Close programs you aren’t using

I’m easily distracted. If my email program is open and I get a new message I stop what I’m doing to check it. If my web browser is open I somehow find myself on facebook. These things make work slower.

The solution for me is to close programs I’m not using. When I’m done checking email I close it. If I don’t need my web browser it gets closed too. That way I can focus on the ________ that I’m doing.

It doesn’t always work, but it helps. It’s a simple way to promote focus on what I’m doing.

(Picture courtesy of

Save Your Work Apple People

Losing a document you spent hours working on because your computer does something wonky is enough to make the strongest among us consider throwing a several hundred (thousand) dollar computer out the window. But it happens, and you can minimize the pain.

Save Early, Save Often.

This is especially true for folks using iWork software – Pages, Numbers and Keynote. iWork DOES NOT auto-save your documents as you work. If something happens and you don’t save your work IT WILL BE LOST.

Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) have an option to auto-save every ___ minutes. I’ll cover that some other time. For now consider this your notice.

Save Early, Save Often, Save yourself from a Monster Migraine.

Sort by Last Modified Date

Have you ever discovered something so simple you immediately feel kinda dumb for not having thought of it before? That happened to me the other day.

I use a LOT of files in my work so my project folders get full fast.  I also have a bad habit of giving files names that make sense at the time but are soon forgotten.  As a result I do a lot of scrolling and searching for files i worked on even a few days ago.  Then I “discovered” that I could sort files by Last Modified Date.

It changed my life.

Now when I open a folder on Mac or PC I immediately change the sort and …  there’s my file.  Better late than never.


Coming back from vacation means my email box will be overly full.  Besides the messages I have to attend to there are a pile of daily and weekly newsletters I get.  I usually just go through and delete them, but they keep coming back so I’ve decided to remove myself from the mailing lists.

Remove link on an email message

Any reputable email provider will give you an option to unsubscribe from their mailer with a simple link on the bottom of each message.  It only takes a second more then just deleting a message; well worth the time for messages you don’t read anymore.

Open newer Word documents

I get a lot of Microsoft Word documents as email attachments.  Recently I’ve started getting a lot of them as DOCX files.  That’s the newest version of Microsoft Word and if you have an older version of Microsoft Office you can’t open them without help.  Here’s how to solve that.

You’ll need to download the Office Compatibility Pack for Office XP and 2003.  You can do that by clicking here then choosing “download” from the page provided.

You can get to the mac download directly by clicking here. Once you download the software you’ll need to run the installer.

Once you install one of these you should be able to open DOCX files without any hassle.

Keep It Signature Simple

Do you have an email signature that has your phone number, email address, website, etc?

Is yours an image or text? If it’s not text you could be missing a connection.

I read an email from someone the other day and I needed to call them back – I was using my phone so if they’d typed their number into the email or had a text-based signature I could have tapped the number and made the connection.  As it was, I couldn’t even load the image with their number and had to call back later than they’d have hoped.

The image signature looks nice, but if you want your email signature to reach more people. try making it text.

= Sherman | | | 612.234.2354

Need help? Come prepared.

When I’m helping someone solve a website issue, or they tell me somethings not working “like it should”, I spend a lot of time gathering  basic information that can help me find answers.  This can be time consuming for them and me. has solved that problem.

Support Details gathers important information about your web browsing and allows you to email it to whomever (me). Before I help someone with a web problem from now on I’m going to send them here.