How to organize your Gmail to Get to #InBoxZero

Recently, a Facebook friend was complaining about all of the emails she had in her Gmail inbox.  She ended up deleting any email that was more than one year old!  Gmail makes it really easy to organize, so there IS a better way to get to #InboxZero than by deleting everything.  If you need help to Organize your Gmail, read on:

Organize Your Gmail FoldersOrganize Your Gmail:

The first thing you want to do is to think of the email categories (or folders) that are relevant to you.  Some basic categories might include:

  • Friends
    • you can even set up one folder for your best friends that you email a lot
  • Family
    • Again, you can set up a separate folder for each family member
  • Business
    • Whether you work for a corporation, or are an entrepreneur, your sub-folders might include Vendors, Marketing, Sales, Etc.
  • Hobbies
    • One folder for each Hobby
  • Organizations you belong to
    • Do you volunteer in your community or belong to professional organizations?

The second step to Organize Your Gmail is to set up the folders (Gmail calls them labels)  you think you’ll need. Click on the wheel near the top righthand side.  Then click on Settings.  The first option is “General”, the second option is “labels”.  Click on Labels.  Near the bottom of your screen is a button titled “Create New Label”.  Click on that.

  • Next create one label for each of the categories you specified above.  For sub-categories, create another label which is”nested” under the main category.
  • Once you have all your labels created it’s time to move your emails. Don’t worry! you wont be moving each individual email one at a time.  You’ll be creating rules to properly filter each email as it arrives into your inbox.
  • Open (or click on) an email that you would like to file.  Then, click on the tag icon at the top of the email and create a label for that email.  Next, click on the down arrow on the right side of the Search bar. Enter the email into the email box, or, if it is about a particular subject, enter that into the “Has The Words” box.  Be sure to include quote marks if there is more than one word for your search.  Then click on “Create Filter With This Search” at the bottom right of the window.
  • A new box will pop up with your options.  Remember to select the correct label for your selection.  And, if you have a number of emails already which meet that criteria, click on the “Also apply filter to matching conversations” box.  You have a number of other options here too.  You can automatically file the email without it reaching your inbox, or you could mark it as important.

Then, follow the same steps to Organize Your Gmail until everything is labeled and neatly filed!

Please forward this to a friend if you found this helpful!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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How to Use your iPhone’s Health App

It’s true.  You can now use your iPhone’s Health App (and equipment connected to your iPhone) to track many of your body’s functions.  For example you can track your heart rate, the Oxygen saturation in your bloodstream, or the number of steps you walk.  If you have the iWatch, it can also track how far you swim, how long you stand, and other activities.

How to Use Your iPhone's Health App with Sleep CycleActivity

The iPhone’s Health App will automatically track your steps, flights of stairs climbed, and how many miles you’ve walked, but you do need to always have your phone with you in order for the data to be accurate. If you synch your iWatch with your iPhone, you have access to additional data that is much more accurate.

Mindfulness

There are a number of apps that you can connect to your iPhone’s Health App to help you meditate and practice mindfulness.

  • Calm: Calm has a few options available for free.  Most of the meditations require a monthly, annual, or lifetime subscription.  Calm also has bedtime stories to calm you down and help you to get a more restful nights sleep. Calm is rated 5 stars with 1482 reviews.
  • 10% Happier – Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: 10% Happier also has a few meditations available for free, with an option to purchase a monthly or annual subscription.  It also has a meditation to help you wind down for sleeping.  10% Happier is rate 5 stars with 676 reviews.
  • Headspace: Guided Meditation: Like the other two apps, Headspace requires a paid subscription to gain access to most of the meditations.  It is rated 5 stars with 592 reviews.

Try them out and see which one works best for you.  You may find that you don’t even need to sign up for a paid subscription

Nutrition

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any great apps to track your food intake.  The iPhone’s Health app does allow you to manually enter data which is very easy to do.  If you take vitamin supplements, you can also enter the amount of Vitamin A, B, etc., that you are consuming. Don’t forget to drink lots of water every day!

Sleep

Getting a good nights sleep is very important to your overall health. And collecting sleep data is the first step in understanding how your productivity is impacted by your sleep.  I looked at several different sleep apps, but only Sleep Cycle seems like it will work well:

  • Sleep Cycle doesn’t require that you place the phone under your pillow.  Instead it uses the microphone on your iPhone to track your sleep sounds to determine when you are sleeping and how deeply.  It even records you when you snore!  Sleep Cycle is rated 5 stars with 1340 reviews

Have you learned more about tracking your health with your iPhone? If you found this helpful, please forward it!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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How to download a PDF to your Kindle

Wondering how to download a PDF to your Kindle?  I have an ancient, first edition Kindle.  My brother gave it to me years ago and I have had endless hours of reading pleasure with it.  As technology has changed and Kindles have gotten better, I’ve stuck with my original version, primarily because I’ve downloaded the Kindle app onto my iPhone and iPad.  Once you log in to your Amazon account, you’ve got access to everything in your Kindle library!

Download a PDF to your KindleI love real books; the smell of a book that’s been on the shelf for a year and I’m re-reading for the fourth time, the feel of them in my hands, the weight on my chest when I’ve fallen asleep reading, and the cool bookmarks I find and use.  But there’s something very convenient about the Kindle.  I can carry a couple of tomes on a trip without the additional storage issues.

