Tag Archives: organize

How to Keep Your Cables Untangled


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I HATE CABLES! I hate the mess they make. I hate seeing them coiling all around the gadgets on my desk. I can’t stand it when they get all tangled together into one huge knot. I picked myself up a new organizer recently for only ten bucks. This little thing is awesome! It keeps everything neat and tidy. The Dotz Cable Wrap even prevents the tangling and knots that can often happen, and accommodates up to three cables at a time.

This little circle gives you a simple way to instantly protect, shorten and store your cords, cables and ear buds. Just wrap the excess lengths of cord inside and snap it shut. It comes with a suction cup to keep it in place and a belt clip to make sure you don’t drop it when walking or jogging. It comes in several different colors so you can be sure to match whatever your style is.

I found a way to get out from under the tangle of cords and cables. What methods do you use? Please – PLEASE – tell me you don’t just leave them lying all around the place.

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Moving Made Easy

This post is brought to you by our patronWorldLabel. It was written by me, and all opinions are 100% mine.

Let’s face it: moving is not fun. It’s a pain in the butt and often brings about more stress than it really should. It’s something we all have to do at some point in our lives – and some of you may end up moving often. I feel for you, really I do! Even the most organized person can fall apart and lose things when trying to pack, move and then unpack all of their worldly possessions. The folks at WorldLabel have come up with a simple solution that can save you time – and one heck of a lot of headaches – later on.

The Master Packing Kit may seem like overkill, but you’ll thank yourself later when you can quickly and easily find everything you need simply by glancing at the box. The file will be sent to you in PDF format. You can download and fill the file in on your computer – no matter what operating system you may use. The best news of all is that this kit is absolutely free!

You’ll find labels included to help you designate which room each box goes into along with spaces for box contents. Also included is a master list, Fragile labels, This Side Up labels, To and From labels (in case you need to ship any items) and more. Once you fill them in, you can print them right from home using standard-sized letter paper of any type.

You can customize these labels to work for you. It’s easy to change your font size, type or color (as well as adding bold or italics) for the To and From shipping labels. If you’re using a PC, you can click CTRL + E. If you’re on a Mac, use Apple key + E. A toolbar will then appear giving you additional text properties. Select “More” from the font properties toolbar for additional selections in regards to your paragraph layout.

Make your next relocation easier by grabbing your free copy of this fantastic moving kit before you pack the first box.

Top 5 Workspace Tips

Dylan sent the following tips in after he figured out the best methods of shaping up his workspace.

  • Use Blu-Tack – Like many computer owners, I have a laptop as my primary (only) machine, and it is stationed on a desk. I have a keyboard, mouse and printer plugged into the notebook. When I unplug everything so that I can take my laptop with me somewhere, the cords tend to fall behind the desk. This makes it a pain to find them – and untangle them – later on. To fix this problem, I put Blu-Tack wire on the back of the desk. It holds my cables for me so that I never encounter this trouble again. It works for lamp cords, phone cords and more.
  • Photos – I enjoy having pictures of my family and friends on my desk. Due to lack of space, though, there aren’t many to be seen. A simple and inexpensive solution is to buy a clear plastic mat that is two layers. When you want to show off a picture, simply slide it between the two plastic sheets. The photo will be protected, out of the way and easy to look at anytime you wish.
  • Hide those cables – If you’ve ever had a desk that doesn’t come all the way to the floor in the back, you’ve had to deal with a frightening cord mess that everyone who visits your space will see. This is NOT a pretty sight, folks. Why not buy a piece of material, a blanket or even pressboard to tack to the back of your desk? It will hide the cord mess, and make everything look nice and neat once again.
  • We need light to see AND space to breathe. – I need a lamp on my desk in order to see properly without getting a headache. I never realized how much real-estate they took up on my desk until recently. I went out and bought an inexpensive clip-on lamp. It clips to the edge of my desk, taking up a very small amount of space. It’s brighter than my old lamp, and I can adjust it to project light anywhere I might need it.
  • Wrap it up – In order to keep control of the various cords and cables under my desk, I bought a lot of elastic bands. Wires going in the same direction are grouped together, and held close by the bands. This can be done to keep things such as pens and rulers from being scattered around, as well.

How do you keep your office or desk space organized? DO you keep it neat and under control?

