iOS

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.


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.

What's New on iOS 7.1 and How to Update

What's New on iOS 7.1 and How to Update

Today, I'm thrilled to see Apple has released iOS 7.1. This is an update that has a number of new features and bug fixes. My favorite of which is the ability to control how long Siri should be listening to you. I tend to be kind of slow when talking to Siri and she cuts me off halfway through my instructions.