JUST What I need ONE MORE thing in my In-Box

January 5th, 2016

Email ClipWe all get spam or emails from companies we have never heard of and have no interest in doing business with.  Even though most of these emails are supposed to be “Permission Based,” which means you have given permission for them to send you emails.  Sometimes we give permission without realizing we have or we have given permission and once we see the offers/messages we do not find them interesting.

Help Yourself

You can help yourself first off by paging to the bottom of the message and click on the UNSUBSCRIBE button.  And theoretically, the list deletes your name and the next email that gets sent you wont receive.  But you must be the one to unsubscribe and click that link.

“Special” Email Address

I mentioned in a  couple posts before this,  that it may be helpful to create a separate email account for Offers, Coupons, Etc.  Gmail accounts are free.  You can check that separate account only when you have time, or in the mood.

Not All Newsletters and Notifications are Created Equal

An important newsletter or notification that is especially valuable is one that your town or city puts out. Most Towns and Cities now have Facebook pages too.  The City of Bangor Public Works Department has their own notifications for construction, parking bans, leaf pickup, holiday trash collection schedule.  It is a great help to have that accessible. Then I don’t have to go look for it, because chances are I won’t and I will miss something important.  Every town/city is different, but most often you can go to the home page of the website and sign up there, make sure you follow the instructions.

If you don’t see anything on the website, take a moment call the office and ask or send your local Councilor or Selectman an email requesting this.  From their point of view, it saves phone calls answering the same questions and from your point of view, you get the help you need, when you need it.

Grocery Lists or Gift Lists…Evernote is FREE

December 22nd, 2015

I don’t know how many times I have been at the grocery store, reached into my pocket for the list I had been so diligently working on to be used JUST on this very day and it isn’t there.  It is on the table in the kitchen.  Right where I had left it.  After a few mumbled curse words and shaking my head, I resign myself to the fact that I will shop without it.

Forgetting My List

Once I have decided to continue on, I find myself in a sour mood, I forgot my list, know I will forget key items that I need, so my shopping trip becomes frustrating when it didn’t evernoteiconneed to be. I was mentioning this to one of my friends and she said to me, “Try Evernote, it goes on your cell phone and desktop and you can put your list there and have it when you when you go shopping.”  Sounds easy, right?  Well, it is!  I also don’t have to remember to add anything to a paper list on the Kitchen table when I think of it while I am at the office.

Tons of Features

The thing about most of these apps is that there are TOO many features.  So many that it may be overwhelming.  Here is a simple HOW TO for making lists when using Evernote. Go to your smartphone app or play store and download the free version or pull up the website. As a “free thinker,” I use Evernote for lots of things now.  But it all started with forgetting my shopping list and deciding to do something about it!


 

Afterward:
Other ways I use Evernote are here.

 

 

First Things… FIRST

December 17th, 2015

Are Your Teeth-Clenched and Your Shoulders Tight?

Next time you sit down at your computer, pick up your smartphone or tablet, take notice of how you feel?  Are you happy to see the latest news or are you feeling overwhelmed?  “I can’t do this!”  “I don’t understand this!”  “What is wrong with me?”

If you have any of those questions, it is possible that you do actually feel TRAPPED, just like this blog’s title.  Feeling TRAPPED creates many reactions in your body. FIGHT or FLIGHT, right?

FIGHT or FLIGHTRelaxed senior woman doing some breathing exercises

When it is “Fight” you want to beat up whatever is causing you to feel trapped, (which can be expensive if you throw your cell phone around) or “Flight” you try and escape. When you try to escape,  chances are you cannot learn or do what it was you wanted in the first place. Which may be as simple as trying to look at your grandchild’s prom photo. In either case, you are the one that loses.

Try Something New

I am not a doctor. But I have noticed that when I am feeling trapped myself that everything in my body feels tight.  And when everything feels tight, it is hard for me to think clearly. One thing I have learned a lot about in my life is the importance of breathing.  When we get that Trapped feeling we tend to hold our breath.  Right now, try clenching your first.  When you look down at that fist all tight, check your breathing.  Most of us will be holding our breath.  If you are holding your breath, it is difficult to think straight and solve problems.

Here is a great article * from Dr. Anthony Komaroff, from Harvard Medical School that is worth reading, about stress and breathing. Some people have preconceived ideas about meditation and yoga but each of these practices showed me how often I failed to breathe. When I was often in a situation that was stressful or sad, I was holding my breath. It was surprised to learn that when I caught myself holding my breath, once I started to breathe again I could start working to solve the problem at hand.

