your computer’s brain. Most midrange and high-end systems come with Intel i3, i5 or i7 processors, the higher the number, the faster it is. Entry-level laptops used for basic computing may come with an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor. AMD is a competitor to Intel and their range also covers the speed and processing ability you’ll need. You’ll most likely go with whichever is pre-installed in the device you buy.

9. Connectivity Ports

Depending on your needs, most laptops offer USB ports, HDMI and card slots. Ultrabooks may have up to 2 USB ports and a card reader while desktop replacements can have at least 3 USB ports, HDMI and card reader slots. Use the HDMI slot to connect your laptop to a monitor so you have a larger screen to look at, or 2 screens in total.

10. Batteries

Any system that quotes having 6 hours of battery life is decent enough, but most manufacturers test this at the lowest brightness settings. Expect about 4 hours of continuous battery use in real-world situations. The resolution, battery size, processor and graphics card will have a big impact on battery life.

Present day systems will have the new generation processors and other hardware that are more energy-efficient and offer longer battery life. If your budget permits, go with at least 6 hours of battery life or about 8-10 hours.

If you’re still not sure about the tips mentioned, you can talk to someone more knowledgeable about computers at a store or someone you know. They can help you figure out what you need to consider when purchasing a new system depending on your needs. They can also answer your questions to help you decide which brand or model will fit your requirements and your budget.

2018 Smart Home Products That Simplify Your Life

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Most people would have thought that by this time the world should be a bit more like what we saw in “Back To The Future” or “The Jetsons” with flying cars, robot nannies, self-drying jackets and the famous self-lacing Nike Shoes.

While we may not have these items right now, present day technology is not really that far behind.

Technology today is always improving to transform your everyday life in the office and your home to be simpler and more efficient. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or dad or have a small business to manage, there will be more smart products introduced for home and personal use today and in the very near future.

Below are some of 2018’s smartest products that could help simplify your life and improve your home business efficiency. It’s technology at its best!

1.  Smart Door Locks

These smart door locks can be controlled by an android or iOS smart device. Many traditional and startup door lock companies are actively presenting products in the market. Smart lock features can include:

  • Auto lock and auto unlock.
  • Create virtual keys for your family and guests using their smart devices.
  • Status checks when you or your family is away.
  • Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Voice commands.
  • Digital keys that can be used to time restrictions.

Smart locks add another wall of security to your house since it is a high tech feature that will put you at ease whenever you’re away.

Examples of smart door lock include August Smart Lock 3rd gen, Friday Smart Lock, Kwikset Kevo Konvert and Lockitron Bolt.

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Image credit: Risknows

2. Amazon Echo Spot

The Amazon echo Spot is a touchscreen voice assistant speaker. it can be an alarm clock, a video calling smart device, a digital assistant and a control hub for other smart devices like smart LED lights and smart locks. This can make your life easy because you will not need so many remote controls for the different smart devices that you may have and any action is just a voice command away.  

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Image credit: iStyles

3. The Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug

This mini smart plug connects to any electrical outlet and provides any devices plugged in “smart capabilities” by way of the free Wemo app. By using the Wemo app, you will be able to program any plugged in devices.  It enables smart lights to switch on and off at specific times or intervals. You can also program your coffee maker to brew you a pot of fresh coffee every morning. You will not have to worry about waking up in the morning to switch on the lights or brew coffee. Wemo will do that for you and make your morning more efficient.

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Image Credit: Pinterest

4. LG WK7 SMART THINQ SPEAKER

The LG WK7 Smart Thinq Speaker comes with Google assistant thus it provides the same voice-powered actions as Google Home. It’s not just a smart assistant, but it provides hi-resolution audio compatibility, Google Chromecast capabilities to stream music, video, browse web pages and photos. It also comes with LG propriety ThinQ AI, making it a central hub for controlling all smart LG devices.

LG ThinQ Speaker CES

Image credit: Best Buy

 5. Nest Cam IQ

The Nest Cam IQ is an affordable smart home camera. It can be installed anywhere in the house for added security whenever you’re away at work, school or on vacation. To use, just download the app and you will be able to track and watch in real time what’s happening inside your house using your smartphone or tablet.

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Image Credit: Slash Gear

 6. TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb

When you hear or think of TP-Link, you’d think of modems and wireless routers, but now they have introduced a smart LED light bulb. The smart light can be controlled using the free Kasa app that is compatible with Android and iOS devices.  The smart bulb can also be used with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant for any other programmable functions and can be controlled anywhere in the house. It can be dimmed without any manual switches, change colors to set the mood, some can even play music and help you sleep.

