Spark email

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 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.