Setting reminders saves a lot of money and makes life smoother



Today, I am going to highlight on a very simple fact. In today’s age of technology and smart phone, I strongly suggest that you use right apps to make your life smoother. An app that would help you to write quick notes and set reminders can really keep you stress free “if” you learn to use it timely and consistently.

I am using Notezilla – sticky notes and reminders app. Not because I wrote that myself, but because it has turned out to be a really cool utility app. Because it syncs between iPhone/Android devices and your Windows PCs. So, all your notes and reminders are always with you. This is essential since you need to be reminded any time and any where.

Here is how a notes and reminders app can help you save money and tedious effort.

  1. Set reminders to monthly phone bills. If you miss this, you may end up paying penalty.
  2. Set reminders to pay credit card bills. Now, the non-payment charges for this can be really high.
  3. Remind yourself to pay insurance premiums every year.
  4. We often miss out on taking regular data backups. Set reminders to take necessary backups. Or automate it using Copywhiz.
  5. If you have extra money in your bank account, set reminder to invest it at the right place. Investing money at the right time can earn you more interest.
  6. Jot down all the important numbers for quick reference to save time: Example: Tax id, bank account number, passport number, social security number, insurance policy numbers, GST number and the list goes on.
  7. If you are maintaining equipments such as inverter/UPS batteries, you can set a reminder so that you can extend their life.
  8. Set reminders to call the service men for your car, air conditioner (AC), room heater and various other day-to-day machinery.
  9. If want to stop renewal of a subscription at a particular time, you can set a reminder so that you don’t get charged accidentally. Avoid unnecessary hassle.
  10. If you have any deadline to buy or sell an investment, it is best to set a reminder.
  11. Often, the government of your country would have deadlines to pay taxes, file income tax returns, pay advanced tax etc. Save yourself from penalty by noting them down in an app and setting reminders.
  12. And the list goes on. You can think of other creative ways of setting reminders for both trivial and important life tasks.

Share your ideas of using a notes & reminder app effectively to make life better and more productive. Add your comments below.

Thanks. You may want to check out my product Notezilla – sticky notes and reminders apps for Windows and phones.

Thanks.



Choosing the right RSS News Reader



Beach Huts

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In my last post I talked about how I switched back from Google Reader to Bloglines. But a simple & important issue with Bloglines makes me look for something better. Surely there should be one. I haven’t searched enough.

The issue with Bloglines is that it does not remember you. So you need to type in the username & password every day. I am using Mozilla Firefox browser. Such a simple problem to fix. But they haven’t fixed it yet.

Thanks to the recent post ‘An RSS Reader A Week‘ by Dr.Pete at Moz. In his post, Dr.Pete is going to review a blog reader each week. He has completed with Feedly & OldReader.

I can’t wait to see the results. Based on the comments on his post, it seems that Feedly could be the winner. Still, another 9 readers to go. 9 whole weeks!

Thanks :)



Laptop, Desktop & Ergonomics



From year 2005 to 2008, I worked whole day only on a laptop. That was a big mistake. I was not aware that laptops are very bad for your neck, shoulders & arms. More over, they drastically reduce your productivity compared to a desktop (especially a big monitor).

Don’t underestimate the productivity boost that you would get by using a large monitor with a regular keyboard & a mouse. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a desktop. Just buy, no, I would say ‘Invest’ in an external monitor, keyboard & a mouse and connect them to your laptop. There you go! You can then work for longer hours, get more work done & you will get rid of future neck-aches, shoulder-aches etc.

Don’t hesitate to do this shift immediately. I have recently seen several companies supplying laptops to their employees instead of desktop. The employees spend whole day on small laptop screens & anti-ergnonomic laptop’s keyboard. If you want your employees to get more work done, then get an external monitor for everyone. Seriously!

Thanks :)



Productivity Tip #2



If you are too tired after working whole day &, still wish to continue to work for few more hours but the body does not favor, then here is a quick tip. Have a head & face wash. Preferably with cold water. Head wash is most important here. I don’t know how women would manage to do this. But men can. Immediately after the head & face wash you would be surprised to gain enormous refreshing energy to work for few more hours.



Productivity Tip #1



Do not reply to your emails immediately. Reply to them in batches. May be once in the morning and once in the evening. Remember that your customers are not expecting an immediate reply. This is the case only if you are on a phone or chat conversation with them. In most businesses they do expect a reply withing 24 hours. So stay relaxed and stay focused on your current high priority task.

Customers are often impressed if you reply to them much faster than the 24 hour period. Say, within 2-4 hours. In this case again you don’t have to press the ‘Reply’ button as you read the email. Continue to do what you are working on and address all emails in batches every few hours to improve your productivity. We are often tempted to send immediate reply to sales emails. Replying immediately moves our attention and sucks our energy that we actually require for the high priority task. Shift your temptation by understanding your priorities.



Free To-do list program



This is one simple and fantastic to-do list program that was always on my mind but never used it until today. Its name is ToDoList. It is free. The developer started this project in year 2003 and is constantly improving it.

I am a fan of Mind-Map concept. But don’t like the mind-mapping programs available. Another way to represent a mind-map is using an hierarchical task list that ToDoList allows very nicely. You must try it.

The UI is very intuitive and comes with nice keyboard shortcut keys letting you to quickly digitize the whole project that is on your mind. The printing features are impressive too.

There is more too it that I haven’t covered in this review since I have used it only for couple of hours or so.

Thanks.



Download a file from automatically from an ftp server



Every week, I need to download a database file from my server as a backup copy. Instead of manually connecting to the ftp server every week, browsing to the database folder, downloading (waiting…), moving and renaming it appropriately, I’ll show you how I automated this whole thing using a batch file and an ftp script file.

Windows bundles an ftp program (ftp.exe) with its system files. The ftp program accepts a script file as part of its command line parameters.

Here is the sample script file (call it ftpscript.txt)

(ftpusername)
(ftppassword)
bin
hash
get “httpdocs/db/mydatabase.sql” “mydatabase.sql”

Replace (ftpusername) and (ftppassword) with your own ftp account’s username password. The 4th line “hash” displays the download progress using # characters. The 5th line “get” downloads the database file to the local directory from where the script is being executed.

Now we will write a batch file which will run the ftp command with the script file.

Here is the sample batch file (call it downloaddb.bat)

D:
cd “D:\Website\www\db\”
For /f “tokens=2-4 delims=/ ” %%a in (‘date /t’) do (set todaysdate=%%c%%a%%b)
del mydatabase_%todaysdate%.sql
ren mydatabase.sql mydatabase_%todaysdate%.sql
ftp -s:ftpscript.txt ftpserveraddress.com

In the above code we go to the local database folder, generate today’s date, append today’s date to the previously downloaded database and then run the script. Replace the ftpserveraddress.com with your own ftp server’s address.

Every time we run the batch file, it will rename the previously downloaded file (with today’s date) and download the new file.

Thanks.



Lifehacker – A Must Read Blog



You definitely must have heard of www.lifehacker.com . It is a must read blog for everybody, from all parts of life.

My main purpose of reading it is to get updates on new software, new web services, new version of existing software, what’s hot, what’s not, free downloads and other industry news.

Add to your blog reader now, if you wish to get the juice of what’s in, what’s out in this industry.



Log into multiple gmail accounts all at once using Gmail Manager



You will love the ‘Gmail Manager‘ Firefox extension if you have multiple gmail accounts to check.

‘Gmail Manager’ logs in to multiple gmail accounts all at once and periodically checks for new emails. You can quickly go to any mailbox without typing in your username and password. This extension is really handly.