Organize Your Band with BandCentral

When a band is busy, things can go haywire pretty fast. There are many difficulties associated with staying organized during the touring, performing, writing and recording processes. Wil Padley, a bass player in the U.K. band The Domino State, came up with the idea for BandCentral to help him and his fellow musicians attempt to bring order back into their lives.

BandCentral is an easy way to manage your band online from anywhere in the world. The tools lets bands track their earnings and expenses from merchandise, CD and ticket sales. The admin controls allow for privacy settings to be altered, so that different access levels can be given to different members of the group as needed.

It’s also integrated with SoundCloud, which is an online place musicians can share their music and files. It also lets them comment on the various things they have in progress.

BandCentral has a free version, which is ad-supported. A band can sign up for the premium account to have full access to the site and services without having to look at ads. The premium account is about $9.00 (U.S. dollars) per month.

BandCentral is used by bands, managers and even record companies. It is a “shared space with all the tools you need to manage your band: everything, from gigs & rehearsals, assets & fans, to recordings, merchandise & money… all from one central, secure and instantly accessible place.”

LiquidPlanner


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I recently attended the WTIA Fast Pitch Forum & Technology Showcase. The conference featured two dozen of the of the hottest technology companies in Washington presenting their business in a competition for “Best In Show”. LiquidPlanner is the only project management tool that lets you easily adapt your project plan based on real-life change and uncertainty. The result is realistic schedules that make planning, collaborating, and hitting deadlines a breeze.

Don’t just multi-task, manage your time effectively. LiquidPlanner makes prioritizing, organizing, and scheduling simple, no matter how many projects and clients you have to juggle, so you can focus on what’s really important: getting things done.

Who doesn’t need help scheduling themselves, in order to do everything you have to do? I know I do! There are just so many hours in each day, and that is not nearly enough! I have a hard time some days trying to cram in everything I have to do… forgetting things here, putting something off there, shuffling others to a back burner – or hand them over to my assistant and beg her help!

LiquidPlanner sure would make my life easier. I’m not only going to tell you to check them out – I’m checking them out for myself!

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How to Organize Text and Programming Code


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Managing text in a single text file is a bit of a kluge. Let’s say that text happens to be code, such as PHP or CSS. You may want color highlighting, so that if you make a mistake you’ll be able to detect it easier. You want to have a text management tool at your disposal, no matter what operating system you happen to be using.

The free Snippely is just what you’re looking for. It’s an Adobe AIR app, made by the folks at Google Code. Snippely is a basic text and code organizational tool. Instead of storing bits of code, quick notes, and memos in text files all over your hard drive, this application will let you save and organize “snippets” in one convenient location. A snippet is a collection of one or more pieces of code and notes. Snippets are stored in groups for organization and quick retrieval.

You set up groups, and you have sub-groups within those. You can add notes and colors to different parts of your group areas. It’s really easy to do, just drag-and-drop things where you need them to be. You can even choose to make the notes appear in plain text!

Whether you’re managing plain-text snippets, or code snippets, Snippely is going to work great for you.

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How to Keep Your Mac Safe, Clean, and Organized

Geek!This is Mike Mejer’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

This series of suggestions is likely to appeal to newer Mac users.

I am sure many of you understand the concept of making folders. Use them! It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways of keeping your files organized. Apple already includes a ‘Downloads’ Folder, and a ‘Documents’ Folder. Don’t always save files and documents onto your desktop – you might, one day, clean it up and files may get deleted on accident. Keep those files in folders elsewhere, so it is easier and quicker to find the items you are looking for. Yes, it does take some time when you get a new Mac, but in the long run, it saves you a great amount of time and stress. Same holds true for keeping documents in the “My Documents” folder on a Windows computer.

Macs hardly ever get viruses, but that doesn’t mean it is impossible for them to get infected! Yes, a Mac does run on a UNIX core, but there will always be one nasty file that slips through the security gates. How do you take extra precautions to ensure your Mac doesn’t get a virus? Be aware of what you are downloading! Make sure that if you download things from the Internet, you know what you’re getting, and if the source is a reliable one. If you have never heard of a site before, aren’t too familiar with the file, and something seems to good to be true, it means: don’t download anything. Download music from reputable sources, not illegally from unknown users. Anti-Virus software is not necessary for OS X at this time – if you follow these steps. If you don’t download illegal files, monitor your activity and traffic on the Internet, then you should remain okay and virus free!

