Sunday, September 12, 2010

Must Have App - Goodreader

If you intend on using your IPad for work then the first app you should purchase is Goodreader.  One of the best features of Goodreader (beside its price of 99 cents) is the ability to consolidate and organize your files into file folders.  I store all my files in Goodreader and if I want to work on them I click on manage files, select the file I want to use and then click the Open In button.  From here I can select the app I want to use.

For example, let's say a co-worker has sent you an Excel file via an e-mail you've received on your IPad.  When you click on the file you'll be able to view it in mail.  From here select the Open In button and select Goodreader.  The file will be copied to Goodreader.  In Goodreader, you can now store the file in any of the folders you have set up and even open it in Numbers or another spreadsheet app to edit it.  One thing Goodreader does not do is store the changes you have made to the spreadsheet in the spreadsheet app.  If you want to save the edited version of the spreadsheet in Goodreader you need to move the edited file to Goodreader.

Other great features in Goodreader:
  • Goodreader can view PDF documents, Word and Excel files, Powerpoint and many other types of files.
  • Goodreader can be connected to a wifi network so you can transfer files between devices.
  • Preview files before opening them.
  • E-mail files to others from the Goodreader program.
  • Goodreader can connect to Google Docs, Mobile Me, Drop Box and other servers.  You can tell it to remember your login credentials or for added security, ask for them at login.
  • Goodreader can password protect folders which contain sensitive information like Human Resource records.
  • Integration with Appigo ToDo (another terrific productivity app).  You can either link a document to a task in your to do list or create a new task straight from a document in Goodreader.
  • Search for files by favorites (noted with a star), by date and by name.
  • Browse the web and download files from a web link to open or save in Goodreader.
So if you want to use your IPad for work, Goodreader is a must have app.  It is the best 99 cents you'll ever spend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

IPad - Better Than Sliced Bread

I have an IPad and I love using it. I am using it to write this blog post. I use it for entertainment (reading books, games and surfing the web), but I also use it for work. The IPad is a great productivity tool. I find the size of the IPad is perfect for work since it is light weight and similar to carrying a notepad, but larger than an IPhone or Blackberry making it easier to read document attachments in e-mail. I also find it useful for organizing reference material which I previously carried around in paper folders and 3 ring binders. I am going to make an effort to post more often in the future (okay, realistically probably about once a week) and plan to provide tips to help new users get the most out of their IPad. Please check back periodically!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Book Review - A Legend in Time

Confession number one - I may not be the best person to evaluate literary talent since I read more blogs than books. I probably have undiagnosed ADD as it is difficult for me to find books that will hold my attention.

Confession number two - Jon Westbrook is a good buddy of mine.

When Jon told me he had published his first book A Legend in Time, I purchased it because I wanted to support my friend. I didn't think I would ever actually read the book. When the book arrived, it sat on my desk for a couple of days until one beautiful Saturday. The family was enjoying the afternoon relaxing on the deck and I decided I would try the first chapter of my newly acquired novel. I did this with a bit of apprehension - What if I didn't like my friend's book? Fortunately this was not an issue since I couldn't put the book down. Someone who typically takes about a year to read a book finished it in only a few days.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Legend in Time! How do you know if you will like it? If you've ever thought about time travel then this book is for you. If you enjoy historical fiction then this book is for you. And if you like a little romance this book is for you.

To learn more about A Legend in Time go to and click on Author. Give it a try!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Steelers Need To Learn To Close It Out

Is this a ploy by the Steelers to keep fans from leaving the stadium early? During the Steelers first 4 games, they have outscored opponents by 45 points during the first 3 quarters. During the 4th quarter they have been outscored by 38. Last night's game was a continuation of an already disturbing pattern. After dominating the Chargers during the first 3 quarters, the Steelers managed to turn it into a nail biter. If the Steelers don't figure out how to keep their head in the game for all 4 quarters, this could turn out to be a disappointing season.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Technology Can Reduce Clutter