 TP Link Smart LED Light Bulb

Image credit: Android Headlines

7. Roomba Robot Vacuums

The Roomba robot vacuum is fully autonomous and smart. It can navigate the floor using sensors and Wi-fi without any need for human control. Unlike traditional vacuums that use bags, the Roomba uses an easy and ejectable dustbin to collect debris and dirt. although it is more expensive than a traditional vacuum cleaner, the Roomba will save you hours of work.

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Image credit: iRobot

8. Nokia Sleep

One of the best sleep trackers out in the market, Nokia Sleep is placed under your mattress and can record your sleep cycle, heart rate, snoring patterns and sleep quality. All the data collected is then synced to the sleep tracker’s health app. It can also function as your home automation device. You can control all you’re other smart items like your smart Led bulb, coffee maker and smart blinds when you get in bed.

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Image credit: Round The Tech

 9. Logitech Harmony Elite

If you’re not into digital voice assistants, this is your device. It’s a universal remote control that can control 15 home entertainment systems and other connected home devices. It has a full color touch screen to control channels, movies, volume and can store up to 50 of your favorite channels. It’s compatible with Amazon’s Alexa for easy voice activation and integration. It’s an all in one controller for your smart home.

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Image credit: Hot Hardware

10. The Tile Mate

The Tile mate is your personal tracking device to help you find those important items. The Tile Mate has a hole in the corner so you can attach it to your keychain.

The back of the Tile Mate can also be attached to any device or any important item you own. Once attached, the Tile Mate sends its location to a free app installed on your smartphone or tablet. You can also command the Tile Mate to emit a ring to help you find the device.  No more lost keys, wallet or phone.

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Image credit: Mac Sources

 

Does Your Home Business Need a Social Media Presence?

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Social media is one of the most popular internet activities today. Either for personal use, entertainment or for businesses big and small.

Statistics show that from 2010 up to 2021 there will be an estimated 3.02 billion social media users around the world. In 2010, there were 970 million users, and this year, there’s about 2.62 billion users. That’s a lot of people on social!

People in The United States, Canada and Alaska rank among the top social media users in the world.

It’s no wonder companies all over the world have seen the potential of having a strong social media presence.

Now the question is, does your home business need social media?

Does your home business need social media?

Having a good presence on different social media channels brings brand awareness and brand building. If you have a small business or you’re just starting to build one, having a social media presence is essential.

Here are some tips to help you establish an online presence.

1. Know Your Target Audience

There’s no point in having an online presence if the wrong people are following you. Target the right audience and you will be able to get mileage and reach on social media. Some of the things you need to know for your target market are:

  • Age and gender
  • Their preferred budget
  • Location
  • Are they buying from a competing business?
  • What do they value when shopping online?
  • What other social media platforms do they use?
  • How frequently they use social media

You can use a questionnaire or a survey to get this information from your target audience.

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2. Create A Logo

A clear and easy to understand logo is the visual representation of your business and if you have accounts on different social media channels, use the same logo on all of them. It should be consistent across all channels because it will create recall and brand awareness for your target audience. It goes the same with promotional pictures that you upload to all channels; these should be clear and follow the suggested picture sizes for each channel.

3. Take Advantage of Photos And Videos

Multimedia content gets more engagement on social media as compared to plain text. Insert interesting images that are related to your business or to the content. High-resolution photos can enhance an article, for example. You can also post how-to’s or tutorial videos about the industry you’re in or possibly videos giving professional tips about a certain subject related to your business or brand.

4. Listen To Your Target Customers

Once you have established a presence on social media, communication with your followers and target market is important. Most social media users prefer to use messaging apps because it is quicker in establishing communication with your business.

They will be able to give you insights, feedback or commendations about your brand. Listen to their complaints or grievances and provide the resolutions needed. This will build trust between your business and your customers. They will also see that your brand cares about their customers. And again, these people will be your unofficial but trusted brand ambassadors.

5. Create Valuable and Relevant Content

Content can be an article, a video, a sound byte, a vlog or blog, an infographic or a podcast just to name a few.

You should be consistent in posting content by creating a schedule across all your social media channels. Map your content schedules and your business promotions that will give value to your followers. Consistency is the key.

If your target market finds your content valuable, informative and educational, they will not hesitate to share it over their social media accounts which will result in a wider reach for your brand.

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6. Be Aware of Social Media Trends

Yes, you want your social media presence to be unique and different from your competitors, but you need to be aware of any trends. This way, your business will not be left out and feel uninteresting to your followers.

One popular trend in social media is live video streaming. Promote the time and the day of your live broadcast where your followers are mostly online because this will be a real-time engagement between you and your followers. If most of your followers are in one country, try to schedule the live video for a time that would suit people in those areas.

