Vendor-Tech

Operational Excellence with Technology

60 Tech Tips for Maryland Court Reporters Association

00111100 tips in 0x00A4CB80 msec
(English translation: 60 tips in 90 minutes)

1. Backup up your computer!

Backup Now (http://www.cmsproducts.com/)

Acronis True Image (http://www.acronis.com/)

2. CEO Express, dashboard of a lot of business resources

http://www.ceoexpress.com/default.asp

3. RSS Feeds

Google Reader: http://www.google.com/reader (or Outlook)

Interesting RSS Feeds: http://feeds.engadget.com/weblogsinc/engadget, http://feeds.feedburner.com/Techcrunch, http://lifehacker.com/vip.xml, http://feeds.feedburner.com/Makeuseof, http://feeds.killeraces.com/wisebread, http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/usatoday-TechTopStories, http://feeds.feedburner.com/laptopmag, http://feeds.harvardbusiness.org/harvardbusiness/
(don't click on these links, right click, copy link address, and paste into your RSS reader Add Feed)

Travel Hacking

4. Organizing your trip plans and details

http://www.tripit.com

5. Kayak (multi-site travel search engine)

http://www.kayak.com

6. ITA Software (booking engine for Orbitz, good for finding fare options, can’t book a ticket)

http://beta.itasoftware.com

Since Google bought ITA it has been integrating their technology  http://google.com/flights

7. Find the best seat on any commercial airplane

http://www.seatguru.com

8. Actual available seats on flights

http://kvstool.com

9. Hotwire/Priceline (inexpensive hotel rooms)

http://www.biddingfortravel.com (forum of winning bids, so you don’t bid too much)

http://www.betterbidding.com/ (another forum)

http://www.biddingtraveler.com (automated bidding for hotels)

10. Renting a Car

http://www.carrentals.com

http://www.kayak.com

http://www.travelocity.com

book "early," then recheck the week of the rental

11. FlyerTalk, great resource for “working the system” for any airline, hotel, etc.

http://www.flyertalk.com

Randy Peterson, the founder of FlyerTalk, has a "new" site http://milepoint.com/

  • Yapta (tracks your fares, alerts you if they go down, great idea more/less killed by changes in airline rules, but made valuable again now that they track hotel room rates)

http://www.yapta.com

Meeting/working Without Travel

12. Set-A-Meeting, lets you set up a meeting finding a date and time that works for the most people

http://www.setameeting.com

http://www.whenisgood.net/

http://www.diarised.com/

13. Free conference call service

http://www.freeconferencecall.com

14. Free or inexpensive web presentation and desktop sharing system

http://www.vyew.com

http://www.mikogo.com/en/

https://join.me/

http://www.freescreensharing.com/

  • Collaboration software like Groove but open source (aka free)

http://www.collanos.com/

  • Wiki, build a knowledge base for each factory, each person adds/updates

http://www.wikipedia.org/, great source of info on anything

http://www.wikidot.com/ build your own wiki instantly

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software, comparison of wiki software

15. Listserv (email lists that redistribute to a group)

Google groups (http://groups.google.com/)

Yahoo! groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/)

Mailman listserv built into most web hosts

16. Online document creation/collaboration

Zoho,lots of applications including CRM, (http://www.zoho.com/)

Google Documents (http://docs.google.com/)

  • YouTube for PowerPoints

http://www.slideshare.net

If You Travel

17. Thin and Light Notebooks

MacBook Air: http://www.apple.com/macbookair/

ASUS U31/U36 http://www.go-asus.com/style/?gclid=CKDlvIbYlasCFQIEQAodmC7GuA

Acer Timeline http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/aspiretimelinex

Ultrabooks: Coming soon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultrabook

18. Tablet Computers

iPad 2: http://www.apple.com/ipad/

Android: http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxytab/10.1/index.html or

Kindle Fire:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083Q04IQ

Google Nexus 7:  https://play.google.com/store/devices/details?id=nexus_7_8gb

Tablet/smartphone screens break, you can get a warranty that includes accidental damage from Square Trade http://squaretrade.extole.com/a/clk/1QcQS (using this link gets a $10 discount)

19. Access your files/computer(s) remotely

https://devices.live.com/ (part of Microsoft Live http://explore.live.com/)

https://secure.logmein.com/

20. Virtual Private Network, full access to your network, open source (again free)

http://hamachi.en.softonic.com/

21. International Telecommunications

CDMA (Sprint/Verizon) doesn’t roam well, GSM (AT&T/T-Mobile) does

Watch out for international roaming charges!

Use “local” pre-paid SIM cards (coupled with Google Voice using http://www.localphone.com)

Use Skype (http://www.skype.com) to make calls back to the US.

