USB Flash- Don’t leave home without it, and leave one at a friends

Pink Tokidoki Flash  DriveFlash drives – cheap and easy backup can save on Vacation Stress

They fit in your pocket, on your key chain and just look cool. With all the phones and portable devices we carry these days, we forget about these flash drives at the bottom of our desk drawers. The USB drive still has a couple of great features for traveling. Even if you are settled in for a nice staycation, add this little packing and preparedness tip to your travel plans or todo list. Snag a USB drive on sale in a multi-pack as the prices continue to fall on these little jewels. Or, pick up one of Happy Katies favorite designer Flash drives by MimoBot. Now, get ready for some scanning.

Files, documents and every important document you would ever need, all in your pocket. Scan personal documents and records in case you lose your wallet or passport and you will have a digital image of all your registrations. But, but… WAIT! What if the wrong person finds it when it drops out of the pocket of your shorts? No worries, you should encrypt the contents with TrueCrypt or your favorite security feature.

These little tech toys have some crazy cool options besides just a backup. Don’t want to carry a laptop or computer with you? Portable Apps Platform ScreenshotCan’t spring for the iPad yet? You can save all your bookmarks, favorite email settings, and doc settings on a FlashDrive and launch your profile from any public computer without fear of leaving your crumbs all over the desktop. Portable Apps is an open source software platform you install on your flashdrive or other backup device, adjust your settings, then plug it into a computer and run your programs from your own drive. You have access to all your software and personal data just like on your own PC.

What to save on your USB Drive

Losing important documents can ruin what should be a happy vacation. A little safety and planning can eliminate much of the stress. Before you pack up and leave, take the time to scan copies of important documents and save the files on to a secure area of the flash drive. Here are some examples of important documents:

  • Vacation Plans: Itinerary, Maps and receipts of deposits for reservations.
  • Personal documents: Drivers license, passport, birth certificate, Insurance cards (health and auto), Credit Cards and CC phone numbers for lost cards.
  • Home Documents: Home Insurance, Auto Titles, Registrations, photos of big purchase items for insurance documentation, and documents that would be hard to replace if you came back home and they weren’t there. Yikes! My next plan is to scan old family photos for safekeeping before they detoriate or get wet in the next hurricane.
  • Medical Records: List of medications for each family member, immunizations, List of family doctor and dentist contacts.
  • School and Work Records: Nice to have everything in one place while you are at it. Include copies of your transcripts, diplomas, Resume, licenses, permits, Wills, and any other items you may want to keep all organized.

Now, your life is basically in one place if you ever have to recreate your history or need to hide it Bourne style. This is a cheap and easy way to travel light, backup photos off the camera while on vacation for processing later, and use software programs securely when on public machines. In fact, buy a couple of the drives, make copies of the drive and give one to a friend to put in their safe deposit box or mail one to a family member in another part of the country in case of emergency.

Enjoy your trip, be safe, and tell us how you use your Flash Drive for your vacation!

Thirty Days of Thanks – Lists

Moleskine Lamy ListsNot sure when it happened, but I fell in love with lists. I am Thankful for lists.

All kinds. Printable, written, embedded, moleskine, post-its, numbered, unordered, digital, iPhone apps. All.

Fortunately, I work with tons of other people who share this passion and a few have contributed to my addiction.

  1. Ed‘ loves him some numbered lists. He even wrote about lists and communication
  2. JMO‘ taught me about Evernote and how to make lists from just about anywhere
  3. Brandi‘ LOVES Twitter lists and I hope to make it on one of her lists someday.
  4. If I keep going, the whole office will want a list. Of their own.

Most of my day is consumed with lists. Making them, marking things off, adding to the lists. I use GTD as a general practice. Thanks David Allen for your workflow process in addition to helping me to control my lists. Goodness knows, they could get out of hand and I would have lists of lists.

I love lists as visual information, but sometimes they can be chronological:

  • 1992. First played with Internet
  • 1995. Graduated Architecture School
  • 1998. Tried Sushi for the first time
  • 2001. Celebrated Millennium. Again.
  • 2003. Bought a bike
  • 2005. Walked 60 miles in 3 Days
  • 2007. Took a random train to Rabat
  • 2009. Listened to Vint Cerf describe future of Internet, Thanks Schipul.

The list can be random (like above), completions, trends, or things to do like Gwen Bell’s Life List. We all love shopping lists, packing lists and I even make checklists for emergencies. I love marking things off my list as much as making new lists.

I can remember specific events and life decisions sometimes based on a pros and cons list. I am not sure they ever swayed a major decision, but they brought resolve and clarity to something that often drowned in possibilities. Thank you. I made a list of things I wanted in a life partner, things to take when I left town for a Hurricane, things to say when I wanted to thank my mom during on our last conversation and things to do this Saturday morning. If I don’t get everything done in a list, or the list changes? No worries. Sometimes it is just as fun to throw the list out the window and just go.

I hope I never run out of lists of awesome things to do.

write blog post about thankfulness of lists. Done.

Tell me your favorite list tool, gadget or hack.

Cool tools: Use Evernote to keep and grow your ideas and notes

Evernote – Taking Notes from Schipul – The Web Marketing Co. on Vimeo.
Schipulite JMO (aka:   John-Michael) recently gave a great presentation on a super cool (and Mobile-friendly) tool called Evernote.

You can use this free tool to store images, audio and text notes to keep all of your world-changing ideas together, searchable and accessible.   Away from the Internet?   Evernote has a great offline tool too, so you can jot down, tag and elaborate on your notes regardless of where you are.

Hat tip to Dick Hardt who inspired JMO’s fun presentation style.   Love it and love Evernote!