Give it a Whirl

breathing_in_and_outIt takes just a few minutes, this website here actually has a nice instructional way of explaining * the timing of doing it, and it is well worth it.  I find  I start thinking clearly, act more calmly.  When I have a method to do this to stop and count my breaths it really helps. Otherwise, I haven’t really stopped and refocused with a clear head after all!

 

*I have no affiliation with these organizations or websites, I just find them easy to read and understand and that is always worth sharing. I also want to thank them for the use of their photos.

Password, SMASHword!

December 14th, 2015

In my previous post, I talked about hackers and hacking.  These are the people you should get mad at when your bank, your email provider or anyone that holds passwords or user names that endlessly seem to have to change.  I tearinghairoutunderstand the feeling of wanting to smash your keyboard when you pick one you will remember and the providers won’t accept it because it needs a number, a capital letter, a symbol or all three and until you useall three you can’t set up your account or use your existing account.  It is frustrating.  But it is not their fault.  They are trying to protect you and them from being hacked.  It costs companies BILLIONS annually.

HealthCare Records

According to Inc. Magazine, Healthcare records are the sweet spot for criminals.  And, if you get some weird call from someone that claims they are verifying some info and you don’t know who it is, you don’t recognize the number – HANG UP! These criminals may not have any information at all that can be used, but they have snippets and the information you give them or verify as they tell you, is a scam.  Do not give out personal information to anyone about yourself, your kids, neighbors, your grandchildren.  These criminals are looking for home addresses, telephone numbers, etc.  This information seems harmless, but it valuable to the thief.  As the Inc. article puts it, “…the real money is in leveraging the information to social engineer the person whose information was stolen.”

Military and Other Government Employees Hacked

What a disgusting thought that people serving our country, HACKED.  In June of this year, that is exactly what happened.  The Government Personnel Office was hacked and 20.1 million people affected.  I got a call to verify some information about someone and I smelled a rat.  Come to find out, I was right.  I am so grateful I gave no information to someone who sounded legit, but was not.  With 20.1 million people’s information flooding the black market, it is possible you will get a call yourself.  Please don’t fall for it, hang up.

Please don’t fall for it, hang up.  Next time you are talking with your own friends, tell them about this very real situation that is only growing every year. Don’t let them be a victim either.

 

 

 

 

Ho-HO-HUMBUG !

December 3rd, 2015

Are Hackers the New Scrooge?

Hackers love the holidays.  Why?  Because that is when the internet really gets hopping with credit card numbers and lots of other personal data.  It is the end of the year and maybe you are thinking about getting Scroogeyour tax info in early. It seems like every day some new sort of “cute” virus, it is Christmas, it’s Valentines day, it is the day that “someone” or “something” decides to infect your computer and ruin your life.

Anybody remember that email so long ago you opened? You thought someone was telling you “I Love You” via email and then you had a virus?  They called it a a trojan horse.  If you are like me and took 4 years of latin,  you know the whole story about the trojan horse.  If you didn’t, what it means is that it feels like your life is over.  Your computer is hosed.  And then like the legend of the trojan horse your email address book was infected and all your friends learned that you infected them, that is the routine.  You see folks on FB mentioning that friend requests are being sent out from their account and they need to change their password.

What Will Be The “Next Best Thing” When It Comes To Viruses?

A lot of things haven’t changed at all when it comes to viruses on the internet.  The idea that some lost soul is camping out in his Mom’s basement still exists but hackers come in all shapes, sizes and nationalities – some of them are robots, they aren’t real people.  The purpose of the nuisance virus is to learn something from what worked in their program and what didn’t. You are helping in their research project without your permission.  A research project that you have no idea you are a part of.

Often people don’t talk about virus updates using Norton or McAfee, but they are really important.  We take it for granted sometimes and those of us that use macs we feel like we are “above” the fray only we aren’t.

Pay Attention. 

Watch the media for scams.  There are thousands of them out there that aren’t viruses, they are scams that get your personal information.  Remember anything you send in email is not secure.  This means no personal information.  No Social Security Number, No addresses, No credit card numbers. NEVER.

Web eMail can sometimes fool you. We have been trained to look into the navigation bar and there is an https:  up there.  So it must be secure, right?  Don’t take that for granted.  People have different email clients, yahoo, etc. As you message flies thru the servers on the internet it is not secure.

Be aWARE

The moral of the story here is:  Be AWARE.  Vigilance. Make sure your virus definitions are up to date.  Make sure you are comfortable with what you are agreeing to.  You need to make sure you are “OK” with their terms.  Or choose not to use their service.  If you are ordering online look at the boxes that are already checked to see how much-unwanted email you may end up receiving.

Knowledge is Power and Peace of Mind.