22. Flash drives for backups and moving documents

8-16 GB drives for under $10 on sale

Portable Apps, carry Open Office, Thunderbird, Firefox on a flash drive

http://portableapps.com/

23. Universal power brick, works on AC, car or airplane, interchangeable tips for different devices

http://www.igo.com/

http://www.targus.com/us/powerstore.asp

http://us.kensington.com/html/11168.html

Label your power bricks (return address and what device they are for)

24. Portable printer

HP Officejet 100 (http://www.hp.com)

Canon i90 (http://www.usa.canon.com)

25. Portable scanner

Plustek OptiSlim M12 (http://www.plustek.com/product/m12.asp)

Fujitsu S300 duplex scanner (http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/peripherals/scanners/scansnap/s300.html)

26. 240,790 pages of scanned documents on a pocket sized hard disk

also use the same hard drive to back up your computer

Western Digital Passport (http://www.wdc.com/en/), frequently on sale

Seagate FreeAgent Go (http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/external/freeagent/freeagent_go/), has an USB docking station

  • Keep track of your expenses while traveling

Neat Receipts (http://www.neatreceipts.com/), includes M12 scanner

  • MapPoint (UPS saves 3 million gal gas a year routing for minimum left turns)

optimize your travel between customers

organize territories

http://www.microsoft.com/mappoint/default.mspx

  • GPS, why get lost again?

portable GPS less than $50, http://www.geeks.com/products.asp?cat=GPS

27. Is it time to back up your computer? -- Online backup

http://www.mozy.com, $5.99 per month

http://www.carbonite.com/en/, $299 per year unlimited computers

28. Cloud storage

http://skydrive.live.com/, 25 GB free (limit on download)

https://www.dropbox.com/, 2 GB free

http://www.pogoplug.com, hardware to create own cloud storage

Shopping

29. “Deal” websites

http://www.spoofee.com, http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals (short term sales)

http://www.nextag.com, http://www.pricegrabber.com (price comparison sites)

http://www.google.com/products (used to be called froogle)

http://www.meritline.com, http://www.dealextreme.com (Chinese sourcing good for accessories)

30. Refill ink cartridges, use generic ink cartridges, or recycle empties (Staples, Office Depot offer rebates for empties)

31. Recycle old equipment

http://www.myboneyard.com

http://www.gcycle.org

http://www.labdoo.org Takes older laptops, refurbishes them, recycles to schools, NGOs

Optimize Your Computer

32. Speed up your computer with more memory

4 GB desktop or notebook memory is about $29.95 on sale (check Spoofee)

33. Clean up your machine

defragment (right click drive on My Computer, select properties, then tools)

uninstall programs you no longer need

what’s on your computer? http://www.pxserver.com/winaudit.htm

34. Remove the plaque

System Mechanic (http://www.iolo.com/)

clean registry, free utility at http://www.ccleaner.com

don’t load extraneous program, (Start > Run > msconfig)

35. Remove malware

Ad-aware (http://www.lavasoftusa.com/)

Microsoft Defender (http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx)

Microsoft Security Essentials (http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/)

Alternative Data Input

36. QR Codes

http://qrals.com/

or Google “QR Code Generator”

Windows PC QR Code Reader (http://www.dansl.net/blog/?p=256)

37. On-line forms

Google forms: www.google.com/google-d-s/forms/

Embedded forms on your own website

38. SMS - Text Messaging

http://www.clickatell.com/

Toys or Tools

  • Business card reader/scanner, get those cards into your contact manager

Dymo CardScan, http://sites.dymo.com/Solutions/Pages/Seg_cat_lndg.aspx?cat=CardScanCMS(DYMO)&locale=enUS

39. Digital Pen for converting notes into images/text

http://www.iogear.com/product/GPEN200N/

40. eBook reader (documents without booting up the computer)

Amazon Kindle (http://www.amazon.com)

Barnes and Noble Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/index.asp)

Sony PRS-500 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Reader)

Conversion software to create eBook formats (http://calibre-ebook.com/)

41. Pocket digital recorder, 6 to 60 hours of recording plugs in like USB drive (ideas, meetings)

Olympus (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_vr_digitalrecorders.asp)

Samson Zoom H2, (http://www.samsontech.com/products/productpage.cfm?prodID=1916)

  • Digital camera, carry one with you all the time

Casio S200 (http://exilim.casio.com/digital_cameras/Compact_Digital_Cameras/EX-S200), about ½" thick

Nikon S80 (http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Compact-Digital-Cameras/26231/COOLPIX-S80.html)

42. Digital camera as a "scanner"

6 megapixel camera = 250 dpi

10 megapixel camera = 300 dpi

Productivity

43. Keyboard shortcuts

copy, cut and paste (ctrl-C, ctrl-X, ctrl-V)

select all (ctrl-A)

bold, underline (ctrl-B, ctrl-U)

44. Organized filing

folders for each factory

folders for each customer

Google Desktop Search (http://desktop.google.com/)

Microsoft Desktop Search (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/default.mspx)

45. Keep your inbox clear, read it, reply, file or delete. Handle it once.

46. Organized emails

same as organized filing, but only as many folders as can display at once

47. Outlook junk mail filter, sort Junk E-mail folder by "to", makes scanning for valid emails easier

many web hosts have "boxtrapper" option, challenges new senders to hit reply

Google Apps (Gmail) has really good spam filtering, works with Outlook

48. Exchange alternatives

Office 365 (hosted exchange): http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/online-software.aspx

Google Apps: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html

  • Voting in Outlook

In the message, click Options.

