If You’re a Spreadsheet Nerd – You’ll Love AirTable

Not so long ago the most revolutionary organization tool was the filofax. Once home computers became popular this was replaced with programs like Excel spreadsheets or Outlook. Nowadays there’s a million and one productivity tools to choose from. How do you know what to pick?

Personally, I’ve always felt there was something about spreadsheets that really stands the test of time. They present your data in an easy to read format and you can tab between the various options. I use Google Sheets for example to keep my blog schedule and ideas organized. Read more

Let’s Start Planning Your Summer Vacation!

Summer is here! It’s time to break out the sunglasses, the BBQs, the sandals and just relax. I’m sure the big buzz at your office right now is all about where everyone is going for their vacation. Some people have planned it a year in advance and others are hoping to snag a last minute deal. Either way it’s something for us to look forward to.

Like all other aspects of my life, planning is key  when it comes to vacations. Before I pick a spot I do a lot of research into the area, figure out where I’d like to stay and to eat. This helps me to know that I’m going to get the most out of my time there!

Here are a few travel resources  I’ve found to make sure I’m ready for the perfect vacation:

NextVacay – The first step for planning the perfect vacation is figuring out where you want to go. The idea behind NextVacay is totally brilliant. You input your closest airport and their software will sift through all of the flights going in and out to find when an airline is offering amazing deals. For instance, I put in NYC airports and I get emails about cheap flights to Bali, Lisbon and Tokyo.The more flexible your situation the better, plus it’s really good for people who don’t know where they want to go. You get 1 month free trial and after that it’s $25 for the year. So it’s relatively inexpensive to try and you could save a lot more.

TripAdvisor – So you know where you want to go, what’s next? Make the most of your trip, whether you’re briefly visiting a destination or staying for a few weeks. Definitely plan some time to cruise TripAdvisor. It really helps you to narrow down the best attractions to see which restaurants are worth visiting. I have major FOMO when it comes to these things so checking this site guarantees I won’t miss out. I love being able to check other people’s experiences and see their candid reviews. I always make sure to add my favorite and not so favorite places when I return. If you’re interested in reading some of my reviews you can see them here.

MeziSo you know where you want go and what you want to see, now you just need to book somewhere to stay. If you’re going to a big city or popular resort you can easily become overwhelmed by options. Do you pay a little more to be closer to the city center? Or stray further out and rent the whole apartment? Mezi is an app that helps you find the right hotel for you, based on your personal preferences. The twist is that it’s all done by artificial intelligence. It’s a little but futuristic and AI can use deep learning tools to search through hundreds of options and create links that we might not notice – it could find your perfect getaway! If you try the app I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Global Entry – I tell everyone I meet about this – it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! If you travel even one time per year, it’s worth doing. This program has several benefits for 5 years and a $100 price tag. First you are eligible for TSA Precheck within the United States. That means you get to basically skip the line at security, keep your laptop in it’s bag and forego taking off your shoes and sweaters. Plus, when you’re returning to the US you get to bypass all the lines! I wrote a blog post explaining why this is a must have for any regular travelers.

You Should Really Change All Your Passwords

Part of my routine when I walk to work is to listen to podcasts. It’s my favorite thing to do. They often inspire me with new ideas or I’ll pick up some interesting tips. However when I listened to this podcast it stopped me dead in my tracks.

“Reply All” (one of my absolute favorites) starts out telling the story Alex Blumberg, CEO of Gimlet Media (which produces the podcast)  getting his Uber account hacked. This wasn’t such a problem for me, as I don’t even have an Uber account but I continued to listen. I protested them a long time ago when they first started out because they stole my credit card information. But I digress.

Back to the podcast – the  story itself is a little frightening because not only does Alex   have his account hacked but the hacker also covers up all his tracks. Once the hacker has treated himself to a few free Uber rides in Russia he manages to delete the account without any trace. Even though Alex’s credit card was charged, when he calls up Uber they have no record of him.

So how did the hackers get into his account? Read more

Declutter Your Subscriptions To Clear Your Mind

In the past 10 years we’ve moved away from buying individual items like DVDs, music albums and books towards subscription services like Netflix, Spotify and Audible. In fact it seems like there is a subscription services for practically everything now – you’d be hard pressed to find a big name company that doesn’t offer one in some form or another.  I even saw one for electric toothbrushes the other day!

It’s easy to see why subscription services are so popular, Netflix for example, costs $9.99 a month. When you can have seemingly unlimited viewing for the cost of a few  coffees, why wouldn’t you sign up? But that’s how they reel you in. One subscription for that amount is fine, but when you add in Amazon Prime, a gym membership, snack boxes, Apple music, Skype premium… it all starts to add up. Read more

Cross These Tasks Off Your To-Do List

I love outsourcing. I mean who wouldn’t? You get to take your to-do list and hand it off to someone else!

What’s not to love?

However it’s one of the few productivity suggestions that when I mention to people, the response I get tends to be dubious.

The answer I always get is, “Well, I dunno, I like to do things myself.”

Sound familiar?

I’m a control freak, so I get it. Letting someone else be responsible for a part of my business (even if it is only a very small one) can feel scary. But if I can get past the control freak fear, then why can’t other people.

I think that most people actually aren’t afraid to outsource – they just don’t know where to start!

For example, if you asked a child if they wanted to give up their chores, of course they’d be happy. But when you tell them they have to pick just one — the choice becomes a bit more difficult. Read more