ORGANIZATION TIP: Where Do You Keep Your Software Activation Codes?

Being able to find something the instant you need it is important!

organize activation codeI have an Outlook contact for each app installed on my laptop. When I received the post-purchase confirmation email, I copy/pasted the codes and other information into the notes area. When I need a code (like recently after installing a new hard drive on my laptop), a quick search in Outlook, copy, paste. Done.

No need to find a document and look for the code. Finding something in Outlook is so much quicker, especially since it’s always open.

This is especially important now since we rarely get the actual software DVDs. Back then, I’d write the code directly on the disk with a sharpie (and still created the Outlook contact).

How do you keep up with your codes? Let us know in a comment.

PEACE.

Using a Tripod with my iPad to Save My Neck

I’ve recently started using a tripod with my iPad, and wish I’d done it sooner. My neck feels so much better as I’m no longer bending it over the iPad for hours.

Using tripod with iPadHere, I’m using it at the dining room table. The tripod allows me to adjust the height and alignment to fit any situation, including when I stand to work. The Bluetooth keyboard gives me the option of typing when tapping won’t do.

Here are Amazon links to what I’m using.

  • Quality tripod. You could use a more lightweight unit than this one, especially if you’re not using it for anything heavier. I travel with my tripod and didn’t want to take a chance of it tipping over.
  • Tripod mount for the iPad. Slip the iPad into this unit so it screws into the tripod. Be sure to get one to fit your model.
  • Desk clamp tripod (optional). I use this unit when I’m recording videos at my desk. It saves on floor space because I don’t have to accommodate the wide legs of a typical tripod.
  • Bluetooth keyboard. (This link is to my next keyboard that has a mousepad. Otherwise, it’s very similar to the one I currently have.)

I know I’ve already done a lot of arthritic damage to my neck over the years, but this is definitely making a difference. Just wish I’d thought of it earlier.

Have you set up something similar? Leave your ideas in comments.

PEACE.

 

Equipment to Use to Record Videos Using Your iPhone or iPad

ipad-training-ad-bluenoregister-highres-peggy-duncan02I’ve been recording and editing how-to videos for years. I’ll use either my iPhone, iPad, or a Logitech Webcam.

Here is a suggested list of what you could use to get started. These links are either Amazon or to a post right here on my blog, and I use everything listed.

iRig mic is made for iPhone/iPad and plugs into headphone jack
This microphone is designed specifically for the iPhone and iPad. I’ve been very satisfied with the quality.

Order the windscreen that you’ll see with it. This helps to reduce wind interference when you say words beginning with “p”, for example.

Logo Mic Flag. In the photo above, you’ll notice the mic flag around my iRig. Don’t miss the opportunity to promote your brand while all eyes are on you. I created my own labels using Avery labels. I might at some point get this done professionally.

Bluetooth Headset. I use this headset so I can hear while the microphone is plugged into the headphone jack.

Microphone arm. You’ll need something to hold the mic. I’m currently using this space- saving mount so I no longer need a floor tripod.

Desktop Tripod for the iPhone or iPad. You’ll also need a tripod mount to hold the iPhone.

If you ever decide to use the iPad, you could do that too, but you’ll need a unit to slip the iPad into so it’ll attach to this mount. I have the iPad 4 and use this tripod mount.

Movo Lavalier Microphone. Depending on your video setup, you might also need a lavalier mic that will clip to your clothing. I purchased this one, but have only used it a couple of times during a speech.

Bluetooth wireless remote. This Bluetooth wireless remote will start and stop the video app without your having to tap your device. You’ll have to use Bluetooth as opposed to a selfie wire that plugs into the headphone jack (because the microphone will be there).

If you have a multimedia remote for doing PowerPoint presentations, check to see if it has multimedia capability. I have this Satechi remote, and can also use it to operate the camera/video function on my iPad and iPhone remotely.

Logitech Webcam. If you choose to use a Webcam instead of an iPhone, iPad, etc., you’re going to look better a high resolution Webcam as opposed to the one installed on your computer. I have this Webcam from Logitech.

Green Screen and Studio Lights. Are you considering taking things up a notch with Chroma Key (changing the video background with high resolution images or video), you’ll need more equipment: a green (or other color) screen and the right lighting. If the lighting is not right, the Chroma Key won’t work. There are tons of YouTube videos on how to Chroma Key, and I won’t get into that here, but here are links to my purchases.

Full lighting kit with screens. Lots of choices so shop around.

Portable green/blue screen for smaller space that I’m in now. It’s green on one side, blue on the other. I also have a clip stand for this to hold it up.

As with everything you do, having the right equipment will make the job easier. Look your best and you’ll do your best.

PEACE.

 

Here’s What’s In My Gym Backpack – Get Organized And Stay Ready to Go

Backpack for exercising and carrying to gymI like systems, especially when it’s something I’ll do more than three times. And I always want to be organized. When I started walking in the neighborhood and going to the gym, I discovered the things I needed with me at all times.

I keep my backpack ready to go. Except as noted, these items stay packed.