How Do I Get That New “Thing” for my Phone/Tablet

November 13th, 2015

App Stores are Where We Can get Apps – and I don’t mean the kinds wrapped in bacon!

Availability and Price for what you are trying to do depend on the what device you want it to go on.  You may want to access this blog from the device that you are looking for apps with, that way the link pops up and you can easily find it, click and download it.

iPhone, iPad, iPod – new programs or Apps are available from iTunes, the link I am sharing is for FREE apps which Apple isn’t known for a lot of FREE ones but there are some. If you choose one, it is listed if it has a cost and you will see that fee applied to your iTunes Account.

GooglePlay_Android
Samsung, Android Phones or Tablets
– Are in the Google Play Store.  There are many more FREE apps for Android devices but be careful, Apps can have viruses too and you don’t need problems with your phone.

 

amazonappstoreHave a Kindle Fire or an Amazon Phone?- Amazon has a store for you!   Again some are free and some are not but each one is indicated.

 

When you Download, Use Wifi

You may want to make sure that your phone is running over wifi when you download or even update your apps. Depending on your personal data plan, you can “waste” precious data (and money) just downloading something much less using it.

Apps are Not Just Fun and Games

GPS, “Find my Phone” and other apps are very helpful.  If your kids or grandkids are on Instagram, it is a FREE app (as most Social Media Apps are – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) Instagram is how many of us see what is happening via photos where they go and what they do- we can talk about Instagram sometime if you want to…

 

 

A Different Kind of Newsletter For the Common Good

November 10th, 2015

It is possible that your “In-Box” is full of Newsletters that you didn’t even know you signed up for- perhaps it may have come to you from something you ordered from Amazon or somewhere else and since then the offers, newsletters, etc. just keep rolling in.

“Techno-Trapped” – OUR News is going to be different!  PROMISE and Here’s Why:

  1. There is ONE Goal: To help people navigate the constant “next best thing.”
  2. The Focus:   Technology – your phone, your tablet, your laptop or random things on the internet: Facebook, Pinterest, Google Docs, Facetime, to name a few.
  3. NO business is sponsoring this information, it is based purely on our experience and feedback from you- good and bad.

Why?

Because we have Mom’s, Dad’s and friends that could benefit from knowing some of the cool things on the internet.  MOST all of them will be free to use, you just need to know how to use them.

We have Mom’s, Dad’s and friends that feel constantly belittled because they don’t know how to use things and they are missing out on staying connected with their loved ones, old friends and learning something new that may help in their own health care.  That’s Why.

Have A Question, Comment or Cheer?

Send me an email! or just stay tuned, please don’t unsubscribe to this Newsletter. There will be another one next month.  If you send us an email with a question or something to share, you will remain “Anonymous” unless you tell us otherwise.

The “Techno-Trapped”  Newsletter will be coming out Monthly- the 14th of each month. It’s free and if it is something you want to share with your friends, PLEASE DO!

Thank You!

The blog has tons of entries about all kinds of things.  Most of the newsletter content will be generated from new questions or new technology that people ask us about, but feel free to browse around the blog if you like and tell your friends!

Using Facebook As Your 911

November 6th, 2015

“Why Does SHE Put Everything out of Facebook??”

I hear this often from people that never have had to use Facebook to get to people, all the people that may need to know information about a change in a life’s circumstance.

Illness, Death, Change or “Situation”

Try changing your relationship status as an experiment.  You may be surprised at how many people pay attention.  Even if they don’t comment, they pay attention and you may see them in the grocery store and they ask about it.  A friend of mine did that as an April Fool’s Joke and didn’t she cause a stir!

Extended Family, People You Work With

For the good and the bad when my Dad was dying last year, I threw it out on Facebook.  Why?  Quite simply because after long hours and stress of driving to see him, sitting with him, getting the news, for weeks on end, I was just too tired to tell all my relatives by phone or even by email what was going on, play by play.  icon_facebookPLUS, I was losing my patience with those relatives that hadn’t been in my father’s life for years that all of a sudden felt entitled to every minute detail of what was happening with him.  And in the end, it didn’t matter they never bothered to make the effort to show up to the funeral or send a card anyway.  I was grateful for Facebook.

When I would show up at business meeting looking tired and sad, people had empathy and hugs, not smart comments or private whispers of judgment of what may or may not be happening in my life.  I didn’t have to tell them, Facebook did it for me.  OR if they didn’t see it on FB, then someone else did and there was another story I didn’t have to tell.

Double Edged Sword

A couple of weeks ago, I heard  someone say, “I thought everything was ok, they didn’t say anything on Facebook about it.”  So yeah, you have that too.

Struggles of Change

November 17th, 2014

You Mean I have to learn something ELSE?