I have been asked how I organize my Dock a few times. The way I look at it is: if you use an application often, keep it there. For instance, I constantly use Pages, Mail, iTunes, iMovie HD, and Activity Monitor. So I keep those applications in my Dock. Now those weren’t all of the applications that are in my Dock; I have a total of 18 apps and 2 Stacks on my Dock. I try to keep it as organized as I possibly can. So, I keep the applications that I constantly need (and are constantly in use) in my Dock. My Stacks contain files which I often need to access quickly. I tend to put a few apps in them every now and again, but every week I do a “maintenance” job (as I like to call it) and sweep out the cruft. Organizing your Dock can be easy. Simply make a list of the applications you use often, then drag them onto your Dock. If you find yourself not using an app, drag it away and it leaves the Dock.

Stacks are folders which can be placed on the Dock. There is generally nothing on my desktop other than the devices connected to my Mac. So, I have two folders which I need to access quite often, so I keep them on my Dock. Stacks generally work the same way as applications do on a Dock. That is really all you need to know about keeping your Mac’s Dock organized and un-cluttered.

That’s how you can customize your Mac to give you quick access to often used apps and folders, keep your Mac virus free, and nice and organized. Any questions? Leave a comment for more tips on which you may be curious about.

How Do You Organize Your Gadgets?


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You caught my trying to organize my gadgets. Normally, they sit over on a stand on the other side of my office. The problem is, I’m a neat freak. I don’t like to have them just sit around. So what’s a Geek to do? Go out and buy yourself a Gear Gripper, that’s what.

Chances are pretty good that, if you’re visiting this website, you’re either a geek, or love one enough to buy a geek gifts. Without a doubt, said geek has a substantial collection of tiny gadgets that need a home to call their own. Take a tour of ThinkGeek World Domination Headquarters, and you’ll see almost everybody’s desks are cluttered with the detritus of an unhealthy addiction to gadgets.

Most of our gadgets are shiny, and polished with only a little wear showing. As long as we keep them from banging into each other, they’ll remain relatively pristine. What we’ve found is the GearGripper desktop organization ribbon. Soft yet firm, GearGripper undulates across your desk in a wave, the nadir of each wave perfect for comfortably resting your toys.

Because it’s bendy, it can be shaped into different forms – whatever you need to give your gear a comfortable home. Mold it to your needs, make it your own! Just remember to submit pictures of your creations for our action shots!

It looks so much nicer than just having things sitting around. Am I the only one who wants to have my gadgets organized, and keep everything looking clean? I love having this sitting on my desk, keeping everything nice and neat. I’m pressed for space, and this makes things easy.

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Are You Organized?

Recently, I posted a video about Evernote. Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. It’s an excellent way to keep yourself and your data organized. Here’s what some of my friends had to say about Evernote.

Chris I would also like to hear what you to say about the security of these services. If everything is moving up to the cloud so to speak. How can I really trust services like Evernote to keep my data secure from data loss or even data theft? This is something I’ve been really thinking about for a while. And in this case is why I went to a desktop app like Together. – Chris Rodgers

Skitch, skitch, skitch…heck Skitch has got to be the baddest desktop app of the year. – Zee from WeDoCreative

I find that Gmail works just as well, though with less organization. The upside is significantly more space, great search capes and offline client via IMAP. – Steve Rubel

most of my notes are in regards to what I am doing at the moment, so I just jot them down in quickbooks online, which I use to keep track of my billing. Other than that, I regret to say my company has a sharepoint site. – Tim Wright

I use a personal wiki called TiddlyWiki. It’s a self-contained wiki in a single html file that I carry around on a USB stick (with backups to my main system frequently). I allows a lot of tagging and has decent search capability. I also use this as my todo journal for work so I can always go back in time to see what I was doing at a given point in time. – Bryan Hunter via twhirl

A Moleskine and a black Pilot G2 pen. – Cecily Walker

Agreed, I am a big fan of Evernote. Together is nice, but I like that i can sync Evernote against both my Mac and PC. – Scott Watermasysk

