Month: May 2015

10 things they don’t tell you about having a smartphone.

Here are some things that people don’t tell you.

  1.  You can’t overcharge a smartphone
  2. Smartphone battery life isn’t the same as your old phone. You will probably need to charge it every night.
  3. You don’t need to drain your battery all the way occasionally.
  4. Pressing the power button and turning off the screen doesn’t turn off the phone. It puts it into a low power standbye mode. The phone stays on, still able to receive calls and messages, and some apps are able to still able to access data. To completely turn off the phone, hold down the power button for several seconds, and it will ask you if you want to turn it off.
  5. If your phone is making weird noises all the time, it’s probably a email notification. You can turn that off completely, or I recommend setting a Do-Not-Disturb time. This will allow you to set a schedule where your phone won’t make noise. Look in the settings for phone numbers to make an exception for so that the phone will ring if they call you during that time.
  6. Be careful of your data usage. Make sure you’re on Wi-Fi before you download anything. Turn data off for apps that you don’t want to be accessing the internet when you are out and about. Good article
  7. Siri and Google Now. Use it, learn it, love it. Siri guide: Google Now:
  8. Make sure you read the permissions that an app is asking for. If it’s asking for permission to access things that it really doesn’t need access to, maybe find a different app.
  9. You now have access to the accumulation of human knowledge. Use your phone to connect with people and learn new things. Find your curiosity again, ask things
  10. Explore, ask questions, don’t be afraid. Look in your phones app store and check out what’s available. Have fun!

We can’t all know everything

Look, I get it. Computers and the internet are scary. I mean, I work with them all day every day, and they confound me on a regular basis! Here’s the thing though, don’t let that stop you from exploring. They aren’t going anywhere, and there are lots of people who are happy to answer your questions. Like me, for example! Send me your questions, your worries and your fears. I’ll talk about them, answer them all. Remember, a faint heart…doesn’t…win stuff…I guess. I don’t actually know how it goes. Maybe one of you kind readers can answer that question for me? Let’s make this a two way street. Let’s go!

Let’s talk friends

I love Facebook, but no one has written a manual for how to use it. I think that’s good and bad. It allows for creativity, but it’s also intimidating, and leaves people feeling overwhelmed. Since Facebook is the most popular website on the planet, let’s talk about how to use it.

It’s hard to handle the sheer volume of information on the screen, let alone try and keep up with it. Over the next few days, I want you to really look at your news feed. If you see something interesting, like it or comment on it. Facebook places higher priority on content from people that you interact with regularly. If you don’t interact with it, Facebook doesn’t know that it interests you, and it may get shuffled to the bottom or not get displayed at all. Also, try removing people and companies and groups that don’t really affect your life. (see my guide to leaving groups HERE).

One of the hardest things about Facebook is saying “No” to a friend request. The barrier to entry for adding friends is so low, it’s almost insulting for someone to refuse a friend request. We aren’t conditioned to say No when someone asks to be our friend. Facebook is different though. They aren’t asking to be our friend, they are asking to display information to us with content and timing of their choosing. They will be part of a constant stream of information that we have to wade through. They aren’t just friends, they are contributors. If you don’t have the room in your brain to handle more input, it’s ok to say so. We have to manage the flow somehow. So don’t add that childhood friends older sister that you barely talked to back then, and haven’t seen in 20 years. It’s ok. We have to be the masters of our environment.

Facebook is an amazing tool for communication and collaboration. It’s also a vast sea of information and rapid-fire status updates. How do you organize your digital life?

Information is important

I am beginning to appreciate just how much access to information means to our lives. I have been researching many different careers in the last several years, and the amazing amount of information available has allowed me to eliminate multiple careers paths from consideration. As someone with ADHD, choosing a career that challenges me and keeps me interested is extremely important. If something doesn’t interest me, my brain just won’t work. Without the internet, I very easily could have down a path that would not have interested me. This would have led to low performance, unhappiness, wasted time, and damage to my career.

The internet provides us the opportunity to improve ourselves. Let’s take advantage of the amazing amount of information available to us and learn and grow and make better decisions. We cannot decide what time we are given upon this earth, all we can do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us. Let’s make the most of it, let’s be intentional with what we do, and let’s use the information available to us to make the best decisions we can. We owe it to the past generations of people who strived for knowledge and were denied.

How to declutter your Facebook News Feed

One of the complaints I hear about Facebook is that there is just too much information. It’s hard to find the stuff that you actually want to see. Here is a quick guide to help improve the signal-to-noise ratio by removing Pages from your News Feed.

Pages are specifically for brands or groups, they are not pages for individuals. It’s pretty easy to follow more of these then you realize, and it can clog up your News Feed with advertising that you didn’t know you asked for. Here is how to unfollow those Pages.

  1. Click on the down arrow at the top right of the screen
  2. Select “News Feed Preferences”
  3. Go to pages
  4. Select Alphabetical Order (The number of stories refers to how many of their posts you have interacted with in the last week)
  5. Unfollow the pages that you don’t interact with, and ones that you just don’t want to see their content anymore. I know I was following lots more pages than I realized.


I hope this helps you enjoy Facebook a bit more. Let me know how it goes, and feel free to share any strategies you use to make social media more productive. If you have any questions about Facebook, or technology in general, that you would like me to answer, let me know in the comments or send me an email at

If you want more of this kind of content, please follow the blog, and follow me on Twitter. Thanks for reading!

Facilitating a creative culture

This is an excellent article about creating a creative culture. Even if  you’re not a manger, we can all benefit from being more creative in how we go about our daily lives. Everyone has to deal with other people at some point to solve problems and create solutions. This article may help you be a more effective team. Feel free to share your thoughts and how you plan to implement some of these ideas!