Tag Archive | TECHNOLOGY

Organised Family Archive

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I’m so glad to share that I’ve finally found a way to organise my family’s photos, videos and stories… Besides having all the family archive available on an external hard drive + on my mum’s hard drive (there’s not enough space for this on my computer), it is very convenient to have all the family photos and videos available with several clicks of a mouse anywhere in the world in order to easily share special events with family and friends.

WordPress is my solution! 🙂

I have considered and tried other sites like Facebook / Google + (sharing only with close “Friends” of course) or Tumblr (having a site protected by a password). But  having gained a lot of experience in working with WordPress, I have realised this is the best option for me and returned to it.

Because what is important for me in such a website is that:

  • the website can be made private – I’m not ready yet to share all my family history with the world 🙂
  • everything can be organised in a chronological way
  • one can create galleries
  • one can ‘backdate’ – post something as if it was posted years ago (Tumblr, for example, makes it a bit messy on the back end – where one edits the site..)
  • one can make drafts in advance or schedule posts
  • videos can be embedded
  • the design can be adjusted
  • there is a tagging option
  • there is a calendar
  • visitors can leave comments

WordPress has all these functions and more…

So, what I’ve done is – I have:

  • signed up for ‘another WordPress site’
  • made the site private
  • chose a sleek minimal theme – ‘Forever’ 🙂
  • adjusted the functionality of the site to my preferences
  • created posts for all the family events or photo collections
  • created galleries (in those posts) with photos from our trips or with our guests, or from events and so on.. – uploaded lots of pictures on the wordpress server (still a lot left to upload to be up-to-date, but still lots of free space left)
  • started to upload all the family videos to youtube (making them private too, so that only people who I choose can view them) and embed the videos into the posts on the WordPress site
  • been in the process of creating login details for my family members and friends, so that they can access the website

The only problem I’m having with WordPress is that there is no way to protect the website just with one password, like on Tumblr, so that anyone who has it can access the site without usernames or creating accounts… (In that case I would use Disquis to add a comments function..)

Other than that I’m very happy with how I’ve organised our family archive! 🙂

I plan to use the information from the website for my son Carl’s 1st year baby book: it should be much easier to create a physical book using the materials from the site, for everything will be already organised when the time comes to prepare the book.

My other plan is to do the same for my parents… They say they like the idea! 🙂 And I like doing nice things for them. ) I just need time…

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Are You Making use of Google’s Fantastic Free Online Services?

I’ve been using Google’s services quite a lot recently, and I find them very useful. So I want to share with you how exactly I use some of them.

  • Google Web Search: obviously to find stuff online and answers to my questions – just write your full question in there and you might just get the exact answer you’re looking for. Note that one can control their web search history here.
  • Gmail: well, for emails of course, but I also use labels extensively when archiving the messages. Messages that I am not completely done with I label with RESPOND and SORT OUT, so that my inbox is clean most of the time.
  • Google Calendar: this calendar is very useful, one can create several calendars (for example, one for a different area of life) and share some of them with others, or invite people to events and use email reminders.
  • Google Docs: I’ve uploaded to Google Docs all the documents from my computer that I just want to keep as a reference or archived, so that my computer has only relevant stuff on it that I actually use regularly – everything that I’m just too afraid to delete completely can be kept on Google Docs. Moreover, it is really easy to create new documents with Google Docs and to share them or collaborate with others.
  • Google Reader: helps us keep track of all the blogs that we’re interested in. So instead of having newsletters delivered into your inbox at not always convenient times for you, you can decide for yourself when you’d like to check the updates. Just add the feeds of your favourite blogs to your subscriptions.
  • YouTube: In the meantime I’m mostly using YouTube to save my favourite videos/songs/playlists in one place that I can always access. Also I keep track of the channels that I’m interested in.
  • Google Maps: I always use it to find locations of places. Moreover, in Zurich one can use Google Maps to check on the timings of public transport and to plan any journey. Recently I’ve started using ‘My Places’ – I’m making lists of places I’d like to visit, to remember or to share.
  • Google Translate: I mostly use the iPhone app – it’s good.
  • Google Plus: it’s a social network, I’m planning to make more use of it in the near future… I can already say I like it, for grouping one’s contacts is much easier here than anywhere else – for example, choosing from whom we’d like to get updates or sharing pages we like online. I hope more of my friends start using G+ soon… 😉
  • Picasa Web Albums: I’ve uploaded (almost) all of my photos to Picasa (besides an external HD) to save space on my computer. I think it’s good, however I haven’t fully grasped it yet… There’ve been some changes recently, so it must be even better now.

What’s more, all the functional goodness that Google offers is, again, free, accessible from anywhere, sharable, and backed up securely.

Just make sure to set your desired level of privacy for each service…

Organise with Evernote

Organise your thoughts, plans, ideas, documents electronically in Evernote – ‘Remember everything’. Access from the computer, mobile app, iPad app.

I use it for:

  • storing articles that I might want to read in the future – in word/pdf/photo formats (I will eventually upload them to google doc’s)
  • storing my travel and hotel booking information to have it on my iPhone easily accessible in electronic (paper-free) format when we travel
  • storing recipes with pictures
  • shopping lists + pictures
  • notes from books/blogs/articles
  • writing down thoughts/answering questions for myself

Check out Evernote website and find out about all the things you could do with this tool. It can be used for anything. 🙂

Note: after following someone’s advice to divide my activities by projects, I had also divided all my notes by projects/areas of my life. Some time later I found this not as useful as it might seem to be, for some notes correspond to several areas/projects, and such division makes it more difficult to locate a particular note. That is why now I am distinguishing notes just by names: I put all the important info in the name of the note (the main key words in the beginning make it easy to find the note alphabetically) and I make use of a search function.

Hope you find Evernote useful too. 😉

Organise with WorkFlowy

Organise your projects with WorkFlowy.

This online tool enables us to keep track of our notes in organised lists – accessible from anywhere where there is internet connection.

So far I have been using WorkfFowy to:

  • plan my trips – keep track of my ideas, of places to visit, of links to those places/restaurants and other useful info for travelling…
  • outline my blogs – write down ideas, plan topics, keep useful links organised…

I intend to put all my projects and task on to WorkFlowy – I find it very useful.

Note: the creators advise us to use tags in our notes, but I personally don’t find it useful, for it’s very easy to search the notes using the ‘Search’ function in the top left corner of the web-page.

I hope you find WorkFlowy useful too. 😉

Organise Sensitive Info with mSecure

I installed mSecure on my computer some time ago.

Oh, how thankful I am to it!

When you create an account somewhere, usually you’re asked to create your own password.

Everything would have been easy if all the platforms, websites and systems had the same password requirements… You’d just think one up! But, they don’t! So creating passwords becomes a sport, and remembering them or writing them down becomes yet another hobby for active internet users.

Because I’m registered on lots of different websites and networks and have lots of different accounts everywhere, mSecure is REALLY USEFUL for me.

You just have to remember one password to open mSecure, et voila! All your passwords are orderly organised: just type what you’re looking for in the search window, and there it is.

Moreover one can use mSecure for storing any sensitive information, like bank account/card details, telephone PINs/PUKs, insurance information and so on… And everything is accessible in one safe place! Pretty cool, isn’t it? 🙂

Hope you find it useful too!