7 Stylish Valentine Tech Gifts for Under $50

Heart“It’s not a romantic gift if you can plug it in.” These were the wise words of my very close friend when we were discussing gift giving for Valentine’s Day. She speaks from experience. Her husband once gave her a fire extinguisher as a gift. I am not kidding. As you can imagine, that gift didn’t go over very well. He’s still in her bad books for that one.

But, that story got me thinking.

Can a tech-focused gift be romantic? Can it express your true feelings without making your Valentine run for the hills? Well, after some careful research, I’ve found 7 stylish and romantic tech gifts for Valentine’s Day that are sure to show you care. [Read more…]

Saying thank you has never been easier

Thank YouHow many of you have written your thank you cards for the gifts you received during the holidays? If you’re like many people, the answer would be “not yet” (meaning not ever).

My mom was a stickler for making me write thank you notes. Every year after Christmas, she’d ask me if I’d written my Thank You Notes. When I got into my teens, I can tell you this was the perfect excuse to roll my eyes and let out a big sigh.

Fast forward to present day. I still hear her voice asking me the million dollar question. But, thanks to her years of training, I’ve got it covered.

Saying thank you is something few of us do enough. The reasons? Lack of time and sheer laziness. I’ve heard these excuses before … “It takes too much time” “I don’t have any cards” “I don’t have stamps” “I can’t remember who gave me what.

Well I’m here to help you get over these excuses with a tech solution that will help you say thank you in less time, with creative style and with great ease. [Read more…]

How to use your voice to get more done

microphoneI just bought the iPhone 4S. I couldn’t resist.

I did have a business reason for making this purchase, it wasn’t only for fun and games. The main reason was to meet Siri. As it turns out, I like her so much, I’ve made her part of my team.

Who is Siri? In my mind she’s my new assistant. In the real world, she’s Apple’s voice recognition software, and she came built into my new iPhone.

Here are the top five things Siri does for me: [Read more…]

5 Reasons to Use a Digital Calendar for 2012

calendar on a smartphoneI was with a colleague the other day and we were setting up our next meeting. I whipped out my smartphone, she sheepishly reached into her briefcase and pulled out her paper planner. Then she whispered, “I still use a paper planner, isn’t that pathetic?” Now, she may have been embarassed because my focus is helping people use technology to work smarter. But the fact is, if you’re using a paper system that works for you, then that in itself is working smart.

But for those who are currently using a paper calendar and contemplating switching over … this blog is for you. (For those who are digital already, read on. There may be some features you didn’t know about.) [Read more…]

5 Benefits of Using Skype for Your Business

SkypeMy husband travels. Usually he’s only gone for a day or two, but the last few times it’s been for at least 2 weeks. We miss him when he’s away for so long, but we’ve found a solution that’s a real improvement over a telephone call. It’s called Skype and it’s a software application that allows you to chat over the Internet using voice, video, instant messaging and texting. The best part? It’s free.

You may be thinking: What a nice little glimpse into your personal life, but what has that got to do with my business? Well, by using Skype for my personal use I’ve learned what a valuable tool it can be for my business. [Read more…]

Dealing with Post Conference Clutter 

pile of receiptsI’m still on that post conference high. I’m motivated, invigorated and full of great ideas to take my business to the next level. I can’t wait to get started. Oh, but wait, there’s all those pesky business cards and receipts I collected. I have to get those out of the way first. Then there are those great handouts. I need to do something with those too. Argh. So I guess I will have to wait to get started. I can feel the euphoria leaving my body.

It’s all those administrative tasks that keep me from doing what I really love. Organizing. As a small business owner, I get it. I HAVE to do this stuff. It’s part of being an independent professional. But sometimes, it just plain sucks. But there is a solution. [Read more…]

How to be More Productive at a Conference

Stack of notepads with blue penI just got back from a three-day conference. I learned a ton and met so many great people. It was time well spent. My least favourite task at a conference is taking notes. It’s a chore for me. I usually buy a pretty notepad to get in the mood, but it never works. I write all these notes and then the pretty notepad gets put on a shelf. Ignored and then forgotten.

At this conference, I vowed things would be different. I had to put some purpose into my notetaking. It had to be fun and efficient. But how?

[Read more…]

Tech Tools to Increase Your Efficiency at Conferences

Image of a Conference AgendaThere’s nothing like a conference to energize you. To motivate you. To connect you to your profession and the people that work in it. There is, however, a dirty little secret to every conference. The dark side that no one likes to discuss. (And you’ll never see it mentioned in the conference materials.) More on that later.

I’m getting ready to go to a three-day conference put on by Professional Organizers in Canada. I will be basking in the glow of productivity and efficiency. It seems fitting that I should write a series about how you can use technology to be more efficient before, during and after a conference. Don’t you think?

The first part in the series will focus on The Three Top Tech Tips for Preparing for the Conference

[Read more…]