How to Back Up Your Android Phone Apr08

How to Back Up Your Android Phone

When it comes to backing up our phones we tend to get lazy. In fact, I recently got really lazy. But we’ll come back to that.       We think, yeah yeah, I’ll do it soon… and then, something happens to you, to me, the phone suddenly disappears, and you swear that you had it in your coat pocket. All of a sudden, everything starts to get ugly. You start thinking: why didn’t I back it up? What will I do?! I had my contacts, photos, videos of laughing cats and super-important messages in there! And…it’s gone. It’s all gone…. But wait a second! Let’s not get too dramatic. As long as you have a Gmail account active on your phone, all the contact information and numbers will be the safe. Thank you, Google! Although, all your photos, videos, messages and app data won’t be there. That’s why we need additional tools to keep them in a safe place. Preferably the cloud. So before you do anything with your new smartphone, ALWAYS ALWAYS have a backup strategy in place, or you will regret it sooner or later. Like me.      Now, you know how important a backup is. So how do we do it? There are two kinds of back ups: local backups and cloud-based backups. Local backups save info in your phone itself (normally in the SD card) while cloud-based backups do their thing up in the cloud. I highly recommend cloud backups. The good thing about the cloud-based backup is it’s near immortality. Let’s say that you drop your phone into the sea while on a cruise (I’ve actually met someone who did that) or it got stolen. You made a local backup, but since it’s inside the phone, your wonderful backup will either...

Share files between Mac and Windows with exFAT Oct07

Share files between Mac and Windows with exFAT

Sharing your files between a Mac and Windows machine is not easy. In fact, just thinking about it gives me a headache. You can transfer a few photos or smaller files with a USB drive (usually formatted as FAT32). But if you want to have a shared hard drive to watch movies, a shared library with large amounts of data, a shared anything, FAT32 will definitely let you down. Why is that? One of the biggest limitations of FAT32 is that you can’t transfer files that are larger than 4GB (such as raw movie files). As a result of the format, if you want to transfer a larger file, you just can’t do it. Additionally, if you think you can format a hard drive in Windows as a FAT32 partition, the maximum size available will always be 32 GB. Thus where the 32 in FAT32 comes from. Which means you might end up making a hundred teeny partitions if you want to want to share any file that’s bigger. So what do you do? The answer is: exFAT. exFAT is a Microsoft proprietary file system that Windows and Mac can both read and write. It eliminates the 4GB limitation you have with FAT32, and with a maximum recommended capacity of 512 TB, you won’t have to worry about storage space anymore. Furthermore, it is extremely easy to format a hard drive using the Windows format tool.   How to:   In Windows 7, select your device (usually an external hard drive of some kind). Right click and select “Format…”, selecting exFAT from the file system drop-down menu. Click “Start”, wait until it does its thing, and you’re done!       Some words of caution, however. Nothing is perfect and exFAT is not perfect...

How to: Choose the Right SD Card Oct03

How to: Choose the Right SD Card

Dear App Store, I have a confession to make. You thought I’d be loyal to a few core apps, but in reality, I download and delete all the time. I’m curious. I want to explore all the options out there. It’s just, there’s never enough space in my phone’s memory. I even tried to get an SD card, but there are so many different types, it’s hard to know which one to buy… Until now. Confronted by the huge wall of SD cards at the store, or the ever expanding choices online? Here’s your SD card primer.     First, SD cards are divided by type, class, and storage capacity.   When do you need a regular SD card? The size of SD card you’ll need is generally indicated on the device. However, as a general rule, bigger devices use bigger cards. For example, both my Panasonic point-and-shoot camera and my spankin’ brand new Nikon DSLR use regular-size SD cards. Be aware, though, that your device (especially if it’s older) may not support SDHC or SDXC cards. It’ll say if it does, either in the instruction manual or on the side of the device. When do you need a mini SD card? I personally have never had a device that requires a mini SD card. However, some of the older cellphones out there accept them. When do you need a micro SD card? Now, this is what you came here for. Nearly all smartphones nowadays have a micro SD slot. There are, of course, some that don’t–Apple’s iPhone does not have an SD card slot, and neither does the HTC One–and some people argue that they aren’t even necessary. However, if you have anything lower than a high-end smartphone, it is quite possible that...

The benefits of “dreamlining” & why you should bother to do it Oct01

The benefits of “dreamlining” & why you should bother to do it...

As a natural goal-setter, I never realized that other human beings on the planet find it difficult to define, break down, and plan their own dreams for the future. I never thought about it until I came across the term “dreamlining” in a Tim Ferriss book. It’s a fancy term referring to exactly that: defining your dreams and breaking down the steps necessary for achievement within a certain time frame. That sounds perfectly legitimate, and perhaps you, another goal-setting master, find it silly. However, there is an important take-away for the digital procrastinators out there–you know, the one currently browsing through this post instead of doing any of the ten-thousand other things you should be doing. Like working. Or talking with your friends. Or even jogging around the park, where the fresh air will recharge your spirits and remind you of the greener side. The secret to achieving goals is simple: Break down your objectives into small, actionable to-do bullet points, and go after them, one by one.     In fact, social psychology experts have confirmed that people are constantly switching their attention and motivation from goal to goal. Thus any given goal pursuit will interfere with other possible goal achievement processes. The rate of goal accomplishment is routinely low, unless the motivations for such a pursuit are noticeably strong and explicit. That’s why many tips for completing goals recommend writing down your goal, sharing it with friends and family, etc. The point is to create strong motives for accomplishing it, as well as strong(ish) repercussions for not. Behavioral psychologists have created a helpful acronym, SMART, that both defines and guides for effective goal-setting habits.     In fact, the idea of dreamlining encapsulates this process perfectly. First, grab the worksheet and fill...

