What I learned while on my way to get my laptop fixed – data, services, and gratitude

What I learned while on my way to get my laptop fixed – data, services, and gratitude

There are few words that business professionals and academics that live by their computer ever want to hear. These include, “hard drive failure,” “malfunctioning screen,” and in my case, just this last week “logic board failure.”  The result of hearing these words meant that the Apple gods would take my beloved machine away from me, for at least a week, to replace its brains.  It also meant, that I in order to continue with the work that needed to be done, I had to use the parental privilege of eminent domain to commandeer my daughter’s computer for the week.

Once I blew most of Saturday and Sunday getting through the first four stages of grief – denial & isolation, anger, bargaining, and depression – I landed on acceptance Monday morning and got to work.

First things first, I had to get my data. Luckily, I backed up all my data on multiple places, predominately iCloud, Google Drive, Time Capsule and a handy 5G Seagate flash drive, so getting access to my data was not that big of a deal.  What was a big deal was learning how to play the data minimalist game as I could not cram my 1 terabyte bag/drive into my daughter’s 250 GB bag/drive.  I’ve become accustomed to having years of files at my figure tips, so it was an interesting and frustrating week figuring out which files really mattered.  What I learned was that I did not need all that data.  I also found that I could purge at least 300 GB of old files that were destroying the Feng Shui in my folders. Once I got the data access issues out of the way, the next step was figuring out which personal productivity applications, services, add-ons, bookmarks, and extensions I needed to set up and load on her machine.  As a nomad marketing executive, I’ve found that I’ve become extremely reliant on a range of apps and services. In fact, over a period of 36 hours, I found myself reaching for wide range tools, 53 in fact.  Here’s the list.  

No.TameTypeDescriptionURL
1.      JingAdd-onScreen capture add-on.www.techsmith.com/jing.html 
2.      Text expanderAdd-onAn add-on for Mac and PC that reduces repetitive typingwww.textexpander.com   
3.      AccompanyApplicationCreates a rich portfolio of who you’re scheduled to meet with each day.www.accompany.com  
4.      Acrobat ProApplicationApplication for reading and managing PDFswww.adobe.com 
5.      BitdefenderApplicationVirus and malware protectorwww.bitdefender.com 
6.      BusycalApplicationGreat calendar for the Macwww.busycal.com 
7.      ChromeApplicationBrowserwww.google.com/chrome 
8.      DevonAgentApplicationAssists with deep web and scientific databases searches and research.www.devontechnologies.com 
9.      DevonThinkApplicationResearch and note taking solutionwww.devontechnologies.com 
10.   EvernoteApplicationCross-device note taking service.www.evernote.com
11.   FirefoxApplicationBrowserwww.mozilla.org/Firefox ‎
12.   Google DriveApplicationSync computer with Google Drive fileswww.google.com/drive 
13.   HighlightsApplicationPDF highlighting and excerpt applicationhighlightsapp.net
14.   HightailApplicationServices for sending large files.www.hightail.com 
15.   MS Office Suite: PowerPoint, Excel, WordApplicationWord processing, spreadsheet and presentation software.www.microsoft.com
16.   PhotoshopApplicationImage creation and editing softwarewww.adobe.com 
17.   PremierApplicationVideo creation and editing softwarewww.adobe.com 
18.   ScrivenerApplicationOne of the best writing tools out there.www.literatureandlatte.com  
19.   SkypeApplicationInstant messaging app.www.skype.com
20.   SlackApplicationCloud-based team collaboration tool  www.slack.com
21.   SpotifyApplicationMusic and entertainment (get Premium, it’s worth it!)www.spotify.com 
22.   WunderlistApplicationPersonal task management applicationwww.wunderlist.com 
23.   ZoomApplicationCross-device video conference solution (best video out there)www.zoom.us 
24.   GrammarlyApplication & Browser ExtensionChecks grammar and spelling in apps and on the web.www.grammarly.com ‎ 
25.   Bit.ly Chrome ExtensionBrowser ExtensionEnables the creation of short URLs (be sure to get a custom URL, e.g. mcordis.ly, that you can be propagating your own URL, not theirs). bitly.com/blog/bitly-chrome-extension 
26.   GhosteryBrowser extensionPrivacy protection solution, ad blocker.www.ghostery.com 
27.   Hubspot’s Chrome Social Publishing ExtensionBrowser ExtensionEnables social publishing through Hubspot.Under the add-on the Hubspot social media settings. See www.hubspot.com 
28.   LastpassBrowser extensionSecurely stores login credentials to help gain access to sites.www.lastpass.com 
29.   PrivownyBrowser ExtensionCaptures the information I leave behind in my personal data store.www.privowny.com 
30.   ProspectBrowser ExtensionProspecting solution for LinkedInwww.tryprospect.com 
31.   ZoteroBrowser ExtensionIn my opinion, best citation solution out therewww.zotero.com 
32.   Harvey Balls FontFontEasy way to create Harvey Balls, 1234567890, for client status reports.www.ambor.com/public/hb/
harveyballs.html
33.   CanvaOnline ApplicationImage creation and editing softwarewww.canva.com 
34.   ClearslideOnline ApplicationGreat service for sharing presentations without fear of losing control of them.www.clearslide.com 
35.   DropBoxOnline ApplicationDocument storagewww.tripit.com 
36.   DrupalOnline applicationOpen source CRM solutionwww.drupal.org 
37.   EventbriteOnline applicationEvent management solution.www.eventbrite.com
38.   ExpensifyOnline ApplicationExpense reporting tool.www.expensify.com  
39.   FacebookOnline applicationSocial media application (I use it for personal use)www.facebook.com
40.   HubspotOnline applicationWeb hosting and inbound marketing solutionwww.hubspot.com
41.   iCloudOnline applicationDocument storagewww.icloud.com
42.   LinkedInOnline applicationSocial media applicationwww.linkedin.com 
43.   QuickBooksOnline applicationOnline accounting and bookkeeping solution.www.quickbooks.intuit.com  
44.   ScanbuyOnline applicationBest solution out there to create and manage QR codeswww.scanlife.com 
45.   TaskworldOnline applicationTeam project and task management solutionwww.taskworld.com 
46.   TripItOnline ApplicationTrip management solution.www.tripit.com
47.   UpworkOnline applicationOnline freelancerswww.upwork.com
48.   Web heroOnline applicationDomain registrywww.webhero.com
49.   eMarketerOnline Research SiteFabulous marketer research service.www.emarketer.com 
50.   Global Web IndexOnline Research SiteFabulous marketer research service.www.globalwebindex.com 
51.   Golden Gate University LibraryOnline Research SiteOnline library, perfect for in-depth research.www.ggu.edu 
52.   National University LibraryOnline Research SiteOnline library, perfect for in-depth research.www.nu.edu 
53.   StatistaOnline Research SiteFabulous marketer research service.www.statista.com 

