Nov.06

Deal Alerts with FMTC’s Publisher Toolkit

Full disclaimer: I’m FMTC’s CTO and product manager for FMTC’s Publisher Toolkit. I don’t pay for my access (but would if I didn’t get it for free).

FMTC's Publisher Toolkit

FMTC aggregates, verifies, standardizes and adds meta data to coupons and deals from over 10,000 merchants and provides that data via API to enterprise customers. But FMTC’s Publisher Toolkit gives that same data to publishers and bloggers at a fraction of the price (starting at $7.99 / month).

How To & Tips

Dec.16

Revolution Slider Security Hole (and Fix)

I read today* about a vulnerability in Revolution Slider. This is a very popular plugin, and is bundled with the 2nd most popular theme on Theme Forest, X | The Theme.

*It took 3 months for the severity of this attack to go from discovery to me via a colleague. Probably partially due to the fact that I’m not on Twitter all the time, but I’m quite disappointed that Envato did not alert anyone who bought the plugin or one of the 1,197 themes with Revolution Slider embedded, warning them of this vulnerability.
How To & Tips

Mar.11

Jan.21

Aug.31

Getting Things Done & Inbox 0

I’ve been working on my productivity for months now. While it’s not something that I’m an expert at, I have picked up a ton of tips which have made me a more productive person, and I want to share some of those with you.

Getting Things Done

This all started a few years ago when I realized that I wasted most of my day, or I lost track of things easily. So I picked up David Allen’s Getting Things Done and found this awesome diagram about how to handle the “stuff” that comes into your life. (Yes, it was strange not doing anything, but reading a book called Getting Things Done. Nothing was actually getting done while I was reading the book, but I was sharpening my axe).

Sharpen Your Axe

The first thing you need to do is consolidate all the “stuff” coming in to you into one basket. For most of us, that’ll be your Inbox. If you see something at the store, take a photo & email it to yourself. Receive a paper document? Scan it and email yourself the PDF. Multiple inboxes don’t work.

Note

I have one exception to this: snail mail. All of my snail mail gets shoved into a mail slot and not touched until Sunday morning (that’s when I go through my snail mail & pay bills).

Gmail Tips

If you’re using Gmail, you can make things easier for you if you enable one of the “Labs” features. Go to Settings > Labs and enable Auto-advance by Bruce D. Then in your General settings, change “After archiving, deleting, muting, etc. a conversation” to “Go to the next (newer) conversation

Still with me? There’s a few keyboard shortcuts that’ll make this easier, too:

  • # – archive the message
  • ! – delete the message
  • l (lowercase “L”) – apply a label to the message
  • r – reply
  • a – reply all
  • f – forward message

Learn these – you’ll be glad you did.

Set up filters & labels. I have a filter that labels all Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local etc emails as “Daily Deals”. Then, if I’m away for a while, I can simply search for “in:inbox label:daily-deals” and get rid of those emails quickly.

Finally (this is the last Gmail tip) there’s a shortcut to get to the oldest message in your Inbox. Maybe this is obvious to everyone else, but I didn’t know it. Click on the message range (1-50 of 278, for example) and a dropdown appears. Select “Oldest” and it’ll drop you to the last page.

Getting to Inbox 0

Getting Things DoneNow as you go through your email, refer to this flowchart and decide what has to be done with the message.

If it’s NOT actionable

you can either delete it, label it as something that you may want to do someday, or save it for reference. Then archive the message. Don’t leave it in your inbox!

If it IS actionable

and you can take care of the work in 2 minutes, just do it. If it’s going to take longer than 2 minutes, you can either delegate the work to someone else, or schedule it.

There’s some more to the system, but that’s the basics, and what I follow.

Inbox 0

Invest in yourself, sharpen your axe, and pick up a copy of Getting Things Done. I’ve got some specific tips on how to delegate work (and make sure it gets done!) and how to effectively schedule your day (including how to handle back-to-back meetings), which I’ll be blogging about soon.

If you have tips on maintaining Inbox 0, or have earned the badge yourself, let me know in the comments!

How To & Tips

Mar.25

Aug.28

Jun.07

Why You Need a Mobile Version of Your Website

If you share links to your website via Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) you need to be ready for mobile visitors.

First thing in the morning, as I wait for my first cup of coffee to hit my bloodstream, I’m on my phone. First, I go through email and answer anything urgent. Then, over to Facebook and catch up on what happened while I slept. And finally, I’ll open TweetDeck and go through my Twitter feed.

When I see a story I want to read, and click through, many times the linked site doesn’t have a mobile version of their site. When this happens, I end up going back and favoriting the tweet to read later. But making your site mobile-friendly isn’t difficult. In fact, if you use WordPress, you can have it done in less than 5 minutes.

How To & Tips

May.23

May.02

How to Replace “All in One SEO Pack” with “WordPress SEO” by Yoast

Years ago, I created a WordPress blog and chose the All in One SEO Pack plugin to handle my post title tags and meta descriptions. Later on, I learned of WordPress SEO by Yoast and used it on all of my other blogs. Yet this early site still had the other plugin installed, with lots of data.

Today, I replaced All in One SEO Pack with Yoast’s WordPress SEO, and kept all of my customized title tags and meta descriptions. Here’s how:

How To & Tips