10 Smart Ways to Make Money Online

  Last time I wrote about whether or not an intensive workday is a possibility. In follow-up, let’s assume that you have mastered the art of productive batching and single-minded concentration. You are a well-oiled cog in the sea of fast-moving and disparate company body parts. However, you still earn a bum wage. Or you’re an underpaid intern who rallies to the idea of being a Millennial entrepreneur. Or you may even be on the lookout for an additional revenue stream to add to your ever-revolving portfolio. In any case, the fact remains that you want to take advantage of the great unknown and catch a piece of the internet pie for yourself. Many lists detail ideas on how to make money online. It’s a popular subject. So why rehash what has already been stabbed to death many times over? Because I’ve walked around the block hand-in-hand with these online lists. Some of the suggestions work; others belie the point of highly productive online work.     These are 10 SMART ways to make money online:   1. Start your own niche website You have the potential to start your own website for whatever reason. However, in this ever-expanding universe, it makes sense to focus on one particular subject. Transform yourself into that big fish in the small subsection of the pond. Besides, the more tightly-focused your website content, the more relevant the Google Adsense ads you’re going to put on it, and the more likely you’ll convince one of your readers to click on them.   2. Make your own themed Youtube videos Again, we return to the idea of revolving revenue from advertisements. This time, however, you’re not creating a full website from the ether but rather sharing your unique content on...

4 Tips to Rescue your tired eyes from the evil computer screen Sep01

4 Tips to Rescue your tired eyes from the evil computer screen

When you’ve been staring at your computer screen too long, do you experience occasional blurriness and eye strain? If so, you’ve probably experienced CVS, otherwise known as Computer Vision Syndrome. In fact, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (couldn’t they shorten it a little?), CVS affects 90% of all people who spend 3 or more hours in front of a screen. So what is CVS anyways? In reality, it’s not one but a whole bunch of problems that your eyes suffer when staring at a digital screen after a certain period of time. These include: headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, eye redness, fatigue, eye strain, dry eyes, double vision, vertigo/dizziness, and difficulty refocusing your eyes. Much of this is caused by the stress your eyes undergo from having to constantly refocus on the changing images on the screen. Blinking, flickering, reflections–all these movements require far more effort from your eye muscles than reading a physical book or people-watching in the street. But how can you save your eyes from your screen? Well, the obvious solution is to stop looking at your screen all the time. However, if you’re like most people, avoiding your computer on a regular basis would probably end up getting you fired or worse. So here are some helpful tips:   Change your environment Is there enough lighting where you usually use your computer? How about glare on your screen? Make sure that there is always plenty of light around you and that there is no glare on your screen. If you can’t find a corner in your room or office that doesn’t cause the light to reflect off your screen, you can always buy an anti-glare filter. Another option is to position yourself about 20 to...

What Makes You Unique…in 150 Characters or less? Aug28

What Makes You Unique…in 150 Characters or less?

Please raise your hand if you, like me, really dread seeing this question on your job application: “In 150 characters or fewer, tell us what makes you unique. Try to be creative and say something that will catch our eye!” Do you answer in a fun, creative way or go for a concise professional summary? It says to be creative. But I know you’re thinking…what do the recruiters really want to see? I tried to find a good how-to guide when I encountered this 150-character question on the Resumator and Jobvite applications I was sending. And certainly, there are a number of not-so-helpful guides like this one, this one, and possibly this one. To save you time, let me say that I found them pretty useless when it came time to actually write my answer. First, they recommend stunning your audience with a witty and colorful comment. But then they tell how to formulate a 150-character that is professional and very, very boring. So how do you find a good balance between informative and creative? If you follow the formulas recommended in the guides above, your sentence comes out plain and to the point. Which makes you sound like a dried ol’ fart if you write it semi-truthfully… 5-yr assistant brand manager who makes YouTube videos doubles sales through rich media ads Recent business school grad who plays in a jazz quartet knows SAS, SQL, and excels at market analysis …or does it? In actuality, if you have a cool and relevant hobby, you might not need any help in this area. But if you’re normal (or feel like your brain cells have exploded after tweaking your resume too many times), there are ways to improve your “unique” statement.     How to Answer...