While the above list is comprehensive, it is by no mean exhaustive.  For example, it does not include my go-to mobile apps, like Google Maps (loved the Pacman game last weekend), Starbucks, Pokémon Go, Xfinity Stream TV, Audible, email, text messaging, and more. There are any number of other devices, services and solutions that I rely on regularly to get through the day, including my phones (thanks Apple, Google and Verizon), Alexa (thanks Amazon), Internet (thanks Comcast), and we can’t forget Apple’s customer care team, they’re fantastic. That said, if there are any other tools that I am missing, please reach out and let me know. Based on my experience last week, it is clear to me that we are all and forever connected.

So, here is a shout out of gratitude for all those out there, mentioned and not mentioned, making it possible for me and my team to be of service to the industry.

Managing Partner at | Website

Michael Becker is an intentionally recognized identity & personal information management solutions strategic advisor, speaker, entrepreneur, and academic. He advises companies on personal information economy business strategy, product development, business development, and sales & marketing strategies. He also represents them at leading trade groups, including the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. Michael is an advisor to Assurant, Predii, Privowny, and Phoji. He is the co-author of Mobile Marketing for Dummies and a number of other books and articles related to mobile marketing, identity, and personal information management. He is on the faculty of marketing of the Association of National Advertisers and National University. A serial entrepreneur, Michael founded Identity Praxis, co-founded mCordis and The Connected Marketer Institute, was a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and was on the MMA board of directors for ten years and was MMA’s North American Managing Director for three years. In 2004, Michael co-founded iLoop Mobile, a leading messaging solutions provider. In 2014, Michael was awarded the 2014 Marketing EDGE Edward Mayer Education Leadership Award for his commitment to marketing education.

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