Another thing I like about the Kindle is that I frequently see free PDFs available to download.  Sure it’s nice to have a free book, but if I didn’t have an easy way to read it, I’d pass.  It took a while, but I’ve finally figured out how to download a PDF to my Kindle account and can read them there.

(FYI, Hay House frequently has Books from top authors available for free to download a PDF. You do have to sign up for their newsletter, and the free books are only available for a short time.  You can also do a search for free books to download to find more.)

Email to Download a PDF:

  • To upload one of those PDFs to your Kindle account, you’ll need to know your Kindle email. That’s usually easy to find.  Log onto your Amazon account, look under your devices, and you should see your Kindle email there.  In my case, my Kindle email is my login id followed by “@kindle.com”
  • Once you know your Kindle address, you can email those PDF’s to that Kindle address. Then when you open your Kindle or Kindle app the next time, you’ll be able to read the book!
  • Know that Amazon does have a small charge for this service. The last time I uploaded four good size books, I was charged $0.90 for all four.

Transfer to Download a PDF:

  • You can also transfer the PDF file to your Kindle. You would do this by connecting your Kindle to your computer with the Kindle USB charging cable.
  • Once the Kindle is connected, locate the Kindle folder using “Finder” or under “Computer”. It might show up as an external memory or hard drive.
  • Once you know where the Kindle folder is, head over to where you have saved the PDF. I always save mine in the “My eBooks” folder.  Highlight the file and copy.  Head back to the Kindle folder and paste the file in the Kindle folder under “Documents”.
  • Once the file is copied onto the Kindle, you’ll be able to access it on your Kindle or on the Kindle app from your Smartphone or Tablet. Remember to click the button to safely disconnect the Kindle!

Now all you have to do is find a quiet time to sit down with your new book!

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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4 Articles about Online Privacy

If you have been reading my posts for any length of time, you know that my biggest bug a boo is privacy.  Second, of course, is security.  In hopes that others will want to learn a little about privacy, I’ve searched the interwebs for some of the best articles out there right now about why online privacy on your electronic devices is important.

As Marsha Blackburn of US News and World Report says:

“Online privacy is an issue that continues to rightfully concern Americans. According to research by IBM, over ninety percent of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years alone. The explosion of smartphones and internet-connected devices has Americans utilizing online services to do everything from grocery shopping to tracking their health. However, increased reliance on online services has made Americans more conscious about how they share sensitive personal information…”

Who else besides me uses their phone for everything from buying coffee to checking Facebook to tracking steps?  That’s a lot of info that goes out into the “cloud”.  Is it safe?Online Privacy

It’s important to remember that the onus is on you to keep your own data secure as these people who sued Facebook found out.  They thought that once they had logged out of Facebook, it should not be able to track their browsing history.  In this article, the Judge presiding over the case said no.

“Judge dismisses lawsuit accusing Facebook of tracking users’ activity, saying responsibility was on plaintiffs to keep browsing history private. …. US district judge Edward Davila in San Jose, California, dismissed the case because he said that the plaintiffs failed to show that they had a reasonable expectation of privacy or suffered any realistic economic harm or loss. …. Davila said that plaintiffs could have taken steps to keep their browsing histories private…”

And Alfred Ng reports in c|net that some of the bargain phones are sending info to a server in China.

“People have enough to worry about when it comes to privacy on their personal devices. Between government surveillance and security vulnerabilities, preinstalled software on the phone itself is an unexpected breach of both trust and privacy for millions of owners who are just looking for an inexpensive phone. ….. Having access to the command and control channel — a communications route between your device and a server — allowed Adups to execute commands as if it’s the user, meaning it could also install apps, take screenshots, record the screen, make calls and wipe devices without needing permission.”

Privacy has become such an issue that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case later this year.  This article in Reuters describes much of the case.

The case reaches the high court amid growing scrutiny of the surveillance practices of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies amid concern among lawmakers across the political spectrum about civil liberties and police evading warrant requirements.

The legal fight has raised questions about how much companies protect the privacy rights of their customers. The big four wireless carriers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, receive tens of thousands of requests a year from law enforcement for what is known as “cell site location information,” or CSLI. The requests are routinely granted.

The Supreme Court has twice in recent years ruled on major cases concerning how criminal law applies to new technology, on each occasion ruling against law enforcement. In 2012, the court held that a warrant is required to place a GPS tracking device on a vehicle. Two years later, the court said police need a warrant to search a cellphone that is seized during an arrest.

Civil liberties lawyers have said that police need “probable cause,” and therefore a warrant, in order to avoid constitutionally unreasonable searches.”

Chris Eddy of Geek For Hire, Inc. has been providing computer service to families and small businesses with Mac’s and PC’s for the past fifteen years. His company is highly rated by both the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and by Angie’s List. You can find more on our website, or give us a call 303-618-0154. Geek For Hire, Inc. provides onsite service (Tier 3) to the Denver / Boulder / Front Range area as well as remote service throughout North America.

We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years.  We like the free 2-3 day shipping and the online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet.  I’ll try that next!   Prime is normally $99/year, but you can try it for 30 day for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission if you sign up.)

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