Use a Different Browser for Work Stuff

using two browsersMy last post talked about some tools to use when managing multiple Instagram accounts. When I was writing that post, I realized that I had another tip to share … here it is!

And it’s an easy one. Use separate browsers for work and personal stuff. This works great for me. For example, I’m logged into my personal Google account (for gmail, Google plus, Google Apps, etc.) all the time at work. I use Chrome for that. Chrome is also hooked into Facebook, my personal Twitter account, etc. – pretty much anything “me related” goes on Chrome.

For work-related web tools, I use Firefox. This gives me an easy way to log into separate social media accounts at the same time. For example, I can be logged into work and personal Twitter accounts, or work and personal Google accounts at the same time. No logging out of one and into the other one.

So – a simple tip that might work for you. Have any other tips to share? Please do!


What’s in Your Bag?

Photo of stuff in my bag

What do you carry around every day? I just reassessed what’s in my bag … because I purchased a new one.

I’ve been an avid fan of Timbuk2 bags, and have owned three of them. The first two lasted a couple of years, and then the strap broke on the first one, and the second one developed a lovely little hole.

The third one’s been fine, but I recently changed from a 15″ laptop to a 13″ laptop … and the 13″ is MUCH smaller. So I decided to treat myself to a new laptop bag.

This time, I decided to try another bag. I’ve heard good things about Tom Bihn bags, so I bought the Tom Bihn Ristretto bag, made for 13″ laptops. Short story on this bag: I had been eying the olive bag, but when I finally went to purchase it, they didn’t have any more olive bags listed. So I emailed customer service and asked if there happened to be any more lying around the office (and really didn’t expect to hear back from them).

Guess what? Someone from the company promptly emailed back and said I was in luck – there was ONE more olive bag, and she’d hold it for me! So I’m pretty sure I have the LAST Olive Ristretto bag :-). Great customer service from Tom Bihn (and thanks Hannah)!

The smaller size of my new bag made me reassess what I was carrying around. I realized I was carrying around a lot of stuff I really didn’t need to be carrying. And it’s now cleaned out.

So what am I carrying now? Here’s a list (the photo in this post is my stuff, too):

  • 13” macbook pro, mouse and power cable
  • iPhone cable, iPhone battery charger, earbuds
  • extra mouse batteries and charger
  • business cards in black case
  • USB thumb drive
  • reading glasses
  • pens & pencils
  • Some presenter stuff: macbook VGA adapter & Kensington Wireless Presenter pointer
  • bandaid and Advil
  • Work stuff: keys & work door badge
  • Video stuff: Photojojo iPhone camera lenses, lapel microphone, Glif iPhone holder & handgrip
  • and a buckeye from my grandpa

So … what’s in your bag? Please share!

Dealing with Email

A couple weeks ago, I was wondering how much email I received and dealt with in a day. So I counted, and here’s what I ended up with – two email accounts, one day:

Gmail account:

  • 75 emails received
  • 13 emails already in my inbox
  • What were they?
    • 7 twitter requests
    • 6 things I needed to know
    • 2 replies to something I had sent the day before
    • 7 things I had to do or respond to
    • the rest was junk I deleted (discussion list things, subscription spam, etc)

During the day, I sent out 14 emails from this account, and ended up with 1 email in my inbox.

Work email account:

  • 55 emails received
  • 12 things already in my inbox
  • What were they?
    • 9 things I needed to know
    • 2 interesting things
    • 12 helpdesk emails
    • 2 discussion list messages
    • the rest was junk I deleted

During the day, I sent out 7 emails from this account, and ended up with Zero Inbox!

Total email received = 130
Emails sent by me = 21
And I think this was a SLOW email day for me!

Of course, email wasn’t the only thing I did all day long. There were meetings. There were projects I’m working on. There was at least one call to a vendor. Etc.

The point is this – I do real work via email. I’m guessing you do too. Decisions get made, projects get additional thoughts. Things I need to see get seen. Questions get answered (or asked). It really IS my In Box.

How about you? Is email an irritation you have to deal with so you can DO your “real work” … or do you see email (and the thoughts behind those emails) as part of your “real work?”

Volunteers vs Job Duties

Some people have told me they ask for volunteers to do blog posts or write content for their website. You know what happens there, right? Asking for volunteers works great … until the volunteer “gets busy” with their “real job.”

When people volunteer, they tend to think of the thing they volunteered to do as “extra work.” If it gets in the way of their real job, they’ll stop doing the volunteer work.

It’s not necessarily that they don’t want to do the web work. It’s simply this – the library hasn’t prioritized the web work (also insert Twitter/Facebook/YouTube/etc here).

No one asks for volunteers to work the reference desk, right? How about driving the bookmobile – does it only operate when a volunteer can get around to it?

I don’t think so. It should be the same with web work. Want it to happen? Don’t ask for volunteers. Assign job duties, then expect it to happen, just like working the desk or driving the bookmobile.

pic by LShave

Day in the Life of David, Take Two

Remember that I told y’all about Bobbi Newman’s Day in the Life project? Well – here’s my contribution to that. Only doing one day, but boy – it was a doozy of a day!

So – My Day in the Life, in roughly chronological order:

  • Met with Cafe staff to get firm pricing for breakfast/lunch for Podcamp Topeka
  • Posted a reminder about Podcamp Topeka on Twitter
  • Met with Communications Manager about a couple of “interesting” comments to a blog post on our library website
  • Took down (closed, not deleted) a couple of comments
  • Helped hunt down why some comments weren’t appearing on our website (fixed) and figured out a better way for me to get copied on comments (Feedburner RSS feed was too slow – now subscribed to the direct comment feed, which is much faster for some reason)
  • Posted email to all staff in relation to comments and library policies (written with Communications Manager)…
  • … then answered emails about THAT email
  • Updated by Digital Services staff on our recent battles with the conflicker worm (we won) and our DVD Dispenser (electrical problem)
  • Participated in a BCR Public Libraries Advisory Group conference call
  • Had another conference call/meeting about comments on our website
  • Proofread a galley proof of my upcoming LTR
  • One more (late) meeting about the comment (no, it’s really NOT that bad – we just needed to figure out some procedural things, like what to say, who gets to say it, etc stuff)

Now I’m going home!