A Moleskine and a black Pilot G2 pen you are speaking my language, those are my exact tools. – Kyle Hebert

anyone experienced with google notebooks? – Trixie Ferguson Gray

I use MS OneNote. I like the folders and notebooks and the pages are whatever size you need them to be. I like being able to put notes anywhere on the page. I use the clipping tool to catch a shot of anything that pops up on the screen that I may need later. I just started trying out Zotero, a FF add-on, for research notes. – Maggie Longshore via twhirl

OneNote w/ UMPC. I have my OneNote files synced w/ laptop and desktop with FolderShare. Works nice. – Rodfather

I use ballpoint pens and several notebooks or just plain paper with it. Since I also like to draw it is good thing to have those around everywhere. This reminds me of that I should start to take more notes of things in life. Also, I have found out that digital camera is great tool to make notes since you can take photo of item or store so you could remember it later when you view what you have taken. – Daniel Schildt

Currently alternating between Evernote and OneNote on a Tablet PC – Warner Crocker

I use onenote on my 2 laptops and my desktop, files stored on my Dlink Nas device. Evernote on my MB Proand windows machine. Then Foldershare to access everything from each machine. – Stephen Kennedy via twhirl

In a text editor, using Textile for markup. I also always carry a moleskine with me – Deepak

When using computer, I mostly just write notes to Gmail message and sent it to myself or save as draft. Could use Google Docs more but it’s too slow compared to basic text mode of Gmail. – Daniel Schildt

Evernote is my new brain. The old one, she no work so good no more. – Marci Maleski

The irony of looking up notes in his spiral pad notebook to describe an online note taking app… – Ricardo Vidal

I use my Livescribe Pulse Smartpen (http://livescribe.com) most of the time, and Evernote if I’m near a computer. The Pulse pen is awesome, I highly recommend it to anyone that needs to take notes on a regular basis. – Donato

the idea of writing on a computer, a tablet pc, is so appealing to me… – edythe

I just discovered Zotero while looking for something to highlight and annotate webpages. It does much more than that, and I’m looking forward to working with it. – Tom Landini

Index cards, Evernote and iPhone notes. Together looks REALLY nice, I’m truly impressed. However, the ability to get to my notes on my Mac, my iPhone and on my PC at work has me hooked on Evernote. Still waiting for MS to release OneNote for Mac. OneNote just can’t be beat. It would be nice to see Evernote develop a richer feature set, something closer what Together has. – Jack Collins

I used to carry around a pad or notebook. But now I just e-mail myself, that way I don’t have to re-transcribe. – clarke thomas via fftogo

On the iPhone – the notes app, though I can’t stand Comic Sans. On the comp, (at the moment) Todoist as a to do list. – (steve isaacs)

I use my Livescribe Pulse Smartpen (http://livescribe.com) most of the time, and Evernote if I’m near a computer. The Pulse pen is awesome, I highly recommend it to anyone that needs to take notes on a regular basis. – Donato

Poorly. I usually scribble whatever down on paper or I just use the old "C n’ P" (Copy and Paste) method in Notepad – Outsanity

I usually take notes by hand too and then publish using Google Docs. – Larry Kless

How do you take and organize your notes? Are you still writing them out by hand and then typing them into a text editor later? Do you type them into a laptop as you take them? Or are you some super-genius who doesn’t need any notes at all?

Would you Like to Start Mindmapping?


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It’s been awhile since we talked about mindmaps. Mindmapping is essentially visualizing the information you are trying to organize. You remember creating an outline back in school, I’m sure. Outlines are not always the easiest way to really see the big picture. This is why you would want to use a mindmap. Using this method, you can explore your data in a much more two or three-dimensional way.

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

We’ve talked about mindmap software in the past. Mindjet’s Mind Manager is an excellent desktop application that lets you build a mindmap with data that you enter. We’ve also mentioned a web-based, full-featured application. MindMeister is a good application online, but it’s not free.

What if you want something that’s easy to access online, and free to boot? Check out Text2Mindmap. This service is free, with no account to sign up for. You enter your text and/or data, and the application will shoot out a structure for you. You can move nodes around to fit your needs. Once you’re satisfied with what you’ve done, save it to your computer as a JPG.

Using a mindmap makes it much easier for others to be able to visualize what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Try using one the next time you have to explain your ideas and thoughts, or even when you need to just get yourself organized.

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