Social

Kathy McCabe

Staying Productive Using Technology

Hello Everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day. Our weather is wreaking havoc on my chronic conditions and as such I’m forced to stay in bed. I’m grateful for all the wonderful technology that is available that allows you to work even if you’re not able to get to the office – or home office!

Kathy’s Bed Desk

First, I start with the fastest internet I can get. In my area, we really only have one choice, Xfinity. I don’t like how much they charge but I do like the reliability. I no longer have their TV or digital voice packages so that helps. (I use Hulu and some Prime channels to make up the difference).

Next, to get the fastest wifi possible throughout my house – or you can use it in an office environment – I have the Orbi Wifi Mesh system, with the router and two satellites. We really love it, and the range is amazing, I have no issues even in the Treehouse Office, or the studio, it is a great product by NetGear.

Next, for remote working from bed, I log into my desktop upstairs using SplashTop by LogMeIn.com I can easily manage not only my computers but my clients’ as well. They even have mobile apps for logging in from your phone or tablet. I have used their service for many years and it just keeps getting better.

For ambiance, and to provide a bit of background noise so my tinnitus doesn’t scream at me so much and make me dizzy, I keep a crackling fireplace video going on the TV. There are a number of videos that are included in Amazon Prime, and I’ve included the link. This is perfect for winter, but for summer I like the streams, rivers and so on. And I’m a huge fan of the Smithsonian Channel’s Ariel America – I’ve probably seen every episode multiple times.

Now, for the desk, I use a simple bed desk I got from Amazon – with adjustable legs – this is important because some days you might want to snuggle with a puppy and they need a bit more room 🙂 My kids are constantly wanting under the desk, and under the blankets – which cheers me up immensely. I got the basic one made of bamboo with a fan built in that I can plug into the power strip. But now I’m thinking I need to have a bit more oomph for it, so I’ve put this one in my cart to “think about”. It is much more than the one I have currently in that it has adjustable height and tilting top, but I’m not sure I really need that. I might just look for things I can clip to the one I have.

See? You CAN work and be somewhat immobile. Or in the middle of a pandemic and being forced to work from home (which I’ve been doing since 1996 by the way). and it can still be comfortable and productive. Having worked from home for so long, I’ll never go back to a traditional office.

Best wishes to everyone and I pray you stay healthy and safe!

In all transparency, if you click on one of my links (except the search results links) I’ll get a bit of a commission. 🙂

Website Up-down-around…

How often do you check your website? How often should we be checking our websites? This was brought home to me with a bump recently and it made me realize I don’t check it nearly often enough!

I have a curated newsletter that runs every day and is fed to my website (Social & News Bytes). I’ve had this newsletter for years and have only had issues after major updates on WordPress or when I had to make my site https compatible (Thanks Google). So I don’t often check it…

Well, today, it published as usual and I was notified by a tweet that the site appeared to be broken, and the newsletter had no content. Major heart squeeze – what happened?!? It turned out to be an easy fix but it certainly brought to mind the need to check on the website much more frequently.

My plan, going forward is to set up alerts to let me know when my website is down and when it’s back up. I also plan to check weekly for relevant links, outdated content, spam comments (I get notices when there’s a comment but if I see its spam I just let it go until legit ones come in and take care of them then), bad links, updates, and especially after major updates I plan on checking everything right away!

So, thanks to the person who alerted me – I really appreciated it! And I’m on it!

Have a great rest of your day folks! ~Kathy

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The Password "Book"

The Password “Book” I have this book of passwords, logins and so on, I’ve actually gone through several, and this is my latest one. [caption id="attachment_915" align="alignnone" width="300"]Kathy's 'Book' Kathy’s ‘Book’[/caption] This is also my last book like this one.  I can’t believe its taken me over 20 years to get my logins and passwords all organized.  I mean, the other was ok, just put a rubber band on it and throw it in the safe and you’re good to go. But, ugh!, it was a beast to manage. Every new ‘key’ or login was stuffed in there wherever it would fit. Finding anything was a chore.  I would have to do a task and suddenly realize I don’t remember the password, or it wasn’t in the digital manager yet, so I’d have to wade through pages and pages of logins and passwords to find what I needed – hence all the stickie notes and flags!  It was very frustrating to page through the old book when you’re on the phone trying to get something done with a client. So, over the past few days I have revamped my ‘book’. Its still small enough to fit in the safe, but its now arranged by alphabet, and each client has their own sheet(s).  It works so much better now! Its still the 5.5 x 8.5 size, so it fits where I want it, it has a built in pocket for holding notes I haven’t categorized yet, and I used an old set of contacts tabs from my DayTimer , with notes pages.  I love it, I feel so organized now! For those of you who are yelling at me from afar and saying, “Digital password manager!!!” well, I have one of those too, but, its always a good idea to have a paper backup. wp_20160927_16_11_29_rich wp_20160927_16_12_15_rich I’m so proud of myself – it only took 20+ years!! :-)]]>

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Kathy McCabe
13 September 2015
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