Track your baby

When you have a baby, it can be helpful to keep track of their feedings, sleep habits, and diapers. BabyConnect is an extremely useful website and mobile app that allows you to track all of these things and more (pumping, medicines, doctor visits, weight, etc). It also has useful charts and graphs, and can be accessed by other members of the family and caregivers. You can enter data via the website, your phone, or iPad/iPod.

Check out BabyConnect

Erase your hard drive

Getting rid of your computer or external hard drive? Whether you are selling it or recycling it, always make sure to securely erase your hard drive first.

Erase an external Mac drive:

  • Open Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities)
  • Select the disk you would like to erase and click the Erase tab
  • Click on Security Options and choose the single pass or 3-pass option and click OK.
  • Erase!

Erase an internal Mac hard drive:

Erase a PC hard drive:

Mac guest accounts

If other people in your house (or visiting guests) use your computer, you might not want to allow them to access all of your files and programs on your Mac. It’s easy to set up a guest account that doesn’t require a password and can be restricted to use certain programs/websites (using Parental Controls). Once they log out, all the information and files in the guest account are deleted.

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, and then click Users & Groups.
  • Click the lock icon to unlock it, and then type an administrator name and password.
  • Select Guest User in the list of accounts.
  • Check the “Allow guests to log in to this computer”
  • If you let guests log in, you can also set up parental controls for guests by selecting “Enable parental controls” and clicking Open Parental Controls to manage those settings.
  • To let guests use your shared folders and their contents from another computer on your network, select “Allow guests to connect to shared folders.”

More information on OSX Daily

Guest accounts

Convert scanned documents to editable text

OCRIf you need a physical document scanned and turned into text, don’t type it up yourself! Online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) is a free service that will convert PDFs and other image files (TIF, JPG, PNG, GIF) to editable Word, Text and Excel formats.

Just upload your file, choose the format you would like, and the program will convert it so you can download the editable version.

Try Free Online OCR now »

Encrypt your important information

lockFinancial information, passwords, account info, and other sensitive data on your computer should be protected securely. Here are a few pieces of software I use to encrypt my important data so only someone with the password can access it:

  • Knox (Mac): Create a special encrypted drive to store data using either a portion of your local hard drive or an external hard drive or thumb drive.
  • 1Password (Mac/PC): Encrypt passwords, bank account information, and any other secure notes with this amazing Password manager. It also syncs with Dropbox, which enables you to use the software on multiple computers and access your passwords via the web.
  • Apple FileVault (Mac): Encrypt your entire home directory. Be careful! If you lose your recovery key, you lose all your data.
  • VeraCrypt (PC): A popular free encryption software for PC. I haven’t used it myself, but it looks similar to Knox.

Updated 12/5/2016

Note taking software

Note takingIf you’re like me, you’re much faster at typing than writing with a pen and paper. Here are some great applications to try if you’d like to take notes and organize them on your computer:

  • Google Drive – Create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets for free on your Google account and access them anywhere.
  • Evernote – Create notes and collect your documents in one place. Keep your files in sync over the web so you can access them anywhere.
  • Notational Velocity – Free and basic note taking database. Just search for a note and if it doesn’t exist yet, create it. Makes it easy to organize your notes.
  • OmniOutliner – Simple outlining program for the Mac. It isn’t free ($50-99) but still excellent for basic note taking.

Google Analytics

Google AnalyticsInterested to see how many people visit your website and where they are coming from? You can keep track of these statistics and many more with Google’s free analytics software.

Here are the steps to get started.

Want to learn more about how to use analytics to improve your business performance? Google offers a free fundamentals course with short videos on basics and advanced topics.

Confused or overwhelmed? Contact me and I can help you get set up with analytics on your website.

Remove annoying Facebook features

Facebook PurityOver the years, Facebook has added a lot of obnoxious features to their website (i.e. Top Stories, App Requests, Gifts, Ads, etc). Thankfully there is a free browser plugin for Safari/Firefox/Chrome that will allow you to customize and remove many of the things you don’t like.

  • Go to F.B. Purity and install the plugin for your browser of choice.
  • After you install the plugin, you will see a “F.B. Purity” link at the top of your Facebook feed. If you click on the link, it will open a window where you can make all sorts of customizations.
  • See the user guide for additional help.

Restore deleted files and previous file versions on Dropbox

Dropbox previous versionsDid you know that Dropbox saves versions of your files from the past 30 days, including files you’ve deleted?

Restore earlier versions of files: Find the file in your local Dropbox folder, right-click and choose “View previous versions”. Or if you’re viewing your Dropbox folder on the web, highlight the file (click on the space next to the name), and click on More > Previous Versions in the top blue bar. To restore the file, select the radio button next to the version you want, and then click the blue Restore button.

Restore deleted files: Go to your Dropbox folder in your browser and navigate to the folder your file was in. Click on the Trash Can icon at the top of the screen to display deleted items. Click on your deleted file, choose the version you want, and click the blue Restore button.

Don’t have a Dropbox account? Sign up now, it’s free and awesome!

What’s that font?

Need to know the name of a font on a website or in a particular image/photo? Here are two tools that I find handy for determining which font someone is using.

  • WhatTheFont – Upload an image and this service will try to match your font to one in their database, or find other similar fonts.
  • WhatFont Browser plugin – Install this plugin on Safari or Chrome and just click to find out what font a website is using.