Do you worry about getting the best deal when you are shopping? You can spend hours researching and comparing prices both before you go out to the stores and while you are in the stores. Free bar code scanner apps show you info about an item, where to find it, the lowest price, and more about products.
If you have a smart phone you can download a bar code reader that will tell you just what you are looking at. The information is available instantly to save you time and frustration.
There are dozens of free apps to guide you to the best deals; convenient barcode scanner apps
are available for both iphone (iOS) and Android phones.
Bar code readers work just like the scanners at grocery stores except they are portable and fit in the palm of your hand. Your smart phone camera “reads” the black and white light pattern on the product code and then the computer in your phone translates it into information you can use to be a smarter shopper.
Having the information you need to make better decisions will save you both money and time. You can also use bar code scanning applications to find out more information regarding products you want to purchase.
Remember knowledge is power; use bar code readers, become a savvy shopper and make your life a little easier.
5 back-up plans in case you’ve lost the tools you use every day.
NOTHING can be more stressful or messy than losing your keys, your laptop, your wallet, your personal organizer or your cell-phone. There are some very easy steps you can take to make their loss less chaotic; getting a new license, new credit cards, and passwords.
Some of these tips secure your property to reduce their chances of losing your information and some are a guide to how to remedy the situation if you do have a disaster.
WALLET – Before it gets lost
- Make a photocopy of all the credit and debit cards, and the ones in your desk drawer too. Make a note on each one of the customer service number and the CVT code on the back. Keep a copy at home and in your office.
- Don’t carry your Social Security card. You will rarely need it. If it gets into the wrong hands life can become miserable.
- Leave your ATM cards at home. You won’t need more than one in a day.
Oops, I’ve lost it
- File a police report.
- Ask you creditors for replacement cards with new account numbers and PINs (Remember the copy you made?)-
- Your liability will top as soon as you notify your creditors.
- Have your bank close your current accounts and request new ones.
- Contact the reporting agencies, Experian at 888-397-3742, Equifax at 800-685-1111, and TransUnion at 800-916-8800. They will flag your account with a fraud alert to prevent anyone from opening accounts in your name. This should prevent a lot of the chaos associated with identity theft
- You can get three free credit reports per year at annualcreditreport.com. There are some other companies that will monitor your credit for a monthly fee.
LAPTOP – Before it gets lost
- Make a record of your model and serial numbers.
- Create a strong password.
- Back-up your hard drive (Consider a plan that backs-up your hard drive automatically so that even today’s work can’t get lost.)
- Keep an eye on your laptop, wherever you are. Laptops are very easy to steal and can disappear are an instant. Check with your insurance company, you may be able to get it covered.
Oops, I’ve lost it
- Report your loss to the police, with the serial and model numbers.
- If you are on a work or work related computer notify your boss so they can take action if necessary.
- Check your credit. Many bad guys steal computers to get your personal information.
- Contact your back-up company (you do have one don’t you?) to restore yours. Your laptop will be as good as new in no time at all.
PERSONAL ORGANIZER – Before it gets lost
- Some people still use date books and other paper systems along with their laptops. These also need to be secured, just like your laptop.
- Put your name, phone number or email address inside the front cover.DO NOT include your home address. Somebody may return it.
- If you think it was stolen instead of just lost report it to the police. They may be able to find it for you.
- Thin it out weekly so it easier to hold on to. Don’t carry things that you don’t really need.
- Create a back-up file of addresses and passwords. Refresh it regularly.
Oops, I’ve lost it
- Replace it as soon as possible. You should be able to recover some of it while your mind is still fresh.
- Use your back-up copies to rebuild as much as you can.
- Notify friends I you had any of their personal information.
- Consider upgrading to a smart phone. It will carry all your information and then some, and be much easier to back up and to sort.
CELL PHONE – Before it gets lost
- Most of the ways described to secure and rebuild data on your cell phone is the same as what you do to protect your laptop.
- Keep a copy of the model and serial numbers someplace other than your phone.
- Create a strong password to prevent anybody can get to your information
- Water is the enemy of a cell phone. If you are going to be anywhere neat water slip you phone into a zipper top bag to prevent it from getting wet.
Oops, I’ve lost it
- Call yourself from another phone. Your phone may not be lost at all.
- Contact your service provider to let them know if you think it was stolen, and to put your
- number on hold until you can replace the phone.
