Safeguard Your Accounts from Hackers

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I hate when my clients tell me that their accounts have been hacked. I hate it for them because it feels completely violating and before you know it, “you” have either sent 100 emails to everyone you know or you are somehow made to believe you’re being blackmailed unless you send money to some random guy.

The great news for you is that safeguarding your accounts is actually pretty simple. I’ve written about this before but thought it was time to revisit this since it seems like people are getting hacked more and more these days.

Step 1: Download 1Password

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to download my favorite password protection tool called 1Password. If you’re a client of mine, you probably already have this, but if not, make sure to download it.

Step 2: Change your email password to a strong password

I recommend either letting 1Password generate a password for you or doing 3-4 words separated by spaces of hyphens. The key here is that you aren’t using an easy-to-hack password like your birthday or pet’s name.

Step 3: Setup 2-Step Verification for Your Email

This is so important. If you watch my FB Live from last week, you can hear more about this, but it’s so important so that if someone tries to log into your account and it isn’t you, you’ll be notified. If you use Gmail, here are the instructions on how to do that.

Step 4: Add 2-Step Verification for Accounts into 1Password

This will help keep all your 2-Step Verification codes all in one place, 1Password. You can learn how to set this up here or what my FB Live below.

Step 5: Add in Your Logins and Other Information & Change Any Duplicate or Weak Passwords Using Password Generator

Once you have everything set up, it’s time to add all your accounts into 1Password. This may take some time, but believe me, it’s really worth it. Set aside some time to input them all in.

Now, if you’ve had the same password or a variation of the same password for all your accounts, it’s going to be time to change those passwords to stronger passwords. Again, I recommend 3-4 words separated by hyphens or spaces (1Password can automatically generate these, just change the options when you click Password Generator.

You can also put in any identities, credit cards, bank accounts, drivers licenses, etc. that you want. This is really helpful for filling out online forms (especially at checkout) quickly.

And you’re all set!

Bonus Step: If you’re using Mojave, your computer now has some great privacy settings. You no longer have to worry about someone hacking into your computer and gaining access to your microphone or video camera. You will now always be prompted with a popup that asked for you to enable your microphone or camera if someone is using an app that needs it. Read more about this and how to do this here.

You can go into System Preferences → Security & Privacy → Privacy → Camera & Microphone to see what apps have access to it. I make sure that Zoom has access to Camera, Microphone, and Accessibility since I use that with my remote clients all the time.

If you’re still struggling with this and need additional help setting up 1Password, please reach out to me to schedule a session. You can either go ahead and schedule a session here or email me at shawn@thedigitalorganizer.com and we can get you set up!

I hope that’s helpful and will prevent you from being hacked! It’s all about using strong passwords and setting up 2-Step Verification for your accounts and 1Password is my favorite tool to use for this!

You can learn about how I use 1Password in my Facebook Live Below

Did You Miss My Facebook Live
Last Week?

I shared my top tips for not getting hacked and how to streamline your passwords and accounts by using 1Password. Check it out by clicking the button below! Make sure to leave me a comment and let me know if you use 1Password or if you’ve been hacked.

I’m on a Podcast!

My podcast is officially out! So stoked to have been able to talk with A Natural Shift on their podcast Take the Upgrade. If you've been struggling to get organized in your digital life, check it out and listen! I'd love to hear what you think!

Thunderbolt Dock

The biggest complaint about the new Macs is the port situation. Only having Thunderbolt 3 or USB C can be pretty annoying. I have an external monitor, webcam, mic, external hard drive, SD cards, and ethernet that I want to plug in regularly at my stand up desk. On the hunt I went for the best dock out there. I wanted ONE cable to plug into my MacBook Pro that did everything, including charging a 15” MacBook Pro at the full wattage. This is important for you 15” MBP users.

The Caldigit TS3 appeared to be the best option. I snagged one from Amazon and got it that same day. It’s been incredible! I’m going to plan to do a Facebook Live demo on this soon because I think it’s so helpful. But if you’ve been wanting to pull the trigger and get one now, I highly recommend it. You can purchase it here. Keep in mind if your monitor has VGA or DVI, you’re going to need to get a VGA to USB C adapter. The new MacBook Pros are a bit finicky when it comes to external monitors.


Eek! Your Personal Data May Be Out There for Everyone to See! Here’s How to Remove Yourself!

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My dad sent me an email last week informing me that there’s a voter registration site that has personal information on everyone and linked back to this site, TruthFinder.com. It’s crazy how much information about you is “public” whether it be from social media or through public records. And they have info on EVERYONE!

The good news is that you can choose to opt-out from having your information public, which is what I did. It’s pretty simple and fast. Took me no time at all and 100% worth it. I highly recommend that you do this!

And just an FYI, if you’re curious and want to run a report on yourself, they will charge you almost $30 to do so but don’t tell you this until you’ve gone through the entire process for about 15 minutes. No need to do this. Just choose to opt-out. Here’s how:

Option One: Online (fastest and easiest)

  1. Go to TruthFinder Opt-Out Page

  2. Fill out the form on the page

  3. Click the green "Remove This Record" button next to the correct report

  4. Enter a valid email address and click "Send Confirmation Email"

  5. Check your inbox for the confirmation email. If you don’t find it, check your spam folder

  6. Click the link in the confirmation email to confirm your opt-out request

Option Two: By Phone

  1. Call the TruthFinder Member Care Team at (800) 699-8081

  2. Provide your name, address, age and any other information they may need to locate your record

Option Three: By Mail

  1. Address an envelope to TruthFinder, 2534 State Street, Suite 473, San Diego, CA, 92101

  2. Provide your full name, full address, email address, and date of birth

  3. Apply postage to your envelope and drop it in the mail

Finally Email Templates in Spark!