7. Automate Your Content Strategy

You can do this by using tools that automatically post content across your chosen social media channels. One good example is Buffer where you can copy and paste a link to your content from your blog for example. You can have the content posted at the same time across all channels or you can make schedules by setting the time and date for each platform.

8. People Should Be Able To Relate To Your Brand

Keep your content simple and relatable to your target market. Also, people in social media don’t really want to talk to “companies” or the “brand” but the people behind it. Yes, they can be loyal to the brand, but the people is where the connection happens. By being relatable, direct and honest, you put a human face behind the brand that people can trust.

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Creating a social media presence takes time and work, but it’s not impossible to have a solid hold on different social media channels – these tips can help you make it.

Free, Interactive, Printable To-Do Lists For Work

We have tons of free interactive, printable to-do lists and templates to help you get organized.

Here’s an example of some of our most popular free to-do lists for work:

  • Time Logs
  • Daily To-Do Lists
  • Weekly To-Do Lists
  • Priorities
  • Time Strategies
  • Time Wasters to Avoid
  • Goals
  • Daily Schedules
  • Weekly Schedules

Download them now!

Tips To Managing Your Home Business Productivity – with FREE Printable To-Do Lists

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Technology has helped humans for thousands of years, making everyday life easier and more productive. At present, most of us cannot do without technology. Work, relaxation, playtime, research and other things are easier because of technology.

Whether you’re working remotely or manage a business from home, stress and clutter will always happen. Having these issues can affect your concentration or productivity. It can be managing your business at home or organizing your computer files like photos, documents, videos and music.

Tips To Managing Your Home Business Productivity

A number of studies have shown that people who work out of a home office can improve their productivity by about 13.5%. But there are also times that you feel nothing gets accomplished when you work at home. There can be many distractions leading to less productivity and efficiency.

So how do we manage this efficiently? Here are some simple tips to get started.

1. Have and Maintain Business Hours

  • Set your hours for work, even though you may not adhere to them. These hours will serve as a guideline for you, your family and friends and will let them known that you don’t want to be disturbed.
  • Identify how many working hours are available to you. Do you actually know where you spend your time each week? Use our Weekly Schedule template to allocate time for work, leisure, sleep so you can visually see where you have time for other things.
  • Start setting habits – for example if you have a study or a room for your home office, always keep the door closed when you’re working.

2. Keep Your Workspace Uncluttered

  • The main concern for most people running a home office is paperwork overload.
  • Spend 10 minutes each day dealing with paper documents that need to be filed or tossed.
  • As well as allocating a small period of your day for filing, invest in a filing system that will make finding documents faster and easier.
  • To avoid general clutter build up, spend 10 minutes at the end of each day clearing out items that don’t belong (coffee cups, plates, trash) and tidy your desk space (pens, notebooks, glasses).

3. Organize Your Computer

Now that the workplace, the work boundaries and work hours have been established and put into order, it’s time to organize your work tool, specifically your computer.

You know it’s quite annoying and confusing if you see too many icons on your computer’s desktop, especially if the whole desktop is filled with shortcut icons of everything you have on your PC.

Here are some tips to keep your computer desktop organized.

  • Delete unnecessary files

Every file you save on your computer takes up hard drive space and if your drive is filled with unnecessary files, it runs slowly and affects your productivity. Just like normal decluttering in your home office space, you need to declutter your PC and delete all unnecessary files.

Scan your folders for old files or abandoned projects and just delete them.

  • Create Archive and Junk Folders

For any documents or files that you’re not sure if you need or not, create a “Junk” folder, and for any files that can be used as a reference, create an “Archive” folder. For any completed projects you can save them to your external hard drive or cloud accounts like Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive.

  • Access To Multiple Devices

Just like creating folders on your PC, you can also organize your files in Dropbox, Google Drive and One drive. You can also access these apps using your smart devices by downloading the apps for your smartphone or tablet. Every time you save a file in the folders you’ve created in these applications, it will automatically sync with your PC and other smart devices and access them anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection.

  • Subfolders

Once you have created the main folders, you can create subfolders to further organize your files. For example, if you’re doing a project for one client, you can create subfolders for each task, then a subfolder for each year and then subfolders for each month of every year. This way you’ll be easy to track or find the file needed for a specific project, year and month if the need arises. Also, name your folders accordingly to further reduce confusion.

  • Maintenance Tool

If you can, install a PC maintenance tool. Programs such as these further help you in maintaining your PC performance and making it perform as designed by deleting hidden and un-used files or file remnants from applications that you have deleted and fix broken registries.

Free Printable To-Do Lists For Work

We have done all the prep work for you.

Get organized simply by downloading our free printable to-do lists for work from here.