- Very inexpensive used replacement phones are available on web sites like eBay or Craig’s list. Sometimes you can get affordable refurbished ones from the manufacturer This will save you a lot of money compared to buying a new phone.
- If you do have to change your number notify your friends what the number will be
KEYS – Before they get lost
- Some low tech items are still as important, or even more so than your laptop or cell phone.
- The most important is your keys.
- Leave a spare house key with a trusted neighbor or friend. Spares of all your other keys can be hidden in the house. Do not put labels on your spare keys though unless you use a code, otherwise you are telling a robber just where to look for loot.
- Remove all of those membership tags from your key chain. They can be a tool for identity theft. Put them all on their own key chain that you can leave hidden in the car or in your bag. Most places that you would also accept your phone number as your membership number so you don’t need the tag at all.
- Add to the tag ring all the keys that you very seldom use. You don’t want to replace everything in case they get lost.
Oops, I’ve lost it
- If you think the keys were stolen file a police report. You may need to have this record in the future for your insurance company.
- Call a locksmith immediately. They can rekey all of your locks faster and more
- inexpensively than replacing them. New locks and the labor to install them can be very expensive.
If you don’t already have them add dead bolt locks to all entry doors. Be sure that they are the kind that require a key to lock from either side. Bad guys don’t want to take the extra time and trouble to get into.
The best notes are handwritten, and sent by snail mail. You can use the internet, but your message won’t be as personal and may not get read.With the increasing use of the internet, personal mail, the kind without windows in the envelope, will make your communication stand out.
When we were kids, we hated to write thank you notes for birthday or Christmas presents. It was just another chore because we didn’t understand how important they were; or how good the recipient felt when they opened their mail. Think back, didn’t you get a small thrill when you got a note in the mail addressed directly to you?
Using email can be appropriate for short business notes if you are starved for time. They are fast easy to send, and you know that they are being delivered, but not if they are being read. Email, however has become very impersonal and should not be used for personal messages.
Keep all of this in mind when communicating with your customers and clients. They will appreciate that you have taken the time to thank them, personally, for their business and an offer of further assistance when they need it.
Hand written notes matter in your business personal life as well as your personal one “Thank you for wanting to do business with me.. Thank you for returning calls quickly. Thank you for being so nice. Thank you for treating me like my business matters to you.”(Jenn)
Jenn August has it right. Do you send Thank You Notes for you customers as well as your friends? They are an important tool for letting your world know you are ready and able to help them reach their goals; thank you notes can make a big difference in the future of your business. Customers and clients like to know that you appreciate their business, and that you care about their feelings. Your thank you note tells them that you care. This will make them more likely to come back again, and again and send their friends, too.
Kids have dreams, too.
Do your kids have vision boards? Vision boards give you pictures of your wishes and dreams for your future. You may have one your family with pictures of your dream vacation, your landscaping, or your new car. Having them posted with magnets to the refrigerator door will insure that everyone sees them every day.
The question is, have you talked to your children about their visions and dreams. Relatives or friends may ask them what they want to be when they grow up, but that is usually the end of the conversation. Their initial reaction will probably be police man, fireman or ballerina, stock answers for children still creating their identities; as they develop these may change.
Children have dreams just like grown-ups, but they often don’t know how to express them. For kids that have not yet learned how to verbalize their wishes the perfect solution may be a vision board and starting it can be a fun family activity. They just have to go through magazines and cut out pictures of what they want someday; a pony, a race car, toys, or electronic games. Don’t question them, encourage their dreams. The pictures get pasted to a large board and hung where they can see it every day. The board can be changed or added to; it is not carved in stone. It will change as they grow.
I don’t know what the magic is that makes vision boards work, but they do. Apparently having the pictures of your dreams in front of where you can see every day creates the right attitude to make them come true. Learning to use vision boards is a great way to teach your kids about positive attitudes and how to make choices that will help them when they become grown-ups, too.They can start conversations that can help the whole family grow.
“The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should be a happy as kings.”
Here we go again. For the last eight years we have been publishing a newsletter primarily aimed at small business success; how to start it, how to grow it, and how to maintain it. There are many more things to explore so we have moved over here. We hope this stuff is things you can you use to enhance your life. We welcome comments, new ideas, and guest bloggers. With your help this can be your go to blog and the best blog ever.