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I cannot tell you how excited my assistant, Marissa, was when she saw that Spark released a new update with Email Templates!  She is regularly sending out the same emails to my clients confirming appointments or asking them to fill out forms or sign documents. This makes all of that so easy! Previously, she was using TextExpander before this feature was released which worked well but meant she had to have multiple apps open and sometimes forgot her own shortcuts. Now, sending a template is as easy as selecting the template right in the email she’s composing. If you frequently are sending the same emails out, you’re going to love this feature. You’ll need to update your app and then it’ll appear in your Preferences. You can read this how-to if you want more info.

An App to Replace Evernote, Google Drive, and Asana?

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My father-in-law is pretty stoked about this app for his business called Notion. It basically claims to replace Evernote, GoogleDocs, Asana, and Trello (just to name a few). I’m still looking into this app, but it seems to have some pretty cool features like the ability to take notes & documents, keep a knowledge base for important protocols and workflows for your team, keep track of progress with tasks & projects, and even keep records with spreadsheets & databases. As I said, I’m still not 100% sold on this, but it’s definitely worth mentioning that I’m looking into it. Have you used Notion? I would love to hear what you think! Just reply to this email.


No Facebook Live for the Next Two Weeks

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This week and next, I won’t be on Facebook Live. The reason? This Wednesday I will be attending the Free to Focus Live event, which will hopefully up-level my productivity! I’m super excited about it. And next Wednesday, I’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving with my wife’s family. Even though I won’t be joining you live, be on the lookout. I’ll be doing a short Facebook Live with all the Black Friday deals that you need to know about when it comes to everything tech. I’ll also be sending this info out in next week’s newsletter. Stay tuned!


My Thoughts on the New iPad Pro, Macbook Air, and Mac mini

New iPad Pros

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Not to be confused with iPad or iPad Mini, the iPad Pro was updated last week. There are a couple significant upgrades I’m excited to share. First off, the 10.5” iPad is still the same form factor, but since they were able to reduce the size of the bezel around the display, they were able to bump up the screen size to 11”. The 12.9” is also slightly smaller than the previous version because of the slimmer bezel.

Upgrades include FaceID (woohoo!), faster processors, and the Apple Pencil is magnetic and will stick to the side of the iPad. While it’s stuck there, it charges itself as well! It’s slimmer, lighter, has louder speakers, better cameras, all-day battery life, and a new charging port. If you have already upgraded to the MacBook Pro with USB C, this is great news. Now the charger for your laptop can charge the iPad. USB C is catching on with the rest of the electronic world and we’re finally seeing one port to rule them all. We even get to use that port to transfer data between devices and connect to a 5K external display! Incredible! If you’ve been waiting to buy a new iPad, this is it!

You can purchase a new iPad Pro here!

New MacBook Air

It only took them 3 years to upgrade Apple’s most loved computer. I don’t know if that’s officially the favorite, but certainly, my clients are obsessed with the Air. So what’s new?! Same screen size but it’s smaller and lighter. They were able to shrink the bezel around the display and put in a retina display which looks beautiful. It’s got Touch ID built in (whoohoo!) Faster processors, still dual core but faster than the MacBook and not as fast as MacBook Pro. You can add 16 GB of RAM and 1.5 TB of storage. It’s 2.75 lbs, the old one is 3 lbs even. Bigger trackpad, louder speakers and twice the bass. And don’t forget about the new colors and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Who is this computer for?

MacBook Air has always been for the average computer user. You want to surf the web, edit some photos and maybe the occasional video, and possibly play some games. It’s NOT a gaming computer or something professional photo or video people would want as a primary computer. It’s going to do just about everything really well. The battery lasts a long time and you have all the latest conveniences like Touch ID, the new keyboard, force touch trackpad etc. I think this is a great option for most people looking to upgrade their Mac.

If you do a lot on your computer, especially with graphics and video, I’d recommend upgrading to the Pro. I should note that you can use external GPUs with this computer which is a really cool option for people who want the smallest and fastest computer without breaking the bank. The external GPU for when you’re editing or need extra horsepower at your primary workstation is fantastic.

You can purchase the new MacBook Air here.

New Mac mini

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The poor Mac mini has been neglected for so long, but that’s finally changed! I feel like they did this one right. It’s got quad-core processors and can be configured with a 6-core if you. RAM goes up to 64GB! That’s what I’m talking about! Flash storage options are up to 2TB, some normal USB A connections, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, Ethernet and headphone jacks are standard. There’s a new chip installed to encrypt your data automatically and change some video formats up to 30 times faster. I’m trying to figure out an excuse to buy this one :) Again, feel free to snag an external GPU to take this puppy to the next level.

You can purchase the new Mac mini here.

Screen & Blue Light Protector

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If you just got a new iPhone Xs, you probably want to think about getting a screen protector. This one looks pretty awesome because it helps with shock and actual screen protection, but it also protects you against harmful blue lights, which is super important for your sleep, mood, and brain function. You can get one for your iPhone Xs, Xs MAX here or Phone Xr here.

Textlicious Lets You Change Font in Text, Tweets, and Posts

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This app is pretty cool. It gives you the ability to make your text bold, italic, or even in a different font when you’re sending a text message or posting online to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can get the app here for $1.99.

It’s Time to Update!

You may have noticed that early last week, Apple rolled out updates for almost all devices. These updates for iOS and macOS include new emojis and Group FaceTiming among other updates and fixes. watchOS also saw new updates with new emojis and new color interfaces. And lastly, tvOS saw an update for fourth & fifth generation Apple TVs. Basically, if you own an Apple Device, you’ll want to check for updates.


Join me on Wednesday on Facebook Live!


My #1 Calendar Tool & How to Use it With Your Assistant

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Last week I talked to you about my favorite email tool and this week I want to share with you my #1 favorite calendar tool, Fantastical. If you haven’t been using FantastiCal, maybe you’re using Google Calendar, iCal, or something similar. Previously, I was using Google Calendar along with another tool I use for scheduling appointments, Calendly. While it did the job, I had a few issues with it.

First off, Google Calendar doesn’t allow you to add in travel time, which is a big issue for me when calculating time in between appointments with my calendar. It also didn’t allow me to quickly add in calendar items and just felt overall a bit clunky.

