It's not lazy to hit the snooze button (on email)

Snooze
The snooze buttons in O365 and Gmail

Ever use the snooze button in O365 or Gmail? It may seem lazy—it's a SNOOZE button, after all—but it's becoming a helpful habit for me. If you've never snoozed email before, it lets you hide an email from your inbox until a future time that you choose. When it's time, the email reappears in your inbox, nudging Future You to process it in a timely fashion.

I'm definitely no email productivity guru, and what works for me might not work for you. But I've tried using categories (and labels, stars, folders, and color coding) to flag important messages for follow up, and sorting through the backlog later is so overwhelming. Snoozing an email lets me get it out of sight, out of mind, with a built-in reminder to attend to it soon. This is how the snooze button fits into my system:

  1. Delete or archive automated notifications or listserv announcements that don't require attention.
  2. Read anything that looks urgent and respond immediately, or add to the to-do list outside of email.
  3. Read, reply to, and archive anything that can be dealt with quickly.
  4. Snooze messages that aren't urgent, but need more than a sentence or two reply, and set them to reappear soon (like after lunch or tomorrow morning). This lets me focus on the immediate to-do list tasks, rather than getting distracted by time-consuming, but lower priority, issues and projects. (And my rule is to only snooze once!)
  5. Stop looking at email, and concentrate on the to-do list.

With luck, by the time a snoozed message reappears in my inbox, I'm ready to focus on it. I'm more likely to stick to the priorities in my to-do list, and get more done overall. Good thing too, because the emails just keep coming. Happy snoozing!

Digital Bytes: Free Stock Photos, Print Friendly

Jamie and Anne at the Wisconsin Valley Library Service have a couple of new videos! They're short and they highlight some services I hadn't run across before and which I will be adding to my collection of helpful tools. Negative-space-summer-dandelion-macro

Free Stock Photos
Time: 5:32
Jamie talks about three tools to find quality, and free stock photos for your library marketing. 
Watch

 

Print Friendly
Time: 2:55
Tired of printing articles on websites with ads, sidebars, and things you don’t want or need? In this Digital Byte, Anne talks about a great tool called “Print Friendly.
Watch

Firefox Monitor

Firefox Monitor is a free and easy way to find out if your email address has been exposed to an online data breach since 2007.  You can search for your email address from the web site at any time, or configure Firefox Monitor to send you alerts when your email is discovered to be part of a data breach.  You will need a Firefox account to set up alerts.

According to the FAQs, Firefox uses Have I Been Pwned as the source database provider for their service.  Their database is not totally comprehensive as it takes some time for some breaches to be discovered and they are not always given all the details of some breaches.  If you don't want your email address to be searchable on Have I Been Pwned, they do provide an opt-out link.

Microsoft Photos for Editing

High waterI wanted to make a quick edit to a photo recently and found that Microsoft Photos has upped their game. Maybe it’s been like this for a while and I just didn’t notice, but I'm pretty happy with the options they offer now.


If you open a photo in Microsoft Photos, it’s the default photo viewer on my Windows 10 PC, and click the “Edit & Create” tab you are given several options including cropping, straightening (for some reason my photos are always a little crooked), flipping and rotating. You can add filters and make some basic adjustments to the color, light, clarity (sharpening), and it has some other features like Red Eye Removal and Spot Fixing.


You can also go a little farther and add 3D effects or animated text to your images.


The photo in this post was cropped and slightly straightened using Microsoft Photos editing tools. I applied the “Sunscreen” filter to it too because it was cloudy when I wrote this and I thought what the heck, why not.


I still plan on using my go-to photo editor for as long as I can, but the new features (new to me anyway) in Microsoft Photos will definitely get more use from me for fast fixes that I want to do rather than going through my normal routine.

Repeating Events in Google Calendar

If you have events that happen regularly, you can schedule them as a repeating event on your Google Calendar instead of making separate events for each. For example, the Collection Maintenance Subcommittee meets every other month on the second Wednesday, so this is the set up for that:

Calendar

There are various options for repeating an event including making a custom one like above. Here are the others:

Calendar2

I have repeating events set up for a lot of tasks so that I don't forget to do them. This is especially good for things that only happen a handful of times a year, since I tend to forget those more easily.

