Electricity, Lights – Who Needs Them?

January 9, 2008

stormyfelton1.jpgLast week lampposts, trees, and power lines were violently uprooted all over Northern California as winds topping 80 mph ripped through our usually peaceful neck of the woods. Read more

New Time Zone Map!

November 30, 2007

Have you ever wondered, or do you sometimes need to know what time it is in other parts of the country or world? Well, N8tip is here to help!

Keeping track of time zones can be quite a challenge these days, especially since different countries (not to mention a few states … yes I’m talking about you Hawaii and Arizona) have different policies regarding Daylight Savings Time.

Check out the new search enabled N8tip Time Zone Map here. Or follow these easy instructions for looking up various time zones.
1) Select “Time Zone Map” from the menu.

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2) Type the country or city name in the search box (example: India)

3) The result is linked to Wikipedia so you can get more info on the place you searched. Do I rock or what? :)

Go ahead, link to it - you know you want to!
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3 Ways to Waste Time on Your Computer

November 8, 2007

 

Unless you’re hyper-aware of what’s occupying your attention, it’s easy to get distracted. That’s especially true while working on your computer. Here are three ways to waste time on your computer:

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1) Constantly “Check” email.

Constantly checking email is like constantly picking up your telephone to see if anybody is there … a little nutty! Frequently “checking” email is a huge waste of time for two reasons:

First, what is usually meant by “checking” is quickly scanning messages looking for one to respond to. Here’s the problem with that, all the other messages that were scanned but skipped will inevitably need to be rescanned at least one more time (usually many more times). Rereading messages in the inbox costs valuable time, and is unnecessary.

Second, every minute spent “checking” is one less minute spent “producing.” Pay attention to how much work is actually accomplished through email … sure there’s always lot’s of new and urgent messages to occupy your time. But what do your responses actually produce?

2) Don’t use a Desktop Search tool.

For some reason, a lot of people are unaware of how many hours they could be saving by simply adding a desktop search tool, like Google Desktop Search, to their computer. That’s probably because most people think that searches are just for lost items. Nothing could be further from the truth! When you use a browser to search the web, is it because you’re looking for a misplaced website? – not usually. It’s because you’ve become quite proficient at being able to quickly retrieve information from the web through the use of a search engine. A DTS is basically a browser for the information stored locally on your computer.

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If you’re not using a high speed search tool, you’re losing hours of your life! That may seem like hyperbole, but it’s not.

Because it’s part of my job, I’ve helped about 650 of my clients install and use a Desktop Search Tool, and almost none of them had any idea how much they were missing by not using a DTS tool on their computer. Check out this article to learn how to take advantage of DTS tools.

3) Maintain overly detailed file structures.

It’s human nature to try categorizing information. But If your file directory is overly detailed, you’re probably wasting a lot of time trying to figure out where to file stuff. If it takes you more than three mouse clicks to put anything away- you’re drilling down too far! It’s best to have the fewest number of folders possible. When it comes to file structures, the K.I.S.S. strategy is best: Keep It Simple Silly.

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Try sorting your files into these three main section. By naming them with a number first, you can put them in the exact order you’d like them to appear in your file directory:

A) Active – for current customers, projects etc.

B) Reference – broad support information that you may want to access in the future

C) Archive – old stuff that you’re not comfortable deleting, but you want to remove from your “Active” and “Reference” folders to de-clutter them.

Change Your Clocks this Weekend!

November 2, 2007

For some of us, this will be the first weekend in months that our automobile clocks will finally be correct! Why do they make those damn things so hard to reset anyways?

Here’s a test, do we gain or lose an hour this weekend?

Not sure? Here’s a simple phrase to help you remember,”You Fall back, then Spring forward.” That means that during the Fall, you get to redo 12:00a - 12:59a. That’s extra sleep … yeah!

So where did Daylight Savings Time come from, and why do we do it? Well, the idea is that by having more afternoon daylight people would use less energy. But studies show this is not the case.

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“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin, while an envoy to France, satirically noted that the Parisians could save candles by waking earlier in the day to take advantage of the natural sunlight. He even joked that shutters should be taxed, cannons fired, and church bells rung to help cajole the Parisian out of bed. After all, it was Franklin who said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Interestingly many countries, and even some states within the United States, have either abandoned the practice or never adopted it in the first place. Check out the map bellow. All of the areas marked in blue currently use DST, whereas the areas marked in red never have. The areas marked in orange no longer use DST.

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I personally don’t think Daylight Savings Time is necessary, but I’m curious what the rest of you think? If you have an opinion on Daylight Savings Time, share it in the comments section bellow .

To read more on Daylight Savings Time click here.

How to Have More Productive Meetings

October 11, 2007

 
icon for podpress  How to Have More Productive Meetings: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Everyone knows that poorly planned, really boring meetings can really suck. But there’s also evidence they’re extremely unproductive.

A while back, Microsoft conducted a survey of 38,000 knowledge workers. They found that on average, meetings account for 5.5 hours of the average 45 hour work week. The study also revealed that 69% of the participants said meetings were an unproductive use of their time.

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Remember: 7 of 10 attendees think that meetings are an inefficient use of their time! Read more

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