Give 100% Control of Your Calendar to Your Assistant

When I hired my assistant, Marissa, one of the first things I did was give her 100% control over my calendar. And if you have an assistant, I highly encourage you to do the same thing. It was a big game changer. Having one person in charge of managing and scheduling appointments was great because there wasn’t any confusion and it gave me the ability to have a little bit of space when clients would reach out for that last-minute emergency appointment. I was finally able to say, “I need to check with my assistant first to see what’s on my calendar.”

Create an Ideal Week

One of the first things Marissa and I did was to create my Ideal Week. It helps us both get clear on what the weekly goal was in terms of my schedule. We knew that on Wednesdays, I don’t take appointments with clients because that's my catch up day. I do all of my admin work, catching up on emails, paperwork, invoices, creative work, etc. We also figured out that I needed to be done with work by 5 pm. (I was often times working until 7 pm because my schedule was so overloaded which isn’t in alignment with my goals).I also wanted to make sure I made time for things like self-care and relationships and creating my Ideal Week helped Marissa make sure that happened.

My father-in-law, Michael Hyatt has created some great resources for creating your Ideal Week. You can see those here.

Create Separate Calendars for Personal and Business

I have a calendar for business related stuff and also things related to Madeline and me. It’s great because it helps me easily switch from work mode into relationship mode and helps Marissa see what’s on our personal calendar. Plus, Madeline also has access to my business calendar and can easily add in personal appointments and events without messing up my day-to-day meetings.

Make Sure to Calculate for Travel Time

When your assistant is adding in local appointments, you want to make sure he/she adds in travel time. In FantastiCal, you can easily add in locations for appointments and chose to add in travel time and alerts for when you should leave so that you can be on time for your appointments.

You can learn more about how I use Spark by watching my Facebook live from last week below.

Did You Miss My Facebook Live
Last Week?

I shared my favorite calendar tool. If you have an assistant who manages (or should manage) your calendar, you'll want to watch this. I share my assistant and my secrets and which program we're obsessed with and how we use it to completely streamline and organize my calendar! Even if you don’t have an assistant if you’ve got a lot of calendar event and are feeling overwhelmed this could be a turning point for you.

Apple to Compete with Netflix and Hulu

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There’s no question we’re living in the golden age of television. It seems like everyone’s joined in except Apple...until now. It’s rumored that they will be releasing their own version of Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime in 2019 with their own series and movies. I will be free for those with Apple devices, but it’s unclear exactly how they’ll be making their money. Some say it’ll be through an upgrade for premium services like HBO or Showtime, but we aren’t sure. What is clear, is that their lineup of original series looks pretty freaking amazing. I’m super stoked to see them joining the scene with some pretty big names. Stay tuned for more info on this. I’m hoping they release more info tomorrow at the Apple event.

New Macs & iPads to be announced Tomorrow!

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Tomorrow is the day for the Apple Live event at 10 am Eastern Time. I’m super excited to see what new mac’s they’ll be releasing and any other exciting announcements. Stay tuned for more updates on this...my thoughts may be in next week’s newsletter. You’ll be able to live stream on their website or on your Apple TV.

Best iPhone Xr Cases

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If you just got the iPhone Xr, you’re probably trying to find a cool case. There are some really cool ones here. I really like the Lifeproof case. It’s sturdy and looks clean. It also not only has drop protection but also waterproofing and screen protection. Plus, they have lots of different colors available.

Never Lose Anything You’ve Copied with Paste App

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If you get annoyed trying to find stuff in your clipboard that you’ve copied, you’ll like Paste. It keeps everything that you’ve copied to your clipboard in one convenient place. Everything from lists, emails, links, and more. It does cost $14.99 after your free trial but it could be useful if you’re constantly copying the same things or losing track of what you’ve previously copied.



My Favorite Email Tool and How to Use it With Your Executive Assistant

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I am completely obsessed with Spark right now. It’s by far my favorite email tool that I’ve ever used. One of the biggest things it’s done is enable my assistant and me to be able to discuss next steps and responses for emails without having to send emails back and forth to each other. It allows me the ability to give her full control of my email, with me having the security that if she needs my help on something, she can get it.

Here’s the how Marissa and I are using with Spark for email and how you and your EA can implement it:

Create a Private Email

When I decided to give up control over my email to my assistant, I realized it was too hard for me to have to go into the same inbox as her. It was confusing and frustrating for both of us, so I went ahead and created a private email account that I only share with her and my family members. I would encourage every executive to do this. It will save you tons of time and takes the temptation away from micromanaging your email when your EA really needs to be in charge of that. It can simply be private@yourcompany.com or something a little more personal or hard to figure out like nickname@yourcompany.com or initials@yourcompany.com.

Make Your Existing Email Account Your Public Email

While you’ll have access to your private account, your EA will have control and access to your public account. I just kept my address as shawn@thedigitalorganizer.com which has been my email for a long time. This way, it doesn’t confuse clients.

Create an Alias for Your EA

We decided it was going to be easier for Marissa to work out of one inbox rather than toggle between hers and mine. So we decided to create an alias for her so that she could still respond to messages as herself, but work out of one inbox. Her alias is just marissa@thedigitalorganizer.com. It’s perfect because I didn’t want her responding “as me” but rather “on behalf of me” from her own account.

Give Up Control

Once you have your accounts in place, it’s important to establish a workflow. First and foremost, you must give control of your inbox up to your assistant. Just like your calendar, if you both are trying to manage it, you will eventually screw something up or drop the ball. One person managing it is imperative.

EA Filters Your Inbox

What’s amazing is that now I don’t have to access my public inbox anymore. Instead, Marissa filters all my messages and only shares with me the ones that I need to respond to or that she has questions about. For instance, all scheduling questions she’s able to respond to from her alias since she manages my calendar. So anytime a client emails me trying to book a time, she responds. I never even see the emails which is great. Helps me to spend less time on email and more time with my clients.

