Gmail labels

If you use Gmail and don’t use labels, you must start immediately. Labels are a way of organizing your emails so you can quickly find what you’re looking for. For example, you may have labels for Trips, Receipts, Invites, Coupons, etc. And unlike folders (in most other mail clients), you can use multiple labels per email.

To label an email, open the message and click on the label icon (next to More, it looks like a tag). Choose an existing label, or type in a new one. Your labels will appear in the left column, and if you click on one you’ll see all the messages with that label.

Labels appear next to the subject of your emails in your inbox. If you want to change the color of your labels, click on the color box next to the labels in the left column and choose a different color.

Organize your trip itinerary

When you go on a trip you may be used to printing out receipts and confirmation emails for every part of the trip (hotels, flights, entertainment, etc). With Tripit’s free website and mobile app, you can easily keep track of all this info on the go. Just forward all your confirmation emails to them and Tripit will automatically create a trip itinerary for you. Access the trip on your phone to see flight times and directions, and share your itinerary with friends.

Check out Tripit

Organizing your iOS apps

Did you know you can organize all your iPhone/iPad/iPod apps into folders? When you have a lot of apps, it’s easier to find them this way instead of scrolling through several screens.

Just press and hold your finger on an app icon till it starts shaking. Drag it on top of another app that is related. They will combine into a folder that you can then name. Some of my folders include: Social, Reading, Games, Music, Tools, Shopping.

If you like having several screens of apps, a quick way to organize them is through iTunes. Connect your device and click on it in iTunes. Then click on the Apps tab at the top. From there you can delete, reorder, change screens and create folders.

Autodelete .ZIP files

When you open a .ZIP file on your Mac, a new folder is created and your .ZIP file is left intact. After you’ve extracted the files inside to the new folder, you don’t need the compressed .ZIP file anymore. Instead of having to move or delete every .ZIP file you extract, you can set up your system to handle them for you.

Go to Hard Drive > System > Library > CoreServices and open Archive Utility. Open the preferences (Archive Utility > Preferences) and click on the After Expanding drop-down menu. Select Move Archive to Trash. If you’d like to keep the archives in a certain place (i.e. an Archive folder), choose Move Archive To and specify an existing folder or create a new one.

Saving electronic receipts

Instead of printing out every confirmation or receipt I get on the web, I like to save mine electronically. It’s eco-friendly, saves space, and makes organization easier.

Mac: In Safari/Firefox, go to File > Print (or hit CMD-P). When you get to the Print dialog box, instead of clicking Print, click on the PDF button in the lower left corner. Choose “Save as PDF” and choose which folder you’d like to save a PDF version of your receipt in.

In Chrome, go to File > Print (or hit CMD-P). Change the Destination to “Save as PDF” and then hit the Save button.

PC: If you are using the Chrome browser, click on the tool icon in the top-right corner. Choose Print. Change the destination to “Print to PDF” and click Print.

If you don’t use Chrome, you can install the CutePDF Writer which will allow you to print to PDF from any browser. Instructions here.

Clean up that desktop!

Did you know that a messy computer desktop can actually slow your computer down? Each file on your desktop uses a bit of computer memory, and your computer needs memory in able to run efficiently. Try moving your files to your Documents folder, or just keep shortcuts on your Desktop to the folders and files you frequently use.

Discussion Groups

Do you send regular emails to a group of people, like family members, business colleagues, or social groups? You can use a discussion groups service to create a single email address that will reach everyone in the group, so you don’t have to type them all in every time. Once you’ve set up a group online and added members, any member can use the group address to send emails to the whole group. The emails are archived on the web so you can view them and search their contents at any time. Both Google and Yahoo provide this service at no cost.

Easy Scheduling

Need to schedule an event but don’t know when your invitees will be available? Doodle is a free website where you can create an event, suggest times to your invitees, and confirm the date.

Learn More »

Syncing Mac and Mobile

If you don’t have an iPhone but you’d like to synchronize your Mac’s files and settings (i.e. contacts, calendars, photos) with your phone, SyncMate might be able to help.

SyncMate is an application that will sync your Mac with Windows Mobile, Android, Nokia phones, additional Mac or Windows computers, Google and Dropbox accounts, online storage, USB drives and Sony PSP. You can sync a multitude of applications and files such as your Address book, Calendar, bookmarks, iTunes files and iPhoto albums.

Try it out »