Productivity Tip: Remembering Passwords

Getting yourself organized electronically also means that you will need a system to manage your passwords. And by that I don’t mean writing down your passwords on paper or in a book (sorry).

Do your research and find a password management program that suits your needs. There are many password management programs available, so think about the type of data you want to keep track of and where you feel comfortable storing it (on your computer vs on the cloud).

For the last 3 yrs I’ve used 1Password produced by AgileBits, available on all platforms (disclaimer: I have no affiliation with AgileBits other than I am a very satisfied customer to date).  It’s a Canadian product, reliable, and easy to use. At the time of this posting, 1Password is available on a trial basis for 30 days. The full version costs $49.99 Cdn.

I decided to buy a password management program that installed on my computer and one that allowed me to synchronize the encrypted data file via the cloud. That way I don’t need to be online to access my account information AND I can have my various devices plugged into the same information. I needed to store usernames, passwords, and general notes about a respective account.

Here’s how 1Password works for me. 1Password stores my account information in an encrypted vault. All I have to remember is literally one password to open the vault and then voila, all of my usernames and passwords are alphabetically accessible. The account information is stored in a data file, known as a keychain. I asked 1Password to store the keychain in my Dropbox folder so that only one version of the encrypted keychain is maintained.

1Password does not fill in the login information for you when you visit a site. Rather you have to click on a toolbar from your browser to log in. I love that. 1Password also creates super strong passwords for me on the go. I love that too.

Here’s a video to explain what I mean (6:29).

Let me know what you use to manage your passwords and other account information.

Cheers, Susan

Productivity Tip: Sharing files from your iPad using Dropbox

When you have organized your files in a way that makes sense to you and you’ve figured the best way to synchronize your files across devices so that you only work from one version of each file, you will find that feeling of being organized so addictive in a good way! Now you’ll find that your contacts will start to ask you – can you please share that file with me?

The steps to share a file from your iPad are slightly different from the way you would share a document from your Mac or PC. My preference is to email a file link to the recipient directly. Dropbox will generate the file link for you. Here’s a video (4:54 min) to explain.

Or here’s the information written out for you.

Before you can follow the steps, I’m assuming the following items are in place:

  • You have your own Dropbox account – remember, it’s free and when you sign up you first receive 2GB (at the time of writing this post) of cloud-based storage in your own secure account.
  • You are connected to the Internet on your iPad.
  • You have downloaded, installed, and set up the Dropbox app on your iPad. If not, go to the App Store and do this before proceeding.
  • You have placed your source documents within the Dropbox folder that you want to synchronize across devices.

Steps to share a file using Dropbox from your iPad via email:

1)   On your iPad, open the Dropbox application (enter in a passcode if you have configured a passcode to access your files).

2)   Open the file you want to share

3)   Tap the “Share” icon

Dropbox - Sharing Icon on iPad

4)   Select the option called “Email”.

5)   Compose a new email to your contact and send off the email.

Your recipient will have a choice to download the file directly to the machine that they are using when they receive your email or to save the file to their Dropbox account.

Thanks for stopping by! Yours in technology, Susan

Keeping search results at hand while evaluating promising leads

Have you run into this situation before? You search Google to find an answer to something. A few promising leads catch your eye from the many results that you are presented with.

You click on one lead to read more about it and you find yourself clicking deeper into a new web site. Then you decide – nope, this information is not what I need or want at this time. So you hit the back button, thinking it will take you back to that original list of search results.

Hitting the back button takes you back one step only. Oh. You may have gotten sidetracked in that second web site and clicked on a number of links from that site. Either you have to click the back button many times or you give up. Or you redo the search, thinking that would be faster. Your second searching attempt may yield slightly different results and now you have to remember which leads you had already evaluated from your first search. You may not even see the few promising leads that had originally caught your eye. Ugh! Don’t give up, there is an easier way –take advantage of “tabbed browsing” when you do a search.

Tabbed browsing lets you view multiple web pages in one browser window. You can have as many tabs open as you want or as many that can easily fit across the width of your screen (although too many open tabs may mean that you cannot easily read the tab titles). Then you can close one or more tabs as you choose without losing the original information that you had found.

Here’s a demonstration on how to use tabbed browsing on either a laptop or iPad3 (steps are outlined below):

1) 3:32 min video, on my laptop using Chrome as my browser 

2) 3:20 min video, on my iPad3 using Safari as my browser


1. Open a browser and do a Google search on a topic that you need an answer to.

2. Determine which lead you want to read more about.

3. On a laptop, right-click the link to that search result. On an iPad, tap and hold the link.

4. A small menu of options will pop up. On a laptop, left-click on “Open Link in New Tab”. On an iPad, tap the “Open in New Tab” option.

5. Now look near the top of your browser window and you’ll see that a new tab has opened up behind the tab that you are currently viewing. The title of that tab will be the name of the search result that you clicked on. Left-click or tap on the tab title to read more about the search result.

6. When you are done reviewing this new information, close the tab by left-clicking or tapping the small “x” in one of the top corners and you are back to your Google search results.

Happy tabbed browsing! Until next time, Susan

Editing PDFs Electronically

My clients are asking me how they can edit electronic forms in PDF format.

For me, the easiest and quickest solution that I’ve found is to save the PDF to my computer and open it with PDF editing software. I like PDF Pen – it works on the Mac and on the iPad and it’s been my go to pdf editing software now since August 2010. There are other PDF editing tools out there on the market but honestly, I’ve found PDF Pen to be user-friendly, reliable, EASY, and affordable. For the record, I am not affiliated with the company, Smile Software, whatsoever.

Here’s a quick video (5:30 min) to show you what I mean. In this example, I’m using an online credit history request form from Equifax (yes, it’s time to submit my annual credit history request!) and PDF Pen 3.

Hope you find this post useful. Let me know, ok? TTFN, Susan

Adding footers in Word

Scenario: You are creating a multiple page document with others. You need to let others know how many pages there are in total and you want to help your future self remember where you stored the document.

Use the header and footer functionality in Word which lets you insert repeating text on each page in your document, either at the top (the header) or at the bottom (the footer).

Here’s a quick video on how to add page numbers, file name, and storage location in the footer of your document. The video shows you the steps for Microsoft® Word 8.0 for Mac. The concepts for other version of Word on PC or Mac are similar. (video, 7:14 min): 

Have fun with footers! Once you start, you’ll find you’ll want them on most documents.

Read new online content without losing the information currently on your screen

Scenario: you’ve found an excellent web page containing links to other web sites that you now want to check out yet you’ve only read part of the content on this web page so far. How can you look at the new links without losing the original content on your screen?

The easiest way to do this is to open a new browsing area when you click on a link which involves two steps.

These two steps work in most web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, on both PC and Mac platforms.

STEP 1: Choose how you want to view the new content and open a new viewing area

  1. To see the new content in a new browser window:
    a) Right-click on the link you want to open and left-click on Open in New Window.
    b) Open a new browser window by pressing CTRL+N (on a PC) and COMMAND+N (on a Mac).
  2. To see the new content in a tabbed window (the new content will open within a new tab within the current window):
    a) Right-click on the link you want to open and left-click on Open in New Tab.
    b) Open a new browser window by pressing CTRL+T (on a PC) and COMMAND+T (on a Mac)

STEP 2: Close the new viewing area once you have finished reading the new content

Press CTRL+W on PC or COMMAND+W on a Mac.

Now you’re back to reading the content that you started from.