When an email comes into the public inbox Marissa has a few choices:

  • If she knows the answer or it’s a scheduling question: she responds as herself using her alias

  • If she doesn’t know the answer but I don’t have to respond: she will share the message with me (at my private account), comment asking her question, I respond to her, and then she can respond “on behalf of me” from her alias

  • If she doesn’t know the answer and needs ME to respond: she will share the message with me (at my private account), comment asking me to respond, and I can respond from my public account

This has been literally a game changer for us! Now that we have the option to discuss emails on Spark or even write drafts together it's helped me cut down on my time on email drastically.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for EAs and Executives and their workflow and making email run seamlessly, but it has made both Marissa and my lives way easier since starting! Spark is seriously a revolutionary tool for email and I highly encourage you and your executive assistant to begin using it.

If you need me to help you set up Spark or help teach you and your EA how to use it, I’d love to help! You can schedule a session with me (I recommend at least two-hours) here.

Did You Miss My Facebook Live
Last Week?

I shared my favorite email tool since Gmail came out in 2004. I’m so excited about it! Marissa (my assistant) and I have been using it for a few weeks now and it’s dramatically improved our communication and efficiency! If you work in a team environment and regularly have to collaborate over email then you’re absolutely going to want to know about this tool!

70+ New Emoji’s Coming with iOS 12.1

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We aren’t exactly sure when this will be released--rumors are saying late October or early November. One thing’s for sure, there’s over 70 new emojis coming with the iOS 12.1 update including a skateboard, red and curly hair options, and toilet paper among others.

New Macs & iPads to be announced October 30th

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Well, we’ve been waiting for Apple to come out with new computers and iPads and it seems like it’s finally happening! They announced another live event happening on October 30th at 10 am Eastern Time. Stay tuned for more updates on this! You’ll be able to live stream on their website or on your Apple TV.

iPhone Xr is Now Available for Pre-order!

I’m really excited about the new iPhone Xr. I think this is the perfect “budget” option. There’s not very many cons to this...maybe the only thing being the camera isn’t quite as sophisticated as the Xs & Xs Max, but it’s still pretty freaking amazing. One thing I am happy about is the storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. You can purchase them here.

A Mug That Keeps Your Coffee Hot and Tracks Caffeine Intake

I think this is so cool. First off, this mug keeps your coffee or tea hot for hours a time. Perfect for those of you who a so busy you forget to drink your coffee. And it just got even better. It is now integrated with Apples Health where it will track your caffeine intake so you don’t go overboard with the coffee during the day. Pretty cool! Available at an Apple Store near you.

Quit Wasting Your Time Typing the Same Email with TextExpander

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I know we’ve mentioned this app before, but my assistant was raving about it last week when I asked her to follow up with a ton of my clients. Rather than spending hours typing up the same email or trying to have to copy and paste sections, I showed her how to use TextExpander. It took her a little less than an hour and a half to follow-up with every client I’ve met within the last month and a half. She still had to personal each follow up, but it cut her time way down. Can’t recommend this app enough if you regularly sent out the same emails or if you find yourself constantly typing the same information.


So excited about my newly updated ebook! We went from 10 apps to 12, because there’s just some amazing ones out there that I’m loving. As a thank you for subscribing to my newsletter, you can download the ebook here for free! I would also love to hear your feedback and what you think of these apps. As always, if you need help implementing any of these apps into your workflow, I’d love to help you. You can schedule an appointment with me here.


Swapping Your Cell Phone and Google Voice Numbers

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When I first started my business, I used my phone number as both my personal and my business phone. This was fine at first, but when I started getting phone calls and text messages outside of business hours, especially at 3 AM, I realized I created a monster.

It’s really hard for me to see a text or call from someone and not respond. You probably know the feeling. But what do you do when you’re trying to keep boundaries between your personal life and business? It’s great customer service to take phone calls after hours when people are struggling with their tech, but I can’t be ON all the time.

Beyond this though, I’ve been struggling to keep up with phone calls and text messages for quite a while. Now that I have an assistant, I have been trying to think of a way to give her control of my phone, while still having access to it myself. I have 2-step verification codes going there and countless friends and family have that number. I didn’t want to abandon it.

My solution: Google Voice.

With Google Voice, you can make and receive calls from any number of devices. The phone will ring on every device you set it up on! This means my assistant can take calls and respond to texts if I’m not available. I can also set up an autoresponder for text messages. How great is that?

I’ve had a Google Voice number that I’ve had memorized for years and I haven’t done anything with it. But I decided to change that about a week ago. I would swap my Google Voice number that no one knows but me to AT&T. Then I would transfer my AT&T line to Google Voice.

Not very many people have a Google Voice number they would want to keep, which means you don’t have to do steps, 1 and 6. Just ask your carrier to add a line and you’re good to go!

Here are the steps I took to make the swap:

  1. I transferred my Google Voice number I wanted to keep to a secondary Gmail account so when I ported (transferred) my AT&T number to the account, I didn’t lose the one I wanted. When you port a line out, it’s cancelled. When you port a line in, you’re replacing what’s there.

  2. I ported my phone number from AT&T to Google Voice for $20. Instructions here. Once the port was complete (it took 10 minutes), I was able to make phone calls from my 13-year-old AT&T number on Google Voice on my iPhone using the Hangouts app.

  3. My phone line got canceled on AT&T so I called them to add a new phone line. I told them I wanted to add a line to my account and port my Google Voice number to AT&T.

  4. Once on the phone, the AT&T rep had me go here to unlock my Google Voice number for $3 (this is the one I wanted to keep that I’ve had for years and haven’t done anything with.)

  5. After I unlocked my Google Voice number, he asked me for the account number and password. The account number is your Google Voice number and the password is the password to access your voicemail. You can reset this from Settings at voice.google.com.

  6. A couple minutes later, my number was ported to my new AT&T line! Instead of waiting for them to send me a SIM card to put in my phone, I went to an AT&T store and they set me up with the new SIM with my new number.

  7. After all this, deregister your phone from iMessage. If you don’t, you’re going to have all kinds of people trying to text you and it’s not going to go through.