Sending an engaging Job Application Email Jul01

Sending an engaging Job Application Email

Let’s say you have the perfect CV and cover letter. And then you go ahead and send it to a recruiter or a HR email, hoping to get a job in the company you wanted. You might be the best candidate for the position they are looking for, but unfortunately your job application email will only show up as a name and subject in a long list of lots and lots of other emails. So how do you stand out from the crowd? To stand out from the other contenders, you have to show you’re special from the outset–and it’s all in the subject line.     These are our tips to writing an eye-catching one-liner:   Write your name (yes!): Make it so that your name is visible as soon as they receive it. It is also makes it easier for recruiters to search for your email afterwards. Don’t write something like: “Job Application” or ”Applying for…”   Capitalize some of the words: Make your subject line more visually pleasing. Capitalize the beginning of each word, except for prepositions. All the examples below are written in that format.   Keep it simple: Say with as few words as possible why you are special. It could be experience or education (or any other thing, really) that will make a recruiter open your email: “Rafa Collis, 10 Years of Experience in Online Marketing” or “John Doe, MBA, Senior Financial Analyst”   Make it easier (for the recruiters): If you are applying to something specific add a reference or the position that you are applying for. The easier you make it for recruiters to find you, the easier it will be for you to be hired: “Rafa Collis, MBA, Applying for Social Media Manager”   Get...

The Beginner’s Guide to Personal Branding Jun10

The Beginner’s Guide to Personal Branding

In business school, they talk about personal branding. A lot.In fact, all my professors mentioned it so often that I came away from class thinking the concept was overhyped and somewhat useless. A personal brand, I would scoff, isn’t necessary. My experience and general awesomeness speak for itself. That is, until it doesn’t. Perhaps if you’re a networking genius, C-level exec with a sterling record at the world’s highest grossing companies, personal branding isn’t an issue. But I found out the hard way: when competing with those millions of other job-seekers on online job boards and you’re just an average Joe (or Jane), your marketable presence makes all the difference.     Personal branding is a necessary evil. Or, if you think about those HR reps, a personal brand makes their job a hell of a whole lot easier. What does a brand do? It makes consumer choice more convenient—think about the last time you walked down the cereal aisle at the supermarket, did you reach for a fave brand or stand and antagonize over every colorful box? Brands create a sense of belonging; they evoke experiential and aspirational emotions. You end up loving your brands, and your brands (should) end up loving you, too. And what do you want to convey to a company, client, or investor? The exact same impression.     So how do you go about building a personal brand when you have no idea where to start?   Begin with a personal roadmap strategy: Figure out who you are today. What skills and experiences do you have that make you who you are? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Think long and hard about where you want to go. In reality, this means defining what your goals and objectives...

How to make your CV stand out (Visually) Jun07

How to make your CV stand out (Visually)

How long has it been since you last checked your CV? Months? Years? Almost all of us need a CV (at some point in time), so do you think that yours will really stand out from a crowd of 1,000 other resumes? Of course, if you have the perfect CV, the “appropriate amount” of work experience and graduated from an Ivy League school you might not need to make your CV extremely nice looking. But for the rest of the people world, having a nice, sharp resume will distinguish you from the crowd of other people with the same experience. Here are some examples of a standard, average-Joe CV: The best word for these resumes? BORING. Here are some resumes from cvparade.com:   Can you tell the difference? Let me tell you how to make CVs like these on your own computer. Just a word before I start, though. Not everyone needs a colorful, extremely creative CV. If you are a physician or you have a business background, you should focus on a clean design without any extra frills—focus on conveying respectability and modernity with clear lines and organization. On the other hand, are you a graphic designer? If you are, know that those employers are expecting that your CV looks creative (think of it as a preview sample of your work) and basically you should show off your designing skills. Now, if you are adventurous enough to design your own CV, I recommend Adobe InDesign. InDesign is a publishing application used to create everything from posters to magazine articles. It is pretty simple to use, and it lets you create different boxes with text that you can arrange freely around a document (as if you were a magazine editor). I found a pretty...

How To: Turn Your Smartphone into a Dash Cam Jan21

How To: Turn Your Smartphone into a Dash Cam

In our previous article we talked about why you should get a dash cam. For those who wonder “why spend money on a dash cam?!”, this tutorial will guide you in taking advantage of your smartphone camera. If you already carry a smartphone around with you all the time, why not maximize its uses?   Step 1 Obviously, you need to have a smartphone. Since the devil’s in the details, we recommend that you have a decent enough camera to be able to record all the fine details. In this example, I’ll be using an HTC One (my favorite phone at the moment). If you’re unsure whether your camera is good enough or not, ask a friend to drive while you record with your cam.   Step 2 In order to secure your smartphone inside your car, you need a car stand. I’m using the iMagnet in this step, and I highly recommend it (check out our review too). If, however, you don’t like magnets for whatever reason, the RAM Mount will work as well. Take a look at your camera screen and make sure that you positioned it well.   Step 3 Good hardware requires even better software. For my Android phone, the best app that I found is called DailyRoads Voyager. It works great and it’s really easy to use. On top of that, you can leave it in the background and forget that it’s recording for you. Get it for free in Google Play. If you are an IPhone user, I recommend Car Camera DVR. It pretty much does the same thing as DailyRoads and it costs $3.99 in the . Aaaand you are done! If you have any questions, let us know in the comments...