I also have reminders to pay my student loans every month. (。╯︵╰。)

Have fun putting together repeating events! \(^▽^)/

How to search within multiple PDF files at once

We all know that we can search within a PDF file for any text that we want to find. But did you know that you can search within multiple PDF files at once? Well, I'm here to tell you that you can and here's how you do it.

1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

2. Click on the Edit menu at the top and select the "Advanced Search" option

Multi_PDF_1

3. Click the radio button in front of "All PDF Documents in"

Multi_PDF_2b

4. Click on the dropdown menu to open it

5. Click on the "Browse for Location..." option

Multi_PDF_3

6. Navigate to the folder where your PDF files live

7. Fill in the text box with what you want to search for

8. Click the Search button

9. If you get a Security Warning message click the "Allow" button

Multi_PDF_3b

10. You will then get a search window that tells you how many PDF files contain your search term and how many instances of it were found
Multi_PDF_4

Digital Bytes: MailChimp, scheduling Facebook posts

Ever wonder about using MailChimp for newsletters?  This recent Digital Byte video from Wisconsin Valley Library Service is all about MailChimp and how your library can use it for marketing efforts.

 

Jamie also posted a quick video about how to schedule posts for your library's Facebook page from your mobile device:

You can find all the WVLS Digital Bytes here: https://wvls.org/digital-bytes/

Is this email legit?

Spammers are always trying to trick you. They send emails crafted to look just like emails you might really expect to receive, and their goal is to convince you to do something like...

  • download/open an attachment containing a virus
  • click on a link which will take you somewhere that can infect your computer
  • click on a link which will take you to a page that looks legitimate and into which you will enter your personal information

Often these emails are very, very convincing. How can you tell if an email is legit? The Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information site has some excellent tips on how to recognize and avoid phishing scams.

Recently, a couple of staff received some very convincing messages that looked like they came from Microsoft about their Office 365 accounts. When they weren't sure if they could believe the message, they contacted the Help Desk. (Smart move! We're always willing to help!)

It turned out these messages were indeed phishing attempts. They included a link to take action on the user's Office 365 account, but when you hovered over the link, it was clear the link was going somewhere other than Microsoft or Office 365!

Phishing email message

The takeaway? Be skeptical! Look at the details! When in doubt, call the Help Desk!

Want practice identifying phishing attempts?  https://www.phishingbox.com/phishing-iq-test

The Honey Browser Extension

Honey
Online shopping seems to be a time saver and money saver.  But can it truly be both?  I tend to search the site I'm ordering from and then search google to see if any coupon codes would apply to my order.  You can also try searching for codes at places like Coupons.com.  This can take away the ease and time-saving aspect of online shopping.

The Honey browser extension is FREE and makes online shopping both time and money-saving with a button called “Apply Coupons”.  A screen will pop-up automatically when you’re in the web sites checkout screen.  This button streamlines the process by searching for all working coupon codes for the site you’re on.

Apply_coupons Savings

In addition to applying the best coupon codes to your online orders, there is another feature I find useful called “Droplist”.  This allows you to select certain items and Honey will alert you via email when this item drops its price. 

Droplist

The Honey browser extension also includes a “Best Price” feature.  Amazon has this feature, but it isn’t always accurate.  Sometimes there are better deals from third-party sellers that are hidden in the “New and Used from” section.  Honey will take prime status, shipping cost, and the seller’s reputation into consideration to give you the best deal.

One feature I have heard about but have seen no return from is “Honey Gold”.  It's a program where you earn a very small amount of cashback on purchases that eventually will turn into money.  As far as I can tell you would need to use a separate cashback service like Ebate to get this to work.  For myself, it’s not yet worth it for me to try to redeem the Honey Gold I have earned. 

Unfortunately, there is not a mobile app yet.  I imagine this would be a difficult thing to create, but it is something I hope they work on in the future because I do like to use my phone apps for online shopping.  I’ll be keeping my eye out for that.  Happy shopping and happy saving!     

Spanish Proofing Language in Word

We had a recent request to make it easier for patrons to switch the proofing language in Microsoft Word to Spanish on public computers.  The easiest way for us to make this happen was to configure a few Group Policy settings.

Patrons can follow these instructions to begin proofing their Spanish text documents.

  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. Towards the bottom-left, click English (United States)
    English (US)
  3. In the Language box, select Spanish (Mexico)
    Spanish (Mexico)
  4. Click OK

Word will now proof the document against the Spanish language.  Since English is still the default, Word will switch back to English after Word is closed.