At the time of writing this post, it’s been a few days since I switched over and I’m still working through the kinks and figuring out the best workflow for my assistant and me. I will say that it’s way better already. I plan on eventually setting up an autoresponder to my texts message to help funnel all tech questions or schedule inquiries into email so that my assistant can see them all there.

Stick Your Business in the Cloud

Did you see the article I wrote for Michael Hyatt & Company’s online magazine last week? Having your files stored in the cloud is one of the most powerful tools in your business when it’s done right. If not, you’ll find yourself and your team spending unreasonable amounts of time tracking things down. Learn how to stick your business in the cloud so you and your team can stay organized and as efficient as possible. You can read the full article here.

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How to Use Mojave's New Features to Your Advantage

If you missed last week’s Facebook Live, no worries! It was recorded. I shared with you my favorite features and how to use them to your advantage. I am loving Mojave! Anyone else? Watch the replay here.

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Another One Bites the Dust: Google+

No big surprise here, but it was announced last week that Google Plus has bit the dust. After a security bread earlier this year, it makes sense. Not to mention I don’t really know anyone who uses it. It will officially close in August 2019. If you want to know more about this, you can read more here.

iOS 12 Now Let’s You Use Waze or Google Maps in CarPlay

This is pretty exciting for you CarPlay users. When you update your iPhone to iOS12 it will now let you use Waze or Google Maps on CarPlay. Prior to this update, you could only use Apple Maps, which we know isn’t as good at steering around traffic as Waze and Google Maps.  

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The Best All-in-One Printer

If you’ve been trying to find a great all-in-one printer for your home that does it all, this one looks pretty outstanding. Wirecutter did a full review on the printer here and says after tons of hours of research, it’s voted the best one. You can purchase the HP OfficeJet 8720 All-in-One Printer from Amazon here.

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Vivino App for Wine Lovers

This is a pretty cool app for all your wine lovers. It lets you scan wine labels and you can see the rating, reviews, taste summary, average price, and more. This is great to pull out when you’re trying to figure which wine to buy or if you have a big selection at home, it’s a great way to figure out which bottle to drink next. Download here.

The Five Coolest Features of macOS Mojave

The Five Coolest Features of macOS Mojave

1. Dark Mode

This is by far the most talked about feature. And I gotta admit that it looks pretty awesome on your computer. I personally think it’s especially great to use at night to lower the amount of blue light we’re receiving. You can scroll down below to learn about an app every Mojave user needs so you can use Dark Mode at night. To enable Dark Mode go to System Preferences > General > Appearance.

2. Stacks

There’s nothing worse than a super cluttered desktop. It’s like having a cluttered and messy desk, it sets the tone for your mental space. Stacks now groups items on your desktop by kind and stacks them so you can effortlessly free up clutter. Make sure that you control-click on your desktop and select “Use Stacks” to enable them.

3. Dynamic Desktop

Just like dark mode, I love that Apple is helping us reduce blue light. And not to mention it just looks awesome as your desktop changes from day to night. Currently, there are only two dynamic desktops available, but I’m hoping we’ll see more down the road.

4. New Screenshot & Screen Recording Options

The new screenshot and recording options are pretty amazing. It's now easier than ever to take a screenshot or even record your screen. I know this is really going to come in handy when I need to share something with a client or send a quick “how-to” video to someone. To use the new screenshot features, click Command + Shift + 5.

5. Continuity Camera

This is by far one of the coolest features of Mojave. Continuity Camera allows you to quickly snap a photo with your phone or scan a document and then send it in an email or a attach it to a note on your computer. I think this is kind of a game changer feature and I’m really looking forward to using this. To use, Command-Click in Mail, Notes, Pages, etc. and select Take Photo or Scan Document. Make sure your computer and iPhone are on the same wifi and have Bluetooth enabled.

Add Conference Call Link Directly in Spark Calendar

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This is a cool new feature for Spark. If you’re like me and use Zoom or another video conference app with clients, you can now send them a conference link directly from your calendar in spark. I think this is going to be helpful for making scheduling super quick.

Google Maps Makes Picking Restaurants as a Group Easy

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I’m so excited about this feature. If you’ve ever tried to decide on a restaurant with a group of people, you know just how frustrating and hard it can be. Google Maps just released a new feature in their appso that you can do group polls to make deciding on a restaurant easier. You can read more about it here.

Did You Miss My Facebook Live on How Mojave Screwed Up My Computer?

Did you miss my Facebook Live last week on how Mojave totally screwed up my computer? If so, you can catch the replay here. I talked about what went wrong when I tried updating to Mojave and the steps I took before and after to safeguard my digital space.

I’ve also started my YouTube channel and will be posting all of my episodes of The Digital Sanity Show each week. Make sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss a thing!

Takl App
Home Services On Demand

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My sister-in-law just told me about this app and I think it’s pretty brilliant. If you need a handyman on demand or other home services like housecleaning or yard work, you can use this app to get someone to help you the same day. I’m sure this is going to be a big help for those odd jobs you aren’t sure who to call for. Download the app here. You can use my code B20C609 to get a $10 account credit!

NightOwl
for mojave

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If you’ve updated to Mojave and wish you could toggle between Light and Dark Mode or set it to get dark at sunset, you’re in luck. This is something that has been a little bit annoying until now. Luckily, NightOwl is a tiny little app that solves this exact problem. You can download it here for free and easily switch between modes, schedule when you’d like it to get dark or light or have it in sync with the sunrise and sunset.


No Facebook Live This Week

I'm currently at the beach with my family this week soaking up some sun. I'll be back on Facebook Live next Wednesday Night at 8 pm Central, so mark your calendars!

Out on Vacation This Week
This week I'm at the beach with my family so I am out of the office and will not be responding to emails, calls, or texts until next week. If you're wanting to schedule a session with me, I recommend doing that ASAP because my schedule is filling up quick! You can schedule that
right here.