If you just go down through the entries in this blog you can see there are gaps.  Some BIG ONES!  And of course for a lot of reasons:

1) I am busy with work life.

2) I am busy with home life.

3) I CAN’T THINK!

Strategy?

When you own a business or have a demanding job, it is easy to get trapped in the major task that must get done- NOW.  Then the next day there are several more things that have to be done – NOW.  Then months of things having to be done NOW.   In the meantime, family, friends or unplanned disasters occur.

It is even easier to get trapped in thinking about bailing out the boat as opposed to the best way how to bail a boat.  Sure you may have a dixie cup handy, but perhaps if you can take a minute, you may look up and see a big bucket that is within reach that really gets the job done.  The challenge is  being willing to “look up” and see something outside your peripheral vision that makes the difference between bare survival and success. Winning!

Seth Godin and Chris Brogan

Seth Godin is a famous guy with cool glasses that I listen to and read a lot. Same with Chris Brogan. (Chris doesn’t wear the Godin glasses but he is very cool.)  And each have an amazing gift in seeing things from the 20,000 foot view.  And not only do they see it, they can talk about it in a way that I can relate to-even if it takes a while.  And for me, it has, you know why?

Because I am busy bailing out the boat with a dixie cup!

Seth talks about” Tribes.”  Chris talks about “Community.”  Even before I realized how disconnected to our “Communities or Tribes, ” all this free media available to us, is making us.

10 Years Ago

There was no Facebook for Business, no Pinterest, no Twitter, websites were mostly brochure style and few blogs.  As businesses we were not competing for all the places people were hanging out online, because they weren’t mostly, Netflix and YouTube were fledglings. What hasn’t changed is people have the same 24 hours then that they have today. And they didn’t have smartphones!

Then using traditional methods was OK.  We still reached people using print, tv, radio.  Since then,  we got access, free access to all these media opportunities, kind of a “roll your own.”  And so did our customers and clients.  And in the meantime, we had to learn how to use all this free media.

Did We Get Lost?

In this struggle to learn technology and multiple platforms, while trying to run our businesses, did we lose focus on what we were ultimately trying to do?  Find and communicate with our customer?  Our existing customer, the new one? Where did they go?  Or better yet, where did WE go?

 

Survival Instinct, Communication, Social Media and The Trust Factor

April 9th, 2014

WOW what a mouthful that title is, huh?  Certainly either I lost you with it or I have you wanting more.

When beings are in survival mode certain chemicals are released. It results in certain ways of thinking and actions. The “fight or flight” instinct. The more threatened something feels, the more defensive it gets and of course the more ugly it can get.  If it is you, you are fighting for your life.  Thank Goodness, most of the time we aren’t actually fighting for our lives but certain chemicals are released even when we feel angry or stressed that result in the release of these chemicals in our bodies and brains.  OK enough about physiology…

Jason Falls

A few years ago,  I attended an event where the writer, speaker, trainer,  Jason Falls spoke where he talked about his recent book, “No BullSH*T Social Media   as well as many other amusing and helpful things.  I loved his delivery, I loved his no nonsense style and many parts of what his message was about, still resonate with me.  None more than his segment about, “We cannot lie anymore.  We can’t lie because we will get caught.”  There was much more to this message so taking two sentences is hardly fair, but it is true.  With so many platforms to use and so many of them integrated as well as GPS and cameras everywhere, it is difficult to say we are doing something or are somewhere if we aren’t. Or ARE when we shouldn’t be!

It All Boils Down to “Trust”

At least in my opinion.  For example, if you get a text from someone you really love and think they are funny, if autocorrect interferes or the length of the text is chopped off, you probably give your friend the benefit of the doubt or laugh it off and maybe tease them about it.

On the other hand, someone you may be angry at or have had a disagreement, or just don’t like in general,  posts something on your Facebook wall, how do you take it?  Chances ar,e if you have an element of mistrust or anger with that person, even if they post something that seems completely benign, you may interpret it as negative.  Are they are trying to make up to you in a cowardly way by posting on your wall something nice instead of calling you and flat out apologizing and admitting they were wrong?  Or you see or hear half a story and  you find you fill in the blanks?

What You See Is What You Get  (WYSIWYG)

It is hard for some people to take things at face value without mixing a bunch of emotional baggage in with it.  But social media and anything that is less than “Face to Face” adds an element of doubt to any situation under the best circumstances.  The least number of senses involved in communication allows for the mind to get suspicious if the”wheels are turning” to begin with.

John Wayne

A famous quote by John Wayne is “Shoot First and Ask Questions Later.”  But don’t, step back, take a breath and consider the fact that there is information missing and perhaps a little time will save a lot of trouble.