If you have a computer and a scanner you have the necessary tools to help you reduce clutter. In our home I scan any paper we think we need to keep and store it on the computer. The idea is to use your computer like a filing cabinet. Here is how to get started:

Step 1 - Set up a storage place on you computer. Whether you have a Mac or Windows computer you can set up a folder where you will keep your scanned documents. I call the folder Documents. Underneath this main folder (think of it as the file cabinet) I create sub folders (file folders in the file cabinet) for each group of documents I will store. For example, you may want to create a sub folder called Taxes for documents you know you will need to prepare your tax return. The great thing about electronic folders is you can change the name, combine them or separate them later so don't be afraid to get started.

Step 2 - Don't be overwhelmed. At this point don't worry about the paper you already have. If you are afraid to start the new system because you don't know what to do with the piles of paper you already have you'll never get started. Get the new system started and commit to using it for all the paper you receive starting today.

Step 3 - Scan daily. When you get your mail each day open it that day. Sort the items you receive into 3 piles:

1 - Junk - Put this in the recycling bin right now!
2 - Shred - Throw out but shred first. This is for items like credit card offers etc.
3 - Scan.

Step 4 - Scan your documents. After you scan them, give them a name that makes sense to you so you can easily find them later. For example, Master_Card_Bill_July_2009. Put underscores instead of spaces between words (some computer programs don't like file names with spaces). A meaningful name will help you find this later because you can use the computer's search capabilities.

Step 5 - Put the document in your electronic file. Drag the item you scanned into the folder structure you set up in step 1. If you don't have a folder yet, create one.

Step 6 - Make sure you have backup. I have a Mac, so I use MobileMe. This is online storage provided by Apple. It costs $99 a year, but if my computer dies I know my data is safe. Mac also has its own backup system called Time Machine (free). You plug in a portable drive, set up Time Machine and the computer does the rest. Windows machines have similar ways to do back ups.

Step 7 - Put the items you scanned in the recycling bin or shred them once you have a copy on the computer.

Once you have this system set up for anything new you receive, you'll start to have the courage to clean up the older piles of paper you have hanging around. You'll be surprised how much you'll be able to throw away immediately (expired coupons, magazines you'll never read etc). If you really need to keep something, scan it and put it in your electronic file cabinet! Try to do this a little at a time or the job will seem overwhelming. Spending just 10 minutes a day will help you start to see the piles of clutter disappear!

Remember, many companies will send you bills electronically. Sign up for that option and you won't need to scan them. You can download them and put them right in your electronic file cabinet!

Another tip - It's okay to keep some paper. Don't feel like you need to store everything in your electronic file cabinet. Some things you may feel more comfortable keeping in paper form. I like to keep my insurance policies (just too many pages to scan) and keep them in the safe deposit box. I have a file folder in the computer called Safe_Deposit_Box. I scan the cover page of the policy only and put that in the electronic file cabinet. This way I remember the whole document is in the safe deposit box at the bank.

Good luck! You're going to love the extra room you'll have and the confidence you that can find things when you need them.

Time to Cut Bait

Did you know?...If the Mets play .667 at home and play .500 on the road for the remainder of the season they will win 81 games? They didn't do either of those things during the first two thirds of the season. Time to start thinking about football.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

K-Rod's August ERA Almost as High as His Salary

Last night the Mets lost another one. With a 2-0 lead going into the 9th, Manuel gave the ball to Rodriguez. Game over right? Wrong. K-Rod gave up a grand slam to shortstop Everth Cabrera. Who you say? Good question. Everth Cabrera. K-Rod couldn't get a guy out with a grand total of 51 major league at bats and one previous home run in the most pitcher friendly ball park in the majors. Glad the Mets spent all that money in the off season to sure up the bullpen so this stuff won't happen. K-Rod's ERA since the All Star break is 12.79 with a stratospheric ERA of 47.25 in August. To say it is frustrating to be a Mets fan these day is an understatement.