  • My ID. There is a special inside pocket for my ID (driver license, healthcare cards, credit cards). I put it back in my purse at home.
  • Extra car key on ring with key card. I have to turn in a car key when getting the key to the treadmill. To avoid giving them all my keys, I keep an extra car key on a separate ring. It made sense to put the center’s key card on this ring.
  • Tube of skin protection. I rub this on before I leave home and throughout the day.
  • Sunglasses. I keep an extra, miscellaneous pair.
  • Small towel. That treadmill makes me sweat. I take it out for cleaning after each use.
  • Car charger for iPhone. I listen to music while working out, and my Steps app that tracks my calories sucks the battery life). When I’m on my way back home, I need this. This is an extra one that stays in the bag.
  • Bluetooth headset for iPhone. I can listen to music without getting tangled in wires. Here’s an article I wrote about this headset…love this thing. I remove it when I’m back home.
  • Armband that holds iPhone. Actually, I wear this around the house too. My Steps app that I mentioned above only works if my iPhone is on me.
  • Ink pens, notepad, business cards. Always ready to network.
  • Pack of Lysol wipes. Always with me for disinfecting anything I touch that’s someone else has used.
  • Arm band. This verifies I’ve been trained on the fitness equipment at my center.
  • Igloo cooler left in the car. I keep one bottle of water in the backpack. When I get back out to my car, I want cold water. I bought this small cooler and load it with a couple of bottles from the freezer before I head out.

What do you carry with you? Leave a comment.

PEACE.

 

Self Portrait (Selfies) Button for the iPhone – Dollar Tree

Selfie button for the iPhone at Dollar TreeI picked this selfie button up at Dollar Tree yesterday. It works with my iPhone and iPad, and is so simple. Just plug it into the headphone jack, pose, click the button for a photo or video.

No more trying to hold the device and push the camera button simultaneously. It works right out of the package, and also has a clip for clothing.

I don’t take a lot of selfies, but for $1.00, I snapped it up. Also works with Android.

Note: I ordered an inexpensive selfie button that’s Bluetooth on eBay. I’ll let you know if it works. It’ll come in handy when I’m using a microphone plugged into the headphone jack.

PEACE.

 

Find the Right Laptop Part by Knowing Your Exact Model

The battery on my laptop has been malfunctioning for a couple of years, and now it’s completely gone. Before I ordered a new one, I wanted to be sure to order the right one the first time.

HP Laptop Battery eBayI found this link on the HP Support Website, and was one click away from getting the information I needed. The site identified my laptop, and listed all the information I wanted.

HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx Entertainment Notebook PC

I knew I had the HP Pavilion Entertainment Laptop Dv7, but I needed that “6b55dx” portion.

I went to ebay.com and searched “HP laptop battery Dv7-6b55dx,” and found several vendors selling brand new batteries for my 3.5-year-old laptop. Done.

PEACE.

 

The Letters on My Laptop Keyboard Faded. Fixed It With This.

I must not be the only one whose letters had faded off the keyboard because I found this very inexpensive solution: Keyboard letters.

faded letters on keyboard fixed with sticky lettersI ordered a pack of sticky letters from Amazon and very carefully adhered them to each key. Done. My laptop looks new.

Instead of buying a new keyboard for my laptop and shipping it to HP or leaving it somewhere for the installation, I spent less than $5.00 and fixed it myself.

PEACE.

 

Now Is a Good Time to Get New Surge Protectors. They Don’t Last Forever

surge protectorI recently purchased an all digital washing machine. Before it was delivered, I bought a surge protector to use with it.

I refreshed my knowledge of surge protectors and discovered that surge protectors do not last forever. Who knew? Every time it takes a hit, it loses juice and its effectiveness. And it’s important to note that the indicator light on it is no guarantee that it’s still doing its job.

I’ve replaced all the surge protectors in my home. Everything electrical is plugged into one, including kitchen appliances. Here are links to the ones I chose.

Learn more about surge protection. Here’s an article with more details. And here’s another good one.

One last thing: I unplug everything when I travel, during lightning storms, and when the power goes out while I’m home.

Don’t procrastinate and replace all your surge protectors today!

PEACE.

I Came Close to Getting a New iPhone. I Did This Instead

iPhone 4/4s CaseI had a momentary lapse of sanity and considered purchasing a new iPhone. By the time I’d get all the adapters, etc., that I needed and wanted, I’d be out of close to $1000.00. For a phone!
 
I decided to purchase this new case to upgrade how my iPhone 4 looks. Works for me. The case is good-looking, nice quality, and a perfect fit, all for $8. 
I’m not a big phone person and communicate mostly via email for business. And I spend way more time on my iPad. Going this route just made more sense to me.
PEACE.

Laptop Repair at the Microsoft Store – Who Knew?

iPad training with personal productivity expert, Peggy Duncan Duet DisplayFor weeks, I was frustrated every time I booted up my laptop and sat down to work. Something just wasn’t right. Then all kinds of weird error messages started to appear. I made an appointment at the Microsoft Store near my home, and I’m now back up and running.
All this time I thought Windows 10 was crap, and it turned out to be a failing hard drive. Amazed that it didn’t just fizz out completely.
 
The Microsoft Store will diagnose and repair your devices, including iPhone and iPad. I had no idea…they’ve always done a less than stellar job promoting what they do, including how powerful their software is.
 
I spent the evening reloading software and setting up my Outlook email accounts. One issue I had was QuickBooks Pro because I didn’t have a DVD. Fortunately, I’d ordered it from Amazon. They have a software store where you can re-download whatever you bought and also get the activation number.
I’m back in business and ready to go!
Note: I’m writing another post on what to do before and after your computer has been wiped clean and you have to start from scratch with new Windows.
PEACE.