Select the Use voting buttons check box, and then click the voting button names you want to use in the box.

To create your own voting button names, delete the default button names, and then type any text you want. Separate the button names with semicolons

Under Delivery options, select the Save sent message to check box. To select a folder other than the Sent Items folder, click Browse.

Click Close, and then click Send.

Communicating

49. Wireless Broadband, DSL speeds over cell phone network --Mobile Hotspots

Virgin Mobile: http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband/mifi-2200.html

Sprint: http://ria.sprint.com/ria/pages/index.jsp?ms=4G&INTNAV=ATG:HE:4G#!/devices/mifi

AT&T:  http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-details/?q_sku=sku5320262#fbid=yON_ufh_l1K

  • FON (wireless access worldwide in return for sharing your internet)

http://www.fon.com/en/

  • Extend a wireless network in your building/neighborhood look at Meraki mesh networking

http://www.meraki.com

50. Skype, free/low cost international calls, video conferencing

http://www.skype.com/

51. VoIP, unlimited calls to US/Canada (and often Europe and Asia) for fixed price

Vonage is largest, http://www.vonage.com

Ooma, http://www.ooma.com/, buy hardware, service is free (US unlimited)

other options, http://www.geekbooks.com/VOIP-comparison.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_VoIP_software

52. Have your voice mails turned into emails/text messages

http://phonetag.com/

54. Google Voice, https://www.google.com/voice

Ring on multiple phones, voice mail transcription, spam filtering, call blocking

To port an existing phone number, it must be from a cell phone

55. eFax free version (receive faxes via email, 10 pages per month limit for free)

https://www.efax.com/en/efax/twa/signupFree?rqcp=1

Marketing

  • LinkedIn, Facebook,

http://www.linkedin.com

http://www.facebook.com

http://www.plaxo.com

http://knowem.com/

  • On-line surveys

http://www.surveymonkey.com

http://zoomerang.com/

http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=87809

55. Bulk Email services/software

Emma email service (http://www.myemma.com/)

GroupMail (http://www.infacta.com)

  • Blogging, on-line newsletter, Web 2.0 advertising

http://www.blogger.com, Google free service

http://www.typepad.com/

http://wordpress.com/

http://twitter.com

56. Podcasting, audio product training opportunity

http://www.podshowcreator.com/why.shtml

57. Video, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth a million

product demos, training, video podcasting, troubleshooting

capture from video camera, video camera to media (e.g. JVC or Aiptek, http://www.aiptek.com/) or use video mode on your digital camera (Casio will store 1 hour of 640 x 480 video on a 1 GB SD)

edit with Movie Maker (part of Windows XP), Studio (http://www.pinnaclesys.com), automatically with muvee (http://www.muvee.com)

58. Vistaprint, free or low cost 4 color printing

order their free business cards (their logo on back), they start sending emails with all sorts of free offers (including free "premium" business cards [no logo] and postcards)

http://www.vistaprint.com/

 59. Send a "handwritten" note (or have the office do it)

handwriting font service (http://vletter.com/)

easy to use font creation software (http://www.high-logic.com/scanahand.html)

free on-line font creation (http://www.fontcapture.com/)

  • Contact Management

Outlook as minimum (contacts, calendar, to do)

Zoho CRM, 3 users free, http://crm.zoho.com/crm/login.sas

SalesForce.com, http://www.salesforce.com/

Act, http://www.act.com/

Goldmine, http://www.goldmine.com

Maximizer, http://www.maximizer.com/

60.  Contact Information

Xobni: http://www.xobni.com/

Plaxo: http://www.plaxo.com/

Nimble: http://www.nimble.com/

Write That Name: http://bit.ly/ILXKRQ Extracts contact info from email signatures

61.  Dual WAN Routers - connect via cable and DSL, load balancing and connection redundancy

         http://www.zyxel.com/us/en/products_services/zywall_usg_200_100_50_20w_20.shtml?t=p

         http://www.syswan.com/SW24_Overview.htm

62.  Do you have a disaster plan?

Office Depot's Expecting the Unexpected: Disaster Preparedness Strategies for Small Businesses, 71% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan and 64% of small businesses do not think they need a plan. Almost two-thirds of the respondents (63%) are confident they can resume operations within 72 hours of a natural disaster which is a false assumption (ask Gulf Coast businesses if that is true). The Office Depot brochure states that one of four small businesses will experience a significant crisis in any year.

Cheap Field Computers

63. Low Cost NetBooks

http://www.acer.com/aspireone/

http://eeepc.asus.com/global/

http://products.liliputing.com/

64. Free Software Alternatives

Microsoft Office: Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ or LibreOffice http://www.libreoffice.org/

Adobe Acrobat: http://www.cutepdf.com/, free or $49, or http://www.bullzip.com/, free

 


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