5 Things You Must to Do Before Upgrading to macOS Mojave

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5 Things You Must to Do Before Upgrading to macOS Mojave

Are you considering upgrading to the new operating system Apple just released? Before upgrading to Mojave, there are a few things you must do.

Every time you upgrade your operating system your computer will either get better or worse. If your computer is already having issues it may solve them, or really screw it up. I want to make sure you’re ready for the possibility of something going wrong, as slim of a chance as that may be. Here are a few quick things to do to make sure you upgrade safely.

I am so excited about Mojave! There are so many cool features that will make you want to update. To see a full list go here.

here are five things you must do before you upgrade so that you ensure you keep your most precious memories and documents safe.

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1. Clean Up Your Mac

This is an important step you so make sure your Mac is running smoothly and operating at its best before you upgrade. Sure, upgrading will help your Mac run great, but it’s best to get rid of duplicate and unused files, optimize your storage, and clean out anything that’s unnecessary before you go through with the upgrade to Mojave.

My favorite tool to use for cleaning up your computer is CleanMyMac X. You can download it and run it. It’s $39.95 for a year subscription or $89.95 for life (which is what I recommend doing).

2. Back Up Your Computer

You can do this a few different ways:

Option #1: Carbon Copy Cloner

The best way to do this is to create a clone of your computer using an application like Carbon Copy Cloner from bombich.com. If something goes wrong in your upgrade, you can restart ANY Mac with your backup drive plugged in and all your files show up exactly the way they were at the time of your last backup. This gives me total confidence that anything can happen to my computer and my files are safe. You don’t have to buy it unless you’re planning on using this day to day. The trial will get you a functional backup right away with no strings attached.

Option #2: Use as Backup Disk

Time Machine: This is the most common way Mac users backup their computers. It’s really easy and automatic. Get an external drive, plug it in and you should be prompted to use it as a backup. If not, just go to System Preferences > Time Machine > Select Backup Disk. If your hard drive is formatted for a PC, they will ask if it’s OK to erase the external drive to be set up for Mac. If there’s nothing you need on that drive, go for it!

Option #3: Manually copy files to an external drive.

You can open up Finder and go to the different folders on your Mac such as Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Movies and drag them onto your external drive. This makes sure your main files are backed up, but it’s not bringing over your saved bookmarks in Firefox, or address book and things like that. If something go wrong, you’ll have a lot more work to do to get back up and running, but at least you will still have your files.

Option #4: Use Backblaze or Another Cloud Backup:

I highly recommend having a backup of your computer on the cloud. I have this in addition to a physical Time Machine backup in case of fire, flood or theft and both my computer and backup drive are unavailable. If something goes wrong though, you still have all your stuff. Keep in mind you can’t download 500 GB of data in a flash like you can with an external drive. I have both Time Machine and Backblaze. My cloud backup is there just in case everything else fails. My favorite tool for cloud backup is Backblaze. This is what I recommend to my clients.

3. Make sure the apps you use are compatible.

If you’re using a special 3rd party apps that are not usually ready for an operating system upgrade, you can go here to find out if the specific app you are concerned about. If it’s not compatible yet, hang tight, and check back every week or so.

4. Know Your Passwords

You will at least be asked what your iCloud password is. This is the same as your Apple ID, App Store password etc. While you’re finding them, I recommend getting set up with an app called 1Password. Check out my post on passwords.

5. Use Disk Utility to scan your hard drive to see if it has any issues.

This isn’t a really thorough test, but it’s easy and fast. Use Spotlight (the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your screen) to search for Disk Utility. Once open click on Macintosh HD > First Aid > Run. I usually do this once a month.

Once you have backed up, made sure your apps are compatible, checked you have at least your iCloud password lined up, and have run disk utility, pull the trigger!

While you’re waiting for the installer to download, learn more about all the cool new things your Mac is going to be able to do!

Computer slow and need some help? Not sure if you should buy a new computer or upgrade your old one? Book a session with me and I can help you upgrade safely! Schedule your session here.

Google Titan Security Key

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I can’t stress enough how important two-factor authentication is for your accounts. And this is pretty cool. Google came out with a USB and Bluetooth key that serves as a physical two-factor authentication and it must be present when trying to log in to accounts. It’ll help protect you from phishing so the people you don’t want in your accounts, can’t get in. You can learn more about it here.

Facebook Is Launching a Dating App

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Facebook has officially launched their new app, Dating, in Columbia with plans to launch in other countries in the future. It makes sense that they would be trying to reach younger generations since it seems most of us are using other social apps like Instagram and Snapchat. Interestingly though, it looks like they’re trying to steer away from the industry norm of ‘swiping’ and create more opportunity for better connections. You can read more about the app here.

Did You Miss My Facebook Live
Last Week On Using the New iOS 12?

You can catch the replay here! I talked all about how to use iOS 12’s new features to be more productive at work and more present at home. I walk you through step-by-step how to use iOS 12 to your advantage!

I’ve also started my YouTube channel and will be posting all of my episodes of The Digital Sanity Show each week. Make sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss a thing!

Shortcuts app for ios 12

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Hopefully you’ve gone ahead and downloaded the new iOS 12. One of my favorite features is Siri’s upgrade. And now with Shortcuts you can even make Siri work harder for you by following multiple-step commands. I talked about how I’m using it in last week’s Facebook live.

Upgrade to Mojave Now!

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If you’ve completed my 5 steps to prepare your mac to upgrade to Mojave, it’s time to download and install it! Simply open the App Store, click Updates and it should be at the top! I recommend doing this when you know you won’t need to use your computer for a few hours. When the download has finished, continue by following the prompted instructions.


Join me Wednesday night on Facebook live!

Click this image to be notified when I go live on Wednesday at 8 PM CST. This week it’s all about how to use Mojave! Bring me your questions!


Introducing the New iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr & Apple Watch!

Introducing iPhone Xs and Xs Max!

