April 2, 2013
Today’s Tuesday Travel Tip…
Have you ever stayed in a hotel room and could not get the shades to stay closed? When the sun rises, the light blasting into your room wakes you up?
Well, here is my simple yet handy solution: use a chip clip.
Bring one of these with you on your next trip and you can keep your shades tightly closed so that your room stays pitch black all day long.
P.S. I used the “Path on” iPhone app to write the text on the image. It is a very cool app that let’s your draw text on a photo in any shape you want.
March 21, 2013
Today’s Thursday Technology Tip…
You will notice that whenever I post a video or audio file, the next day (or so) I post a written transcription. I do this for two reasons: 1) some people prefer to read, and 2) it helps with my SEO.
Although I have used a variety of services for transcriptions, I have found that the easiest, fastest, and most accurate way is to use speechpad.com.
You upload your video or audio file. You can even trim the recording so that you only pay for the parts you want.Then you choose how quickly you need the transcription. Costs start at $1 for one recorded minute. I typically choose the $1.50 per minute option which gives me a 48 hour turnaround.
Yes, there are less expensive options.
For longer recording, I pay someone $0.50 per recorded minute. The quality is great, but the turnaround is sometimes a bit slow and unpredictable. When I am writing a book and I have dictations I want to transcribe, I use this service.
And I have also used no cost options like Dragon. However I find that the amount of time I invest in correcting errors and adding punctuation makes it impractical for anything I want to publish.
What have you found to be useful for transcription?
P.S. I have no financial or other interest in speechpad. I don’t even know the people associated with the service. I just like it and use it.
February 26, 2013
I travel a lot. And I travel with a lot of technology. In front of me now is my MacBook Pro, my iPad and my iPhone.
But when I am in hotels, they often charge for each internet connection. So I have to choose. Do I want to connect my computer, my tablet or my phone?
Well fortunately, there is an easy way to share a connection with all of your devices.
If you are using a MacBook, go to System Preferences > Sharing
You will see something like this…
To share your internet connection, just click the internet sharing box. Then you must select something in the “To computers using” area. Since I typically connect via wifi, sharing my computer’s wifi is not an option. So I share via bluetooth. Then all I do is turn on the bluetooth on my iPad and voila, I have internet everywhere.
If your Mac is connected to the internet via an ethernet cable, you have the option of sharing your connection via wifi. This is extremely useful on international travel when wifi is sometimes more difficult to get or is more expensive. In fact, in some overseas hotels, the only option is to connect via ethernet cable. If I only brought my iPad, I would be without data. But if I have my Mac, I can have a connection on both devices, as well as my iPhone to save on data roaming charge.
Let me know if you have any questions.
January 21, 2013
I am now just returning from a month sabbatical. This allowed me to reflect and spend time with friends and family.
As part of that month off, I did a two week intensive retreat where they sequestered my phone. No email, phone, books, music, or videos for a fortnight!
Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy at first. In the beginning I was jonesing for my iPhone. But after about 4 or 5 days, I forgot about it completely.
In fact, I liked being disconnected so much, I am attempting to stay less connected all of the time.
Try this for yourself. Can you go two weeks without ANY electronic communications? None. Nada. Zippo. No FaceBook. No text messages. No email. No twitter. No phone calls. No TV, radio, videos, or even newspapers. Basically cut off from the outside world, unless you can see someone in person.
How would you have to design your life in order to do this? Maybe going cold turkey would be too difficult. How could you reduce your dependence on your phone and computer?
Trust me, there is a freedom in disconnecting. It allowed me to really be connected to those around me. More importantly, it allowed me to reconnect with me. It is truly an awesome experience.
To keep the general idea alive, I am having critical emails and phone calls forwarded to someone who is connected all of the time. I am only checking my emails 2 or 3 times a day (morning, midday, and later afternoon).
I am trying to be present to my surroundings rather than having my head buried in my phone. In doing so I feel lighter, more aware, more creative, and freer. It quiets the mind, after you get over the initial withdrawal symptoms.
Give it a try. Try disconnecting and enjoy being truly connected.
December 5, 2012
I have now spoken in 43 countries (#44 coming soon). As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time in airports and going through security. TSA Pre is amazing, and has sped up how quickly I get through the lines.
One of the (many) nice things about TSA Pre is that you don’t have to take off your shoes. For many, disrobing at the airport is a tedious experience.
But sometimes, something that seems like an inconvenience can be made into a pleasant experience.
I remember a few years ago I traveled to Korea. Like everywhere else we needed to take off our shoes.
But unlike other airports, in Seoul, there was an attentive woman who, after I took off my shoes, put slippers on my feet. I then walked through the scanner to be greeted by another woman who, after I retrieved my shoes, removed the slippers .
It was like a ritual. I actually liked taking off my shoes. It made the whole experience of security lines so much more peaceful and relaxing. I even recall soothing music playing in the background.
In every business, there are unpleasant things that customers, employees or vendors need to do. And sometimes eliminating those activities is not possible.
In those situations, how can you “reframe” the experience? How can you turn it into something enjoyable?
Disney World does a brilliant job of making a boring task – waiting in line for a ride – a pleasurable and educational experience.
Look at how you can do this for the less exciting aspects of your business.
Now, if they could combine the speed of TSA Pre with the slipper ritual, I might actually look forward to airport security.