Apple announced last week the release of their brand new iPhone Xs (pronounced “ten es”) and Xs Max. You can pre-order yours today or purchase them on September 21st. It has two size options--including the largest display on a smartphone ever. It has tons of camera upgrades: Smart HDR, watch in 4K video, better bokeh (background blur), adjustable depth of field, 4 mics for video, and a faster sensor. It also has the ability to handle 2 SIM cards which means you can have two phone numbers hooked up to one phone—perfect for a personal and business phone in one. It has the highest-capacity storage option yet at 512GB which will be perfect for storing all those amazing photos you take and better battery life. And it now comes in gold and is the most water-resistant iPhone yet!

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The Cheaper, More Colorful iPhone

The new iPhone Xr is the cheaper, more colorful iPhone option and it sounds pretty amazing. It has 6 vibrant colors, it’s lighter, has liquid retina display which is the most advanced LCD in the industry, and has faster and better Face ID than last year’s iPhone X. It only has one camera instead of two, so you're not going to get the higher quality zoom like the Xs. That said, the quality is still stunning. This looks like a great option if you’re looking to get tons of great features at a lesser cost. Pre-order here.

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Newly Re-designed Apple Watch

The newly re-designed Apple Watch looks pretty slick! Its screen is 30% bigger yet only adding 2MM and it’s thinner. A few of the cool new features are: it’s 2x faster, it’s now able to detect if you fall and will prompt you to call for help (is Apple trying to get Apple Watch on grandparents’ wrists or what?!), next-generation heart technology detects if your heart rate is too low and atrial fibrillation, it has a 50% louder speaker, the Mic is now positioned on opposite side of device for clearer calls, and it has better cell signal by allowing radio waves to pass through both sides of device. Pre-order here.

Last Week’s FB Live: Discussing New Products

If you missed my Facebook Live from last week and you’re interested in learning more about the new iPhones and Apple Watch, you can check it out here. I go over all the specs for each new phone and the new features of the Apple Watch. Plus, you’ll hear my thoughts and honest opinions. And, don’t forget to catch me live this Wednesday on Facebook at my NEW time, 8:00 pm Central Standard Time. You can see more about what I’ll be talking about on Wednesday below. Make sure to LIKE my Facebook page here to be notified when I go live!

 

Meet My New Executive Assistant, Marissa

I’m so excited to introduce to you my newest team member, Marissa Hyatt! Marissa is my brand new Executive Assistant and she’s also my sister-in-law. I’m so thrilled to have her on board helping to keep me in line. She’s primarily helping me stay on top of email, manage my calendar, and help me on the administrative side of things. My hope is that by bringing her on it will really help YOU! She’ll be there to make sure I don’t miss anything, help you with questions, and make sure things are handling as quickly as possible so you can get your issues solved! So, if you’re a client of mine, don’t be surprised if she writes to you on my behalf...trust me, she’s here to help and make everything more smooth and efficient! In her free time, Marissa loves cooking, reading personal development books, and is a little obsessed with all things related to Italy.

iOS 12 Now Available to Download!

You can now download the brand new iOS 12! This update has a ton of great features I can’t wait to tell you about in upcoming newsletters and Facebook Live videos. To download on your phone, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Some of the cool new things they updated are: older phones are said to be 40-70% faster than before, you’ll get better and fewer notifications now, and can limit the time you spend on certain apps. This is going to be so helpful for your productivity so you aren’t mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook when you should be focused on work. The all-new Do Not Disturb option at bedtime so those notifications aren’t waking you up in the middle of the night and you can even put Do Not Disturb on for certain locations or calendar effects so you can be more present and productive and less distracted. I think this is one of the better iOS updates we’ve seen yet! Make sure to join me on Wednesday night on Facebook Live where I’ll be giving you a tutorial on how to maximize iOS 12’s new features to enhance your productivity.

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Join Me on Facebook Live for iOS 12 Tutorial

Learn how to be more productive at work and more present at home with the new iOS 12 features like all-new Screen Time feature, new Do Not Disturb features, and more. I’ll be live on Wednesday night at 8:00 pm Central Standard Time instead of the usual 6 pm. My hope is that it’ll be easier for you to join since it won’t be right in the middle of dinner time! I’d love for you to tune in and ask me your biggest questions on using iOS 12.

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Did You Miss Apple’s Special Event?

If you missed the big Apple Special Event last week and want to watch it, you can see it all here and learn all about the new iPhones and Apple Watch. While we haven’t heard any updates about new Macs, there’s still time left in the year for them to announce those. The rumor mill has definitely had buzz of a few new computers and gadgets like a wireless charge. I’ll keep you up-to-date on any news I hear about these.

Follow-Up with Clients Like a Genius!

Follow-Up Like a Genius!

If you’ve ever struggled to keep up with clients and making sure that you follow-up with them on time and with the right information, then you need to check out my Facebook Live from this past week! I share my new favorite, simple, and free way to track your follow-up emails, customize them so that they are personal to each person, and even schedule when your follow-ups go out. Check out my video here and as always, make sure to tune in each Wednesday at 6pm CST.

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How to Watch Apple’s Special Event on Wednesday

I can’t wait for Apple’s special event this Wednesday, Sept. 12. It’s expected that they will announce the three new iPhone models, a redesign of the Apple Watch, and much more. There’s been quite a few rumors already as to what we’ll see with the new iPhones. You can livestream the event by clicking this going to Apple’s website or following this  link on Wednesday at 12-noon Central Time, 10am Pacific Time. I recommend bookmarking the link now, so you have easy access. You can also download the Apple Events app and livestream on your Apple TV. If you aren’t able to livestream, don’t worry. Next week’s newsletter will feature highlights from the event and what information I think you need to know.

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Smart Lights from Lutron

I absolutely love these smart light switches and remotes from Lutron. You can easily install them into your home or just get the remotes for lamps. The beauty of this system is you can easily control the mood in your home with the click of a button. I love being able to easily turn off all the lights simultaneously when watching a movie or going to bed, and easily turning them on when it’s time to wake up. You can even dim the lights for dinner parties or a romantic evening at home. You can purchase them here.

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Uber's New Safety Features

Good news for Uber riders and drivers was just announced this past week. The app is going to start using driver’s phones to detect if there was a crash and to help make sure they’re safe. If they detect a crash, they will send questions to the driver and prompt them to call 911 if necessary. Rider’s also get reassurance when it comes to their privacy and safety. If the app detects that they’ve been stopped for too long it will send a message to them making sure they are safe and will keep their pick-up and drop-off addresses anonymous so that driver’s don’t have access to the actual address.

 

Finally, Bose Speakers and Alexa Have Joined Forces!

While I focus a lot on Sonos systems, I know there are a ton of Bose fans out there. They have a certain sound that people love. Until now, they've been a bit behind in the smart speaker department so I thought I'd share this new one with you. Luckily, Bose has come out with the Bose Home Speaker 500 which has Alexa built right in. It also is Bluetooth enabled and connects with Spotify, Pandora, and Airplay 2. The speaker retails for $400 and will available later this month in stores and online.

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Grammarly

Have you ever written an important email or document and later realized you made typing or grammatical errors, but now it’s too late? Grammarly is a favorite app of a lot of my clients and something I’ve just gotten into lately. It checks your typing for mistakes and helps you correct them before you press send on that email or submit that important document. The app actually will give you a secondary keyboard on your phone so that you can check your writing anytime you type on your phone, whether in an email, text, or even on social media. Download the app here. There are also extensions for Safari and Google Chrome.

How to Organize Company Files

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Organizing Company Files

I’ve had a number of people reach out to me recently about organizing company files. As teams grow, no matter how organized each individual is, if there is no established protocol for how files should be stored, chaos will soon take over. The longer you wait, the harder it is to regain control. Each company is unique in what they’re offering and how they do business, so I’m not going to create a template for you to follow. This is best done with a one on one appointment with me. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when organizing.

  1. The most important of them is to create consistency. If you create courses, stick to the same folder structure for each product. You can add more things or not create a folder if there’s nothing to go in there. Just don’t switch up the fundamentals on a whim.

  2. Change it all at once. This is going to be a sprint. You’re trying to gather all your files into a new system as fast as possible. This isn’t going to be perfect. You’re painting with big broad strokes. Just get it all in one place, shared with the right people, and you can refine later. Trying to make it perfect from the start will bog you down in the weeds and you’ll never finish. Nobody has time for that.

  3. You’re not likely to get it right the first time. We get a big win by getting the infrastructure in place and the files in it. Then we go through each folder and remove duplicates, rename folders, and generally clean things up. Around this time and a little after you’ve been using it, you may realize that a folder you use often is too buried away. No problem—we move it to a new place. But you have to keep rule 1 in mind. Consistency. If you use one folder a lot, Eg. Testimonials for products, take all the testimonials out of the Courses folders, and put them in the new place.

This project is big, so set aside a couple hours for brainstorming the new system with your key people. From there, delegate tasks of who’s going to organize what and schedule a follow up meeting to take things to the next stage of refining. Pivot where you thought something was a good idea, then you ran into a problem. Before you know it, your company files are streamlined in a way you never thought possible.

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Easily Compare Edited Photos With Originals

If you’re using the Photos app on your Mac to edit photos, sometimes it’s nice to see your edits vs the original. First off, open Photos and find a Photo. Edit it and make some dramatic changes in the light. Then press the M key on your keyboard to see the original. There’s a button on the top left if you don’t like keyboard shortcuts. Enjoy!

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Nimble Chargers

I’m thrilled to see this company launch their products. Some of the top people at Mophie left to start a new company that wanted to create electronics products in a more eco friendly and sustainable way. You may not have thought about the amount of electronics products that get tossed, but it’s significant. A massive contributor to trash are these cheap plastic electronic products. Not so with Nimble. They are not much more expensive than the alternatives, they’re using mainly recyclable materials, and they ship with a bag to send old electronics, cables and chargers for free to Homeboy Recycling in LA to help people who face sevier barriers to employment.

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New 34" Curved Thunderbolt 3 Monitor

Expected early this month is the Samsung C34J791 34” Ultrawide curved monitor. This is the first curved monitor to the hit market with Thunderbolt 3. I’ve ordered a few 27” Thunderbolt 3 models, but now the big boy is out. If you like a dual monitor setup, the 34” is the perfect thing, without having two monitors! It will charge the new 15” MacBook Pro’s at full power. This is something most people don’t realize about some of the other Thunderbolt 3 monitors out there. If you’re using a 65 Watt charger for the 15” model, your graphics card is not running at full capacity. Same thing for when you’re on battery power only. If you have a 13”, you’re in the clear. This looks like a very promising model and I’d LOVE to have one. Check it out here.

 

Gmail's Redesign

If you hate gmail.com’s lack of appealing visuals, you might want to check it out again. Slowly they’ve been releasing the redesigned interface across all accounts. At first I wasn’t so sure about it. I got used to the buttons looking a certain way, etc. I like it a lot better than the old version, now.

If you choose the default view, you’ll see which emails have attachments, the calendar, notes and reminders icons are conveniently to the right of the screen. There’s even an undo button right after you send a message. I LOVE that. I’m notorious for sending an email without proofreading and making sure the attachments actually made it into the email. Whoops! They also have an option for “nudges” which will move an email to the top of the list if you haven’t responded to in in three days or so. And lastly, you can send an email in confidential mode. This email can only be opened if the recipient is using 2-factor authentication. After they open the email, it will self destruct after a set amount of time.

The only thing missing for me is a send later button! In the meantime I’ll keep using Spark to compose messages at night I want sent first thing in the morning. Or follow ups 2 weeks after an appointment.

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My Favorite Speedtest App

There are a lot of speed test apps out there. When trying to test internet speed, each website tends to give different results. Lately I’ve had to deal with internet issues with a number of ISPs and was referred to the Speedtest app by Ookla. It’s been great so far and provides some consistency by not having to load ads or anything else in the browser which can affect your speed. It’s free and you can get it from the app store with this link.